Phil Rickman was born in Lancashire in northern England. He worked as a journalist for BBC World Service TV and BBC Radio 4. His first novel, Candlenight, won critical acclaim and gained Rickman the title of Britain's next great horror writer. He followed up with four more standalone novels before beginning the Merrily Watkins series.
The Merrily Watkins books, about a down-to-earth female priest of the Church of England employed as an exorcist, created a distinct new genre of crime thrillers with supernatural and spiritual causes. He occasionally writes under the pseudonyms Will Kingdom and Thom Madley. Rickman is married and lives on the Welsh borders, and currently has a radio show on BBC Radio Wales about books, Phil the Shelf.