Anna Alice Chapin was born in New York City and was privately educated. She studied music with composer Harry Rowe Shelley. She published her first book at age 17, The Story of the Rhinegold (1897). She went on to write popular novels, short stories, fairy tales and more books on music, including Masters of Music (1901), Makers of Song (1904), Discords (1905), The Heart of Music (1906), Königskinder (1911), The Nowadays Fairy Book (1911), The Street-Car Mystery (1911), The Spirit of the Sea (1912), The Topsy Turvy Fairy (1913), The Eagle's Mate (1914), Greenwich Village (1917), Mountain Madness (1917), and Jane (1920). Some of her stories were adapted as films. She collaborated with Glen MacDonough on the libretto for "Babes in Toyland," first made into a film in 1934 starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. In 1906, she married Robert Peyton Carter, an actor.