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, the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime had its annual Author Extravaganza at the Reston Regional Library in Reston, Virginia—the first time since the start of the pandemic that this event was held in person. It was much fun seeing so many author and reader friends at the program, where chapter members share their publications over the last year. Many of the participants talked about their stories for the new Chesapeake Crimes anthology, Magic Is Murder, which isn’t technically a chapter anthology but highlights the fine work by our members. Not everyone could make the event, of course, and while I was sorry to miss chatting with KM Rockwood in person, I’m pleased to be hosting her today at the First Two Pages—part of a series that’s rounding out the year (and looking ahead toward holiday shopping too—hint hint).
The first time I read KM Rockwood’s stories was in an earlier Chesapeake Crimes anthology: Storm Warning, which featured her terrific story “Frozen Assets,” set amongst the homeless. In her bio there, Kathleen discussed writing about characters who live on the fringes, and her fiction often draws on her many experiences working in correctional institutions and in inner-city schools and more—stories that need to be told. Kathleen also writes the Jesse Damon Crime Novel series, and she’s written stories for other anthologies and publications as well—and, as she shows in today’s essay, she can write some lighter tales too. Find out more about her writings at her website: kmrockwood.com.
Last week I hosted an essay by Marcia Talley, discussing her story “Behind the Magic 8-Ball.” Magic is Murder also features stories by Donna Andrews, Pam Clark, Greg Herren, Smita Harish Jain, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Tara Laskowski, Jaquelyn Lyman-Thomas, Adam Meyer, Alan Orloff, Shari Randall, Rosalie Spielman, Robin Templeton, Cathy Wiley, and Stacy Woodson. It’s a terrific anthology—be sure and check it out here, and enjoy another preview courtesy Kathleen’s essay 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.Rockwood-Magic