TERRY SHEILS -- 1935 - 2004
As originally appearing in
the following was written by Terry's wife Dee on his passing.
It appears here at her request and says so much about a man who
affected so many people.
On October 12, the bell
tolled for electronic publishing pioneer Terry Sheils. As author and
editor, he put his indelible stamp of creative genius and literary
excellence on e-publishing.
Terry could write in almost any genre.
He moved easily from the erotic fictional biography of Egyptian
pharaoh Akhenaten, in Dreams for the Wind, and the dark Mayan
fantasy, Knights Tiger, to chilling horror novels like
Butterfly House, then on to lighthearted romps like his
hilarious Hunter Knox mystery novels.
interests had always been varied. As an undergraduate maintaining
scholarship level marks in Philosophy at the University of Toronto,
Terry wrote and directed musical comedies, sang Gilbert and Sullivan
patter songs, and played John Worthing in “The Importance of Being
Earnest” on stage with actors the caliber of Donald Sutherland. At
the same time, he wrote a weekly news and comment column entitled
“Terry a While.” While he was at it, he married the singing lead of
his musical comedies, Dee Lloyd.
An inveterate innovator, Terry always
found a fresh new way to achieve excellence in every field he
entered. In his teaching career, he created and taught one of the
first high school Theater Arts courses in Ontario, wrote curriculum
for the education ministry of the Province of Ontario, and became
assistant coordinator of English for the North York Board of
Education. In that position he published collections of student
writing and initiated a Performing Arts festival for students of all
His own writing was always a constant in
his life. Plays, poetry, short stories—first for his students and
then for his children and grandchildren—flowed from his pen. Later,
thankfully much more legibly, they poured from his computer. From
the moment he took his retirement from teaching in 1992, Terry wrote
novels in all genres, over thirty of them. Most were published by
LTDBooks, but others found homes with five different small
independent publishing houses.
Terry firmly believed that books in the
future would be read electronically. He argued that there were
already millions of handheld reading devices, each capable of
holding ten to a hundred novels, in the hands of potential readers.
Besides, it was obvious that children and young adults loved
electronic games and were comfortable with new media devices. The
eventual adoption of this medium by the reading public was
inevitable. With his usual enthusiasm, he plunged into
As one of the founding editors and
authors of LTDBooks (www.LTDBooks.com), Terry became known for his
talent, quick wit and quirky sense of humor. His hilarious Hunter
Knox mystery novels (Par for the Corpse, Poe--The Musical and
50 Ways to Kill Your Lover) received critical acclaim and a wide
following. His Pendragon paranormal detective series (the latest of
which is Rara Ibis) proved that sex, as well as humor, can be
an integral element in a mystery novel.
However, Terry was best known for his
award-winning horror novels. Writing as T. K. Sheils, he won an
Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) for Butterfly House,
the first of his “Sabrina and Jackson” horror novels. Butterfly
House was the very first electronic book ever to win an IPPY,
and was selected from among the over 700 competitors. Butterfly
House also won the 2001 EPPIE Award for Horror presented by EPIC
(the Electronically Published Internet Connection ). Terry’s
subsequent horror novel, The Craving, won a second IPPY in
Terry Sheils had strong,
well-thought-out opinions but listened carefully to opposing points
of view. His wit was quick but never cutting. The most often
repeated phrase at his memorial was: “I never heard him say a bad
word about anyone.” In his novels, however, pretensions were fair
game for satire. Hunter Knox is devastating and wildly funny in his
performances as a singing country evangelist.
Terry Sheils …a fascinating man of
infinite imagination and humor.
He will be missed.