The First Two Pages: “When the Wind Is Southerly” by Leone Ciporin

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.

As I began writing the introduction for this week’s First Two Pages essay, I tried to remember where I first met Leone Ciporin. If my quick search through my email history holds any truth, Leone and I were together on a short story program for Sisters in Crime in Richmond back in spring 2013—moderated by Meredith Cole. And since then, Leone and I have corresponded and crossed paths often—at Malice Domestic and at the Virginia Festival of the Book most regularly. In fact, we were set to be on a panel together for this year’s Virginia Festival of the Book as well and surely to spend time together at Malice too, and then….

But despite the absence of Malice (see what I did there?), I’m still thrilled to celebrate Leone’s appearance in the new anthology Malice Domestic: Murder Most Theatrical and to have her contribute an essay here on the first two pages of her story “When the Wind Is Southerly.”

In addition to Leone, Mystery Most Theatrical features a terrific group of contributors—many others of whom I know as well: Frances Aylor, Anne Louise Bannon, Michele Bazan Reed, Cindy Brown, M. E. Browning,  Karen Cantwell,  R. M. Chastleton, Carla Coupe, Susan Daly, Phillip DePoy, Margaret Dumas, Elizabeth Elwood, Daryl Wood Gerber, B. J. Graf, A. P. Jamison, Maureen Jennings, Margaret Lucke, Jaquelyn Lyman-Thomas, Sharon Lynn, Cheryl Marceau, Deborah Maxey, Adam Meyer, Raquel V. Reyes, Merrilee Robson, Lee Sauer, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Lynn Slaughter, C. M. Surrisi, Elaine Togneri, Arthur Vidro, Mo Walsh, James Lincoln Warren, and Carol L. Wright.

Last week, I hosted another of the anthology’s contributors, Frances Aylor on her short story “The Rock Star.” Stay tuned for another essay next week as well! And in the meantime, pick up a copy of the collection yourself—as I said last week, it’s the next best thing to being there in person!

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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