The First Two Pages: “The First Day of the Year” by Gabriel Valjan

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.

Gabriel Valjan joins the First Two Pages today, talking about his story “The First Day of the Year” for the Malice Domestic anthology Mystery Most Edible. This is the second post in a series featuring contributors to the new collection, edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and Shawn Reilly Simmons and presented in conjunction with the annual conference—starting next week, yikes! You can see the full list of contributors at the anthology’s website here, and check out the first post in this series too, by M.K. Graff talking about her story “Quiche Alain.”

Even before I’d met Gabriel Valjan in person, I knew him as a steadfast supporter of mystery writers and the crime fiction community on social media, especially Twitter. And this avid reader and regular advocate is also a distinguished writer too, of course. In addition to his short fiction, he’s the author of two series of novels, The Roma Series and The Company Files, and he’s been a finalist for several awards, including most recently an honorable mention for the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest.

Gabriel’s essay here, with excerpts from his story, will give you a taste of his work. He’ll be at Malice as well—his first time at the conference!—so be sure and say hello if you see him. And meet all the contributors to the anthology at the opening reception and anthology signing on Friday, May 3, at 9 p.m. See you there!

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.


1 thoughts on “The First Two Pages: “The First Day of the Year” by Gabriel Valjan

  1. Pingback: The First Two Pages: “A Death in Yelapa” by Leslie Budewitz – Art Taylor

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