It is with great pleasure that I introduce myself to you…I’m James DeMonaco, filmmaker. It still feels quite strange and pretentious saying that out loud - as I still see myself as a 10 year old boy dreaming of making films one day. I was one of those book and movie obsessed children – bored with every other activity, there was nothing compared to sitting down with a Roald Dahl book or Steve McQueen film. I’ve always felt the key ingredient to any film was the script, arguing with those who believe directing is the essential component, but to me, story is everything! Maybe that’s because I’m a bookworm at heart?
Several years ago, after writing dozens of screenplays for the Hollywood studio system, several of which were made into films, such as THE NEGOTIATOR, ASSAULT on PRECINCT 13, THE PURGE and THE PURGE ANARCHY, I finally decided to try my hand at writing a novel - I wanted to do something very personal. This was a daunting task. Unlike screenwriting, where the script is a basic blueprint, not the end product of the endeavor, the novel is the endgame and the final product everyone will see. A bit unnerving…
As if looking in the mirror, The Curious Chronicles of Jack Bokimble and His Peculiar Penumbra is a metaphor for my own childhood. Simply put, Jack Bokimble is me!
Meet Jack Bokimble and his "penumbra," more commonly referred to as his shadow. Jack Bokimble is a boy who has the most unique shadow in the whole world. You see, Jack Bokimble is an heir to the “shadow power.” Unlike any normal, everyday shadow – like yours or mine – Jack’s shadow can actually move things, carry things, touch things. His shadow can reach the most unreachable places that no one could ever dream of going – from the tops of Central Park’s trees to craters on the Moon.
The Curious Chronicles of Jack Bokimble and his Peculiar Penumbra chronicles Jack on his journey, as he strives to use and understand his unique power. It’s also the story of a very shy boy who comes to learn that being different and extraordinary is a truly wonderful, fantastic thing.
It was beyond refreshing to write something so personal, something with a lot of heart and humor, so different from my intense films. I can only hope the readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!