Anna Downes grew up in Sheffield, UK. She studied Drama at Manchester University before winning a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and moving to London to pursue an acting career. Her acting credits include EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Dalziel and Pascoe, as well as a long running stage production of The Dresser in London's West End. In 2009 she left to go travelling and spent time in France, Egypt and Central America before finally settling in Australia in 2011. Anna became a dual citizen in 2016 and now lives just north of Sydney with her husband and two children. The Safe Place is her first novel and is partly inspired by her experiences working as a live-in housekeeper/caretaker on the French coast during her travels.