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.
Back in June, Ang Pompano reached out to ask me about providing a blurb for his debut novel, When It’s Time For Leaving—whose official release date is a week from today. I’ll admit I hesitated initially—not because of any questions about Ang’s writing, I should emphasize; Ang has already won a Helen McCloy/MWA scholarship for work-in-progress, and one of his recent short stories earned a spot in the latest Malice Domestic anthology, Mystery Most Edible. Instead, it was simply a question of time—with me finally finishing up the teaching year and looking forward to turning attention to my own novel, toward trying to finish that up myself.
Summer progress didn’t turn out as planned, for many reasons, but I did get the chance to read that advance copy of When It’s Time for Leaving and found it such a pleasure start to finish. As you’ll see below in his First Two Pages essay on the book, Ang has worked hard to craft a multi-layered main character and to pile troubles on top of him, and everything that follows—the full range of characters, the twist and turns of the plot—reveals the same careful storytelling.
I hope you enjoy Ang’s reflections here, and be sure to pick up the book next week—or better yet, pre-order it now!
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.Pompano-When-Its-Time