Sara Shepard's first story ever, which she both wrote and illustrated, was about friendly yellow creatures that lived in a backyard garden. It won second prize at the State College, Pennsylvania, library, and was bound and placed on the shelf. (The binding was yellow. The book was called Quizzles. Maybe it's still there!) Sara Shepard's second story was about a five-legged camel named Lloyd and his band of friends journeying through the human circulatory system.
When Shepard was young, the things she wanted to be when she grew up were a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a Claymation artist, a geneticist, a fashion magazine editor, and, most of all, a writer. She grew up in Pennyslvania, on Philadelphia's Main Line, and went to college at New York University in 1995, the height of the club kid era. While in college, she bought many pairs of purple vinyl pants, loud leather jackets, brightly colored club kid sneakers, and even a Day-Glo pacifier. After recovering from that unfortunate but short-lived phase, she had a series of jobs interning at Elle magazine, filing important documents at J.P. Morgan, and writing and editing at Time Inc. At each of these jobs, she kept a separate folder on her computer of stories she wrote when she had free time. Eventually, she got an MFA at Brooklyn College, started receiving evil text messages from someone only known as A, nearly got run over by her best friend's SUV, and kept thinking she saw dead people everywhere.
Actually, that last part didn't happen. But Shepard did have all these ideas when preparing for her young adult series, Pretty Little Liars. It's now five books strongthe sixth in the series, Killer, is out in June 2009. She's also the author of an adult novel, The Visibles, which is out in May 2009, as well as the reluctant parent of three slobbery dogs. She and her sister, Alison, have also been creating many joint creative projects for years (Claymation movies, art installations, video game designs) based on a world they made up when they were 6 and 9 years old. They're pretty sure they're the only ones who find the world funny, though.