Born in London, Emma Tennant spent the World War II years and her childhood summers at the family's faux Gothic mansion in Peeblesshire. Her family also owned estates in Trinidad. She worked as a travel writer for Queen magazine and an editor for Vogue, publishing her first novel, The Colour of Rain, under a pseudonym when she was 26. Between 1975 and 1979, she edited a literary magazine, Bananas, which helped launch the careers of several young novelists. She has been married four times and now has two daughters and a son.