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Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Saga REALLY true?    How many books have you written?    Any news about the movie?

I'm a brilliant actor -- can you give me a role in the movie?

Why have more books been released in the UK than anywhere else?

When's your next book coming out?        I want to become a writer -- any tips?

I've written a story -- can I send it to you?     Can I have your autograph?

I want you to visit my school or library -- how do I get you?!?

When were you born and where do you live?     Where do your ideas come from?

What are your favourite books?      Any chance of a free book?!?

Q: 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: I wrote 12 books in The Saga Of Darren Shan (or the Cirque Du Freak series, as it's known in America), and 10 books in The Demonata series. Plus I wrote a one-off short novel called Koyasan for World Book Day in the UK. I've also published a couple of books for adults, called Procession of the Dead and Hell's Horizon. Next up for children -- a one-off book called The Thin Executioner, then four books about Mr Crepsley's past before he met Darren. For adults, Hell's Horizon, the third and final book of The City series. After that? Who knows!! We'll just have to wait and see ...

Q: Any news about the Darren Shan movie?

A: 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. Oscar-winner (L.A. Confidential) Brian Helgeland wrote the script and director Paul Weitz (American Pie, About A Boy) re-wrote 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 is released in the USA and UK on October 23rd 2009.

Q: I'm a brilliant actor/actress -- can you give me a role in the movie if they make a sequel?

A: No. You'd have to contact the film-makers (i.e. Universal Studios). I have nothing to do with the movie side of things, and don't have any say in who gets cast.

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 will be releasing the books of my new series 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 COVERS sections on the Vampires and Demons sub-sites, and in the Shanville Monthly. When publishers let me know their release schedules, I advertise every new book here, sometimes months before it hits the shops, giving the release date. But in most countries I don't always know when my books are released!! So if you can't find the details in the COVERS 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 Blog -- I've included lots of info about my writing processes there.

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 (sometimes a month or more!) so don't expect a swift reply!

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 quite 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 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 the BIOGRAPHY.

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, and J.K. Rowling. You can find more of my favourite books, as well as movie and bands, on my MySpace page.

Q: I'm your biggest fan -- will you send me a free copy of the book?

A: Nice try -- now hit the road, toad!!!!!   :-)

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