Demonkeeper was my first published book, and it has a fun history. Below is a timeline of the dark and twisted path Demonkeeper took to publication and what’s happened since.
Early 1990’s: I wrote a short story about a juvenile delinquent hanging out on the streets. I asked myself, “What if the streets rose up into the form of a monster and ate the kid just like the chaos of street life devours kids?” At the time I wrote the story, I was a prosecuting attorney in juvenile court.
1994: I convert my short story into a script and proclaimed it “Demonkeeper.”
2001: Demonkeeper wins the Washington State Screenplay Competition.
2002: A production company in Hollywood picks up Demonkeeper. Special effects guru Stan Winston, known for his work in such blockbusters as Terminator and Jurassic Park, joins the team. Exciting! But the project does not survive development.
Below are the late Stan Winston’s drawings for the Demonkeeper movie poster and characters.
2003 & 2004: Demonkeeper advances to the semi-final round of the Nicholl Fellowship screenplay competition. Twice!
2004: No action, so I decide to write the story into a book
2005: I am contacted by AEI, a Los Angeles production company. They love my script! I tell them I have a book. They want that too.
2006: Penguin Young Reader’s Group (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) buys my book!
2006 – 2009: 20th Century Fox options the movie. Several rewrites ensue and the story is re-optioned several times. A writer is assigned and Sam Fell (Wallace and Grommit) comes on the project to direct, but a writer’s strike in Hollywood hits at an inopportune time. Interest flags then fizzles.
Meanwhile, in Germany…
2008: Demonkeeper is published by Random House (Penhaligon) as Damliche Damonen in Germany. It hits the bestseller list, and Random House buys two more books to make it a series. Additionally, Demonkeeper sells in Spain, France, Finland, Italy, Brazil, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Turkey & Russia.
2009: Book II – Murrische Monster is released in Germany.
2010: Book III: Fiese Finsterling is released in Germany.
2012: Western Washington University Theater Professor Deb Currier approaches me about adapting Demonkeeper into a stage play. The name for the adaptation is Monster Keeper.
2014: Monster Keeper debuts as a full-length children’s theater production at Western Washington University.
2016: The full series is made available in the United States via Amazon.