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If you’ve already read the book, you probably know far too much about me already, so this is just a quick recap. I focused on personal stories rather than bragging about accomplishments – and the truth is, I haven’t had that many. Success never came as easily as I’d hoped, and I still struggle every day to find purpose and meaning in my work.

But I have hit some high notes that look good on paper; like being featured in CNN or hitting the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Or the doctorate I spent nearly a decade working towards.

Most of the time, I talk about book cover design or marketing – as those are the things most authors need the most help with; but I got tired of only working on the launch or packaging when I had so much to say about what goes in between the pages. These days I’m mostly burned out entirely of working with authors, and plan to instead focus on my own fiction series and book sales.

Here’s a picture of my apartment a decade ago after I stole all the Harry Potter movie posters (with some of my Chinese antiques that unfortunately were abandoned along with my grandpa’s shoes when we became full-time digital nomads and roamed the globe for a few years.

I grew up at summer camps in Oregon, studied philosophy in Malta, art history in Italy, and comparative literature in Taiwan. For a time, I was in the fine arts scene with interesting (but poorly executed) surrealist oil paintings. I started sharing my publishing, book design and writing tips online and never really stopped, leading to nearly 300K subscribers and over 3 million views. My first tattoos were the simple ones on my heels, I gave them to myself when I was running the kitchen at an outdoor school, cooking for hundreds of people 3x a day. I got an #amwriting tattoo when I began to get defensive about writing. I got some newer ones done recently, designed by an artist in Budapest and inked by an artist in Bali. Sometimes I rent castles. Sometimes I go hiking. Usually, I stay inside and move from the big screen to the little screens.

I write nonfiction under Derek Murphy, fiction under “D.S. Murphy” and sometimes use Drake Mason as my alter-ego. Here’s some things we like. I’ve sold about 50,000 books, which isn’t much, but it’s a start, and my first novel has over 700 reviews.

You can visit my main site,, or my fiction site,