Penelope Farmer was born in Kent, in 1939, the younger of twin girls. After boarding school and Oxford University she did a variety of jobs, from teaching to working as a filing clerk, followed by a year of social studies at London University. Then she settled down to raise a family and write full time- including nine novels and many other shorter stories for children, and five novels for adults. She cannot remember not writing; her first published stories were written when she was sixteen and still at school. She has two grown-up children, and lives in West London with her doctor husband and two cats.