Gayle Lynds

Gayle LyndsPraised by critics and other writers alike, best-selling novelist Gayle Lynds has been a magazine editor, an investigative news reporter, and an editor at a United States military think-tank with Top Secret security clearance. "My projects ran the spectrum from making deserts bloom," she explains, "to designing cutting-edge military hardware that had the capacity to wipe life from entire continents. It was an education not only in science, secrecy, and the military, but in ethics and morality. Everywhere I turned, I saw ideas for stories."

Then in the 1980s, literary journals began to publish her short stories. "The stories were strange and somewhat wild." She smiles. "But the journals seemed to like that." Following a divorce, she segued into popular fiction with pseudonymous male action-adventure novels, beginning with The Day of the Mahdi, part of the classic Nick Carter series. She is one of the few women to have written for the series. "Not even the editor knew a woman was the author," she says. "I'm proud of that. After all, we writers are really just simple tale tellers. Our job is to be convincing."

By the mid 1990s, remarried and her children almost grown, her life took a radical new turn with the publication of her first major thriller, Masquerade. It is a story of spies, amnesia, and undercover black programs which the CIA claimed to have closed down. Masquerade sold to some 20 countries, was named a People magazine "Page-Turner of the Week," and landed on The New York Times best-seller list.

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