top of page

Derek was born in New York City, and raised in Westchester County, NY. In grade school Derek wrote short stories about stuff like aliens and submarines and magical strawberries. He would frequently send story ideas to computer game companies, which would always result in an awkward phone call informing Derek that, at eight years old, he was too young to be put on their payroll. In high school, Derek published an underground humor magazine (sold in local stores) that caught the attention of the New York Times, who wrote a profile on him at the tender age of 14. Derek studied English, Theater, and Creative Writing at Northwestern University.

Photo credit Emilio Madrid

He started off as a playwright and screenwriterhis first play was produced in New York City right after he graduated collegeand went on to receive an MFA in acting at the Yale School of Drama. As a classically trained actor, Derek has performed on stages across the country, and appeared in numerous TV shows and films, working with two Academy Award winning film directors. Derek has taught at a film school in NYC, worked the front desk of a yoga studio, and had a very short stint as a DJ in a Lower East Side club (if you tipped him well enough, he would pretend to have that New Order B-side no one ever heard of). He began writing YA fiction a few years ago, and has since published three novels. Derek’s debut novel, SCREAM ALL NIGHT (HarperCollins, 2018), received a star from Publishers Weekly, and has since become a Halloween cult favorite.


Derek’s second novel, SWIPE RIGHT FOR MURDER (Little, Brown, 2019) received a star from Booklist, was named one of the best YA books of the year by Seventeen Magazine, and was cited by EW and Buzzfeed as one of the best books of the season. A DARKER MISCHIEF (Scholastic, 2024) is Derek’s third novel. Derek resides in Brooklyn with his partner and their books, Criterion blu-rays, and colored vinyl.

bottom of page