British children's and young adult author Mary Hooper was born in 1944, in Barnes, South West London. She left school at fifteen, and went to work as a window dresser, and then as a secretary. She eventually returned to school, as an adult student, earning a degree in English from Reading University. Hooper began her writing career with short stories, publishing in women's and teen magazines. Her first book, Jodie, was published in 1978. She is married, has two children, and one grandchild, and lives in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire.