Gayle Lynds

Gayle Lynds

Welcome to my author page. I'm the New York Times bestselling author of ten award-winning international espionage novels -- spy thrillers. My latest one, The Assassins, won the Founder’s Award for Best Novel from MWSA, the Military Writers Society of America. I'm thrilled that Publishers Weekly lists my book Masquerade among the top ten spy novels of all time, and that the London Observer says I'm "a kick-ass thriller writer." Thank you, one and all! Born in Omaha, I grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where I was editor of my high school paper, and then went on to the University of Iowa where I was managing editor of The Daily Iowan. At the same time, I sneaked into Writers Workshop fiction classes because, truthfully, all I wanted to do was write novels. Finally I was caught and permanently ejected. Although I hadn't given up, I had a few detours ahead of me. When I graduated, my first job was as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, where one of my investigative pieces led to good changes in state legislation. Then I became an editor with rare Top Secret security clearance at a California think tank, where assorted shadowy figures passed through. Not only ideas but people seemed to bounce off the walls. Inspired by the creativity and energy at the think tank, I finally began writing fiction -- literary short stories, which were published in literary journals, and at the same time male pulp novels in the Nick Carter series. Some friends figured I must be schizophrenic, but truthfully I was educating myself, finding myself, and learning that I really loved fiction writing and great adventure stories. I've been fortunate. Since those early days, my books have been People magazine Page-Turner of the Week and Beach Read of the Week. Mosaic won the Thriller of the Year award from RT magazine. Mesmerized was voted fan favorite by Affaire de Coeur magazine. The Last Spymaster was named Novel of the Year by MWSA and Best Novel by the American Association of Authors. Library Journal has called me “the reigning queen of espionage fiction.” And the Associated Press says I'm a “master of the Modern Cold War spy thriller.” With Robert Ludlum, I created the Covert-One series, one of which, The Hades Factor, was a CBS miniseries. A member of the Association of Former Intelligence officers, I'm cofounder (with David Morrell) and former copresident of International Thriller Writers, Inc. Every July in New York City, ITW puts on ThrillerFest, a terrific gathering of thriller lovers from around the world. Come join us sometime! My previous husband, Edgar-winner Dennis Lynds, passed away in 2005, a great loss to our family and to the mystery world. In 2011 I was fortunate to marry again, this time to another wonderful man, John C. Sheldon, a retired judge. I moved from California to Maine to join him and soon corrupted him -- we've collaborated on three short stories and a literary essay. I was lucky to marry another talented man. Today John and I live with a bossy geriatric cat among fourteen acres of trees outside Portland, perfect for long walks and enjoyable days writing. Please visit me at You can test your Spy-Q there and sign up for my newsletter. I blog at with a group of first-rate authors. Thanks for reading!
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