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Louise (Sal Shadyland Cooper a joint pseudonym) (1952-) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1952, in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England; Education: Educated in England. Hobbies and other interests: Music—listening, playing, and singing—folklore, gardening, beachcombing.


Agent—Robin Wade, Robin Wade Literary Agency, 33 Cormorant Lodge, Thomas More St., London E1W 1AU, England.


Writer, 1977—. Formerly worked as a secretary and a paperback blurb writer.

Honors Awards

Notable Book for Young Adults selection, American Library Association, 1993, for The Sleep of Stone; Askews Torchlight Award runner-up, and Angus Council Book of the Year runner-up, both 2003, both for Demon Crossing; Red House Top 1000 Children's Books designation, 2003, for Short and Scary!


The Book of Paradox, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1973.

Blood Summer, New English Library (London, England), 1976.

Louise Cooper

In Memory of Sarah Bailey (sequel to Blood Summer), New English Library (London, England), 1977.

Crown of Horn, Hamlyn (London, England), 1981.

The Blacksmith, Hamlyn (London, England), 1982.

Mirage, Unwin Hyman (London, England), 1987, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1988.

The Thorn Key (for children), Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1988.

The Sleep of Stone, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1991.

The King's Demon, Headline Feature (London, England), 1996.

Sacrament of Night, Headline Feature (London, England), 1997.

Our Lady of the Snow, Headline Feature (London, England), 1998.

Storm Ghost, Puffin (London, England), 1998.

The Spiral Garden (short stories), British Fantasy Society (Reading, England), 2000.

The Summer Witch, Headline Feature (London, England), 1999, Trafalgar House, 2000.

Short and Scary!: A Book of Very Short Scary Stories (for children), Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Demon Crossing (young adult), Hodder (London, England), 2002.

Hunter's Moon (young adult), Hodder (London, England), 2003.

Doctor Who: Rip Tide, Telos Publishing (Tolworth, England), 2003.

Butch the Cat-Dog (for children), Longman (Harlow, England), 2003.

Pebbleboy (for children), Longman (Harlow, England), 2004.


Lord of No Time, Sphere (London, England), 1977.

The Initiate, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1985.

The Outcast, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1986.

The Master, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1987.


Nemesis, Unwin Hyman (London, England), 1988, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Inferno, Unwin Hyman (London, England), 1988, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1989.

Infanta, Unwin Hyman (London, England), 1989, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Nocturne, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Troika, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Avatar, Grafton (London, England), 1991, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Revenant, HarperCollins (London, England), 1992, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1993.

Aisling, HarperCollins (London, England), 1993, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1994.


The Deceiver, Bantam (New York, NY), 1991.

The Pretender, Bantam (New York, NY), 1991.

The Avenger, Bantam (New York, NY), 1992.


Star Ascendant, HarperCollins (London, England), 1994, Tor Books (New York, NY), 1995.

Eclipse, HarperCollins (London, England), 1994.

Moonset, HarperCollins (London, England), 1995.


Daughter of Storms, Hodder (London, England), 1996.

The Dark Caller, Hodder (London, England), 1997.

Keepers of Light, Hodder (London, England), 1998.


Blood Dance, Penguin (London, England), 1996, published as Heart of Stone, 1998.

Firespell, Penguin (London, England), 1996, published as Heart of Fire, 1998.

The Hounds of Winter, Penguin (London, England), 1996, published as Heart of Ice, 1998.

The Shrouded Mirror, Penguin (London, England), published as Heart of Glass, 1998.

Heart of Dust, Penguin (London, England), 1998.


Once I Caught a Fish Alive, Scholastic (London, England), 1998.

If You Go down to the Woods, Scholastic (London, England), 1998.

See How They Run, Scholastic (London, England), 1998.

Who's Been Sitting in My Chair?, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Atishoo! Atishoo! All Fall Down!, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Give a Dog a Bone, Scholastic (London, England), 1999.

Daddy's Gone a-Hunting, Scholastic (London, England), 2000.

Incy Wincy Spider, Scholastic (London, England), 2000.

Here Comes a Candle, Scholastic (London, England), 2000.


Breaking Through, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

Running Free, Hodder (London, England), 2000.

Testing Limits, Hodder (London, England), 2001.


Sea Horses, Puffin (London, England), 2003.

The Talisman, Puffin (London, England), 2004.

Gathering Storm, Puffin (London, England), 2004.

Author of plays (with Marianne Daysh, under joint pseudonym Sal Shadyland) Captain Cuckoo's Meddling, produced in Cornwall, England, and The Glass Slip-up (adapted from her short story). Contributor of short stories to anthologies, including The Mammoth Book of Fantasy, edited by Mike Ashley, Carroll & Graf, 2001, and The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women, edited by Stephen Jones, Carroll & Graf, 2001. Contributor to Realms of Fantasy.


Granada Media Group Ltd. optioned film and television rights to Cooper's "Creatures" series.

Work in Progress

Strangers for Longman; the final book in the "Sea Horses" quartet for Puffin; a young adult novel for Hodder; Catsssss and Doing up Aunt Tamsin's, two comic plays.


