The books of Sheila Quigley, a lass from Houghton-le-Spring

Sheila Quigley shot to fame with her first novel, Run for Home

Sheila Quigley became a national news story when Random House acquired her first novel, Run For Home, with major coverage throughout the press and television. A documentary about Sheila and the making of Run for Home was broadcast on BBC1. Sheila's seventh book, Nowhere Man, was released in 2011.

Houghton Feasted - murder mystery with Sheila and Paul

Homicide in Houghton Pics - photos from past murder tours

Homicide in Houghton 7 - coming Saturday October 13th 2012

The Seahills Estate - visit Sheila Quigley's website

Book Titles - click to hear the songs which inspired the titles

Sheila Quigley and Paul Lanagan giving the Homicide in Houghton tour, 2006

Sheila's Houghton-based books include: Run for Home (2004), Bad Moon Rising (2005), Living on a Prayer (2006), Every Breath You Take (2007), Hungry Eyes - short story (2008/2012), Black Betty - short story (2009), The Road to Hell (2009) and Stand By Me (2013).

The first Homicide in Houghton murder tour took place during the 2006 Houghton Feast Literature Festival, with sequels in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The tours, led by Paul Lanagan, visited the fictional murder locations from best selling novelist Sheila Quigley’s gritty murder mysteries, which are set in and around Houghton-le-Spring. The next tour, Homicide in Houghton 7, is on Saturday October 13th 2012.

Sheila Quigley and Paul Lanagan giving the Homicide in Houghton tour, 2008

 

 

Text & Images copyright © Paul Lanagan 2006 - 2012 | Characters copyright © Sheila Quigley 2004 - 2012

HoughtonleSpring.org.uk
www.houghtonlespring.org.uk

PAGE UPDATED: 31/08/2012

SATURDAY 16th OCTOBER 2010
2.00pm. HOMICIDE IN HOUGHTON 5 - Join best selling author Sheila Quigley and local historian Paul Lanagan on an exclusive investigation of the fictional murder scenes from Sheila’s books. The tour departs from Houghton Library and returns for refreshments, when Sheila will read an exclusive preview from her next novel. Book by telephone on 0191 553 6475 as places strictly limited. www.theseahills.co.uk
Find out more online about Houghton Le Spring's heritage at: http://www.houghton-le-spring.org.uk

