Anne enjoyed a happy childhood in Cambridge. Her father David Briggs was head master of King's College School, educating boys in the well known choir in which he had sung himself as man and boy. Her mother Mary was maths teacher to many of the next generation's leading mathematicians, including Sir Andrew Wiles who proved Fermat's last theorum, Field Medallist Sir Timothy Gowers and the Finn twins who designed the musical software Sibelius. Anne attended the Perse School for Girls from time to time while receiving her education from the Cambridge Footlights, playing Maid Marion to Clive Anderson's Buttons and Gryff Rhys Jones's Dame while she was still in school socks.

She then attended the Decroux School of Mime in Paris, where she also studied the harp under Solange Renié; came home and directed the Clare College May Week play, Hay Fever (with the now renowned counter tenor Michael Chance playing the juvenile lead); and on reaching her majority, defected to Oxford whence she married Shaun Atkins, omitted to collect a degree and (after acting with a number of friends who are now much more successful than she is) graduated to the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Her acting career being interrupted by early breeding, she wrote her first book, Split Image, during three pregnancies, and over the next few years added a fourth child and three novels. The family settled in London, where Shaun became the Parson of Parson's Green.

Since then Anne has become known for her broadcasts and journalism, though her fiction remains her passion. She took an involuntary, and eventually dispiritingly long, break from writing fiction when their son was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, their daughter repeatedly hospitalised with a severe illness and finally the family was made homeless by the Anglican church which had offered Shaun a new post in Oxford. In the midst of these dark days she decided the only thing that could adequately cheer the family would be a fifth child, who did.

They now live in Bedford, where Shaun is Chaplain of Bedford School, with such offspring as happen to be at home, numerous animals and Anne's father David who has at last given in to the request she made when she was fourteen and is teaching her Ancient Greek. Sadly her much beloved and wonderful mother Mary died within weeks of moving in with them. The family enjoys music, riding and, when they get the opportunity, skiing. They dream of moving back to Cambridge one day.

Anne is now writing novels again and has just started work on her first children's book.

If you want to know about Anne's parents, you can read the Mail on Sunday's articles on Anne's mother and Anne's father; and if you enjoy fantasy literature, you can supplement this biography by referring to Wikipedia.