The First Two Pages: American History by J.L. Abramo

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 “met” J.L. Abramo when I was editing the 2015 Boucheron anthology Murder Under the Oaks; Joe’s story “Walking the Dog” was the longest of the stories included in the collection—and one of the strongest and most interesting as well: a story that might have seemed a bit discursive and digressive… until the end, when everything fell so beautifully in place.

The night I met Joe in person was also the night his book Circling the Runway took home the Shamus Award for Best PI Paperback Original at the 2016 Bouchercon—and such fun to meet him in person and congratulate him all his awards and accomplishments.

It’s a real honor to host him today talking about his latest book American History—an ambitious title, of course, with a decades-spanning storyline, as you’ll hear about in the essay below.

Pick up the novel itself here, and check out Joe’s website for more info on his novels and short fiction.

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.

AbramoThe First Two Pages