Daniel Taylor was born near San Diego in 1948 and was raised initially in various Southern California towns and cities. He spent five formative years as a boy in the Texas Panhandle, then returned to California for the rest of his boyhood through college. He lived in Atlanta during four years of graduate school and has lived in Minneapolis and St. Paul since 1974. In sum, five years in California, five years in Texas, eleven more years in California (mostly in Santa Barbara), four years in Georgia, and the rest in Minnesota.

Taylor went to Westmont College in Santa Barbara and picked up other degrees from Emory University in Atlanta. He began teaching at Northwestern College (Roseville, MN) in 1974 but soon began a long career at Bethel College (and then University) in Arden Hills, Minnesota that ended in 2010. He also taught briefly at Westmont College, his alma mater.

To relieve the tedium of being too long in one place, Taylor and his wife, Jayne, have led both student and adult tours to places such as England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Australia, Guatemala, Brazil, and Cuba. He continues to lead such tours.

In a similar attempt to keep life interesting, they have produced four children (one born in England) — two daughters and two sons, all now adults.

Taylor published his first book in 1986 and his most recent novel was published in 2022. He worked as a stylist for the New Living Translation of the Bible from 1992–2002 while also teaching. He currently spends his days deep in thought, sometimes putting same on paper, currently sinking so low as to be producing novels.