Sheila was born in Middlesex, U.K., and emigrated to Canada with her family at the age of six. She returned to England to attend the University of London, and afterwards travelled through Central America. After working as a barmaid in England, as an art gallery assistant, and as a self-employed craftsperson specializing in jewelery, she became a librarian. For two years, she was in charge of the Native Peoples Collection at the North York Central Library, where she still works. Sheila also works as a freelance editor and writer. She currently resides in Newmarket, Ontario, with her husband and son. Among Sheila’s wide-ranging interests are visual art (she has participated in shows in Queen Street galleries), and Vipassana (Insight) Meditation, which she has practiced for 15 years.
Sheila’s work has been published extensively; her non-fiction work includes three children’s books on wild animals (Leopards, Gazelles, and Orangutans) and two on cultures of the world (Children of Japan and Children of France) for Grolier. From 1989-91, she wrote for and edited Discovery, a science magazine used in elementary schools, for Houghton Mifflin. Her first picture book, Bubblemania, was published in 1992,. Her other picture books include Doggerel and Catalogue (Doubleday, 1996, 1998), and Pig Tale, published by Doubleday in 1999. Additionally, Sheila has written an adult novel, Tales of the Ex-Fire Eater (Aurora Editions, 1994), and a volume of poetry, Blowing Holes Through the Everyday (HMS Press, 1994). Her poetry and fiction have been published in literary magazines such as Descant, Rune, and Canadian Forum. Sheila has even ventured into the drama field, winning third prize for her play Legacy in the University of Toronto Playwriting Competition, in 1983. This play was later produced, and reached the semi-finals of the Simpson’s Drama Festival. Trial by Fire was Sheila’s first novel for young adults, and her first publication with Napoleon.
Her second literary novel, The Girl in the Box, will be published in the RendezVous Press imprint in spring 2011.