Born in Hastings, Shirley trained as a nurse before travelling to England and Europe on her OE. During this time, she visited Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and returned there the following year to live. Five years were spent as an air hostess, then another two as the industrial nurse on base for the airline. When “life” and politics collided, it was time to return to New Zealand.
Many years later with constant, but vague, thoughts of writing “some day” she saw an advertisement for a small creative writing class and took the opportunity to attend. This was great fun and when the course finished, most of the class decided to continue to meet and encourage each other with their writing. About this time, some of them also joined Waitakere Writers and contributed to their first anthology which was published in 2007. This inspired the other group and by 2008 they had enough material to produce a book, Waitakere Whispers, an anthology of short stories and poems by Qwerty Few was published in 2009. After seven years, a second volume of short stories is nearly ready to publish.
Shirley has remained with both groups ... a founding member of one, and an early member of the other. Many of her stories are inspired by her experiences while living in Africa.