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She has also made two cameo appearances in Pretty Little Liars.
Sara is a Canadian-American woman, as her father was born in America, while her mother was born in Toronto. She was raised in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Downingtown High School in 1995. She later attended New York University, where she graduated with a B.S. degree in 1999 and an MFA from Brooklyn College in 2004.
She currently resides in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania with her husband of many years, and their children. The family also has three dogs and one cat.
From 2000 to 2005, Sara worked at Time, Inc. Custom Publishing and produced lifestyle magazines for corporate clients. In the meantime, she started ghostwriting as a freelancer in 2002 and writing her own books in 2005.
In 2006, she published her first novel, Pretty Little Liars, which was a large success. Sara claims that the series is "loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia's Main Line". They series later renewed by her publisher for another book, which then turned into a sixteen-book series, along with two companion novels.
In 2009, she wrote her first adult-fiction novel, The Visibles, which was geared towards an older audience instead of her regular teen and young-adult audience.
In 2010, she published another series titled, The Lying Game which was largely successful. The story played out throughout six-books and two companion novels.
Whilst publishing and writing the next book in The Lying Game series in 2011, she published her second adult-fiction story, Everything We Ever Wanted. She claims that it is loosely based on her own relationship with her husband.
In 2014, she published a stand-alone book titled, The Heiresses which, while it was popular, was not as popular as her two previous book series. This resulted in the book only having one in the series, although, Sara is open to writing a second book.
A year after the release of The Good Girls, she debuted her third series, The Amateurs which was largely successful. The success of the series lead to a three-book series.
Sara's Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game book series have been turned into television series by ABC Family, and were both adapted by I. Marlene King. Later, it was announced that Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale, and Sasha Pieterse were cast as the main characters of Pretty Little Liars. They played Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, Emily Fields, Aria Montgomery, and Alison DiLaurentis respectively.
Pretty Little Liars was in the midst of airing its fifth season when on June 10, 2014 it was renewed for its sixth and seventh seasons. It had also been announced that it would get its own spin-off, Ravenswood. Shepard had a cameo on Pretty Little Liars in episode seven of Season One and in episode twenty-four of Season Five.
The Lying Game was canceled after its second season that aired in March 2013. Alexandra Chando starred as the main two characters, Sutton Mercer and Emma Becker.
In 2017, Sara's book series The Perfectionists was optioned by I. Marlene King and given the green-light to air on Freeform. The show will serve as a spin-off of Pretty Little Liars. Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish would reprise their roles as Alison and Mona respectively. In addition, Sofia Carson, Sydney Park, Eli Brown, Kelly Rutherford, and Hayley Erin would star as the main characters in, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. They played Ava Jalali, Caitlin Martell-Lewis, Dylan Wright, Claire Hotchkiss, and a currently unknown character respectively.
Additionally, in 2017, Marlene King also optioned Sara's book, The Heiresses, for a TV show, which was given the green-light for a pilot on ABC. It stars former Pretty Little Liars star, Shay Mitchell.
Sara has a brief cameo in "The Homecoming Hangover" as Mr. Fitz's substitute English teacher, while he was away in New York. Her character had the same last name as Sara has in real life. Aria walked in and asked her about Ezra and when he'd be coming back, but Miss. Shepard didn't have any information to give Aria. She asked if she could help Aria with anything, but Aria politely declined.
Pretty Little Liars series
- Pretty Little Liars (October 12, 2006)
- Flawless (March 7, 2007)
- Perfect (August 21, 2007)
- Unbelievable (May 27, 2008)
- Wicked (November 25, 2008)
- Killer (June 30, 2009)
- Heartless (January 19, 2010)
- Wanted (June 8, 2010)
- Twisted (July 5, 2011)
- Ruthless (December 6, 2011)
- Stunning (June 5, 2012)
- Burned (December 4, 2012)
- Crushed (June 4, 2013)
- Deadly (December 3, 2013)
- Toxic (June 3, 2014)
- Vicious (December 4, 2014)
- Pretty Little Secrets (PLL 4.5) (2012)
- Ali's Pretty Little Lies (PLL 0.5) (2013)
- Pretty Little Love (2018)
- Pretty Little Lost (2018)
The Lying Game series
- The Lying Game (December 7, 2010)
- Never Have I Ever (August 2, 2011)
- Two Truths and A Lie (February 7, 2012)
- Hide and Seek (July 31, 2012)
- Cross My Heart, Hope To Die (February 5, 2013)
- Seven Minutes in Heaven (July 30, 2013)
- The First Lie (#0.5) (2012)
- True Lies (#5.5) (2013)
The Heiresses novel
- The Heiresses (May 20, 2014)
The Perfectionists duology
- The Perfectionists (October 7, 2014)
- The Good Girls (June 2, 2015)
The Amateurs series
- The Amateurs (2016)
- Follow Me (2017)
- Case Not Closed (Pre-Release)
- The Visibles (May 5, 2009)
- Everything We Ever Wanted (October 10, 2011)
Notes and Trivia
- She loves knitting, especially stuffed animals.
- She can't fold clothes, do origami, or wrap presents in general.
- Her favorite snack is plain celery and plain toast.
- She keeps a list of words that she absolutely hates and refuses to use in any of her novels. Some of the words include bin, packet, and spine.
- Sara loved animal puppets when she was in her teens and twenties. One of the puppets she has is Petunia, who is actually featured in the Pretty Little Liars novels as Aria's stuffed pig. The puppet (although a different one than her own) was even featured on the show.
- In Season 5 she shipped Paily over Emison, although, this changed in the later seasons.
- She ships Haleb.
- Her OTP is book-Emison and later became TV-Emison as well.
- She has a brief cameo in the Pilot of PLL: The Perfectionists.