Welcome to my author website. I live in Oxford, England, and I write what I like to call 'literary mysteries' - one part literary fiction, to one part mystery and crime.
I studied English at Oxford in the 1980s, and went back to do a doctorate in 2003. By that time I’d spent 15 years in business, first in the City, and later in PR for Guinness (now Diageo). There are two achievements I'm most proud of in my life, and the first one happened when I was doing that Guinness PR job. I created a worldwide humanitarian and environmental initiative called the 'Water of Life', named after the Gaelic phrase for whisky, uisge beatha (Guinness was then the largest producer of Scotch whisky in the world). Long after I left, the initiative is still going strong and has provided clean water for 5 million people in Africa in the last five years alone. I'm both proud and humbled by that.
The other thing I prize is my books. I’d always wanted to be a writer, and going freelance in 2000 gave me the time I needed to see if I could make that dream into a reality. Ten years and two and a half unpublished novels later, it finally happened. I've also published an academic book on Samuel Richardson, the 'father of the novel', and you can perhaps guess from that that doing things properly matters a great deal to me as a writer. I spent an enormous amount of time refining my pastiche of Austen in Murder at Mansfield Park, and even longer researching Victorian London so I could accurately 'recall to life' the world Dickens knew in Tom-All-Alone's/The Solitary House. I've written pieces on how I approached both books, which you can find in the Blog section.
My new novel was even more of a challenge, as I was using biographical material, and couldn't (or wouldn't) allow myself to play fast and loose with facts or timings just to suit my own plot. It was an immense challenge, technically, to create A Treacherous Likeness (A Fatal Likeness in the US), but I really am pleased with how it's turned out. I'm looking forward to hearing what my readers think!
I am also proud to be a trustee of The Wordsworth Trust, which owns and manages Dove Cottage, the poet's former home in Grasmere, the Lake District.
- Email: contact at lynn-shepherd dot com