Derrick Ferguson was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, which as most right thinking people know is The Center of The Known Universe. After a diverse and somewhat infamous career in the security field working for various employers such as the NY Board of Education and Home Depot he retired early to take care of his health and dedicate his life to the one overwhelming passion of his life: the telling of stories that he hopes entertain and excites those who read them.
“I’ve been telling stories and writing them for as long as I can remember. Mostly retelling stories that I read in comic books, saw on TV or just heard from others verbally. My first crack at true creative innovation came from when I was seized with a inexplicable obsession with Mad magazine’s “Spy Vs. Spy.” I filled up whole spiral notebooks writing two and three page stories about those characters. From then on I just wrote whatever struck my fancy. I wrote stories about my favorite superheroes such as Thor, The Black Panther and Iron Man. You could say I was ahead of my time as I was writing fan fiction before I knew what fan fiction was. I would also write Edgar Rice Burroughs influenced stories about my classmates. When I was supposed to be doing my schoolwork I was making up stories with my classmates as the characters. I would write on both sides of a sheet of loose leaf notepaper and that was a chapter that ended on a cliffhanger. Once it made the rounds of the classroom, I’d start on the next chapter.”
Derrick wrote mostly for his own enjoyment during the 1970s and 1980s. During this time he submitted manuscripts to various publishers who sent them back as fast as he sent them out. New opportunities came about with the advent of The Internet. Derrick quickly became involved in Star Trek fan fiction communities as well as Marvel and DC fan fiction. It wasn’t long before Derrick and a number of his fellow fan fiction writers joined together to create Frontier Publishing, a fiction website devoted to publishing serialized novels. At the site’s hey-day there were at least half a dozen serialized novels going strong at one time. Derrick’s first Dillon novel, Dillon and The Voice of Odin was presented first at Frontier.
Unfortunately, Frontier Publishing had to close up shop after a couple of years, and that may have been the end for Derrick’s writing career and his now-beloved character Dillon if Derrick’s friend and fellow writer Russ Anderson hadn’t cajoled him into sending the completed serial off to a publishing house for one last shot at getting his writing into print.
“If anybody has read and enjoyed my Dillon stories then they should go right now and send Russ a thank you email. If I’m Dillon’s daddy then Russ is his granddaddy,” Derrick said. “If it hadn’t been for Russ kicking me in the ass and throwing considerable support behind me to get that book published, you might not still be reading Dillon adventures today.”
Thanks to Russ, Dillon and the Voice of Odin was finally published in 2003 in paperback—or “dead tree format” as Derrick facetiously calls it—, Derrick’s professional writing career began in earnest.
Like many writers, Derrick is a voracious reader, and it was quite difficult for him to narrow down the list of writers who have influenced him over the years. “That would be a really long list if I had to name all the writers who have influenced me,” he said. “But I’ll just give you The Dirty Dozen of the writers I love the most and who I feel have influenced me the most: Robert E. Howard. Chester Himes. Roger Zelazny. Ishmael Reed. Mike Resnick. Jim Steranko. Ian Fleming. Larry McMurtry. Robert R. McCammon. Lester Dent. Charles Saunders. George C. Chesbro.”
What drives Derrick in his career as a writer? “I like telling stories,” he said. “It is no deeper than that. For some reason God gave me the gift of making up outrageous stories and the ability to communicate them in an entertaining manner through prose . . . What do I hope to achieve? That my stories can entertain and maybe make somebody’s day a little easier and maybe make them forget their troubles for a couple of hours.