Art Taylor took over the blog series “The First Two Pages” from B.K. Stevens after her death in 2017. This popular series features essays that analyze the openings of short stories and novels – hence the name “first two pages.”
When it came time for me to analyze the first two pages of “Riviera Red,” I had a difficult time initially. Mostly because I had so many stops and starts when writing this story that I had forgotten why I decided to open the story the way that I did. After going through my very early drafts and copious notes and research, I was able to recall “oh yeah, that’s how I thought the story would go but Janice [my eventual main character] refused to stay silent.” Thankfully, I didn’t delete all those early drafts or throw away my notes!
Tomorrow, Sunday, May 15, 2022 is launch day for Low Down Dirty Vote, Volume 3! Esteemed editor Mysti Berry has once again put together an anthology that addresses the attacks on our democracy and voting rights. This volume’s theme is “the color of my vote” and based on early reviews, it sounds like there’s a common thread among the stories: rage.
My story “Riviera Red” features a beach community torn apart by a secession campaign where the wealthy southern part of the city wants to break away from the northern. The wife of the secessionist committee president learns the hard way that remaining on the sidelines isn’t an option.
I’m excited to be a part of Mysti Berry’s anthology that centers around the theme of voter suppression. My story “Unit 805” is about a misanthropic septuagenarian who blackmails his condo’s board members so they will vote in his favor. All proceeds for the anthology will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
With everything going on in our country and local communities – and around the world really – I’ve been hesitant to add to the noise unless it’s to boost those voices who need boosting.
But Mysti Berry is publishing an anthology of short stories next month – July 4, actually – that I’m hopeful will make a difference in the upcoming election as well as ensuring our right to vote. It’s called Low Down Dirty Vote, Volume II and it’s about voter suppression. It includes one of my stories “Unit 805” and I’m honored to be a part of it. All proceeds will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center. You can pre-order the book here: Low Down Dirty Vote, Volume II
I also want to add that this will be my last Thrill Begins post. Ed Aymar, our tireless editor, is leaving his post so all of us have decided to leave along with him. I’m sad but so grateful I got a chance to be a part of The Thrill Begins and Murderer’s Row. Hopefully we will all work together on a different project or blog so stay tuned!