Setting Up the Setting: The First Two Pages in “Killing Kippers”

Eleanor Cawood Jones

The first thing I want to say is, it’s not my fault. Not my fault I really did get snowed into Green Bay, Wisconsin at a hotel hosting a clown convention. (One of the darker weeks of my life.) But I attract weird, which is fortuitous for a writer, or so I believe. Also not my fault: Some twenty years later the Malice Domestic mystery convention put out a call for anthology stories with the theme, Murder Most Conventional. It was—you guessed it—all about murder at a convention.

Well. Did I have an idea for that. But how to set it up to reflect that darkly hilarious moment in time, add fiction to reality and make it believable, and, as all mystery writers ask themselves on a fairly regular basis, who was to die?

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7 thoughts on “Setting Up the Setting: The First Two Pages in “Killing Kippers”

  1. B.K. Stevens Post author

    Thanks for contributing this post, Eleanor! It’s full of great insights–and, like your story, it’s also a lot of fun to read.

  2. Tonette Joyce

    I am truly amused by all of the story and great narrative. I’ll be going straight to read more.
    I have to also say that I think you sparked a story in me.
    I moved across the country with my sister, mother, two nieces, and four cats in the car ahead of me ; my new brother-in-law, two guinea pigs, a cockatiel, and a gardenia in my car. I was depressed about breaking up with my boyfriend, who may have been headed back tot he seminary. After having to stop in Nebraska for the second night in a row, this born and bred D.C. suburbanite found herself in the middle of a loud convention…a fertilizer convention, at the Ramada Inn in Kearny.
    Yes, I believe that the experience never left me for a reason; it is now trying to wiggle itself into part of a story.
    Thanks!
    And best wishes for you!

  3. Eleanor Jones

    Love the comments so much. I’ll be waiting to read about the fertilizer convention!

  4. Linda Thorne

    I always think of this blog as a place for novels and forgot all the wonderful short stories posted here with their first two pages. You’ve offered us the whole story too. The clown character steals-the-show (at least in the part you’ve given to us here). Good job.

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