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.
For the first First Two Pages of 2022, it’s a real honor to welcome E.A. Aymar, who stands tall in the crime writing community in so many ways: a gifted and dedicated author, a thoughtful and provocative essayist, a tirelessly generous supporter of other writers, and a friend to the entire community—and I’m proud to count Ed as a personal friend as well. It’s been a joy to see Ed’s devoted craftsmanship pay off, especially with his most recent novels: The Unrepentent (an Anthony Award finalist for Best Paperback Original) and They’re Gone (as E.A. Barres, praised by Kirkus as “smartly plotted, violent, and utterly absorbing”). And he’s established himself as a gifted editor as well, joining Sarah M. Chen in heading up two novel-in-story projects, The Night of the Flood and The Swamp Killers.
Ed has also established himself as an extraordinary short fiction writer— and he’s talking in the essay below about his latest story, “The Search for Eric Garcia,” in the anthology Midnight Hour: A Chilling Anthology of Crime Fiction from 20 Authors of Color, edited by Abby L. Vandiver. Ed’s story was one of two singled-out as exceptional (along with Faye Snowden’s “Chefs”) in Sarah Weinman’s review of Midnight Hour in the New York Times. Other writers in Midnight Hour include Frankie Y. Bailey, Marla Bradeen, Callie Browning, V.M. Burns, Christopher Chambers, H-C Chan, Jennifer Chow, Tracy Clark, Rhonda Crowder, Tina Kashian, Richie Narvaez, Stella Oni, Gigi Pandian, Delia C. Pitts, Raquel V. Reyes, David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Elizabeth Wilkerson, and Abby L. Vandiver herself.
Three of those other contributors will be offering essays on their stories throughout January: Faye Snowden, Abby L. Vandiver, and David Heska Wanbli Weiden. Stay tuned for those great authors ahead! And as a bonus, several of these authors have appeared at the First Two Pages previously: Frankie Y. Bailey, Tracy Clark, Richie Narvaez, Stella Oni, and Gigi Pandian—each essay linked through the name. (And a bonus bonus? Marla Bradeen edited Festive Mayhem 2, featured in The First Two Pages in November and early December with essays by Francelia Belton and Rhoda Berlin in addition to Oni’s, previously mentioned.)
Looking further out, Ed Aymar will be my guest for part three of an ongoing Sisters in Crime webinar series on writing short stories—joining me in April for a session on prose. And in the meantime, you can still register for part 2 of the series on Tuesday, January 11, focused on plot and structure with special guest Barb Goffman!
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.Aymar-The-Search-for-Eric-Garcia