The First Two Pages: “Keep Me In Your Heart” by Alex Segura

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.

Back in the summer, to commemorate the release of Lawyers, Guns, and Money: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of Warren Zevon, I welcomed several contributors to the First Two Pages, including Laura Ellen Scott on her story “Crawling Distance,” Nick Mamatas on “Detox Mansion,” and William Boyle on “Something Bad Happened to a Clown.” In that last post, I promised that Alex Segura would be appearing the following week with an essay on his story “Keep Me In Your Heart”—but the world had other ideas, it seemed. Plans undone? Intentions undermined? That might be a Zevon theme as well.

I’m thrilled now to welcome Alex to round out the series of essays—and give all of us another opportunity to shout out the anthology, which also features short fiction by my co-editor Libby Cudmore as well as Gray Basnight, Dana Cameron, Hilary Davidson, Steve Liskow, Paul D. Marks, Matthew Quinn Martin, Josh Pachter, Charles Salzberg, Kevin Burton Smith, and Brian Thornton.

Alex is a good friend and a terrific writer, and his latest novel, Secret Identity, earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist, was called “wittily original” by the New York Times, and how ’bout that word “masterful” from NPR, yeah? Alex is also the author of the Pete Fernandez mystery series, a slew of great comics and graphic novels, and some fine short stories too—as with his Anthony Award-winning “90 Miles.” You can find out more about his work at his website.

And if you enjoy the first two pages of “Keep Me In Your Heart” below, here’s an extra bonus: a chance this week to win a copy of Lawyers, Guns, and Money from me! Just check out the contest on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram—commenting at any one gets you entered.


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.