The First Two Pages: “Crazy Cat Lady” by Barb Goffman

In April 2015, B.K. Stevens debuted the blog series “The First Two Pages,” hosting craft essays by short story writers and novelists analyzing the openings of their own work. The series continued until just after her death in August 2017, and the full archive of those essays can be found at Bonnie’s website here. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.

This week’s “First Two Pages” continues a mini-series welcoming contributors to the debut issue of Black Cat Mystery Magazine. Today, Barb Goffman introduces her story “Crazy Cat Lady,” in some ways a departure for Barb (wait for the ending!) but also revealing again the wit, the style, and the careful attention to craft that’s always been a hallmark of her fiction.

Barb’s short fiction has won Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards, and she’s also been nominated for the Anthony and Derringer Awards—a total of nineteen nominations in all across these awards. Check out her collection Don’t Get Mad, Get Even from Wildside Press and also her website for occasional stories, such as “The Best-Laid Plans” from Malice Domestic: Murder Most Conventional. And if you need help on your own manuscripts, Barb’s also a fine editor and proofreader with freelance editing services specifically focused on crime fiction. You can reach her through her website as well.

For a sample of how she approaches her craft, enjoy the essay here. Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay.

Goffman Crazy Cat Lady