The First Two Pages: “Amdur’s Ghost” by M.H. Callway

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.

For the final essay in a series spotlighting contributors to the anthology In the Spirit of 13, I’m pleased to welcome one of the co-founders of the Mesdames of Mayhem, M.H. Callway. As you’ll learn in her essay below, “Amdur’s Ghost,” her story for the new collection, brings back a character featured in “Amdur’s Cat,” her story for the first Mesdames of Mayhem anthology, Thirteen, back in 2013. In the Spirit of 13 celebrates the group’s 10th anniversary, and what a ten years it’s been for them, with several more collections along the way: 13 O’Clock (2015),13 Claws (2017), and In the Key of 13 (2019). If you’re interested in celebrating both the anniversary and the new book, mark your calendar for the Zoom launch party on Sunday, November 13, at 2 p.m. EST. For a free invitation please contact ca***************@ro****.com.

In addition to co-founding the Mesdames and writing the two stories here, M.H. Callway short fiction has won or been short-listed for several awards, including the Bony Pete, the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence and the Derringer. Her novel, Windigo Fire, was shortlisted (under a different name) for the Debut Dagger and later for the Crime Writers of Canada Best First Novel award. You can find out more about her and her work at her website.

The last two weeks here have featured two other contributors—Lisa de Nikolits on her story “In a Land of Fear and Denial” and Rosemary McCracken on “The Fur Coat Conundrum”—and In the Spirit of 13 also features short fiction by Catherine Astolfo, Rosemary Aubert, J.E. Barnard, Jane Petersen Burfield, Melodie Campbell, Donna Carrick, Cheryl Freedman, Therese Greenwood, Marilyn Kay, Blair Keetch, Cat Mills, Lynne Murphy, Ed Piwowarczyk, Rosalind Place, Madona Skaff, Caro Soles, Kevin P. Thornton, Sylvia Maultash Warsh, and Melissa Yi.

Congratulations to all on the new books—and for so many of them, the past ten years together!

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.