Alys was born in Cambridge. She was educated at Tonbridge Grammar School and Keele University. Following a brief career as a civil servant, she set off to travel the world, living for three years in Hong Kong and coming back via Taiwan, Hawaii and America's west coast, where she toured for several weeks in a small Datsun with a 10-month old son. Her second child followed a year after her return to the UK. Once her sons were at school, she set herself a challenge: get into print within two years or do something else. She published a short story with four and a half months to spare and is now the author of 28 novels, numerous short stories and a history of her family. She has lectured at venues including the Arvon Foundation and Southampton University.
She travels with her husband during the summer months and returns to Kent in the autumn to write. She did an archaeology degree with the University of Kent, and spends too long on the web following interesting avenues occasionally related to what she is writing.
Having written twelve books in the Hawkenlye series, she has now moved back in time by a century and four kings and is working on the Aelf Fen series, set in the East Anglian fens in the reign of William Rufus. She has also completed the thirteenth Hawkenlye novel and is now planning the next one.