Sheila Love was born on December 9, 1989, to Alan and Debbie Carter in Columbus, Mississippi. Alan was an electrician, and Debbie taught third grade.
Sheila first displayed an interest in drama through the plays she staged with her dolls and other toys. She begged her father to wire up spotlights and special lighting effects for her dolls. Over the years, Alan built a full-fledged stage for her toys, complete with lights, a curtain, and an orchestra pit.
She also loved Halloween. While most kids just dressed up like a princess or a pirate, Sheila actually tried to become her character. The year she planned to go as a nurse, she started her research in the family's encyclopedias in August. By Halloween, Sheila was wrapping a swatch of fabric around her father's arm to mimic taking blood pressure readings.
Sheila took speech and drama classes in junior high and high school. She joined the drama club and was selected for the Governor's School for the Arts in the summer. Sheila developed an appreciation for actresses like Meryl Streep and Sissy Spacek, whose quiet, subdued performances she admired over actresses who seemed to be shouting all the time.
A good student, Sheila had numerous choices for college, but she chose to remain close to home to be near her family. She studied drama at Mississippi State University in nearby Starkville, where she met David Love, a political science major from Clinton, Mississippi. After dating for six months, Sheila and David got engaged.
Despite their friends' and families' concerns that the young couple was rushing into marriage, Sheila was sure it was the love of a lifetime. After graduation, they married in Columbus, and following a short honeymoon in Florida, the Loves moved to Oxford, where David enrolled in law school.
Sheila found secretarial work at a real estate office and picked up occasional small parts in community plays, never letting go of her acting dream. But David continued to push her to get a real career, so she took night courses in real estate.
By David's final year of law school, the marriage had almost completely dissolved. David studied constantly and was never home. He incessantly needled Sheila about her dramatic aspirations and seemed to have little interest in her in the bedroom. Sheila tried to get him to go to marriage counseling, but he always refused. Finally, Sheila gave up and filed for divorce.
During the divorce, Sheila's loved ones encouraged her to get more involved in acting, suggesting that reconnecting with her passion would help improve her mood. She began taking more roles in different community productions. Nine months after her divorce was final, she joined Oxtales.
Although some of the group's material bothered her, Sheila felt Oxtales was good for her because it made her do things she wouldn't normally do. Plus, Sheila was infatuated with one of the Oxtales members, Frank. He was the first man who'd appealed to Sheila since David. Many times, she tried to initiate a relationship with Frank, but he was always involved with Andrea Stover, the director.
After Andrea went to prison, Sheila finally got Frank to go out with her, and they fell into a routine of spending time together. Sheila was crazy about Frank but sometimes worried that he wasn't as smitten with her. Andrea's return to Oxtales only increased Sheila's anxiety about the stability of her relationship with Frank.