Sheila Quigley's new book is called Thorn in My Side. Also read her new short story Hungry Eyes.
Sheila Quigley, Run for Home, Bad Moon Rising, Living on a Prayer, Every Breath You Take and new book, The Road to Hell.
Eine junge Frau allein auf dem Heimweg durch die kleine Stadt Houghton-le-Spring. Es ist mitten in der Nacht, und ihre hohen Absätze klappern laut auf dem Pflaster. Sie glaubt, ganz allein zu sein, und zu Hause wartet ihr kleiner Sohn. Aber als er am nächsten Morgen erwacht, ist seine Mutter nicht mehr am Leben. Sie wird nie mehr nach Hause kommen, denn die Straßen waren keineswegs so verlassen, wie sie gedacht hat. Drei Frauen sterben in kürzester Zeit, und während sich die kleine Stadt auf das große Oktoberfest vorbereitet, ist Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt auf der Suche nach einem Mörder.
Sheila Quigley, Run for Home, Bad Moon Rising, Living on a Prayer, Every Breath You Take and new book, The Road to Hell.
Kein Wunder, dass ihre Kollegen fest überzeugt sind, dass der Täter vom Rummelplatz kommt. Wer traut schon dem fahrenden Volk? Oder ist es einer von den Arbeitslosen, die von der Sozialhilfe leben? – Wieder gelingt es Sheila Quigley, die Sorgen und Ängste der sogenannten einfachen Leute milieugerecht aufzuschreiben. Die Liebe eines Vaters zu seinem Kind, die Tapferkeit einer alten Frau und die Wärme und Hilfsbereitschaft von Freunden und Nachbarn sind ihr dabei allemal wichtiger als ein effizienter Polizeiapparat oder raffinierte Ermittlungsmethoden.
Am Anfang von Lauf nach Hause, dem überraschenden Romandebüt der britischen Autorin Sheila Quigley, weiß man eigentlich schon, wie es ausgehen wird. Das ist auch gar kein Wunder. Denn selbst Jack, ein großer, bulliger Mann, der dort um sein Leben läuft, weiß bereits, wie alles enden wird mit ihm. Seine Füße schmerzen, das Blut fließt warm und glitschig an seinen Rippen herunter. Eigentlich muss er sich nur noch Gedanken darüber machen, was mit seiner Leiche geschehen wird, wenn die Kopfjägerin ihm das Messer an die Kehle gesetzt hat. Und, ob er es tatsächlich schaffen wird, ihr ins Gesicht zu spucken.
Tatsächlich setzt die Kopfjägerin Jack am Ende des ersten Kapitels das Messer an die Kehle. Aber was danach kommt, können weder die Leser noch die Figuren erahnen. Derart überraschend entwickeln sich die Ereignisse um die 16-jährige frühreife Kerry, deren drei Jahre jüngere Schwester plötzlich von Mädchenhändlern entführt wird, dass man gar nicht abwarten kann, wie Quigley die Handlung fortführt. Kerry beginnt auf eigene Faust zu ermitteln und wird hineingezogen in eine mörderische Geschichte, in der nicht zuletzt die Biografie ihrer Mutter eine wichtige Rolle spielt. Und die ist der ihren auf tragische Weise äußerst ähnlich ...
Sheila Quigley weiß, wovon sie schreibt. Immerhin hat sie das Milieu, in dem ihr Thriller angesiedelt ist, an eigenem Leib erlebt. Mit 15 war sie Büglerin in einer Textilfabrik, mit 18 Ehefrau, bald schon dreifache Mutter. Zur Zeit der Veröffentlichung von Lauf nach Hause war sie arbeitslos und lebte von Sozialhilfe. Dies ist jetzt wohl vorbei. Zumindest will man das hoffen. Denn Lauf nach Hause sollte keine Eintagsfliege bleiben. Dafür ist der Roman einfach auf süchtig machende Weise spannend geschrieben. --Stefan Kellerer
Sheila Quigley, Run for Home, Bad Moon Rising, Living on a Prayer, Every Breath You Take and new book, The Road to Hell.

Sheila Quigley's new book is called Thorn in My Side. Also read her new short story Hungry Eyes.

Sheila Quigley became a national news story when Random House acquired her first novel, Run For Home, with major coverage throughout the press and television. A documentary about Sheila and the making of Run for Home was broadcast on BBC1. Sheila's fifth book, The Road to Hell, is due out in 2009.

Sheila Quigley (born 1947?) is a British author of thrillers. Sheila Quigley became a national news story when Random House acquired her first novel, Run For Home, with major coverage throughout the press and television. A documentary about Sheila and the making of Run for Home was broadcast on BBC1. Her latest novel, Every Breath You Take, was published on May 3, 2007. Sheila lived on the Homelands Estate in Houghton-le-Spring near Sunderland which features in her books. Homicide in Houghton As part of the Houghton Feast celebrations, each October Sheila and local historian Paul Lanagan lead an investigation which visits the fictional murder scenes from Sheila’s novels. The tours typically depart from Houghton library, trail across the town, and return to the library where attendees are treated to a sneak preview of Sheila's next novel. The 2008 tour took place on Saturday October 11th at 2:00pm, and had a bumper crowd in attendance. The novels are set in the fictional estate of Seahills in Houghton-le-Spring near Sunderland. Run for Home (2004) Bad Moon Rising (2005) Living on a Prayer (2006) Every Breath You Take (2007) Hungry Eyes (short story) (2008) Road to Hell (2009) Thorn in My Side (2010) Fictional Seahills estate, setting for the novels. Homicide in Houghton-le-Spring Exclusive murder tour with Sheila Quigley

