Brian Keaney was born in 1954 in Walthamstow, east London, to Irish Catholic parents. He reported that he learned about narrative by listening to his mother who was a natural storyteller.
He attended a Catholic primary school in London which was run by nuns and a secondary school run by Jesuits. He did not enjoy his schooldays and reported that some teachers at his secondary school were over fond of administering corporal punishment . His favorite academic subject was English, although he also had an interest in History and Latin, particularly liking Latin poetry.
Keaney eventually pursued a career as an English teacher. A librarian at a school he was working at introduced him to young adult fiction, piquing his interest so that he decided to write his own.
Brian Keaney currently lives in London with his wife. He has two grown up daughters.