Kelly Daniels grew up on the road, living for stints with his parents in a Hawaiian commune, a waterless, powerless cabin in the desert, and in an old step-van outfitted with bunks. As an adult, he set off on his own, traveling extensively through Europe, Mexico and Central America. Along the way, he picked up odd jobs when he could find them, jobs such as production manager of a furniture factory (Guatemala), newspaper reporter (Mexico), and bartender (all over).
A regular contributor to The Sun magazine, his fiction and nonfiction has appeared in many literary journals, including Hotel Amerika, Puerto del Sol, Cimarron Review, Third Coast, and the Sonora Review. His debut memoir, Cloudbreak, California was one of BuzzFeed's favorite works of nonfiction in 2013. He teaches creative writing at Augustana College, in Rock Island, Illinois.