WITH SHEILA QUIGLEY & PAUL LANAGAN The first Homicide in Houghton murder tour took place during the 2006 Houghton Feast Literature Festival, with sequels in 2007 and 2008. The tours visited the fictional murder locations from best selling novelist Sheila Quigley’s gritty murder mysteries, which are set in and around Houghton-le-Spring. Copyright © Books of the North 2002 - 2009. Join us for Homicide in Houghton 4 on Saturday October 10th 2009!
Sheila has just sent us this exciting message about the next book in the series, the eagerly-awaited The Road to Hell): Hello everyone, great news! The Road to Hell comes out in hardback on November the fifth - just in time for your Christmas presents. If you are dying to know what happened to Lorraine in her youth, why Dave Ridley is now as mad as a hatter, and how Jacko lost his eye - and how the whole business is tied up with an horrific murder today, then you can't afford to miss it! Also a really exciting competion. The person who e-mails me ( e-mail Sheila ) with the best three song titles, to match the kind of books I write, gets a free hardback signed copy of The Road to Hell. Competition closes November 1st. I am thrilled to be with my new publisher Tonto books; they are going far, and I am looking forward to the ride!
Breaking news... Today Tonto Books signed up the next novel from best-selling author, Sheila Quigley. To say I'm quite pleased would be a slight understatement! Sheila is a great writer and a great personality and I'm sure will be an excellent addition to Tonto's slate. The book is called 'Road to Hell' and will be out on 5 November 2009. We'll hopefully get a load of publicity around this signing as the rights are in place for the 'Seahills series' of Sheila's... and the relationship is set to grow. Sheila's last books have done amazingly well so it is a real honour for me to be working with her and I'm looking forward to seeing how far we can take the novel. It's a busy time at Tonto - Dirty Leeds will be out on 24 September, Slimmer Charlie on 1 October and Road to Hell out on 5 November. New website is nearly here and you'll be able to buy all forthcoming titles in time for Christmas! Thanks for your continued support. Keep the faith.
Road to Hell
ISBN: 9781907183034
Published: November 5th 2009

