He was born to Robert Eugene Lawhead and Lois Rowena Bissell Lawhead at Good Samaritan Hospital, Kearney, Nebraska. In 1968 Lawhead graduated from Kearney High and entered Kearney State College as an Art major. In 1969, while at Kearney State College, he wrote a weekly humor column for the college newspaper and was a frequent contributor of poetry and short stories to The Shore Anthology and The Antler. Lawhead met Alice Slaikeu in 1971 and married her in 1972. He graduated from Kearney State College in 1973 with B.A in Art and then went on to enroll in Northern Baptist Theological Seminary for the winter semester of 1975. In 1976 Lawhead became an editorial assistant for Campus Life Magazine.
Beginning in 1981, Stephen Lawhead began to author novels of historical fiction with a slant towards the Christian beliefs he holds. In 1986 he moved to Oxford, England, to do research for the Pendragon Cycle, and for a while lived in the house previously occupied by C. S. Lewis.
Many of his books are in series following a common theme:
Dragon King trilogy: