Joel Shepherd was born in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1974, but when he was seven his family moved to Perth in Western Australia. He studied film and television at Curtin University but realised that what he really wanted to do was write stories. His first manuscript was shortlist for the George Turner Prize in 1998, and Crossover was shortlisted in 1999. He wrote two other novels in the Crossover series, Breakaway (2003) and Killswitch (2004).
Apart from writing, Joel helps in his mother's business, selling Australian books to international schools in Asia and beyond. This has given him the opportunity to travel widely in asia and other parts of the world. Joel also writes about women's basketball for an American internet magazine.
Crossover was Joel's first published book.
"There's lots of people I admire, but I don't really like listing them because lists just feel too forced and artificial. And I admire lots of writing that isn't fiction, too, like current-affairs columnists... I get inspiration from lots of places, TV and movies too. But I will say that CJ Cherryh was a big influence on me growing up, she was the first writer who demonstrated to me that head-burstlingly intelligent, and wickedly entertaining, were not mutually exclusive concepts."
During an interview with SFFWorld.com
Joel Shepherd books reviewed
Sasha is a princess, the like of which the highland country of Lenayin has never seen before. But she turns her back on her regal heritage and trains under the great warrio...
Sasha, the wilful but talented heroine, returns to battle in Joel Shepherd s stunning second volume of A Trial of Blood & Steel quartet.Away from the hills of her Lenay...
The net is really closing in now, with the whole of Rhodia at war and the serrin - the beautiful and dangerous people from beyond the Bacosh - fighting for survival....
Rich with political intrigue and wrangling between the lords of Vethrene faith and the rural folk who follow the tradition of the Goeren-yai, this is the story of Sasha. Ra...
- Crossover (1998)
- Breakaway (2003)
- Killswitch (2004)
- Sasha (2007)
Spurning her royal heritage to be raised by the great warrior, Kessligh, her exquisite swordplay astonishes all who witness it. But Sasha is still young, untested in battle and often led by her rash temper. In the complex world of Lenayin loyalties, her defiant wilfulness is attracting the wrong kind of attention. Lenayin is a land almost divided by its two faiths: the Verenthane of the ruling classes and the pagan Goeren-yai, amongst whom Sasha now lives. The Goeren-yai worship swordplay and honour and begin to see Sasha as the great spirit the Synnich who will unite them. But Sasha is still searching for what she believes and must choose her side carefully. When the Udalyn people - the symbol of Goeren-yai pride and courage - are attacked, Sasha will face her moment of testing. How will she act? Is she ready to lead? Can she be the saviour they need her to be?
- Petrodor (2008)
Away from the hills of her Lenayin homeland, Sasha is making a new life in the dark alleys and wealthy houses of Petrodor. An influential trading centre, Petrodor holds the key to preventing the coming war between Lenayin and the mighty Bacosh. Together with her old mentor Kessligh, Sasha attempts to navigate the political intrigues of the port city and find a way to stop the war. It is the serrin, the beautiful but dangerous people from beyond the Bacosh, who will be the pivotal point in this struggle. How much can Sasha trust her old serrin friend Errollyn? And how much can she trust herself?
- Tracato (2010)
For two hundred years Tracato has been the center of enlightenment, as the serrin have occupied human lands and sought to remake humanity anew. But the serrin have not destroyed Rhodaan's feudal families entirely, and as Tracato faces the greatest threat to its survival in two centuries, old rivalries are stirring. Sasha must assist her mentor Kessligh to strengthen the Tracato Nasi-Keth, yet with one royal sister siding with the feudalists and another soon to be married to Tracato's most powerful foe, her loyalties are agonizingly divided. Worse still, from Sasha's homeland the Army of Lenayin are marching to make war upon Tracato. Can she fight her own people? Or must she join them, and fight not only her lover Errollyn, but to extinguish the brightest light of hope in all the land - serrin civilization itself?
- Haven (2011)
The Army of the Regent Arosh advances on the forces loyal to Saalshen, homeland of the serrin people, as the serrin's friends are in full retreat. Their only hope is to reach the city of Jahnd - the serrin word for Haven - across the River Ipshaal, the only human city in Saalshen itself. The Army of Lenayin marches with the Regent, but Sasha, sister of the newly crowned King Koenyg, can no longer stomach the awful cause for which her people march. As tensions between herself and her brothers rise, Sasha's sister Sofy, wedded to the Regent, travels to the city of Tracato, to attempt to negotiate a peaceful transition of its wonderful heritage of her husband's rule. But there are forces beneath the Regent's banner that wish to see all serrin and serrin-influenced civilisation destroyed for good. As the serrin people fight for survival, families must be betrayed, enemies reconciled, nations persuaded and great armies fought.