Sheila Quigley left school at 15 to work as a presser in a clothing factory. By the age of 18 she was already married and had three daughters and a son. She became a national news story in Britain when Random House acquired her first novel, Run for Home, for over $500,000, with major coverage throughout the press and television. A documentary about Ms. Quigley and the making of Run for Home was then broadcast on the BBC.
Over the years Ms. Quigley has had numerous jobs: market trader, machinist, double-glazing saleswoman, and of course mother to her four children. Despite the hard times, she was always a voracious reader and when her youngest became a teenager she began writing in earnest on a battered typewriter she had picked up at a car trunk sale. Finally, after many rejection slips, she sent off a screenplay about cigarette smuggling in the North East to an agent whose name she had found in the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, and he spotted her talent immediately. He asked if she could write a novel instead, and the result was Run for Home. The rest, as they say, is history.