Gayle Lynds

New York Times bestseller Gayle Lynds is the award-winning author of ten international espionage novels. Library Journal calls her “the reigning queen of espionage fiction.” The London Observer says she’s a “kick-ass thriller writer.” Lee Child calls her “today’s best espionage writer.” Born in Omaha, NE, and raised in Council Bluffs, IA, Gayle graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism. While there, she often sneaked into classes and readings at the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was blessed by remarkable teachers — among them were John Irving in rhetoric and Kurt Vonnegut in a literature class. For her, the university was a lively petri dish of books, writing, and adventure.Gayle officially began her writing career as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, where a series of her investigative pieces made such an impact that they led to changes in state legislation. Later she took a job as an editor with rare Top Secret security clearance at a private think tank that did government work. Assorted shadowy figures passed through, and not only ideas but engineers and artists seemed to bounce off the walls. She was inspired. She wanted to write about what she was seeing and experiencing.Expressing her love of mainstream literature, she wrote short stories that were published in literary journals. Simultaneously, she wrote male pulp novels in the Nick Carter series. Soon the two forms began to jell in her mind. The first novel under her own name, Gayle Lynds, was Masquerade, a New York Times bestseller that Publishers Weekly later listed as one of the top ten spy novels of all time. Others of her novels have been prize winners. The Last Spymaster won Best Novel from both the American Authors Association and the Military Writers Society of America. The Book of Spies was a finalist for both the Nero and Audie awards. The Coil won Best Contemporary Novel from Affaire de Coeur. Mosaic was RT Thriller of the Year. Mesmerized was a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. With Robert Ludlum, she created the Covert-One series, one of which, The Hades Factor, was a CBS miniseries. Gayle’s previous husband was Dennis Lynds, an award-winning detective novelist who died in 2005. They had lived several decades in Santa Barbara, CA, where they raised their children. In 2011, a new stage of her life began when she married John C. Sheldon, a long-time resident of Maine. A retired judge, John is a former prosecutor and defense attorney and Visiting Scholar to Harvard Law School. Today they live on fourteen acres of oaks, maples, hemlocks, and white pine outside Portland. A voracious reader, John had never written fiction when they met. Now they have collaborated on three short stories. Gayle is a member of the Association for Intelligence Operatives and cofounder (with David Morrell) and former copresident of International Thriller Writers, Inc. ITW’s annual celebration is ThrillerFest, held every July in New York City.
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