Prior was born in 1963 in Brisbane, Australia, where she also currently lives with her husband and daughter. Her first fiction book, The Amazing Adventures of Amabel, was published was in 1990 and her internationally successful children's fantasy series, Lily Quench, has been published in more than twenty countries. Prior's work has been a finalist at the Children's Book Council of Australia Awards as well as being honoured and named as notable. Her work, Fireworks and Darkness, won the 2003 Davitt Awards for best young-adult novel and her work, Lily Quench and the Lighthouse of Skellig Mor won the 2003 Aurealis Award for best children's short fiction. She has also been nominated for an Aurealis Award on three other occasions for best short fiction, long fiction and young-adult novel.