After many jobs that included working as a presser in Hepworths tailoring factory, picking potatoes and selling frozen food door to door, she found her true calling as an author.
Sheila became a national news story when Random House acquired her first novel, with major coverage throughout the press and television.
A documentary about Sheila and the making of Run for Home was broadcast on BBC1
Sheila lived on the Homelands Estate in Houghton-le-Spring near Sunderland opposite a field which became the fictional location of the council housing estate in her Seahills books.
Q You first book was published when you were in your early fifties. Did you come to writing late, or have you always wanted to write?
Q How amazing. So how did the documentary on Run For Home come about?
A Every day is a writing day. As soon as I’ve fed me and the dogs, that’s it, I’m writing, with of course the usual breaks for life. My car is known as Mam’s taxi, Nana’s taxi, and any bugger else want a lift.
A Probably wondering who can get away with murder the longest. And love all of the process, especially when something you never planned just drops right into place.