The First Two Pages: “Skeeter’s Bar and Grill” by Julie Hastrup

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 week and next, I’ll be hosting two good friends from the mystery community: Julie Hastrup and Kevin Tipple—both contributors to the new anthology Larceny & Last Chances: 22 Stories of Mystery and Suspense, officially published today! Edited by Judy Penz Sheluk, the collection features stories by Christina Boufis, John Bukowski, Brenda Chapman, Susan Daly, Wil A. Emerson, Tracy Falenwolfe, Kate Fellowes, Molly Wills Fraser, Gina X. Grant, Karen Grose, Wendy Harrison, Julie Hastrup, Larry M. Keeton, Charlie Kondek, Edward Lodi, Bethany Maines, Gregory Meece, Cate Moyle, Judy Penz Sheluk, KM Rockwood, Kevin R. Tipple, and Robert Weibezahl. And you’ll find numerous buy links for the new book here!

Julie’s bio says that she “now alternates her time between South Florida and a small fishing village in Denmark”—but to my mind, she lives in “conferenceland,” since I’m regularly seeing her at Bouchercon and Malice Domestic. Julie’s committed to the mystery community—not just in those conventions but also as a professional member of organizations including Sisters in Crime, ITW, Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Mystery Writers of America. (And if you do see her in the hallways at some conference, stop to say hello—great conversations ahead!) Julie’s work has appeared in Shotgun Honey and Mystery Magazine, and you can find out more about her work at her website:

And to get a taste of her fiction right now, check out her 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.


3 thoughts on “The First Two Pages: “Skeeter’s Bar and Grill” by Julie Hastrup

  1. Pingback: The First Two Pages: “The Hospital Boomerang” by Kevin Tipple – Art Taylor

  2. Judy Penz Sheluk

    This is such a great insight into Julie’s process and I am thrilled she’s part of the Larceny & Last Chances lineup.

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