The First Two Pages: I Know Where You Sleep by Alan Orloff

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’m not sure when people first started confusing Alan Orloff and me, but it’s happened often enough that it’s become a joke. And it’s not just at conferences that people confusing us—passing in hallways, a quick glimpse, a brief hello, a moment of (mis)recognition. Even in our monthly writing meetings, our fellow group members have sometimes stumbled in referring to one of us.

The good news for me: Alan’s a good writer to be confused with. He’s dedicated to his craft, both in terms of his steady output of stories and novels and in terms of the quality of that writing. He’s earned the respect of his peers and the larger community both because of his talent and his work ethic and because of his kindness and generosity as a person. And he’s earned a wide range of honors too, from his the Agatha Award nomination for his first novel, Diamonds for the Dead, to her 2019 successes, including both a Thriller Award for Pray for the Innocent and a Derringer Award for his story “Dying in Dokesville.” One last thing: Alan is a versatile writer too, writing across genres (don’t miss a couple of horror novels under the name Zak Allen!) and widely within the mystery genre too—witness, this month, the release of his first PI novel: I Know Where You Sleep.

In his First Two Pages essay today, Alan offers a glimpse at the opening of that novel—due out next week from Down & Out Books. Congratulations, Alan!

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.


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