Anna Lee Waldo was born in Great Falls, Montana, growing up in Whitefish. She claims her interest in the subject of Native Americans began as a child when she collected spear points on the shores of Whitefish Lake in Montana and listened to stories of Blackfeet and Crow grandmothers. Growing up though, she was interested and had a talent for science; graduating from Montana State University majoring in Chemistry. She attended the University of Maryland gaining a masters degree in organic chemistry, where she also met her future husband--a fellow chemist. They had five children together. Prior to her first novel, Sacajawea, she taught at the University of Dayton in Ohio.
It took Waldo ten years to write and research Sacajawea, a 1300+ page book, finally publishing it in 1978. This led to her second novel, Prairie, and finally to her Druid Circle series about a Welsh prince and his travel to North America in the 12th Century.