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Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is an award-winning YA and adult thriller, fantasy and cross-genre novelist and screenwriter. She has published more than 20 novels and has written for the BBC and is currently working with several television companies on original projects. Her recent novels include the dystopian love story, The Death House, and a teenage thriller, 13 Minutes which has been bought by Netflix with Josh Schwartz adapting.

Sarah Pinborough
Sarah Pinbough.jpg
Milton Keynes, England
Pen nameSarah Silverwood
OccupationWriter, teacher
Genrefantasy, young adult
Stephen King
James Herbert
Leisure Books

Her next adult novel, a psychological thriller, Behind Her Eyes, was published in January 2017 from HarperFiction in the UK. The book has sold to over twenty territories worldwide and was sold at auction to the US in a significant deal to Flatiron, Macmillan. There are discussions on going with several movies studios about the film adaptation, and it will be Radio 4's Book at Bedtime in March.


Awards and nominationsEdit

The Language of Dying: 2009 Shirley Jackson Award finalist and won the 2010 British Fantasy Award for Best Novella.[1]

"The Language of Dying is essentially a monologue – though really it is a one-sided dialogue, if such a thing exists – between the narrator, the middle child of five, and the family’s father, who is slowly dying from the lung cancer which wracks his entire body."[2]

"Our Man in the Sudan": 2009 World Fantasy Award finalist[3]



Leisure BooksEdit

Leisure Books are an American publisher. These titles are all from their Leisure Horror list.[4]

  • The Hidden (2004, Leisure Books) ISBN 978-0843954807
  • The Reckoning (2005, Leisure Books) ISBN 978-0843955507
  • Breeding Ground (2006, Leisure Books) ISBN 978-0843957419 — End-of-the world novel where most of the population is wiped out by giant spiders that human women have given birth to
  • The Taken (2007, Leisure Books) ISBN 978-0843958966 — ghostly revenge novel
  • Tower Hill (2008, Leisure Books) ISBN 978-0-8439-6052-5 — about a small town in America in supernatural peril of Biblical proportions
  • Feeding Ground (2009, Leisure Books) ISBN 0843962933 — sequel to Breeding Ground; Pinborough's original proposal for this sequel would have been called The Brethren but this was rejected by the publisher as being too much like science fiction for their list. The book as written is intended to be like a "creature feature" movie.[5]


Torchwood is a spin-off series from Doctor Who. These are TV tie-in novels and short stories in that shared world.

Pinborough has also written short stories for the Torchwood Magazine. These are:

  • Happy New Year Issue 20
  • Mend Me Issue 23

The Dog-Faced Gods seriesEdit

Now called the Forgotten Gods Trilogy in the Ace Books reprint. The series has been optioned for a Television series.[6]

  1. A Matter of Blood (2010, Gollancz Books) (2013 Ace Books) ISBN 978-0425258460
  2. The Shadow of the Soul (2011, Gollancz Books) (2013 Ace Books) ISBN 978-0425258484
  3. The Chosen Seed (2012, Gollancz Books) (2013 Ace Books) ISBN 978-0425258507[7]

The "Dog Faced Gods" series is set in an alternative world. The Britain of this world isn't a dystopia but it is merely a little crapier and harsher than ours. Jim Steel[8]

Sleeping Beauty by Gustave Dore

The Fairy Tale SeriesEdit

Poison is a modern retelling of the Snow White story

Charm is a modern retelling of the Cinderella story

Beauty is a modern retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story

Other novelsEdit

Mayhem is a supernatural murder mystery set in Victorian London and based around the actual events of the Thames Torso Murders.

Murder is the sequel to Mayhem

As Sarah SilverwoodEdit

As Sarah Silverwood, Sarah Pinborough writes fantasy fiction for the young adult fiction market

The Nowhere ChroniclesEdit

  1. The Double-edged Sword (2010, Gollancz) ISBN 978-1780620596
  2. The Traitor's Gate (2011, Gollancz) ISBN 978-1780620657
  3. The London Stone (2012, Gollancz) ISBN 978-1780620671

Short storiesEdit


  • In 2012, Pinborough wrote Old School Ties the second episode of the ninth series of the BBC TV police drama New Tricks.[13]
  • M (2013) World Productions/ITV Global Returnable Drama Series.
  • Fallow Ground (2012) World Productions Original 3-part drama.
  • Red Summer (2012) Blind Monkey Pictures Feature screenplay. Under option.


On 1 August 2012, it was announced that director Peter Medak had been attached to direct Cracked, a screenplay based on Pinborough's first novel The Hidden.[14]

