D. L. McDermott was raised in Bergenfield, New Jersey. She studied Classics and Art History at Yale and after college worked at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, where she managed architecture and interpretation and wrote and produced the Witch City's most popular Halloween festival, Eerie Events: six nights of ghost stories in historic houses performed by costumed actors. Inspired by Salem's macabre literary heritage and the words of Hawthorne, Poe, and Lovecraft, the event enjoyed a national audience of thousands, earning mention in David Skaal's cultural history of Halloween, Death Makes a Holiday. D. L. later studied at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and her short films have been shown internationally and on PBS. D. L. is married with one (black) cat and divides her time between Los Angeles and Salem.