The First Two Pages: “The Moon God of Broadmoor” by M.H. Callway

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.

It’s been a pleasure over the last couple of years for the First Two Pages to host contributors to anthologies edited by Judy Penz Sheluk, including the collections The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks and Half-Truths. This year, Judy is presenting a new anthology, Moonlight & Misadventure, to be released June 18, and featuring 20 short stories by K.L. Abrahamson, Sharon Hart Addy, C.W. Blackwell, Clark Boyd, M.H. Callway, Michael A. Clark, Susan Daly, Buzz Dixon, Jeanne DuBois, Elizabeth Elwood, Tracy Falenwolfe, Kate Fellowes, John M. Floyd, Billy Houston, Bethany Maines, Judy Penz Sheluk, KM Rockwood, Joseph S. Walker, Robert Weibezahl, and Susan Jane Wright. Here’s what to expect from these stories:

Whether it’s vintage Hollywood, the Florida everglades, the Atlantic City boardwalk, or a farmhouse in Western Canada, the twenty authors represented in this collection of mystery and suspense interpret the overarching theme of “moonlight and misadventure” in their own inimitable style where only one thing is assured: Waxing, waning, gibbous, or full, the moon is always there, illuminating things better left in the dark.

This week and the next two, we’ll be previewing stories from the collection by hosting essays by three contributors, beginning with M.H. Callway, who shares below how her work with the Ontario civil service inspired and guided her story “The Moon God of Broadmoor.”

M. H. Callway’s short stories and novellas have won or been short-listed for several awards, including the Bony Pete, Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence, and the Derringer, and her debut novel, Windigo Fire, was shortlisted for the Debut Dagger and the CWC Awards of Excellence for Best Unpublished and Best First Novel. She’s also one of the co-founders of Mesdames of Mayhem, a collective of leading Canadian crime writers. You can find out more about her work at her website here.

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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