In 1997 I created TheDarkTower.net - a website which focused on a series of seven books by Stephen King called The Dark Tower. During the eight years I ran the site it grew to become the largest Stephen King website on the internet. In August 2004, TheDarkTower.net was a featured website on the Sci-Fi Channel. With nine-million visits each month and a mailing list of over fifteen thousand members, TheDarkTower.net grew larger than I ever would have imagined.
But it was more than just a website — TheDarkTower.net became my playground — a showcase for the two sides of my personality. As a web developer I managed my own server, did front-end design work, and wrote the back-end code to solve new problems and challenges as the site grew. I created a full-text search engine covering all of Stephen King’s novels. Users could search for a character, location, or any phrase and TheDarkTower.net returned the book, page, and sentence that contained their query. The Booksearch predated both Amazon and Google’s similar programs.
Even better, running this website gave me a place to share my own thoughts about the world of Stephen King. In 2005 I published articles in Gateway Magazine and Lighthouse Magazine. In the Fall of 2007 I was invited to contribute two short essays in Lost’s Buried Treasures by David Lavery and Lynnette Porter. In 2009, I revised those essays and contributed a third to a new edition of the book.
In May 2005 I sold the website when Michaela Weiner (then president of Grant Books) made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. After eight years, it was time to move on to new projects and new ideas.