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.
David Heska Wanbli Weiden‘s debut novel, Winter Counts, was named finalist for last year’s Edgar Awards for Best First Novel and went on to win an entire resume’s worth of additional honors, including the Anthony, Thriller, Lefty, Barry, Macavity, Spur, High Plains, Tillie Olsen, and Electa Quinney Awards—a testament to the book’s substantial power. While he admits in the essay below that his years working on the novel had left him wondering if his short story skills might have gone rusty, he seems to be hitting many high points there too, with stories published or forthcoming in anthologies including Denver Noir, This Time for Sure, and The Perfect Crime. And it’s truly an honor to host him here today writing about his recent story “Skin” in Midnight Hour: A Chilling Anthology of Crime Fiction from 20 Authors of Color.
Edited by Abby L. Vandiver, Midnight Hour also includes stories by E.A. Aymar, 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, Faye Snowden, Elizabeth Wilkerson, and Abby L. Vandiver herself—and I’ve been honored to host two of these contributors over the last couple of weeks writing on their own stories: Ed Aymar on “The Search for Eric Garcia” and Faye Snowden on “Chefs.”
In addition to sampling David’s story below, please do check out his website here for more information about him and his work—and if you haven’t already, pick up Winter Counts as well!
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.Weiden-Skin-2