The First Two Pages: “Girl of Gold” by Emilya Naymark

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 Bouchercon month! And in addition to being excited about the conference itself, I’m also looking forward to the new Bouchercon anthology—always a highlight both of the event and of the year overall. I’ve been fortunate to serve as guest editor for two previous Bouchercon anthologies, and it’s always a thrill to work with both veteran writers and writers whose careers are still on the rise—sometimes with writers seeing their work in print for the first time. Holly West edited this year’s anthology, Killin’ Time in San Diego, and the list of contributors includes good friends (John Floyd, Richie Narvaez, and Victoria Weisfeld), folks I’ve worked with before on the anthologies I edited (hi, Jennifer Berg and Kim Keeline!), and then others who are new to me—and whose work I’m looking forward to discovering.

Here’s the full list of authors: Kathleen L. Asay, Jennifer Berg, C.W. Blackwell, Wesley Browne, Anne-Marie Campbell, L.H. Dillman, John M. Floyd, Kim Keeline, Mary Keenan, Emilya Naymark, Richie Narvaez, Kathy A. Norris, J.R. Sanders, James Thorpe, Tim P. Walker, Victoria Weisfeld, and Désirée Zamorano.

This week, and for the next few weeks leading up to Bouchercon, the First Two Pages will be hosting anthology contributors reflecting on their stories. First up is Emilya Naymark with her story “Girl of Gold.” Naymark is the author of two novels—Hide in Place and Behind the Lie (the latter a finalist for the Sue Grafton Award)—and her short fiction has appeared in other publications, including the MWA anthology A Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koryta. Find out more about her at her website.

And stay tuned next week and ahead for more contributors—and look forward to seeing folks in San Diego!

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.


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  1. Pingback: The First Two Pages: “The Canadians” by Mary Keenan – Art Taylor

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