Hardcover: 400 pages Publisher: Tonto Books (5 Nov 2009) ISBN-10: 1907183035 ISBN-13: 978-1907183034
Sheila Quigley started work at fifteen as a presser in Hepworths, a tailoring factory. She married at eighteen and had three daughters: Dawn, Janine and Diane and had a younger son, Michael. Recently divorced, she now has eight grandchildren, and every Saturday and Sunday can be found at a football match for the Darlington Academy under thirteens and the Northern League. Sheila has lived in Houghton-le-Spring near Sunderland for thirty years.
Established thriller writer with testimonial from high-profile writer in the genre. Television drama rights optioned with household-named actress attached. Much media and industry interest. Initial publicity features in Bookseller magazine, local and national press. Murder, mystery and suspense in Houghton-le-Spring as DI Lorraine Hunt is back for Sheila’s most eagerly-anticipated novel. The Road To Hell gives insight and back story to established characters in the latest story in the Seahills Series. ‘Sheila Quigley is queen of the rough and tumble thriller. With her strong heroines and gritty plots, she draws us into a shadowy world where only the strong survive.’ Tess Gerritsen PRAISE FOR SHEILA QUIGLEY ‘Proves she isn’t a one-hit wonder.’ Bella ‘Quigley’s gripping thriller, Run for Home, is a convincing portrayal of a violent underworld.’ The Independent ‘Fast-paced and overtly commercial, Run for Home is a modern version of Cookson's bestsellers.’ Telegraph Magazine The Road To Hell By Sheila Quigley About the author: Houghton-le-Spring author with very loyal readership. Has had much media publicity and is a keen promoter for in-store events. 5 November 2009 9781907183034 £18.99 Hardback FICTION: GENERAL / CRIME & THRILLER ADVANCE INFORMATION www.tontobooks.com Tonto Books Ltd, 71 Thornton Crescent, Blaydon, Tyne & Wear, NE21 4BA Tel: 0191 4421857 E: stu@tontobooks.com
Established thriller writer with testimonial from high-profile writer in the genre. Television drama rights optioned with household-named actress attached. Much media and industry interest. Initial publicity features in Bookseller magazine, local and national press.
The Road To Hell By Sheila Quigley About the author: Houghton-le-Spring author with very loyal readership. Has had much media publicity and is a keen promoter for in-store events. 5 November 2009 9781907183034 £18.99 Hardback FICTION: GENERAL / CRIME & THRILLER
By Sheila Quigley 1 November 2009 9781907183034 £18.99 Hardback The next thrilling novel from the bestselling author of Run for Home and Bad Moon Rising. 'Sheila Quigley is queen of the rough and tumble thriller. With her strong heroines and gritty plots, she draws us into a shadowy world where only the strong survive.' Tess Gerritsen (Keeping the Dead) Click Here for Advance Information sheet About Sheila Quigley Sheila Quigley started work at 15 as a presser in Hepworths, a tailoring factory. She married at eighteen and had three daughters: Dawn, Janine and Diane and a younger son, Michael. Recently divorced, she now has eight grandchildren, and every Saturday, and Sunday can be found at a football match for the Darlington Academy under thirteens and the Northern League. Sheila has lived in Houghton-le-Spring near Sunderland for thirty years. Website: http://www.theseahills.co.uk/
Tiny Newcastle-based Tonto Books is to publish the latest novel in Sheila Quigley’s Seahills crime series after Random House passed on renewing its contract with the writer. Quigley did the deal with Stuart Wheatman of Tonto herself, bypassing her literary agency Darley Anderson, which currently has a new series on offer to mainstream publishers. The Seahills novel, titled The Road to Hell, will be published by Tonto in November. Quigley said the deal came about when she met Wheatman at a crime writing event, Murder March, at ­Borders in Gateshead. She said: "This last couple of years I went blind with cataracts and I was writing The Road to Hell at the time, and it was a bit of a mess." She added that following an operation which restored her sight: "Darley suggested starting a new series, which is what they are selling now." In the meantime, however, Quigley rewrote The Road to Hell, and told Wheatman. She said she was "over the moon" with the deal. Anderson said the sale was "news to me, if I’m honest". A first novel in the new Quigley series, featuring a different detective character and a fresh setting, in London and Lindisfarne, is currently on offer to UK publishers through his agency. Quigley made headlines in 2003 when Century offered her, an unpublished grandmother of seven living in the north-east, a £300,000 two-book deal. The publisher also paid a "high six-figure advance" for two further novels in 2005. But Nielsen BookScan shows her sales have declined from more than 50,000 for her début Run for Home to just 8,300 copies for her most recent novel, Every Breath You Take.
