Helen Brown was born and brought up in New Zealand where she studied journalism and became a reporter in Wellington. After meeting and marrying a Brit, Helen lived in England briefly before returning to New Zealand and having two sons, Sam and Rob. Helen became a popular columnist and her first book had recently been published when Sam was run over and killed. After the birth of her daughter, Lydia, Helen's marriage broke up and she moved to Auckland where she worked as a feature writer and columnist. Helen met and married Philip Gentry and their family moved en masse to Melbourne not long after. Her first novel, Cleo, was an international bestseller and is currently being made into a film by the producers of Whale Rider.