The First Two Pages: “Becoming Ian Fleming” by Kevin Egan

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 a real pleasure to welcome Kevin Egan to the First Two Pages today with his new story “Becoming Ian Fleming,” just on sale today in the September/October 2022 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Kevin has been a regular contributor to AHMM since 2009—and a contributor as well to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and to other journals and anthologies—and he’s published eight novels too, including most recently three noir-tinged legal thrillers centered on the New York County Courthouse: Midnight, The Missing Piece, and A Shattered Circle, which received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. You can find out more about Kevin and his work at his website.

While Kevin often focuses on the legal world in his short fiction as well (see his previous appearance in AHMM, “The Harbinger,” in the May/June issue), “Becoming Ian Fleming” is a different kind of story, as you’ll see in the essay below. And as you’ll likely notice, the first two pages do not discuss Ian Fleming himself—which I hope will be another enticement for readers to follow up with the full story in the new issue. (And if you’d like a longer sample to get you to Ian Fleming and help seal the deal, AHMM is featuring an excerpt of the story on its website while the issue is on newsstands; you can find that here.)

In the meanwhile, enjoy Kevin’s reflections below.

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.