The First Two Pages: “Pick a Color” by Eric Beetner

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 past weekend brought the release of Volume 3 in the Low Down Dirty Vote anthology series, edited by Mysti Berry—a charity anthology benefiting Democracy Docket, “an organization that is successfully fighting against voter suppression in the United States.” The first two volumes included some terrific stories—including Faye Snowden’s “One Bullet. One Vote” from Volume 2, which selected for the Best American Mystery and Suspense anthology—and proceeds from those went to other fine causes: the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The latest edition’s theme is “The Color of My Vote,” and Mysti elaborates: “This year’s theme, the color of my vote, drew writers from around the globe: all across the US, India, Germany, and the UK. It includes award-winning writers and writers who are being published for the first time, from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences. These 22 authors explore the terrifying reality of life at a global turning point: will we choose to be creatures ruled by law or by raw power? What happens to us when we measure the color of our votes?”

I’m pleased to be hosting contributors to the new anthology over the next few weeks, beginning this week with Eric Beetner—a good friend and great writer!

I started to write, “If you don’t already know Eric—and you should…” and then I popped over to his website to clip the link and saw the start of his own bio there, which made me laugh.

Eric Beetner is that writer you’ve heard about but never read. Then when you finally do you wonder why you waited so long. There are over 25 books and more than 100 short stories so you’d better get started. Books like Rumrunners, All The Way Down, Two In The Head and The Devil Doesn’t Want Me. He also hosts the podcast Writer Types and the Noir at the Bar reading series in L.A.. He’s been described as “The 21st Century’s answer to Jim Thompson” (LitReactor) He’s been nominated for three Anthony’s, an ITW award, Shamus, Derringer and 5 Emmys. Seriously, what are you waiting for?

In addition to Eric’s essay below, the First Two Pages will also be hosting Sarah M. Chen and James McCrone ahead—stay tuned!

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.

Beetner

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