The First Two Pages: “Deep Time” by Lawrence Maddox

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.

We’re continuing a series of First Two Pages essays by contributors to Murder, Neat, a new anthology edited by and featuring writers from the group blog SleuthSayers and centered on the theme of drinking establishments. Last week, we welcomed Melodie Campbell on “The Mob, the Model, and the College Reunion,” and this week, Lawrence Maddox chats about “Deep Time”—and about the joys (and perils!) of the con job. Oh, and there’s a little bit about time travel too. Maybe.

Lawrence’s fiction has appeared in the anthologies Orange County Noir and 44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul, and Payback; he’s the author of the novella Fast Bang Booze; and more recently, he contributed another novella, The Down and Out, to Frank Zafiro’s series A Grifter’s Song, from Down and Out Books. He also scripted the Hong Kong kickboxing flick Raw Target, and the indie musical Open House.

Murder, Neat, edited by Michael Bracken and Barb Goffman, also features stories by Joseph D’Agnese, David Dean, O’Neil De Noux, Eve Fisher, John M. Floyd, David Edgerley Gates, Kristin Kisska, Janice Law, R.T. Lawton, Steve Liskow, Robert Lopresti, Leigh Lundin, Lawrence Maddox, Bob Mangeot. Travis Richardson, Stephen Ross, Mark Thielman, Brian Thornton, Jim Winter, and Elizabeth Zelvin—and I’m included as well, thanks to being a SleuthSayers alum.

Congratulations to all the contributors, and thanks to Melodie and Lawrence for offering essays on their stories. Stay tuned for more previews of Murder, Neat over the next couple of weeks. And be sure and check out the full anthology here.

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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