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.
This week brings the third essay in a series by contributors to the new anthology The Great Filling Station Holdup: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Jimmy Buffett, and as with Bruce Robert Coffin and Laura Oles, Neil S. Plakcy is another writer who became a friend through out get-togethers at Malice Domestic and Bouchercon—so these recent First Two Pages essays keep driving home all that I’ve been missing this year in terms of conferences and festivals cancelled or moved online!
Neil is a both a prolific and a terrific writer, with more than fifty mystery and romance novels to his credit—including two long-running series: the golden retriever mysteries and the Mahu series, the latter a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards. Neil is also a great short story writer—and speaking of the conferences above, he’s had short fiction in both the Bouchercon anthology Florida Happens and the Malice Domestic anthology Murder Most Conventional, among other places. You can find out more about all his work at his website.
Below, Neil gives us a glimpse at his latest short story, “Public Relations,” and do check out the previous two essays by Bruce Robert Coffin on his story “Incommunicado” and Laura Oles on her story “Everybody’s on the Run.” The Great Filling Station Holdup, edited by Josh Pachter, also features stories by Leigh Lundin, Pachter himself, Rick Ollerman, Michael Bracken, Don Bruns, Alison McMahan, Lissa Marie Redmond, Elaine Viets, Robert J. Randisi, Isabella Maldonado, Jeffery Hess, John M. Floyd, and M.E. Browning.
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.Plakcy-Public-Relations