A visually impaired resident of Burnham-On-Sea revealed her first novel at the age of 95.
Sheila Rainey released her first novel, “Innocents in London,” on Amazon’s Kindle service this month, with the possibility that it will be released as a physical book if more than 20 copies are purchased.
The 278-page historical fiction book features a five-year-old boy whose mother has died, is kidnapped from his father’s country estate and finds himself in Georgian London ’employed’ as a climber. Readers will find out if he survives and if he can find his father.
Sheila has more books on hold, having written eight detective novels that a publisher is considering.
Her love of writing comes from taking evening shorthand and typing classes, as well as enjoying creative writing.
Sheila’s musical background is also impressive. She was the orchestral secretary of the Philharmonic Orchestra, attending rehearsals, concerts, recordings and trips abroad, followed by a temporary job with the English Chamber Orchestra.
Wishing to both broaden and deepen her education, Sheila completed a three-year course as a mature student at the University of Bristol, reading English, History and Philosophy and graduated with a BA in 1970 .
In Bristol, she was employed by the BBC as secretary of their training orchestra for young musicians, the BBC Academy, then transferred to London to work with BBC Music Publications, ordering program notes for concerts , editing and proofreading, as well as compilation of short biographies of artists appearing in concerts.
After a car accident, she suffered a serious leg injury, unable to work for several months, and subsequently got a job as a receptionist at the Gilbert White Museum in Selbourne. There she cataloged the museum archives.
She then moved to Eastbury near Lambourn, working as a freelance writer for a Newbury publisher, Countryside Books, where she edited, proofread and provided indexes. A waning view led her to retire at Burnham-On-Sea.
The new book can be ordered from Amazon.co.uk here.