The First Two Pages

Every Tuesday, a mystery writer explains how he or she faced the challenges of those brutally difficult–and vitally important–first two pages.

First Two Pages

Lea Wait

TIGHTENING THE THREADS revolves around Australian Sarah Byrne who now lives on the coast of Maine. Why did she leave Australia? She’s kept it a secret until now, not even telling her best friend, Angie Curtis. But now she’s going to share her secret, setting off a cascade of other shared secrets … and two murders.

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The First Two Pages of The Locket: From the Casebook of TJ Sweeney

Susan Van Kirk

My first Endurance mystery, Three May Keep a Secret, came out in 2014 to great reviews and excellent sales. Then my publisher held my second mystery in the series, Marry in Haste, for a full two years. What could I do? I was worried about losing my readers since I was writing a series. I decided to write a novella in between, but I would self-publish it as an e-book and make some unique decisions. The title I chose was The Locket: From the Casebook of TJ Sweeney.

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The First Two Page of Afternoons in Paris

Janice Law

“Just sneaky-weaky over here and hold this, Francis,” Armand said. Of course, he said it in French because he speaks no English except Hello, Francis, which is how he greets me when I arrive at the studio in the morning. And also if I have stayed over and gotten up early, which I always do, to make a pot of coffee first thing. Hello, Francis, he says, and pats me on the bum and giggles, because he’s a right old queen. But nice, I have to say nice, and as I’ve written more than once to Nan, an excellent teacher.”

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The First Two-(ish) Pages of The Introvert

Michael Paul Michaud

I want to thank B.K. Stevens for inviting me to take part in her innovative blog series “The First Two Pages.” My entry will actually examine the first 877 words of THE INTROVERT – the entire first chapter – allowing me to analyze not only the opening of the book, but also the close of the first act. Let’s get right to it…

“Sir, I’m afraid we require a second form of identification before we can proceed. If you’d like to come back another time, perhaps?”

She was still smiling, but now the smile was waning.

The Introvert begins with a seemingly innocent exchange between a woman and a man. Neither is named, which is a hint of what’s to come, not only in the opening chapter, but throughout the novella. I wanted the focus to be on the characters’ actions and personalities, and to not influence the readers’ perceptions by foisting a name on them. It is also consistent with the sparse nature of the cover, and with isolation/anonymity generally.

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