ROGUE FLASH: How Gayle Lynds broke into the spy game

by | Sep 17, 2020 | Gayle Lynds, The Writer's Life | 7 comments

She was told nobody wanted to read spy novels by women. She proved them wrong in a big way.

When you talk about barriers to entry, Gayle Lynds could write a book.

Well, she did. Several in fact.

The New York Times bestselling author remembers her struggles to get her first thriller manuscript published under her own name, even if she had the advantage of already having ghost written several novels under contract. But when she set out to write her own, she crashed into a bulwark of sex discrimination in the exclusive male spy genre—and it wasn’t just men blocking her path.

Yet there isn’t a hint of cynicism or anger in her voice when she talks about her history leading up to becoming one of the most popular spy novelists in the world. It started with Masquerade, proclaimed not only a thriller classic, but Publisher’s Weekly ranked it the eighth best spy novel ever written….

To read more, click here: “Gayle Lynds: My First Thriller,” by Rick Pullen, CrimeReads, September 17, 2020

Are spy novels your cup of cyanide, too, Rogue readers? Please confess!

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  1. Rogue Women Writers

    Gayle was indeed a "pioneer" in the field of women "spy/thriller" writers…and MASQUERADE is just one example of many of her terrific stories. She also was the inspiration and founder of this Rogue Women Writers group to spread the word that other women can write about spies/espionage/international intrigue/suspense as well….Karna Small Bodman

  2. Gayle Lynds

    Thank you, Karna! You are an original Rogue yourself, & a terrific spy writer!

  3. Carla Neggers

    Nothing like a good spy novel, and congrats to Gayle for her fantastic and inspiring career. Still going strong!

  4. Gayle Lynds

    Thanks, Carla, and back atcha for your pioneering work in suspense!

  5. Jenny Milchman

    I feel like first you trail-blazed, then went full-on off-road. Love this, Gayle, and have the full piece at CrimeReads cued up!

  6. Lisa Black

    I so admire people who can break barriers! The only barrier I've ever broken is tripping over a hurdle in high school gym!

  7. Chris Goff

    A pioneer and my hero. From the first-time I really talked with you, bobbing around in the pool in Phoenix at the first ThrillerFest, you have been an unbelievable inspiration. The best mentor ever. You shattered that glass ceiling and made it easier for all of us who followed in your footsteps. While there's more work to do in that arena, you started the push. Thank you!