Corpses and chills in a gritty slice of Quigley The second thriller from Sheila Quigley is out this week. David Whetstone reviews Bad Moon Rising. THE Sheila Quigley bandwagon rolls on with the second of her hard-bitten North-East novels launched on Thursday at Seaham Hall, County Durham. It is called Bad Moon Rising and it follows Run For Home which first came out last year in a large format paperback and was reissued in January in a more conventional size. Once again, Ms Quigley cuts to the quick with a brutal murder – strangulation this time; it was a shooting in book one – almost before you’ve had time to settle in your chair. So it’s bye bye to the girl with the ponytail and the high white heels who “slips into death” as she makes her way home in the early hours in Houghton-le-Spring. We don’t know her name yet but we do know that there’s a little boy waiting for her at home. His smiling face is “the last thing she sees in her mind’s eye”. Sheila Quigley is a happy, well adjusted single mother-of-four and grandmother-of-eight with an optimistic outlook on life and a wide circle of friends and admirers. But she does have a knack for cranking up the horror. It’s the time of Houghton Feast, a very big deal in Houghon-le-Spring where Sheila Quigley has lived all her life. It’s a happy, celebratory occasion but in Bad Moon Rising that only serves to highlight the creeping nastiness. Pretty soon we have three corpses and the possibility of a serial killer. Once more it’s Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt of Houghton Police who has to sort things out. DI Hunt is Sheila Quigley’s Morse or Miss Marple, a feisty and capable product of the patch she polices. The Feast, she reflects, “brought out the best in people, but also the worst, and the worst was getting nastier”. You can’t accuse the author of not knowing her local geography or its inhabitants. Indeed, there is a somewhat chilling authenticity to her tale which is told in the language people often speak on streets which can be mean. If you don’t like strong language, steer clear. DI Hunt, whose problems are generally of a personal as well as a professional nature, grows in stature in this second book and interest in her helps to carry the plot forward, as well as the mounting body count. In London, Sheila Quigley’s head is all over the place, huge on posters. In Houghon-le-Spring there’s no need of such things. Everyone knows her and what she does and you suspect she inspires mixed feelings – particularly, perhaps, among the organisers of Houghton Feast. This is another action-packed slice of life in the raw and a third book, Living On A Prayer, will follow. She tells a good tale, Sheila Quigley. She hasn’t yet told one, though, quite as good as her own. Bad Moon Rising by Sheila Quigley (Century, £9.99). It's two o' clock in the morning. It's early October and winter's chill has arrived with a vengeance. There's frost on the ground but something special in the air because Houghton Feast is just a week away, and for many the celebrations have started early. The girl stumbles slightly, having left the nightclub with more than one vodka under her belt, but she rights herself, and starts to walk a bit faster. She'd had two or three offers of an escort from the local studs but had announced to all her intention of going home alone. Proclaiming loudly that she'd had enough of men. Bastards, the fucking lot of them. She loves Houghton Feast though. As her nan tells her every year, it's been celebrated in Houghton since the middle ages, and was established as a feast of dedication to the church. By custom it takes place on the nearest Friday to October tenth, when the lights are switched on by the Mayor of Sunderland and the locals are treated to a tattoo, complete with bagpipes, after which the fairground opens. On the Monday after a weekend of celebrations a huge ox is roasted in the rectory field which lies between the rectory and the police station. But there's more to it than that: the feast, the tattoo and the fair may be the official story but everyone knows Feast time is a chance to let go, to go wild, to let off steam. It's like a get-out-of-jail-free card letting you off the hook for things you've wanted to do but not dared all year round. For most of this week and at the oddest hours imaginable, the fairground travellers have been pulling onto the field and the excitement is building. She can almost taste it. I've just re-read 'Hungry Eyes', which is a short story bySheila and is set in the Seahills Estate, the same as in her novels. s If you know and love her characters from the novels, this short story is a HOOT! It was published as part of Creme de la Crime Ltd's "Criminal Tendencies" book, which was released in April 2009 to help raise funds for a breast cancer charity. Well worth checking out! The grandmother-of-eight was in the middle of writing new book The Road to Hell when her eyesight swiftly deteriorated until everything around her was engulfed in a thick, foggy haze. Sheila – who made headlines when she clinched a £300,000 book deal for her debut Run For Home – had been diagnosed with cataracts in 2004, but she was too afraid to seek medical help, despite fears she would completely lose her sight. But terrified she would never be able to write again, let alone see her family, Sheila finally took the plunge and had the cataracts removed at the “fantastic” Sunderland Eye Infirmary. With the cataracts removed, Sheila, of Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear has now been able to finish The Road to Hell and she and her loyal army of fans can’t wait for its release through her new publisher Tonto Books, based in Blaydon, Gateshead. She said: “I went blind when I was writing this one, from my cataracts, and it was horrendous. “I refused to have the operation because I was terrified – the idea of someone cutting my eye open was terrifying– so the book was a mess. “I waited months and months and I couldn’t see anything before I finally had the operation.

