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. In November 2017, the blog series relocated to my website, and the archive of this second stage of the series can be found here.
S.W. Lauden‘s Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes three books: Bad Citizen Corporation, Grizzly Season, and the recently released Hang Time, the subject of his “First Two Pages” essay today. Steve has written short fiction for a number of magazines, online journals, and anthologies, and his novella Crosswise was a finalist last year for the Anthony Award for Best Novella (an award ultimately presented to “The Last Blue Glass” by B.K. Stevens, who founded this blog series). Steve is also the co-host, along with Eric Beetner, of the Writer Types podcast.
I count myself fortunate to have made many friends in the mystery community, and among friends, acquaintances, and even people I know less well personally, there are several whom I respect extraordinarily—both as writers and as people. Sometimes that respect is based on long exposure, on many encounters and interactions, but in some cases, even the smallest gesture has carried a lot of weight, and so it was with Steve Lauden. He’s a fine writer and a careful craftsman, able to speak eloquently about his own work, and he gives back to the mystery community in several ways. But he’s also simply good people, and it’s an honor to host him here today.
The first two pages of Steve’s new novel, Hang Time, depict a suicide—tense, emotional—and Steve handles both the scene and the essay about that scene with great thoughtfulness, as you’ll see.
Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay here to read off-line.