Sheila Walsh was born in Birmingham and moved to Southport with her parents during the Second World War. She joined the Southport Writers Circle in 1971, where she met her mentor, historical novelist Joan Nicholson, who encouraged Sheila to write her first full length book and to join the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA).
Drawing on her knowledge of the Regency period and her love of writers such as Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, Sheila wrote ‘The Golden Songbird’, which won the RNA’s Netta Muskett Award in 1974. The following year it was published by Hurst and Blackett. Over twenty books and numerous magazine stories and novellas followed, selling in many countries round the world. In 1984 her 8th novel, ‘A Highly Respectable Marriage’ won the RNA Major Award.
The legacy of Sheila Walsh
Sheila became a vice-president of the RNA in 1980. She was its Chairman from 1985-1987. In the 1990s Sheila wrote some Liverpool Sagas, drawing on her own and her family’s experiences of wartime. However she also continued to write Regency novels until ill health forced her to give up writing. She died in January 2009 at the age of 80.
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