Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: Is the story told in The Saga Of Darren Shan REALLY true?
A: That's for you guys to decide!!! I don't expect readers to believe that I've survived the trials which Darren in the books must endure, or that the Cirque Du Freak is real, or that vampires exist. HOWEVER, there's an inner logic at work within the Saga of Darren Shan, which becomes apparent at the end of the series. So, if you wish to suspend credibility and believe in vampires and circus freaks, then yes, the story COULD be true...
Q: How many books have you written?
A: As of January 2012, I have written first drafts of more than 60 books. 45 of those have been or are due to be published in the near future -- you can find the titles in the BOOKS section of this site. The rest include some books that I am working on for the future, along with some I might one day return to and publish, and others that I wrote when I was young and will probably never do anything more with.
Q: Have any movies been made of your books?
A: Yes. Universal Studios bought the film rights to my first three vampire books, and combined them to make one single movie, called Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. Paul Weitz (American Pie, About A Boy) wrote the script and directed it. Lauren Shuler Donner produced (she made the X-Men movies). John C Reilly played the part of Larten Crepsley; Chris Massoglia was Darren; Josh Hutcherson was Steve. Other actors include Salma Hayek (Madame Truska), Ken Watanabe (Mr Tall) and Michael Cerveris (Mr Tiny). The movie was released in the USA and UK on October 23rd 2009. It is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Q: Will there be any sequels?
A: It doesn't look as if there will be ay sequels in the near future. That doesn't mean that there won't EVER be a sequel -- film companies do sometimes return to projects after a lengthy absence -- but at the moment nothing is on the cards. As for my other books, I am always open to movie adaptations, but it's ultimately in the hands of the film studios -- movies cost huge amounts of money to make. If a studio wishes to discuss a film adaptation of more of my books with me, I'm happy to listen.
Q: Why have more books been released in the UK than anywhere else?
A: Cirque Du Freak was published in the UK many months before it was published anywhere else in the world, since I sold it to the UK first. Certain countries caught up with the UK release schedule by the time of book 12, and are releasing my new books at the same time as the UK, or not long after. But other countries have been a bit slower. I cannot control the release of my books -- my publishers decide when the books come out, not me!
Q: When's your next book coming out?
A: Keep checking on Shanville, in the EVENTS section, and in the SHANVILLE MONTHLY. When publishers let me know their release schedules, I advertise every new book in Events, sometimes months before it hits the shops, giving the release date. But in many countries I don't always know when my books are released!! So if you can't find the details in the Events section, it means I don't know!!!!
Q: I want to become a writer -- any tips?
A: Write! The more you write, the better you become. There's no quick route to success -- just keep at it, never let your head drop, and don't give up. If you want to know more about how to publish your work, check out The Writer's And Artist's Yearbook -- it's in most shops, and should also be in your local library. Also, read through my WRITING TIPS -- I've included pretty much all the tips that I can, along with lots of other information about my writing processes.
Q: I've written a story/book -- can I send it to you, to get your opinion?
A: No. It's not professional for a writer to read an unpublished writer's work -- that's the job of editors and agents. I won't even LOOK at your story/book if you send it to me, and I don't think most other writers will either. If you want feedback, you should show your work to your friends or teachers. Then, when you think it's ready to send to a publisher or agent, read through The Writer's And Artist's Yearbook.
Q: Can I have your autograph?
A: I have a strict but simple policy where autographs are concerned. If you e-mail me asking for one, the answer is NO -- I only respond to e-mails with e-mails. If, however, you write an actual letter and post it to me, I'll reply with a letter and my autograph. For the address to write to, check out the CONTACT page on Shanville -- but please note that it often takes letters a long time to reach me, so don't expect a swift reply! On average, it can take up to two months for fans to recevie a response. At certain times of the year, it might be even longer.
Q: I want you to visit my school or library -- how do I get you?!?
A: I love visiting schools, libraries and bookshops, and I do a lot of travelling around (usually at certain times of the year, around book events or book releases) -- so it's by no means impossible to arrange a Darren Shan visit! However, you have to do it the right way. 1) Don't write to me asking me to come -- that won't work, as I simply go where my publishers send me (they finalise event locations and details). 2) Get your teacher or librarian interested in my books; give them Cirque Du Freak to read (maybe ask them to read it out to the class). 3) If your teacher/librarian enjoys the book, ask them what they think about the possibility of having me come in to visit; if they like the idea, they can go about setting it up by either: 4a) contacting my publishers and enquiring about the possibility of a visit, or 4b) contacting a local book shop and asking them to try and arrange a visit. If you live in the UK or Ireland, you can find the contact details for my publisher on the CONTACT page of this site. If you live elsewhere in the world, I usually announce details of my travelling plans far in advance -- so keep reading the Shanville Monthly to keep up to date with my movements!!!!
Q: When were you born and where do you live?
A: I was born in 1972. I live in Limerick, in Ireland. For more biographical information about me, check out ABOUT DARREN.
Q: Where do your ideas come from?
A: The same place as YOURS!!! I get ideas from things I see in real life, movies, TV shows, books and comics that I read, from dreams, while travelling, while lying in the bath or sitting at my desk. Writers are no different to anyone else when it comes to having ideas -- we simply train ourselves to make more use of those ideas, to turn them into stories. You do that by working hard, asking questions of ideas when you have then, bouncing them off of other ideas, and by writing... Writing... WRITING!!! The more you write, the more you'll find yourself able to do with ideas when you have them.
Q: What sort of books do you like to read?
A: I read lots of different books. Some of my favourites include: Salem's Lot by Stephen King; The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien; The Belgariad by David Eddings; Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke; The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall; Rebecca's World by Terry Nation; Sleeping In Flame by Jonathan Carroll; Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury; The Sirens Of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut; The Hyperion Books by Dan Simmons; The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck; Watership Down by Richard Adams; The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier; and Dracula by Bram Stoker (of course!!) Some of my favourite "hip, young and handsome" authors include: Eoin Colfer, Anthony Horowitz, Melvin Burgess, Louis Sachar, Philip Pullman, Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and J.K. Rowling. You can find a record of EVERY book that I have read since I was a teenager, along with my mark out of 5 stars for it, on the fabulous GOODREADS site.
Q: I'm your biggest fan -- will you send me a free copy of the book?
A: Nice try -- now hit the road, toad!!!!! :-)