Born a man of Essex, Patrick Tilley spent his formative years in the border counties of Northumbria and Cumbria. After studying art at King's College, University of Durham, he came to London in 1955 and rapidly established himself as one of Britain's leading graphic designers. He began writing part-time in 1959 with three episodes for ATV's Crane.
In 1968 he gave up design altogether in favour of a new career as a film scriptwriter. Work on several major British-based productions was followed by writing assignments in New York and Hollywood. Fade-Out, his first book, has been translated into several languages, and since its appearance in 1974 has achieved cult-novel status.
As well as writing Patrick has returned to designing.