Mary Hooper has been writing professionally for over 20 years. She started by writing short stories and serials for teenage and women's magazines when her children were small. Having done a few hundred, and thinking it would be good to see something more permanent on the shelves, she wrote and had published 15 teenage novels. Following this, she wrote another 15 novels or so for younger readers, all humorous.
She is perhaps best known for her historical fiction, which captures the atmosphere of the past perfectly and mixes it with romance and adventure. At The Sign of the Sugared Plum was her first historical novel for Bloomsbury. She has since written seven more including Fallen Grace. Mary left school at 15 with no qualifications. She worked as a secretary for some years, then got married and had two children. She took an English degree at Reading University as a mature student and graduated in 1990. She now divides her time between writing more serious books for teenagers and funny stuff for ages seven to twelve.