Sarah Shaw was born next-door to a bombsite in Purley, Surrey, and brought up amid books and newspapers. Early writing included a series of novels in which she and her friends enjoyed exciting and romantic adventures with the Beatles. These were circulated in exercise books and read under the desks during Latin lessons. Sarah's first job was at the BBC in the School Broadcasting Council, after which she went on to work with John Parry on radio programmes for secondary schools. Later, she returned to the BBC's Television Plays department, working with Louis Marks on productions such as the BAFTA-winning The Lost Boys. In the 1980s she moved into academic librarianship, retiring in 2014, having spent the previous twelve years as Librarian at Selwyn College, Cambridge.