Murder, mystery and suspense in Houghton-le-Spring as DI Lorraine Hunt is back for Sheila Quigley's most eagerly-anticipated novel. 'The Road to Hell' gives insight and back-story to established characters in the author's latest novels. Details Author Sheila Quigley Publisher Tonto Books Ltd Year 2009 ISBN 9781907183034 Format HARDBACK - 400 Pages

Radgepacket by Byker Books Ltd

It's 1985. A man is hunted down and killed by a woman assassin known as The Head Hunter. Sixteen years later, his body turns up and Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt is called in to investigate. The day the body is found, Claire Lumsdon is the victim of a violent kidnap - the fourth in a series of abductions of young girls. For Claire and her sixteen-year-old sister Kerry, it's the beginning of a nightmare. Convinced the police can't help, Kerry sets out on a frantic search for her sister. But her hunt leads her to much more than she'd bargained for: a violent underworld; a sixteen year old murder; and, finally, the secrets about her past - and her father - which her mother hoped she'd never have to face. And all the time, the clock is ticking for Claire - Details Author Sheila Quigley Publisher Arrow Bks. (United Kingdom) Year 1995 ISBN 9781844134038 Format Paperback - 423 Pages

A young woman walks home by herself, the tapping of her high heels the only sound. At two o' clock in the morning, it's cold, the streets are deserted and she thinks she's all alone. Waiting for her, sleeping soundly in his bed, is her baby son. When he wakes the next morning his mother still isn't back. She's never coming back. Because the streets weren't as deserted as she thought. Three women are dead and Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt is searching for a serial killer. In Houghton-le-Spring it's Feast week, a time when all hell is let loose as the fair comes to town, and a frenzy of celebration and decadence provides a temporary distraction from the grim realities of everyday life. It's not a good time to be searching for a stranger. It's not a good time to be a woman alone... Details Author Sheila Quigley Publisher Arrow Books Ltd (UK) Year 2006 ISBN 9780099465751 Format paperback (B format) - 448 Pages A week before Christmas, Debbie Stansfield's life falls apart. Her son - her funny, cheeky, kind Richard - has been found hanging from a tree at the Seven Sisters. The police think it's suicide but Debbie won't - can't - accept it. Her son would never kill himself. Not her Richard. No way. Richard's four friends know something about his death. Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt can feel it. The teenagers are clearly terrified about something - something that scares them more than the police. But they're not about to tell...As the days tick down to Christmas, Lorraine, increasingly overworked and under pressure, can't ignore her suspicions that there's more to Richard's death than meets the eye. And when Richard's friends start going missing, her worst fears are confirmed. Just who is preying on the young people in Houghton-le-Spring? And will Lorraine be able to stop them, before another vulnerable teenager is found dead? Details Author Sheila Quigley Publisher Arrow Books Ltd (United Kingdom) Year 2006 ISBN 9781844138463 Format Hardback - 384 Pages

He watches them from afar. He knows who they are and where they are. He is waiting in the dark... A stranger stalks the streets of Houghton le Spring and he is getting too close for comfort for Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt. Selina, the daughter of Lorraine's partner, DS Luke Daniels, is a beautiful and wilful sixteen year-old with a dark past. Just as it seems she's finally getting back on her feet, she's attacked. Is Selina's past catching up with her? Or is there an even more sinister motive to the assault? Before long, Lorraine and Luke's worst fears are realised, and a body is found.A young woman, brutally murdered, her heart cut out, and in its place - a single white rose. Soon the White Rose Killer steps up his campaign. Is DI Hunt imagining it, or does he have a message specially for her? As he circles ever closer, nobody escapes suspicion and Lorraine faces her toughest case yet. The closer the killer gets, the more elusive he becomes. Lorraine faces her toughest case yet as her resources are tested to the limit by a killer with no conscience, no remorse. Just a pitiless hatred for the girls who inspire desire within him... Details Author Sheila Quigley Publisher Arrow Books Ltd (United Kingdom) Year 2007 ISBN 9780099490890 Format Paperback - 448 Pages

