Prior graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English Literature from the University of Queensland in 1984 and then gained a Graduate Diploma of Library Science from the Queensland University of Technology. She has worked as a librarian in both the public and private sectors. Prior has written books for children, including fiction, nonfiction and picture books. She has also written on and reviewed Australian children's literature. Prior's works for children reflect her interest in history and humour. She has lived in inner city Brisbane.