As a high school senior, Roberta Lannes sold her first story, "Lorraine" to Stone River Review . It was 1966. Her high school creative writing teacher, Marjorie Bruce, encouraged her students to write towards publishing, as well as to find their personal voice. Her story was sent out to a number of literary reviews by Mrs. Bruce. To both their surprise and delight, the story was published. Roberta believes that without Mrs. Bruce and all her teacher's belief in her, she might not have become an author or artist. She learned that the power of a good teacher is sometimes more valuable than a parent in shaping a person’s dreams, which inspired Roberta not only to write, but to go on to teach.

Her first years teaching were so stressful that she stopped writing fiction and took up standup comedy to allay the tension of her workdays. She performed periodically at 
The Comedy Store in Westwood, CA, and wrote jokes for comedians from 1972-1974. Eventually, she found having a captive audience in her classroom, preferable to the grind of late nights and the painful experience of ‘bombing’ on stage, and went on to teach journalism, photography, crafts, fine/digital art and yearbook courses with humor.
Roberta returned to writing fiction in 1983 when she began taking writing courses at UCLA’s Extension program. The first two years, her professors were award-winning published authors in the literary field. She was encouraged by the [encouragement] she received. All the while, her professors remarked on the “darkness”, “pathos” and “speculative” nature of her work. One professor suggested she take one of the genre courses available. She enrolled in the class On Horror Writing with master short story author Dennis Etchison. The course alternated writing sessions with guest speakers such as genre authors Ray BradburyWilliam F. NolanGeorge Clayton Johnson, and Clive Barker.

So inspiring were these classes, she returned for a second session. For an assignment, she wrote a horror story about what was, at the time, a taboo subject, the sexual abuse of children. Etchison was so impressed, he took "Goodbye, Dark Love" for his award winning anthology 
Cutting Edge. Dennis Etchison became her mentor, and with his guidance and enormous circle of friends in the publishing world, she was able to meet and establish relationships with authors, publishers and editors, two of whom published her early short story ventures - Ellen Datlow, and Brit Stephen Jones.
Since then [the late 1980’s to mid 90’s], her [published] work has been published [reprinted] in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and Best New Horror.

Readers who have met Lannes after reading her early work are surprised to find a warm 'Vanilla' person, far from the twisted, demented soul of her characters. When asked by interviewers how such a 'nice person' could write such dark and disturbing fiction, Lannes has said, "I'm fascinated by things that are not in my reality and I believe others are fascinated, too. I don't want to live in the dark realms, in futuristic sci fi worlds, but I enjoy visiting from the comfort of my armchair, and I hope many readers do as well.
"I write from my research, meetings with some of the most discomforting, creepy people, and those who treat them. In understanding these people, their needs and perceptions and how they got there, they become my characters. I give them a voice in the same way an actor might portray a role written from a play rote playwright or screenwriter. For me personally, at the end of the day, I want to come home to my wonderful husband, have good times with my friends, and pursue the creative arts that nurture and inspire me. To the reader, I might seem an enigma, but knowing many horror authors who are some of the funniest, warmest, and sanest individuals, I know it simple that we’re just blessed with active imaginations."

She continues to publish in mainstream anthologies as well as genre pieces in sci fi, dark fantasy and horror, and the occasional mystery story, poetry and articles. In recent years, she’s become a copy editor for artists in Eastern Europe who require English translations that read as an English-speaker would write them (not a translation app), for gallery exhibition folios, websites, and selling platforms like Etsy.
She also has a successful fine art and commercial design business doing CD and book covers, iPhone app splash screens, web page design, and publishes and sells her photography and digital art. See her art site.

She lives in a suburb of Los Angeles, California, twenty-five miles from where she grew up in North Hollywood. She’s married to British poet/journalist/classical music composer, critic and retired software engineer at the 
J. Paul Getty Trust, Mark Sealey.