Lisa Tuttle was born and raised in Houston, Texas, where she began writing as a child. She made her first short story sales while a student at Syracuse University in New York, and won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1974. She has worked as a journalist in both America and Britain, and has reviewed science fiction and fantasy for The Times. In 1990 she moved to the Scottish Highlands, where she lives with her husband, also a novelist, and her daughter.
Her first novel, Windhaven, was written in collaboration with George R. R. Martin. Other novels include Familiar Spirit, Gabriel, Lost Futures (short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award), The Pillow Friend (described by Neil Gaiman as "a nightmarish distaff monkey's paw of a book that its impossible to forget"), The Mysteries (praised by Michael Moorcock as "her best novel to-date"), The Silver Bough and most recently The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief. She has written a dozen books for children and several non-fiction books, most notably the Encyclopedia of Feminism published in 1986.
Ghost stories were her first love, and short fiction of the strange and supernatural variety continues to be her favourite form. Many of her stories have appeared in various best of the year collections, and Closet Dreams won the 2007 International Horror Guild Award. Her first collection, A Nest of Nightmares, published in 1986, was included as one of Stephen Jones' and Kim Newman's Horror: 100 Best Books.
Others followed: A Spaceship Built of Stone and other stories, Memories of the Body, Ghosts and Other Lovers, and My Pathology. Ash-Tree Press has embarked on a project to collect all her short supernatural fiction in a series of three or four volumes; the first, Stranger in the House, was published in late 2010. She also edited the anthology Skin of the Soul: New Horror Stories by Women, and is currently featured in Aberrations, a horror collection edited by Bram Stoker Award-nominee Jeremy C. Shipp.
Lisa writes books reviews and occasional articles, has taught creative writing classes, and works part-time for her local library at home in Scotland, which became inspiration for her novel The Silver Bough. Most of her work has been translated, and much of it has been adapted for television.