Lincoln Child was born in Westport, Connecticut, which he still calls his hometown (despite the fact that he left the place before he reached his first birthday and now only goes back for weekends).
Lincoln seemed to have acquired an interest in writing as early as second grade, when he wrote a short story entitled Bumble the Elephant (now believed by scholars to be lost). Along with two dozen short stories composed during his youth, he wrote a science-fiction novel in tenth grade called Second Son of Daedalus and a shamelessly Tolkeinesque fantasy in twelfth grade titled The Darkness to the North (left unfinished at 400 manuscript pages). Both are exquisitely embarrassing to read today and are kept under lock and key by the author.
After a childhood that is of interest only to himself, Lincoln graduated from Carleton College (huh?) in Northfield, Minnesota, majoring in English. Discovering a fascination for words, and their habit of turning up in so many books, he made his way to New York in the summer of 1979, intent on finding a job in publishing. He was lucky enough to secure a position as editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press.
Over the next several years, he clawed his way up the editorial hierarchy, moving to assistant editor to associate editor before becoming a full editor in 1984. While at St. Martin's, he was associated with the work of many authors, including that of James Herriot and M. M. Kaye. He edited well over a hundred books--with titles as diverse as The Notation of Western Music and Hitler's Rocket Sites--but focused primarily on American and English popular fiction.
While at St. Martin's, Lincoln assembled several collections of ghost and horror stories, beginning with the hardcover collections Dark Company (1984) and Dark Banquet (1985). Later, when he founded the company's mass-market horror division, he edited three more collections of ghost stories, Tales of the Dark 1-3.
In 1987, Lincoln left trade publishing to work at MetLife. In a rather sudden transition, he went from editing manuscripts, speaking at sales conferences, and wining/dining agents to doing highly technical programming and systems analysis. Though the switch might seem bizarre, Lincoln was a propeller-head from a very early age, and his extensive programming experience dates back to high school, when he worked with DEC minis and the now-prehistoric IBM 1620, so antique it actually had an electric typewriter mounted into its front panel. Away from the world of publishing, Lincoln's own nascent interests in writing returned. While at MetLife, Relic was published, and within a few years Lincoln had left the company to write full time. He now lives in New Jersey (under protest--just kidding) with his wife and daughter.