How gangsters made this granny rich In a story to rival one of her own fantastical novels, salt-of-the-earth grandmother Sheila Quigley has landed a £300,000 publishing deal, with her first book due out in April. She talks to Sarah Foster. THE phrase "you couldn't make it up" could have been invented for Sheila Quigley. From the moment I arrive outside her home in a rundown part of Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, I realise it's going to be an interesting meeting. It's one of those houses you can only access by road from the back, and her back door is open (who nowadays leaves the door open?). As I knock, I hear Sheila's throaty voice inside but no one answers, so I go round to the front. Two dogs come bounding over and Sheila's smiling face appears round the door. She was on the phone when I knocked, she explains. It looks like the start of a busy morning. It would be hard to imagine anyone differing more from what you would expect of a successful author than Sheila. Yet, having landed a £300,000, two-novel publishing deal with the prestigious Random House company, that's exactly what she is. Hugely, spectacularly, successful. As we sit in her living room, Sheila puffing on a cigarette, she starts to tell me just how she has managed this amazing feat. Then we are interrupted by a knock at the door. It's her neighbour's daughter, who starts talking about how she's been excluded from school as Sheila hands her some coins. It's the girl's bus fare, Sheila explains matter-of-factly when she's gone. Her mother didn't have it to give her. Although there's obviously a strong sense of community where Sheila lives, the Sunderland Housing Group estate is earmarked for demolition. Sheila admits it's had its problems. "It was horrendous up until about four months ago," says the 56-year-old. "We had everything - drug dealers, druggies wandering the streets, drinkers, fighting all through the night - and that started about five years ago. The council just started letting anyone in. It's settled down now, though." Considering this experience, it's easy to see why her big break came initially from a screenplay she wrote about cigarette smuggling in the North-East. "It was a comedy drama and I sent it to the agent Darley Anderson. He loved it but he said it was practically impossible to sell a screenplay by an unknown, so would I write a novel based in the North-East on gangsters and stuff?" Having already written two "totally unpublishable" books that lay languishing in a drawer, Sheila duly began her third, centred around a down-and-out family - "worse than down-and out" - living on a fictional estate in Houghton-le-Spring, whose lives are plagued by a vengeful gangster. Isn't this a little far-fetched? "It's pure fantasy," she cheerfully admits. Fantasy it may be, but even before the book, Run For Home, has been published, a German company has bought the translation rights. Having witnessed the original auction, in which seven rival publishers vied for her manuscript, this is no big deal to Sheila. Like many writers, she laboured for years to get her work into print, starting with short stories and facing rejection after rejection - "I bet they regret it now," she can't resist remarking. She'd always had an active imagination and began telling stories at the age of seven, writing them down at 11. But her introduction to literature was unconventional. "I was seven and I couldn't read a word. We all had to read around the class and it came to me and I couldn't read a word, so I just burst out crying. I went home that night and got the Sunderland Echo and I said to my mam 'What's that word?'. Within three weeks of learning about five to six words a night, I could read." Although Sheila went on to develop a reading age far more advanced than her years, she left school at 15 without a single qualification. "I was the bad girl at school. I used to act up out of boredom," she explains. Sheila went on to work in clothing factories and run a market stall selling fancy goods, but she never lost her writing instinct. "I think it's something you're born with. Becoming a writer was always a little flicker in my mind and as I got older, it got stronger." She's been a member of various writers' groups but now has sufficient confidence in her abilities to do without them. "Darley says I've got to tell everyone who says I've been lucky it wasn't luck, it was talent," she quotes. But even now, with the publishing world at her feet, it isn't all plain sailing. Sheila admits to having had a few teething troubles with the second of the gangster novels she's been commissioned to write, Bad Moon Rising. It's set on the same Houghton-le-Spring estate as the first and the action takes place around Houghton Feast, the town's annual festival. "I was finding the second one hard but then I hit page 140 and it just all came together," says Sheila. Her deadline's in eight weeks, so she's writing on and off from 2 to 11pm every day. But have the money and long-awaited recognition gone to her head? Sheila laughs her throaty smoker's laugh. She's so warm and unaffected it's hard to imagine her ever changing, even if she became the next JK Rowling. "I've no fancy tastes. I would've stayed here if I could have but my family would've gone mad. I've been looking at a Dutch bungalow a mile away," she says. The divorced gran has splashed out a bit on her four children and eight grandchildren, including by treating them to a holiday in Scotland. Not that she couldn't have afforded somewhere more exotic - she just likes it there. Is she surprised by her success, as others doubtless are? "Not really," she says. "I always knew I could do it." * Run For Home by Sheila Quigley (Random House, £9.99) is published on April 1.
Homicide in Houghton As part of the Houghton Feast celebrations, each October Sheila and local historian Paul Lanagan lead an investigation which visits the fictional murder scenes from Sheila’s novels. The tours typically depart from Houghton library, trail across the town, and return to the library where attendees are treated to a sneak preview of Sheila's next novel. The 2008 tour had a bumper crowd in attendance and was the most successful to date. The 2010 tour takes place on Saturday October 9th 2010 at 2:00pm. [edit] Bibliography The novels are set in the fictional estate of Seahills in Houghton-le-Spring in the City of Sunderland. Run for Home (2004) Bad Moon Rising (2005) Living on a Prayer (2006) Every Breath You Take (2007) Hungry Eyes (short story) (2008) Black Betty (short story) (2009) The Road to Hell (2009) Thorn in My Side (2010) Stand By Me (2013) Nowhere Man (2012) Run for Home, Bad Moon Rising, Living on a Prayer and Every Breath You Take were published by Random. Hungry Eyes was published as part of Creme de la Crime Ltd's Criminal Tendencies book, which was released in April 2009 to help raise funds for a breast cancer charity, and was a short story set in the Seahills. The Road to Hell was published by Tonto Books. Black Betty was another Seahills short story, published by Byker Books in the anthology, 'Radgepacket Vol 2'. Thorn in My Side and Nowhere Man, which are yet to be published, are set on Holy Island and feature a new range of characters. Stand By Me, returns to the Seahills series.
Sheila Quigley's Bücher umfassen: Run for Home (2004), Bad Moon Rising (2005), Living on a Prayer (2006), Every Breath You Take (2007), Hungry Eyes - Kurzgeschichte (2008), Black Betty - Kurzgeschichte ( 2009), The Road to Hell (2009) und Thorn In My Side (September 2010). Der erste Mordfall in Houghton Mord-Tour fand im Rahmen der 2006 Houghton Feast Literatur Festival, mit Fortsetzungen im Jahre 2007, 2008 und 2009. Die Touren, von Paul Lanagan führte besuchten die fiktive Ermordung von Standorten meistverkauften Schriftsteller Sheila Quigley's Gritty Krimis, die in und um Houghton-le-Spring gesetzt sind. Die nächste Homicide in Houghton Tour ist am Samstag, 16. Oktober 2010. SATURDAY 16th OCTOBER 2010 at 2.00pm. HOMICIDE IN HOUGHTON Join best selling author Sheila Quigley and local historian Paul Lanagan on an exclusive investigation of the fictional murder scenes from Sheila’s books. The tour departs from Houghton Library and returns for refreshments, when Sheila will read an exclusive preview from her next novel. Book by telephone on 0191 553 6475 as places strictly limited. www.theseahills.co.uk

