Born in 1955, Collyer claims he discovered the joy of writing fiction as a child in school at a young age. Later in university, studying psychology, he realised "the only thing I wanted to do was to write." Having finished his degree in 1980, Collyer moved to Madrid, Spain in 1981 to begin a writing career and to study International Relations and Political Science. In 1986, he co-wrote a children's book Hacia el nuevo mundo, and his writing career began in earnest from there. He published El infiltrado in 1989, which was awarded a prize as the best Latin-American novel translated to French that year. Collyer has continued to publish works to much critical acclaim and has won the Premio Municipal de Santiago for his short story collections, amongst various other awards for his publications in general. The New York Times Book Review described him as "a born writer".