Anna grew up in Lancashire, England before emigrating in 1973 to Australia. She has published historical sagas and romances, modern novels and SF/F. As of July 2008 she has published 44 novels, most under the Anna Jacobs name and a few under two different names - Shannah Jay (SF/F), Sherry-Anne Jacobs (non-fiction and one historical romance).
In 2006 one of her novels (Pride of Lancashire) won an award for the Australian Romantic Novel of the Year. She has several times been shortlisted for this award, and in 1996 was shortlisted for Australian Fantasy Novel of the Year.