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.
Today begins a series featuring contributors to the recent anthology The Eyes of Texas: Private Eyes from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods, edited by Michael Bracken. Not only is Michael one of the finest short story writers I know—and a prolific one too, with more than 1300 published short stories to his name!—but he’s had several anthologies under his belt, plus the new Guns + Tacos series from Down & Out Books, and he’s recently taken the helm of Black Cat Mystery Magazine. The Eyes of Texas stands out here for its breadth of view on Michael’s adopted state—a state which, as he says in his introduction, offers an “incredible diversity of ethnicities, religious affiliations, political persuasions, sexual orientations, and sociological stratification.” Four contributors to the anthology will be sharing reflections on their stories in this small series of essays at the First Two Pages, beginning today with Mark Troy.
While Texas is the order of the day here, Mark Troy specializes in Hawaiian Noir. He’s the author of two private eye novels: Pilikia Is My Business, nominated for a Shamus Award, and Game Face, both featuring PI Val Lyon, who also appears in a number of Mark’s short stories. A second short story series features PI Ava Rome. Mark’s novella “Dos Tacos Guatemaltecos Y Una Pistola Casera” will be published in 2020 in the Guns + Tacos series.
Check out the essay below for a preview of Mark’s work and his approach to writing. And stay tuned for essays ahead from Eyes of Texas contributors Trey Barker, James A. Hearn, and Bev Vincent.
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.Troy-Shaft-On-Wheels