Victoria Schochet Lustbader was born on November 11, 1947, in New York City to Dorothy and Rubin Schochet. Her mother was born in New York; her father emigrated from Lithuania alone, in 1924, when he was 18, and began working on the Lower East Side. They met at a May Day rally planning meeting. Rubin went on to help form a union, District 65, and ran their Credit Union until retirement. He passed away in 1980. Victoria and her two older brothers, Michael and David, were raised in a middle-income, intellectual, activist, non-observant liberal Jewish household with an emphasis on family, education and doing good in the world.
Lustbader grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, went to Hunter College High School in Manhattan and attended SUNY at Stony Brook, Long Island. Interested in the arts, she studied ballet for ten years, played the piano and guitar, read voraciously, devoured music, wrote poetry and a journal. Academically however, she was drawn to biology and languages, and in college majored in biology with a minor in Russian. She planned to be a geneticist or cellular biologist, but being that it was the 1960s and she was at heart a dedicated hippie, she soon switched sides and graduated with a BA in English.
In 1969 she started at Harper & Row as a reader of unsolicited manuscripts and spent several months being either bemused or terrified by the submissions. She soon became the assistant to the editor who began H&R's science fiction and fantasy line. When he left within the year, Victoria was asked to take over. She worked with and published many popular authors, including Ursula LeGuin, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, and Philip Jose Farmer. She then became a senior editor of science fiction and fantasy titles at Berkley/Putnam, where she formed a close relationship with legendary science fiction author Frank Herbert.
In 1982, Victoria married author Eric Van Lustbader, moved to Southampton, NY, and began working as a freelance editor. Several years later, she volunteered her skills to the local chapter of The Nature Conservancy. That turned into a second career, first as a Development staff member and then --- until this past year --- as a Board member of both the Long Island and New York State chapters.
Five years ago, Victoria made the tumultuous decision to become a writer herself and began work on her first novel, HIDDEN, published in June of 2006 by Forge Books. Her second is already completed, and a third is in the works.
Victoria and Eric currently divide their time between Southampton and New York City.