Stel Pavlou was born in Gillingham, Kent in England, of Greek Cypriot descent. He grew up in Rochester and Chatham, Medway and attended Chatham Grammar School for Boys. The middle child of three, his younger brother is the musician and writer Louis Pavlou.
He met his fiance on MySpace. They were married in 2007.
A screenwriter and speculative fiction novelist, he is the author of the bestselling Atlantis novel Decipher, released in 2001, and the historical crime thriller Gene, released in 2005. His books have been published in 12 languages.
Pavlou attended Liverpool Hope University when it was formerly run as three colleges. He also studied at the University of Mississippi as an exchange student. Pavlou's first screenwriting credit was for the film The 51st State (known as Formula 51 in the USA) starring Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle. In 2006 he ventured into acting starring as Kagan, the lead role in Kochana Cafe. The film premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. He is currently adapting Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama for Morgan Freeman and David Fincher.