In Houghton-le-Spring it’s Feast week, a time when all hell is let loose as the fair comes to town, and a frenzy of celebration and decadence provides a temporary distraction from the grim realities of everyday life. DARE you join author Sheila Quigley and local historian Paul Lanagan for an investigation of the fictional murder scenes from Sheila’s bestselling books, ‘Run for Home’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’, ‘Living on a Prayer’, ‘Every Breath You Take’ and ‘The Road to Hell’? The free tour departs from the corner of the Rectory Field, next to Houghton Police Station, the base of the hero from Sheila’s books, Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt, and ends at Houghton Library for refreshments when Sheila will talk about her new book, ‘Thorn In My Side’. Book by Telephone 0191 561 6383 Numbers Strictly Limited www.Houghtonfeast.co.uk

Thorn in My Side [Hardcover] Sheila Quigley (Author) Hardcover: 360 pages Publisher: Burgess Books (30 Sep 2010) ISBN-10: 0956654606 ISBN-13: 978-0956654601

DI Mike Yorke has been in London for three months now, chasing up missing kids that have been disappearing up and down the M1 corridor. One night he comes home to find a bundle of rags on his doorstep. After giving the bundle a heavy kick, he is shocked to find it is really a young boy who has slashed his wrists. Mike saves the boy's life, and Smiler, so named because of the grin carved on his face, latches on to Mike and follows him everywhere. When Mike's cover is blown, he heads back home to Holy Island, on the northeast coast of England. But all is not as it seems on the island, an ancient secret discovered by a young girl stirs up world-wide fear, as she goes on the run to protect herself - followed by her hapless boyfriend Danny, Mike, and Smiler, who may or may not be psychic. Thorn In My Side is the start of a new series. "Sometimes brutal, sometimes scary, sometimes funny. Always entertaining! Quigley delivers a storming debut to her brand new series with Thorn In My Side." Matt Hilton, author of the Joe Hunter thrillers. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thorn In My Side will be published in hardcover by Burgess Books on 30th September 2010 (ISBN: 978-0-9566546-0-1); order a copy now from Amazon.