Nick DiMartino was born in Long Beach, California but has lived in Seattle, Washington, all his life. He graduated from Cleveland High School in south Seattle in 1965, and from the University of Washington in 1969. He was worked at University Book Store in Seattle since 1970, where he is the book-buyer for the campus store and has chosen and promoted the best new book of the month for all seven branches of the store since 2001.
His first three published novels were supernatural thrillers set in Seattle and published by Jolene Lennon’s Rosebriar Publishing in Everett, Washington. Christmas Ghost Story (1996) follows a trapped, snowbound family being haunted on Seattle’s Beacon Hill. University Ghost Story (1997) features poltergeist activity around an early entrance student at the University of Washington. Seattle Ghost Story (1998) involves paranormal phenomena resulting from a tragic death in the ravine of Ravenna Park.
He’s had over twenty plays in full-run productions. His Dracula sold out at Seattle Children’s Theatre (1982). It was followed by his adaptations of Pinocchio (1983) and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen (1984). His Frankenstein has been performed at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Milwaukee First Stage, Dallas Children’s Theatre, twice at Nashville Children’s Theater and twice at Louisville’s Stage One, where it was videotaped in 1997 by the BBC and released as a family theater video by Globalstage.
His play Raven, inspired by Pacific Northwest Indian legends, was performed and directed by John Kauffman and the Red Earth Performing Arts Company. DiMartino scripted an authentic Arabic version of Aladdin (Pittsburgh Playhouse Junior) and a Grimms Brothers version of Snow White (Milwaukee First Stage). He wrote book and lyrics for three musicals for the Bellevue Children’s Theatre: Alice in Wonderland, Ozma of Oz, and Rama, adapted from the Ramayana, directed by Anne Rossiter Wick with music by Scott Goble.
His four-woman vampire thriller, The Red Forest, won 2nd Place at the 1987 Pacific Northwest Writers Conference. His Italian farce, Stop the Wedding!, was a finalist in both the 1988 New City Theater Playwrights Festival and the 1999 Hugo House Playwriting Competition. His new version of Babes in Toyland, with the original music of Victor Herbert, was the 1994 opening production of the new Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington, directed by Steve Tomkins.
At FinnFest ’99, he premiered his new musical, The Sampo, adapted from the Vainamoinen legends of the Kalevala, at the University of Washington. Ten years later he was commissioned by the Finlandia Foundation to write a second Kalevala musical, this time focusing on the Lemminkainen legends, called Troublemaker’s Mother.
Since 2010 his novels have been published by University Book Store Press, with covers designed by Jacob Monderen.
original caricature by Brad Craft