Velia Ercole was the daughter of an Australian born mother of Irish and Breton heritage and an Italian father. Ercole grew up in Grenfell where her father was a doctor. She was educated at the Dominican Convent, Moss Vale, and during the 1920s worked as a journalist at the Sunday Sun. She treasured her Breton background and spoke French fluently. After travelling in France she settled in England and began writing, using her husband's last name as a pseudonym.