Annie grew up in a working-class community in the north-east of England. A school-girl interest in medieval history became a lifelong obsession with Cecily Neville, 15th century matriarch of the House of York. So, at age fifty-five, she enrolled on the Warwick Writing MA programme. Three years later, her extraordinary debut novel Cecily is the result. During a thirty-year international business career she frequently found herself the only woman at the table, which gave her valuable insights into how a woman like Cecily might have operated.
Annie met her agent, Imogen Pelham of Marjacq Scripts, at the Winchester Writers' Festival in 2018 when Cecily was still a work-in-progress. She accepted representation from her in January 2020 after submitting the full manuscript. Two months later she secured a publishing deal with Katy Loftus, editor at Viking (Penguin Random House), who describes the novel as 'a riveting, visceral, beautifully rendered account of the greatest unknown player in the Wars of the Roses'. Garthwaite says, ‘It’s been a roller-coaster ride, and Winchester was where it started!’