The First Two Pages: “El Armero” by Mario Acevedo

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.

Wrapping up series of essays by contributors to Denver Noir, Mario Acevedo visits today to talk about his story “El Armero”—a tale which foreshadows the events and the world of the story even from the title, as Acevedo explains in the essay below. His essay follows two others in this series: Cynthia Swanson on “Pieces of Everyone, Everywhere” and Francelia Belton on “Dreaming of Ella.” And the full collection, edited by Swanson, also includes stories by Peter Heller, Barbara Nickless, Alan Brooks, D.L. Cordero, Amy Drayer, Twanna LaTrice Hill, Manuel Ramos, Mark Stevens, Mathangi Subramanian, David Heska Wanbli Weiden, and Erika T. Wurth.

I don’t believe I’ve hosted anyone at the First Two Pages whose bibliography has included a title more striking than the latest novel in Acevedo’s bestselling series featuring detective-vampire Felix Gomez; if the title of his short story for Denver Noir does some fine work efficiently and effectively, that novel title grabs you even more firmly: Steampunk Banditos: Sex Slaves of Shark Island! (The exclamation point is mine, not part of the title, I should add—and what? This is book seven in the series? I’ll get started soon to catch up.)

Acevedo is also the author of the graphic novel Killing the Cobra and the YA humor thriller University of Doom, and he co-authored the Western novel Luther, Wyoming, in addition to other work. He was a faculty member of the Regis University Mile-High MFA program and Lighthouse Writers Workshops. You can find out more at his website.

And do enjoy his preview of “El Armero” below—and pick up Denver Noir to read the full story and stories by the other great contributors 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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