Prolific thriller writer Sharon Kava was born in the small town of Silver Creek, Nebraska in 1960. While writing was always an interest of hers, it wasn’t until she was 36 that she began to attempt it as a career. In the interim she received a B.A. in Art and English from the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, graduating magna cum laude. She worked variously in advertising and marketing, at a hospital sterilizing surgery and morgue equipment, doing public relations at a small college, taught and edited copy part-time, and delivered papers for the Omaha World Herald on the weekends.

When she tried to publish her first novel it received over one hundred rejections, often with notes about the amount of violence and lack of romance. Her solution was to adopt the penname Alex, a gender neutral name that would avoid publisher presumptions of what a woman should write. In this way she published her first novel A Perfect Evil in 2000. The novel’s setting draws from her small town life, taking place in fictional Platte City, Nebraska, and follows what would become a recurring character, Maggie O’Dell, on the hunt for a serial killer.

Most of Kava’s novels are series following either Maggie O’Dell, a serial killer profiler, or Ryder Creed, a K9 search dog handler, and often pairing them together. While Maggie investigates murders, Ryder tackles larger forces such as drug cartels or terrorists. Ryder Creed’s stories hold a special place for Kava as she is a dog lover, and loves learning about them and the challenge of writing dogs as characters.

Kava’s novels are known for their quick pace and twists, making them hard to put down. In total she has written over twenty novels and short story collections. She has won the Florida Book Award, the Nebraska Book Award, and the Mari Sandoz Award for her work, and is a founding member of the International Thriller Writers. Her books have sold over seven million copies worldwide in thirty-four countries.

Several of Kava’s works are available at Bellevue University Library, located in the general collection. All books can be borrowed for 21 days with the option of renewal.


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24/7 Librarian