Carse McDaniel was born in Shelby, North Carolina in 1941. He holds a BA with a major in English from Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina and an MSLS from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His career as a librarian spanned thirty years. In 1995, he retired from his position as Senior Librarian of the Art and Music Department of the San Francisco Public Library, after serving for more than twenty years as a reference librarian in various departments.
After retiring from the library world, Carse moved to Sonoma County, where he grows apples, pears, raspberries, strawberries, and various other fruits and vegetables on an acre of land.