J. David Simons was born in Glasgow in 1953. He studied law at Glasgow University and became a partner at an Edinburgh law firm before giving up his practice in 1978 to live on a kibbutz in Israel. Since then he has lived in Australia, Japan and England, working at various stages along the way as a charity administrator, cotton farmer, language teacher, university lecturer and journalist. He returned to Glasgow in 2006.
Simons' first novel 'The Credit Draper' was published by Two Ravens Press in May 2008 and was shortlisted for the McKitterick Prize in June 2009. This novel is set primarily within Glasgow's Jewish community in the early part of the 20th century and represents the first part of his 'Glasgow to Galilee' trilogy. Simons goes on to tackle issues of socialism, feminism and birth control in Glasgow during the 1920s in his second novel in this trilogy - 'The Liberation of Celia Kahn' - which was published by Five Leaves Publications in February 2011 along with a re-print of 'The Credit Draper'. His third novel 'An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful' is set mainly in Japan and was published by Saraband in March 2013. In this book, Simons examines the theme of denial, especially in regard to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. 'The Land Agent', the third novel in the 'Glasgow to Galilee' trilogy, is scheduled to be published by Saraband in October 2014. As of September 2014, all of Simons' novels are available under the Saraband imprint.
Simons has been awarded two Writer's Bursaries from Creative Scotland and has been a recipient of a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. Apart from his fiction writing, he is also a reviewer for the Booktrust.