David M. Kiely was born in 1949 in Dublin. In 1974 he settled in the Netherlands, where he worked for two decades in advertising, both as a designer and copywriter. He returned to Ireland in 1991, and set about writing "for real".
In 1996 he led creative-writing courses at Anaverna House near Dundalk, for adults and children. In 1997 he married Christina McKenna, who went on to become one of Ireland's most successful writers. Her bestselling novels include The Misremembered Man and The Godforsaken Daughter, published in 2015. She published The Spinster Wife, a psychological thriller, in October 2017.
In 2013 David founded Aisteoir, a new drama group in County Louth. Its first production was The Misremembered Man, which Christina adapted for the stage.