Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, D. J. Herda attended 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 at The Chicago Tribune, as well as at 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 with a combined circulation of nearly 20 million. 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 to the Los Angeles Times, and regularly sends out interviews, backgrounders, review copies, etc., for both himself and for the client authors he represents as an editor/ghostwriter/book doctor.
Herda writes opinion pieces as well as guest blogs and maintains strong editorial ties both in the states and overseas. As an on-screen talent, he is personable and humorous, comfortable around both cameras and microphones. He has worked with and befriended numerous high-profile corporate CEOs, media celebrities, politicos, and sports personalities, from Jim Liautaud (Jimmy John’s), Jack Link (Jack Link’s Jerky), and Marc Emory (Heritage Auctions’ part owner and European Operations Director) to George H. Bush, Art Linkletter, W. Clement Stone, and Sammy Davis Junior. 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 eighty books of his own (from award-winning Young Adult titles to adult fiction/nonfiction works), 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.
D. J. Herda presently lives and works in the Rocky Mountains of the southwestern United States. He is represented by The Swetky Literary Agency.