Terry Lamsley was born in 1941, spending most of his childhood near Maidstone, Kent in the South of England. Since his teen years he has lived in the North, moving to Buxton, Derbysire in 1978, where he curently resides with his family.
In 1991, he and a friend, Michael Patey-Ford, decided over a drinking lunch at a local pub in Buxton to collaborate on self-published short story collection (designed and illustrated by Patey-Ford) that would add some spectrally spice to the small town. They hoped to be able to make a small profit over a few years selling it to locals and tourists. Lamsley spent from December of that year to the next July of 1992 writing a group of tales inspired by the decay in the town.
By August of 1993, they had 500 copies of the paperback produced, which they called, Under the Crust. With a little publicity and hand-delivering to local book stores, the books started selling reasonably well.
After some correspondence with Rosemary Pardoe, editor of Ghosts & Scholars magazine, who also helped sell the book through her Haunted Library, Lamsley was given confidence that his writing was worth continuing. At the 1993 Ghost Story Society convention in Chester, he met Ramsey Campbell, one of the authors Lamsley most admires, who in turn bought an autographed copy of the book.
After reading Under the Crust when he returned home, Campbell immediately called his co-editor of the Best New Horror anthologies, Steve Jones, to tell him a new talent had been found for the next volume. The late Karl Edward Wagner, having heard about Lamsley, also placed a tale in the Year's Best Horror anthology he published. The next year, Under the Crust was short-listed for three World Fantasy awards, including "Best Collection" and "Best Novella", the latter of which he won.
In 1996, Ash-Tree Press published a new edition of Under the Crust, as well as a second collection entitled, Conference with the Dead. The year 2000 brought the third, Dark Matters.