Merritt is the author of four novels: Gaveston (2002), winner of a Betty Trask Award for a first novel under the age of 35, Real (2005), and the two Giordano Bruno books (as S.J. Parris), Heresy (2010) and Prophecy (2011). She has also written a memoir about living with depression, The Devil Within (2008), which was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award. She has been a judge for the Costa Biography Award and the Orange New Writing Award, and has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and BBC 7 as a critic and panellist.
On writing the Bruno books under a pseudonym, Merritt explains:
Once employed to hide the author's identity, now a pseudonym serves more as a guide to the reader, identifying what kind of book they can expect from that particular name. Initials in place of a first name always lend a useful air of ambiguity; I kept my own but wanted a surname that would be easily memorable and not incongruous with the tone of the books.
An interview with Stephanie Merritt about writing crime fiction and her choice of Bruno.
A video about Stephanie’s first Giordano Bruno book, Heresy: