Peng Shepherd Debuts First Novel

Novelist with Valley roots to sign ‘The Book of M’ at Changing Hands, Poisoned Pen

Peng Shepherd will launch the publication of her first novel, The Book of M, on Tues., June 5, at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix. The event will be followed by a second signing Fri., June 8, at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale. The Book of M is published by William Morrow.

Shepherd’s inspiration for The Book of M was Zero Shadow Day, a scientific phenomenon that occurs in India each year – a spectacle when shadows of all beings case to exist for a moment in time. In The Book of M, as characters lose their shadows, memories also fade. The book reveals the power memories have on the heart and on the world. The story is one of ordinary people who risk everything to save the ones they love.

“I always knew I wanted to write something with shadows in it,” Shepherd says. “They are powerful, mysterious and cross-cultural. During research, I came across Zero Shadow Day. That sparked the idea for the whole story.”

The Book of M, she says, asks questions about what makes you you.

The author is currently working on her second book, which she notes will be similar in genre.

Shepherd grew up in Phoenix, graduated from North High School and at age 20 received her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. She earned an M.A. in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, followed by her Creative Writing M.F.A. from NYU. She is the daughter of Phoenicians Lin Sue Cooney and David Shepherd.

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