Daniel grew up and attended college in New Jersey, then moved to the Boston area for law school. He worked for several years as a corporate/securities attorney before throwing caution to the winds and pursuing a career in creative writing. After his partner (and future husband), Leo Cabranes-Grant, accepted a university teaching position in California, Daniel moved with him to Santa Barbara.
Several of Daniel's short stories have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and dozens of his stories, essays, and articles have appeared in anthologies, literary journals and newspapers in many countries and languages. His work has been taught in college and university courses. He holds degrees from Princeton University (A.B.), Harvard Law School (J.D.), and Vermont College (M.F.A.).