Sheila Lavelle was born in Gateshead, County Durham in 1939. She was inspired to write her own stories after becoming a junior school teacher. Her first book, URSULA BEAR, was published in 1977. She went on to write several Ursula Bear adventures, as well as the much-loved MY BEST FIEND series. Sheila later moved to Western Scotland where she enjoyed many hobbies including walking, gardening, bird-watching and cooking. Sheila died in 2001, age 62.