Louise Cooper is a British author of fantasy novels for children, teens, and adults. Cooper is best known for her "Time Master" trilogy and its spin-offs, as well as for her "Indigo" series. "You won't find sweeping epics of kingdoms, great battles and noble heroes in my books; nor will you find any elves, dragons or wise old sages," Cooper stated in the St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers. "What you will find is stories that focus very strongly and closely on a small number of distinctive, complex and often ambiguously-motivated characters, in whose worlds sorcery and the supernatural are everyday realities."

Cooper was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, in 1952. She began penning tales at a young age; in fact, as she noted on her Web site, "I spent most of my school years writing stories when I should have been concentrating on lessons." Cooper left school at the age of fifteen, and she was only twenty years old when her first novel, The Book of Paradox, was published in 1973. After stints as a secretary and a blurb-writer for paperback novels, she decided to become a full-time writer in 1977.

Cooper's break came in 1984, when her agent suggested that she rewrite and expand her second novel, Lord of No Time, into a trilogy. Set in a "starkly occult world … where humans are often used as pawns in the eternal, vicious conflict between the gods of Chaos and Order," according to Cooper, the "Time Master" trilogy became a huge success in both the United States and England. In addition to The Initiate, The Outcast, and The Master, which comprise the "Time Master" trilogy, Cooper has published several other works set in the World of Chaos and Order, including her "Star Shadow," "Chaos Gate," and "Daughter of Storms" trilogies.

The "Time Master" series was singled out by a Publishers Weekly reviewer for its subtle characterizations and avoidance of oversimplified moralizing. Discussing Cooper's "Chaos Gate" trilogy, Locus reviewer Tom Whitmore credited the author with making some interesting philosophical points. "Cooper has strong women, uncommon men, and gods that are completely unconcerned with what mortals want," the critic related, going on to say that out of the many unexpected plot twists in the series, the most "refreshing" is that the characters eventually realize their gods' indifference to them. Whitmore asserted that Cooper writes from a humanist perspective and sends readers the message that each person is responsible for his or her own life. "These books are subversive, and well done," the critic concluded.

The eight-volume "Indigo Saga" takes place on "the alternative earth of Indigo, the princess who opened a grim Pandora's box and let seven demons loose," as Cooper explained. In the series, Indigo must atone for her mistake and rid the world of the evil forces she unleashed. "Cooper does an excellent job in conjuring a picture of the demon world through her words," observed Joyce Yen in a review for Voice of Youth Advocates.

Cooper has also published a number of books for children and young adults, including Demon Crossing, Hunter's Moon, and the "Creatures" series. The "Creatures" books contain suspenseful tales about animals that are creepier than they first appear. A ghostly cat wreaks havoc in Who's Been Sitting in My Chair?, while in Atishoo! Atishoo! All Fall Down! a nasty mynah bird makes a poor school pet. In an interview with North Spire, Cooper remarked that "There's something wonderfully refreshing and mind-sharpening about young readers. They keep a writer on his/her toes, yet at the same time they allow a huge degree of freedom, because they don't want to know about reasons and justifications and other minutiae; what they want—in my experience, anyway—is a straight-down-the-line, rattling good tale." Hunter's Moon concerns two children who discover a deadly curse that haunts an ancient church, and Demon Crossing follows the adventures of a boy who spies a terrible, crone-like spirit inhabiting an old mill.

Cooper plans to continue writing mystery and fantasy for young readers. Asked by Geek World online to describe the qualities that make a good fantasy author, Cooper replied, "The same qualities that make a good author, full stop. For me, that means first and foremost the ability to tell a tale and keep the reader's interest from start to finish." She added, "If, when I finish reading a story, I'm left with the satisfying feeling that I've actually been there alongside the characters, and got to know them as friends—or enemies—then, for me, that's what counts."

Biographical and Critical Sources


St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

Wordsmiths of Wonder: Fifty Interviews with Writers of the Fantastic, edited by Stan Nicholls, Orbit Books (London, England), 1993.


Booklist, January 1. 1992, Chris Sherman, review of The Sleep of Stone, pp. 819-820.

Book Report, November-December, 1989, Shirley Walz, review of Nemesis, p. 43; March-April, 1991, Shirley Walz, review of Nocturne, p. 41; May-June, 1992, Patsy Launspauch, review of The Sleep of Stone, pp. 43-44.

Kliatt, July, 1993, Donna L. Scanlon, review of The Sleep of Stone, p. 16.

Library Journal, December, 1990, Jackie Cassada, review of The Deceiver, p. 167; September 15, 1995, review of Star Ascendant, p. 95.

Locus, February, 1991, p. 29; March, 1992, p. 35; June, 1994, p. 57.

Publishers Weekly, May 6, 1988, Penny Kaganoff, review of Mirage, pp. 104-105; October 16, 1995, review of Star Ascendant, p. 47.

School Library Journal, March, 1992, Susan L. Rogers, review of The Sleep of Stone, p. 256.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1990, p. 295; April, 1992, p. 41; August, 1992, p. 172.


Geek World, http://members.tripod.com/geek_world/ (August 23, 2003), "Q & A with Louise Cooper."

Louise Cooper Home Page, http://wordswork.net/cooper2 (April 5, 2004).

Louise Cooper Official Web site, http://www.louisecooper.com/ (June 15, 2004).

North Spire, http://brian.landwehr.home.comcast.net/ (April 5, 2004), "Louise Cooper."

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