Born in Inglewood California to a 1st generation Mexican father and a Black mother. Derrick is the middle child of 3. He received his Bachelors in English from California State University, Channel Islands. and attended Southern New Hampshire University for graduate school where he received a Masters in English and Literature. He is currently a Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He wrote his first story when he was 7 and his love for writing developed from there. His desire to write social commentary developed during his time in Oakland California, where the deep and rich civil rights culture had a profound influence on him. He is currently working on his first book.