About



Sheila Webster Boneham writes fiction and nonfiction, much of it focused on animals, nature, and travel. Although best known for her Animals in Focus mysteries and her popular nonfiction about dogs and cats, Sheila also writes literary fiction, nonfiction, and  poetry. Her essay "A Question of Corvids" won the 2014 Press 53 Creative Nonfiction Award and has been nominated for a Pushcart Award. Sheila is currently working on a series of essays about traveling the U.S. by train, and on a book-length meditation on the human-canine connection, as well as a new novel. Sheila teaches writing workshops and classes, and is sometimes available to speak to groups about her books, animals, and writing.

Sheila's Animals in Focus mystery series featuring 50-something animal photographer Janet MacPhail and her friends of many species is published by Midnight Ink. The first book, Drop Dead on Recall (2012) won the 2013 Maxwell Award for Fiction from the Dog Writers Association of American and was named a Top Ten Dog Book of 2012 by NBC Petside. The sequel, The Money Bird (2013) is a finalist in this year's Maxwell competition (winners to be named February 15, 2015). Catwalk (2014) is the third book in the series, and Shepherd's Crook is scheduled for release in fall 2015. Learn more about the books in the series.  

Six of Sheila’s non-fiction books have been named best in their categories in the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) and the Cat Writers Association (CWA) annual competitions, and two of her other books and a short story have been finalists in the annual competitions. Her book Rescue Matters! How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animals (Alpine, 2009) has been called a "must read" for anyone involved with animal rescue.

Animals have always been part of Sheila's life. In her teens and twenties she showed horses, and later she was active showing her Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers in various canine sports. She has also bred top-winning Aussies, and founded rescue groups for Aussies and Labs.

Sheila holds a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast MFA Program/University of Southern Maine, and a Ph.D. degree in folklore from Indiana University. She  has taught writing, folklore, and literature in the U.S. and the Middle East. She is a member of the Associated Writing Programs, the North Carolina Writers Network, and several other professional organizations.

Sheila and her husband and dogs have enjoyed getting to know different parts of the U.S. over the past few years. They currently live in Wilmington, North Carolina.