Critical receptionEdit

  • “I loved 'The Death House. It's moving and totally involving. Pinborough writes with vividness and emotional resonance. I couldn't put it down.”Stephen King on The Death House
  • “Sarah Pinborough is a literary chameleon of astonishing power and grace, carving out whole continents of fiction as her own: she's funny and perceptive, she writes real characters who live and die and she might even break your heart.” - Neil Gaiman, author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane on Behind Her Eyes
  • "Behind Her Eyes is a cunning puzzle-box of a novel, a masterfully engineered thriller that brings to mind Hitchcock at his most uncanny, and Rendell at her most relentless. Lean and mean, dark and disturbing, this is the kind of novel that takes over your life. Sarah Pinborough slays."- Joe Hill, author of Horns
  • "Behind Her Eyes is a dark, electrifying page-turner with a corker of an ending. Sarah Pinborough is about to become your new obsession." - Harlan Coben
  • ‘British author Pinborough effectively shifts perspectives between two complex characters in this twisty psychological thriller set in North London... Pinborough will keep even veteran genre readers guessing about which members of the trio, if any, are providing trustworthy accounts of their pasts and presents.’ -Publishers’ Weekly, on Behind Her Eyes
  • ‘…should be read by anyone who appreciates fast-paced, beautifully written, intricately plotted crime… Whichever form she takes her writing is engrossing as she bores into the heads of these riveting, terrifying teens’ -The Times (Children’s Book of the Week) on 13 Minutes
  • ‘It is a dark and nasty tale of jealously and manipulation...the characters are intriguingly flawed, the narrative tension bow-twangingly tight and there's an absolute belter of a twist’- Independent on Sunday on 13 Minutes “Sarah Pinborough has an enviable, almost Gaiman-esque ability to switch between styles, genres and tones with her books, and her latest, The Death House is her best yet.”- The Independent
  • “Shocking and gripping, albeit ultimately hopeful and utterly moving, and it's Sarah Pinborough's finest novel to date” Sci-Fi Now on The Death House ‘‘[A] beautiful novel, short, sharp and told with painful honesty, which I would say is the product of a writer at the very top of her game’- The Independent on The Language of Dying
  • ‘The Language of Dying will take your breath away, and send shivers up your spine… But only after it’s broken your heart’ –
  • Wisely, Pinborough opts to build suspense subtly, rather than bludgeon readers with horrific imagery or buckets of gore, giving this nicely executed, surprisingly moving ghost story an old-fashioned feel in the best possible sense. – Review of The Taken in Publishers Weekly[15]
  • There are a lot of familiar elements here – small town in danger, ancient artefacts of power, with scripture and biblical beings co-opted into the mix...Pinborough deftly stage manages all of these favourite things, putting her own spin on the material and weaving a convincing back story that knits together scripture and mythology. – Review in Black Static of Tower Hill by Peter Tennant.[16]
  • There is plenty going on at street level. Troubled policeman, Cass, the core of the novel, is trying to solve a series of linked student suicides in what is a very good police procedural. What we have is a violent and dark novel that packs a wild set of ingredients between its covers. It wobbles occasionally (an omniscient violin playing tramp?) but it never falls. A remarkable achievement. – Review in the British Fantasy Society Journal of The Shadow of the Soul by Jim Steel[17]
  • It might have been subtitled "Fifty Shades of White". Or perhaps it could bear Mae West's classic line as a cover quote: "I used to be Snow White, but I drifted." It's a slim, undemanding read, but loads of fun and very saucy with it. – Review in The Independent of Poison: 4 April 2013 by David Barnett[18]
  • "Charm" was a light and frothy concoction, entertaining and true to the source material but with a subtext dealing with how fairy stories distort our expectations of reality. – Review in Black Static of Charm by Peter Tennant.[19]
  • In this chilling exploration of madness and evil, Pinborough excels at summoning up the bleak spirit of Victorian London’s mean streets and those forced to fight for survival there. – Review of Mayhem in Publishers Weekly.[20]
  • But anyone who comes to this book with their expectations wide open will find a beautiful novel, short, sharp and told with painful honesty, which I would say is the product of a writer at the very top of her game, were it not evident from the quality of her prodigious output that Sarah Pinborough still has a way to go before she comes anywhere close to peaking. – Review in The Independent of The Language of Dying: 18 December 2013 by David Barnett[2]
  • British author Pinborough manages to make this deeply disturbing sequel to 2013’s Mayhem even bleaker and more unsettling than its predecessor...The author’s ingenuity in weaving her macabre plot becomes fully evident by the powerful, jaw-dropping end, and she skilfully instils fear in the reader even with innocuous phrases. – Review of Murder in Publishers Weekly.[21]


  1. ^ "The Winners of the British Fantasy Awards 2010". The British Fantasy Society.
  2. ^ a b David Barnett (8 December 2013). "The Language of dying, by Sarah Pinborough – Paperbacks review". The Independent.
  3. ^ World Fantasy Convention (2010). "Award Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 4 Feb 2011.
  4. ^ When I was writing for Leisure that was more restrictive because they have a clear vision of their list.They are horror with a capital H and that is what their readers expect. Interview in 2010 in Black Static 16, page 54
  5. ^ "Q & A with Sarah Pinbourough," Black Static 16 April – May 2010, page 52
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "An Independent on Sunday Book of the Year 2012".
  8. ^ British Fantasy Society Journal Autumn 2011 page 29
  9. ^ (2013). "Sarah Pinborough – The Language of Dying cover art and synopsis reveal". Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  10. ^ (2014). "Stay With Me by Sarah Pinborough cover art and synopsis". Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  11. ^ Black Static 20 Dec2010/Jan2011 page 10
  12. ^ See question 6 in Musings of the Monster Librarian
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Director Peter Medak Has Finally Cracked Up". Dread Central.
  15. ^ "Fiction Book Review: The Taken by Sarah Pinborough, Author . Leisure $6.99 (0p)". ISBN 978-0-8439-5896-6.
  16. ^ Black Static 7 Oct/Nov 2008 page 29
  17. ^ BFS Journal Autumn 2011, page 29
  18. ^ David Barnett (13 April 2013). "Review: Poison, By Sarah Pinborough". The Independent.
  19. ^ Black Static 37 Nov/Dec 2013 page 92
  20. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough. Quercus/Jo Fletcher, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-62365-086-5".
  21. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Murder by Sarah Pinborough. Quercus/Jo Fletcher, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-62365-866-3".

External linksEdit