I was born and raised in London (England). As a teen I celebrated the swinging sixties with white go-go boots, A-line mini-dresses, and fake eye lashes. The Beatles remain my favourite rock band. J.S. Bach is my favourite composer. I fell in love with (Little) Stevie Wonder when I was twelve, and Bob Dylan when I was fourteen.

I became an air hostess with British Caledonian on a dare, so that I could travel around the world. I managed to see cities in Chile, Brazil, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Senegal, Morocco, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and India.

I came to America in 1981 to work in theatre as a director. I studied with the legendary Jerzy Grotowski in his Objective Drama Programme at U.C. Irvine. I was invited to be a founding member of the Women’s Theatre Project in New York, and worked with several established and emerging playwrights to develop and stage new work.

I’m a member of The Authors Guild and SCBWI. I hold a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from U.C. Irvine. I graduated from the University of Warwick with joint honours  in English, European & American Literature and Theatre Studies.

My father, F.N. Souza, pioneered post-Independence modern Indian art. He was an important British artist when he lived in England. He is considered India’s leading modern painter. My mother was an haute couturiere. Among her clients, she dressed Honor Blackman as Cathy Gale in The Avengers, and Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, with Sean Connery; Ailsa Garland, editor-in-chief of British Vogue; and, once, she was called in to fit the first man to undergo the sex-change operation in Britain, because he could not stand the “heavy” touch of other women’s hands. I was fortunate to be dressed by my mother until her death in 1995. I mention this part of my background because my parents’ vision of what’s possible shaped my world as a child; and influenced how as I think as a writer, director, and editor, today.

I began writing when I was seven and thought I would grow up to be a playwright.


8 Responses

  1. Hi Shelley. I have often wondered what happened to you and how you are doing. I look forward to perusing your site over the holidays. Please feel free to contact me if you would like. Best wishes in the New Year.

    1. Hi Shelley,
      i was pleasantly surprised to receive the catalogue of your father’s paintings from your mother’s collection to be auctioned by Christies.
      Its been ages since we were in touch and what better opportunity than now to make contact again. Better late than never!
      I have extremely fond memories of us in London and of course of your dear mother who was so good to us.
      I have great admiration of your father’s works. In fact had one of his crucifixion paintings
      which I later sold as my wife found it too overpowering!
      Do keep in touch as I would love to hear from you.
      I come to NY every year and would be great to get together on my next trip.

  2. Hi Shelley,

    It was surprisingly easy to find you, and I am glad I did. I probably kept on postponing to contact you, but I don’t know why.

    Send me a mail, will you, or call me if you would still have my number. I will be in most of the time next week.

    Big hug,


    1. Miss yours, too, but I don’t miss FB. I’ve managed to do a lot more reading and binge watching of series I didn’t know existed (not being a big TV watcher). I just finished Suits; how could I have missed it all these years…? I’ll keep in touch via email. xxxxs

  3. Shelley
    Was looking at Homer Street on Google maps and the memories came flooding back. Your wonderful Mum made me a cape that was weirdly ahead of its time! I remember listening to great music especially Dylan sitting in your room. I’m now living back in Brighton after spending 12 years in Hong Kong. I write books now mainly for the Chinese market. Take care

  4. Dear Shelley,

    I just tried to send you an e-mail at a probably long out of date address.

    Please can you drop me a line from your current e-mail so that I can try again?

    Hugh x

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