Born in New Zealand, Lucy Sussex moved with her family to Townsville in 1971, after living in France and England. She was awarded her M.A. (Librarianship) from Monash University in 1982, and in her Ph.D. in 2005 with her thesis Cherchez les Femmes: the Lives and Literary Contributions of the first Women to Write Crime Fiction from the University of Wales, Cardiff. She was working as a research assistant at the University of Melbourne when she uncovered 'Waif Wanderer' as Mary Fortune, one of Australia's first women crime writers, and has subsequently published on the topic as well as working as an editor. Known for writing reviews (The Sunday Age and The West Australian), literary criticism, horror and detective stories, Sussex has republished 19th century Australian female crime writers, including Ellen Davitt's 1865 Force and Fraud (Mulini, 1993) which is thought to be Australia's first murder mystery book. Her work includes both scholarly and creative writing. Anthologies she has compiled include the genres of feminist fantasy and young readers. She has been involved in writing workshops, spoken at sci-fi and fantasy conventions, and judged sci-fi writing awards. Sussex, as Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne University, has been involved in projects ranging from Australian writers and journalists in London to Victorian diarists.
Her first published writing was a poem in Neon Signs to the Mutes : poetry by young Australians edited by Patsy Adam-Smith, Michael Dugan, J.S. Hamilton (Terry Hills : Reed, 1977), her first published short story was The Parish and Mrs Brown (1983), and her first published novel was a children's novel The Peace Garden (1994). Sussex has also widely published academically, including the Canadian Women's History Bibliography :
Catalogue, compiled by Klay Dyer, Sue Martin, Lucy Sussex (1997), which serves as a guide to the microfiche subject set, Canadian Women's History Bibliography, a part of the larger microfiche set, entitled: Pre-1900 Canadian Monographs.
Lucy Sussex is the daugther of Marian Sussex and sister of Roly Sussex (qq.v.).