Leilani Sparrow was born in South Africa to English parents. Flying home to England when she was 13 days old, she spent most of her childhood reading in Hertfordshire, and wanting to be a librarian.
She studied English at the University of Sussex and fell in love with the sea and Brighton, where she later lived and worked as an editor. She continued to study in her spare time, doing an MA in Children’s Literature at Roehampton Institute. Now she has a husband and two children and is one again living in Hertfordshire.