The First Two Pages: “Leah” by Julie Tollefson

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.

Julie Tollefson has the cover story in the new issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, out today—and it promises to be tense and twisty, as you’ll learn in her essay below about “Leah.”

Julie has published short stories in AHMM before as well as in a couple of anthologies, Flash and Bang: A Short Mystery Fiction Society Anthology and Fish Nets: The Second Guppy Anthology. And she’s written extensively in nonfiction as well, particularly in Kansas Magazine and Lawrence Magazine, both based in her native state. She’s now editor of the Kansas Geological Survey.

You can find out more about Julie at her website and be sure to find her on Twitter and Instagram too.

In the meantime, enjoy her essay here—the first of several that will be featured in the coming weeks focused on stories from the new issues of AHMM and its sister publication, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

Please use the arrows and controls at the bottom of the embedded PDF to navigate through the essay. You can also download the essay to read off-line.

Tollefson Leah