Elizabeth Mary Oakleigh-Walker was born on 21 May 1948 in Guildford, Surrey, England, the daughter of Eleanor Mary Peters and Major Peter Oakleigh-Walker. She obtained for a double degree in English and History at the University of Kent at Canterbury.
Elizabeth married with Benjamin William Alastair Buchan (b. 1948), grandson of the also writer John Buchan, they had one son, Adam Peter Alastair Buchan (b. 1980), and a daughter, Eleanor Rose Buchan (b. 1983).
She began her career as a blurb writer for Penguin Books, this was excellent training for an infant writer as it necessitated reading widely through the Penguin list – fiction and non-fiction, in order to encapsulate what a book was about. She later became a fiction editor at Random House, in her spare time she had co-authored an adventure game book for children and also written a children’s biography of Beatrix Potter, but decided after a couple of years that she should do what she wished to do: write
In 1994, she became a full-time writer. Her novel "Consider the Lily" won the 1994 Novel of the Year Award from the Romantic Novelists' Association, and she was elected its eighteenth Chairman (1995-1997). She has sat on the committee for the Society of Authors and was Chairman of the judges for the 1997 Betty Trask Award and a judge for the 1997 Whitbread Awards. She also writes reviews for the main national newspapers of Great Britain, including The Times and the Mail on Sunday. Her bestselling novel "Revenge of the Middle Aged Woman" has been made into a television film for CBS. She lives in London.