New York Times best-selling author Sheldon Siegel is a third-generation native of Chicago's Southeast Side, and he grew up a few blocks from Michelle Obama's family. Siegel and his family moved to the suburbs in the 1970s, and he graduated from New Trier High School a year ahead of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois in Champaign in 1980 and his law degree from Boalt Law School at the University of California-Berkeley in 1983. He has been in private practice in San Francisco since then, and he specializes in corporate and securities law with the San Francisco office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP (an international law firm).
Siegel began writing his first book, Special Circumstances, on a laptop computer during his daily commute on the ferry from Marin County to San Francisco. A frequent speaker and sought-after teacher, Siegel is a San Francisco Library Literary Laureate, a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern California Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, and an active member of the International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. His work has been displayed at the Doe Library at the University of California at Berkeley, and he has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Illinois and a Northern California Super Lawyer.
Siegel is the author of seven critically acclaimed legal thrillers featuring San Francisco criminal defense attorneys Mike Daley and Rosie Fernandez, two of the most beloved characters in contemporary crime fiction. His books have sold millions of copies worldwide. The Terrorist Next Door is one of Siegel's first novels that is set in his hometown. The book features South Chicago homicide detectives David Gold and A.C. Battle.
Siegel is a lifelong fan of the Chicago Bears, White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks. He lives in the San Francisco area with his wife, Linda, and their twin sons, Alan and Stephen. Siegel is currently working on his ninth novel.
This biography was last updated on 01/05/2014.
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Q & A with Sheldon Siegel
What motivated you to be a writer?
I've wanted to write a novel since I was in high school, although quite honestly, I can't explain why. I started writing Special Circumstances with the modest goal of finding out whether I had any aptitude for writing fiction. Once I got started, I decided I wanted to finish the first draft by my fortieth birthday in July of 1998. I beat my deadline by three days. You should never underestimate the motivational value of a good midlife crisis.
Tell us about your training as a writer.
I have very little formal training as a writer. My undergraduate degree (from the University of Illinois at Champaign) was in accounting. I graduated from UC-Berkeley's Boalt Law School and I've been a corporate and securities lawyer since 1983. Special Circumstances was my first attempt at writing fiction since I was in high school. I took a 10-week creative writing class taught by two excellent authors, Katherine Forrest and Michael Nava. It helped me figure out structure and plotting. I wouldn't have finished Special Circumstances if I hadn't taken the class. I still meet with the other seven students every other Thursday night, where we ...
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