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.
One of the marvelous things about our writing communities: A writer you’ve long admired can quickly become a friend. And such was the case with Brendan DuBois, whom I met through Ellen Crosby at a Bouchercon many years ago—trying now to remember which one! I’d been a regular reader of Brendan’s work in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and in the Best American Mystery Stories anthologies (six appearance there now) and in The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century and The Best American Noir of the Century—both of them, and how many authors around can boast that? Needless to say, I was a little in awe (and if you want a little awe yourself, check out more about his novels and stories at his website). Yet since that first meeting, we’ve gotten together at many other conventions, have served together on the Mystery Writers of America board, and have also appeared together in magazines and anthologies—and I’m pleased to be doing so again in Edgar and Shamus Go Golden: Twelve Tales of Murder, Mystery, and Master Detection From the Golden Age of Mystery and Beyond, co-edited by Gay Toltl Kinman and Andrew McAleer and released last month by Down & Out Books.
Last week at the First Two Pages, fellow Edgar and Shamus Go Golden contributor Doug Allyn kicked off the new year with some thoughts on short story openings, and this week, Brendan offers some overviews of his own—along with an excerpt from “Scars of Love,” his story for the collection.
In addition to Doug, Brendan, and me, the anthology also includes Golden Age-themed short stories by winners of either the Edgar or the Shamus Awards, including Lori Armstrong, O’Neil De Noux, Martin Edwards, John Floyd, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Kristen Lepionka, Lia Matera, and P.J. Parrish, plus “The Case of the Illustrious Banker” by John McAleer—first written in 1937, only recently rediscovered, and now being published for the first time.
Enjoy Brendan’s essay below—and stay tuned for more contributors still ahead!
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.Dubois-First-Two-Pages