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D. J. Herda, Book Coach
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Herda attended St. Rita High School, Columbia College, and DePaul University on Chicago's near North Side. He developed and taught Creative Writing Workshop at several Windy City colleges. He worked for years as a reporter at The Southtown Economist, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other Chicago-area newspapers and magazines before becoming an internationally syndicated columnist.
During its decade-long run, Herda's column, "In Focus," appeared in more than 1,100 newspapers a week with a combined circulation of nearly 20 million readers. As a syndicated photo and travel columnist, he developed strong ties to the editorial department of every major newspaper in North America, from The Washington Post and Miami Tribune to the Los Angeles Times and the Dallas Herald, and still sends out material for the client authors he represents as an editor/ghostwriter/book coach and doctor.
Herda has worked with and befriended several high-profile corporate CEOs, media celebrities, politicos, and sports personalities, from Jim Liautaud (Jimmy John's) and Marc Emory (Heritage Auctions) to George H. Bush, Art Linkletter, Ansel Adams, Sammy Davis Junior, and Dr. Alvin Danenberg. The author maintains promotional ties to several public relations firms specializing in the promotion of both fiction and nonfiction books.
Besides having published more than ninety books of his own, Herda donates his time to the writing community through his professional mentoring and occasional workshop appearances. He also provides editing, ghostwriting, and book doctoring for a select number of writers and has helped several dozen fledgling authors get their first books published by mainstream publishing houses. He was recently named literary scout for independent publisher, Elektra Press, tasked with finding and placing under contract the works of the world's most outstanding new authors.
D. J. Herda has spent much of his life in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Utah. He lives today in Oklahoma near the birthplace of the subject of his latest biography, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller, and is represented by The Swetky Literary Agency.