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Peng Shepherd Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Book of M (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cartographers (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
All This & More (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Future Library (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Weird Lies(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Some of the Best of 2021(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Peng Shepherd is an American author who writes science fiction and fantasy fiction. Peng is best known for ‘The Book of M’, a novel set in a world where a plague that steals memories brings about disaster.

Peng Shepherd comes from Phoenix, Arizona. That is where she was born and raised. Peng’s upbringing was heavily infused with art and nature. She spent her childhood riding horses and exploring the great outdoors.

She was also introduced to classical ballet fairly early on. And by the time she left high school, no one was particularly shocked when she decided to pursue the arts, eventually graduating from New York University with a Masters in Creative Writing.

Even though she calls Arizona home, Peng has lived an adventurous and migratory life, having visited and lived in London, Beijing, and Kuala Lumpur to mention but a few.

She eventually elicited interest from the publishing landscape when she wrote ‘The Book of M’, a science fiction and fantasy novel whose concept she discovered and expanded upon when she learned of an astronomical phenomenon which made it so that certain objects could not cast shadows.

+Literary Career
Peng Shepherd cannot remember a time when she did not want to write. The author read voraciously when she was young. Her earliest source of inspiration was Ursula K Le Guin.

Guin’s books sparked Peng’s desire to tell stories. She was also drawn to Michael Kurland’s ‘The Chronicles of Elsewhen’ which further cemented her desire to pursue science fiction and fantasy.

Even though her first novel was published in 2018, the author was only five when she first attempted to produce her own books. She would write stories and give them to her mother who would bind them before returning them.

Peng believes that she might have thrown her first novel out much earlier if she had maintained a rigorous and regular writing schedule. However, her free time became rather scarce once she started University.

Things only grew more difficult when she started working. The author just couldn’t find the time to write; though, she never stopped pursuing the activity, always finding ways of fitting her writing sessions into any breaks in her routine that she could find.

‘The Book of M’, her first novel, took time to craft. For many years, Peng Shepherd knew that she wanted to write a story about shadows. She thought that shadows were such an eerie and mysterious entity, but she could not identify a fictional concept within which they could be properly explored.

So Peng spent years playing with the idea, allowing it to bounce around in her mind. She also read a lot about shadows, dipping her toes into art and folktales and the like. None of the literature she read sparked the inspiration she desired, not until she came across the phenomenon of ‘Zero Shadow Day’.

Zero Shadow Day is an astronomical event which, when it occurs, causes shadows in certain places to disappear. Something about Zero Shadow Day appealed to Peng and it wasn’t long after that the first pieces of the ‘Book of M’ puzzle began to fall into place.

All in all, it took Peng Shepherd Nine Months to write her first draft. She revised it six times before submitting it.

Peng was compelled to set her first story in a post-apocalyptic world because such settings appeal to her. The author believes that post-apocalyptic stories provide the perfect platform upon which the nature of humanity can be best explored.

It is only when the systems and constraints of civility are removed that people can begin to realize who and what they truly are.

Peng also admits that post-apocalyptic settings make storytelling so much easier. Once Peng successfully created her fictional world, she found that she could do whatever she wanted with it. She was not limited by any rules of reality. And that allowed her to take her story to new and interesting places.

Of course, Peng Shepherd will be the first to tell you that her imagination is not restricted to post-apocalyptic concepts. She has no qualms about telling stories set in modern times. For the most part, Peng allows her ideas to dictate the settings she should use.

The author has a relatively messy writing process. Like most writers, her books begin with an idea. That is often the most exciting stage of her process. Something about a new concept with new characters makes her giddy.

And she puts that excitement to good use by immediately exploring the idea, coming up with a few random scenes, ruminating on the settings and proceeding to write a few chapters.

The first fifty pages of any novel Peng writes are always experimental. It takes her that long to finally calm down. Only then can she begin to see the bigger picture. Interestingly enough, it is at that point that the author begins to consider her story’s ending.

If she can crack the ending, then the rest of the story will fall into place rather easily. It isn’t the most effective approach to take but it works for Peng.

The author has no extraordinary advice for aspiring authors. She simply tells them to write. As far as she is concerned, so long as you can write, get better, and eventually finish a manuscript, you can always figure out a way of getting your story into the hands of your intended readers.

+The Book of M
Things started slowly. A man in India lost his shadow. It just disappeared and no one could explain why. And then he lost his memory. Science could not explain this new plague which spread quickly, gifting its victims with a strange new power but also stripping them of their identity.

Ory and his wife Max thought they were safe deep in the woods. But then Max’s shadow also disappeared. She knew what would come next. She knew she was going to get dangerous.

So as her memories began to disappear, she fled. But Ory refused to give up on her. He ventured back into the world, following her trail on a journey that would bring him into conflict with bandits and a sinister cult.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Peng Shepherd

One Response to “Peng Shepherd”

  1. Ron Shoulders: 6 months ago

    Just heard of you this evening. I can’t wait to get to Barnes and Noble tomorrow morning to get your books! I hope Barnes and Noble carries your books!


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