Derek Murphy, PHD (Creative Rebel & Gentleman Scholar)

I was reading Plato in Middle School and spent my weekends carrying home piles of books from the library, which I stayed up all night to read, fueled by contraband snacks. Writing was my first love, but I got distracted for a decade with fine art – enthralled by the ability to create scenes with nothing but pigment. When I finished a portrait in high school the night before leaving to Malta for three years to study philosophy, and my painting looked back at me with a fierce gaze, I was smitten.

However after years as a starving artist, supported mostly by a government stipend to study literature in Taiwan, I realized that True Art was more than doing what I loved; and that value was measured by how much my work impacted other people.

In 2012 I started my blog Creativindie, then got into self-publishing – first as an editor, then a cover designer. Finally, fed up with working on good books that nobody read, I figured out sales and marketing – and eventually realized I could do everything myself instead of helping other authors publish. These days, I write my own books, and build tutorials, resources, tools and courses to help indie authors succeed, without getting scammed by worthless author services.


“Live your life by a compass not a clock.” – Stephen Covey

I was ravaged by wanderlust early, after our family hosted dozens of exchange students growing up. At 16 I moved to Argentina, and after one final year in the USA, I moved abroad for a lifetime of adventure. Fascinated with foreign languages, ancient civilizations and exotic cultures, I traveled fast and hard, before finally settling in Taiwan to focus on my studies and wait for the world to catch up with me. Now, thanks to a growing community of digital nomads and the ability to make money online, I can travel full-time without the isolation or uncertainty.

Since earning my PhD in Literature, and getting married on a beach in Hawaii, I’m devoted to creative pursuits and improving my craft, so I can finish my Best Work in the most inspirational locations possible.

D.S. Murphy/Drake Mason author profile

I’m kind of a mess, but I started theYAshelf as a multiauthor YA book review blog when I started writing (I have another site for my YA fantasy novels). I write about aliens, mermaids, vampires and Fae – and have a few thousand reviews, so I’m excited about finally finishing all the series I’ve been working on and then building up the traffic on this site again – which used to be 50K a month but has sadly fallen off because, as I mentioned, I’m a mess. Hopefully you won’t even find this page, but if you do – I promise I’ll clean up and get organized so you can find things better. I love writing YA fantasy and the YA book blog culture in general, I’ll add some links later so you can find my books or just search for DS murphy or Drake Mason on Amazon.

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