Sheila Ann Mary Coates (1937-2000) was born in Essex (England) just before the Second World War in the East End of London. As a child, she was moved from relative to relative to escape the bombings of World War II. Sheila attended the Ursuline Convent for Girls, leaving school with a few CSEs, later working as a typist at the Bank of England and then a junior researcher for the BBC at Broadcasting House. After marrying Richard Holland, then a Fleet Street journalist, later a classical biographer, she was prompted by her husband in the early seventies to begin writing. Her first historical and romantic novels were published by Robert Hale and serialised in Woman's Weekly Digest. By the late seventies, she was an established and successful author, publishing as many as ten novels a year with Mills and Boon. That annual number rose over the next few years; by the late nineties, she had published over 150 novels, most of them romances, others historical novels and romantic thrillers, achieving millions of sales worldwide. She used several pseudonyms: Sheila Coates, Sheila Holland, Sheila Lancaster, Victoria Woolf, Laura Hardy and her most famous, Charlotte Lamb. She had been living on the Island as a tax exile since 1977 with her husband and four of her five children (Michael Holland, Sarah Holland, Jane Holland, Charlotte Holland and David Holland). Sheila died suddenly October 8th, 2000 in her baronial-style home 'Crogga' on the Isle of Man. Her last novel, published posthumously, was entitled 'The Angel of Death'.