Lisa Lutz is a bestselling American novelist. She is the author of eleven novels, including The Accomplice (2022), The Swallows (2019), The Passenger (2016), How to Start a Fire (2015), and the six novels in the Spellman series. She is a 2020 recipient of an Alex Award for The Swallows.
Lutz was born in Southern California in 1970. Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor's degree.
Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film's release in 2000, she vowed never to write another screenplay again.
Her final project, tentatively titled The Spellman Files, faced rejection. Recognizing that the story required more room to develop correctly, Lutz transformed it into a novel.
She began working on the book while residing in California in 2004 but eventually relocated to a family vacation home in upstate New York to dedicate herself fully to the project.
After completing the first novel, she moved to Seattle to write the second installment in the Spellman series before settling in San Francisco, where she resided until 2012.
Lutz's novel series revolves around the Spellman family, a tight-knit clan of private investigators who, despite their strong bonds, possess an intense suspicion of one another and spend considerable periods investigating their family members. The inaugural book in the series, The Spellman Files, unfolds with suspense as 14-year-old Rae Spellman appears to be kidnapped.
The Spellman Files garnered considerable recognition in 2008, receiving nominations for the Anthony Award, Macavity Award, and Barry Award in the category of best debut novel. The book also won an Alex Award and was a nominee for the Dilys Award. Furthermore, it climbed to the 27th spot on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Paramount Pictures acquired the film rights to The Spellman Files, with Laura Ziskin producing and Barry Sonnenfeld set to direct.
Lutz's second novel, Curse of the Spellmans, received a nomination for the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel from the Mystery Writers of America. She continued the Spellman series with four more entries: Revenge of the Spellmans (2009), "The Spellmans Strike Again (2010), Trail of the Spellmans (2012), and The Last Word, also released as The Next Generation (2013).
In 2011, Lutz collaborated with her friend and former romantic partner David Hayward to write Heads You Lose, a standalone comic crime novel published by Simon & Schuster.
Additionally, Lutz penned Isabel Spellman's Guide to Etiquette: What is Wrong with You People (2013), a lighthearted self-help guide purportedly written by the protagonist of her series, and How to Negotiate Everything (2013), a children's book attributed to her series character David Spellman, featuring illustrations by artist Jaime Temairik.
Her recent work is a fast-paced thriller, The Accomplice.
Lisa Lutz lives in the Hudson Valley, NY.
Photo credit: Morgan Dox, lisalutz.com