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In short:

New York Times bestseller and Carnegie Medal-nominated author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of many acclaimed novels for readers of all ages. She now lives and writes on a haunted historic farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and children, cats, chickens, bees, and an especially scruffy dog.

A little more:

New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd’s first novel, The Madman’s Daughter (HarperCollins, 2013), was a Kids’ Indie Next List selection from the American Booksellers Association, won the 2013 North Carolina Young Adult Book Award, and received a starred review from School Library Journal. It was followed by two more books in the series, Her Dark Curiosity and A Cold Legacy, and was optioned for film by Paramount Pictures and TV by Gaumont Entertainment. Megan’s second young adult series begins with The Cage (HarperCollins, 2015), a New York Times bestselling title, and is followed by The Hunt and The Gauntlet

Her young adult fantasy novel Grim Lovelies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) was featured in the Winter 2019 - 2020 Indie Next List for Reading Groups and is followed by the sequel Midnight Beauties (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). Megan’s debut middle grade title, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill (Random House, 2016), was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness, and was written about in Time magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Her middle-grade novel Dog Star (FSG, 2022), based on the true story of the first dog in space, was nominated as an NCSS Notable Book. Her shorter works include the stories “Hide-and-Seek” in the young adult horror anthology Slasher Girls and Monster Boys (Penguin, 2015) and "Lady Firebrand" in the young adult historical fiction anthology The Radical Element (Candlewick, 2018). Her first book for an adult audience, Malice House (Hyperion Avenue, 2022), is about the daughter of a famous novelist who uncovers a malignant secret manuscript. It was named an Amazon Editor's Best Pick for Horror, a Barnes & Noble's Top 10 Horror Book of 2022, and received a starred review from Booklist. It is followed by the second book in the Malice Compendium, Midnight Showing (Hyperion Avenue, 2023). She was selected by Disney Studios to write the novelization of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (Disney, 2023) for the film's 30th anniversary, as well as selected to complete the Pumpkin Queen series (Disney, 2025 + 2026) following Sally the Rag Doll's character after the events in The Nightmare Before Christmas.

“Born” into the book world, Megan grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Interested in foreign languages and travel, she earned a degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and later joined the US Peace Corps, where she spent two years living and working in a small village in Senegal. There, she partnered with a local elementary school to transcribe oral folk tales into an illustrated picture book to distribute to students. Though she has always been an avid reader, this project first sparked her interest in telling her own stories.

Megan frequently speaks to schools and libraries and has taught for UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the NC Writers’ Network. In previous lives, she worked for a book publisher, an environmental nonprofit, as a raft guide, a nanny, and a park ranger in Montana.

When she is not writing, she can usually be found daydreaming in cafes, hiking in the mountains, and gardening at her  farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina, which she and her husband share with their children, two hives of bees, eleven chickens, two cats, a scruffy dog, and several ghosts.

Send mail or email

Megan Shepherd

PO Box 1104

Etowah, NC 28729

Email me at

For rights inquiries and blurb requests contact

Barbara Poelle

Word One Lit Agency 

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