• LIMERICK LEADER | 24 June 2006 | N/A

    Bestselling Limerick author Darren Shan has released his latest horror novel much to the delight of his legion of young fans. Slawter is book three in Darren's The Demonata series. This book is set a few months after the events of the first book, Lord Loss, and sees Grubbs and his friend Bill-E discovering that the monsters on a movie set they are visiting are not as fake as most of the cast and crew believe. Mr Shan, whose real surname is O'Shaughnessy, was born in 1972 in London to Irish parents. When he was six years old the family returned to Ireland and settled in Limerick. He lives in Pallaskenry.

    He said of his name change: "I decided to change it in order to blur the lines between reality and fantasy. My first series of books is called The Saga of Darren Shan which blurs the lines further. It's just a literary device. Most readers know the truth but like to pretend it's real."

    He has always wanted to be a writer and since getting his first typewriter atage 14 has never looked back. "My parents are delighted that it has all worked out as there really are no guarantees in this business. They have always been supportive even in the lean years," he said.

    He started off writing novels for adults but it was his children's books that brought him real success. "One of the reasons I decided to write this genre was because there wasn't any horror books for children when I was younger. It's good to have horror for children, it's fun. I've had the occasional complaint from teachers who say they are banning my books from their classroom but generally I've had few negative reactions so far," he said.

    The Saga of Darren Shan has sold over 10 million copies worldwide, has been translated into 20 languages and is sold in 30 countries. The series is to be made into a movie soon with a script by Oscar winner Brian Helgelund and distribution by Universal Pictures.

    "At the moment, Universal are looking for a director. I hope it goes ahead and gets made but I'm just letting them get on with it. As a writer I've no real control over it.

    "I've always hoped that I'd do well enough to earn a living from it but I am surprised by the success I've had, it's been a dream," he said.

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