The First Two Pages: “Book of Hours” by Robert Mangeot

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.

I first read Robert Mangeot‘s work when he submitted a story for the 2015 Bouchercon anthology Murder Under the Oaks. I edited that collection, and Bob’s story “Crack-Up at Waycross” was one of the blind submissions I considered—and immediately accepted. It cracked me up too—wry humor, delightful storytelling, compelling prose, the full package.

It was great fun “meeting” Bob through that process, and then meeting him in person later. I’ve been a fan of his stories ever since, and you can find out more about his work at his website here.

Today he talked about his new story, “Book of Hours” in the July/August 2018 Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, a follow-up to a story in AHMM several years ago. I particularly enjoyed here getting a glimpse into his writing process, the thought he puts behind his craft.

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.

Mangeot Book of Hours

9 thoughts on “The First Two Pages: “Book of Hours” by Robert Mangeot

  1. Karen S.

    Looking forward to more from Bob at the “Mystery In The Midlands” conference this Saturday.

    1. Robert Mangeot

      Terrie, thanks for the compliment. You’re the best. I will say, that while my thought process may sound impressive now, in the moment it was more like grasping around at a lot of empty brain. It took time to get this one right. I worked on it for a couple of years before submitting.

    2. Robert Mangeot

      You are the best. I worked on this story for years before submitting. Impressive? It felt like fumbling in the dark. I’m glad you enjoyed both, though.

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