The First Two Pages: When It’s Time For Leaving by Ang Pompano

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.


15 thoughts on “The First Two Pages: When It’s Time For Leaving by Ang Pompano

  1. Joe Rigo

    Love the approach. And, the logic behind the structure. I’ve read many of Ang’s short stories and his style is certainly consistent. I’m sure that doing all the rewrites is arduous work – I’ve been there myself.

    I am just waiting for Amazon to send me my copy on the release date. I already like Al – his story opens with a most compelling scene. His life is complicated and intriguing from the first sentence. I’m rooting for him and the author already.

    Can’t wait!

  2. Rose Inati

    So interesting to see how the author unfolds the story using different methods in just “The First Two Pages.” I’m really looking forward to reading When It’s Time For Leaving, by Ang Pompano.

  3. Annette Pompano

    I love this format and I learned what Ang was thinking while he was writing, When It’s time for leaving.

  4. Annette Flanigan

    Just reading these 2 pages certainly would hold anyone’s interest. Love your style and love the references to New Haven and surrounding points of interest. Good luck….

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