• WORLD BOOK DAY CHAT ROOM | 02 March 2006 | Fans

    Thursday, March 2nd, 2006, was World Book Day in the UK and 30 other countries around the world. To celebrate the day, I conducted a live chat room event, open to anyone who wanted to throw questions at me. there were lots of repeated questions, idle chit-chat between fans, and some spam Super-fan JEFF went through the chat room after the event and whittled it down, deleting all the nonsense, reducing it to a simple question and answer format. I'm including his tightening-up of the event below. Thanks, Jeff!!!! I then went through Jeff's edit and re-jigged it, making sure all the questions and answers were in order. I think it makes for quite a neat interview in the end!! Enjoy! Abridged Transcript of Darren Shan's World Book Day Chat

    --Featuring all questions answered by Darren.

    Compiled By JEFF STERN

    18:09:09 [darrenshan] Howdy all -- I'm on the board! I see a couple of people have opened up their own sub-rooms here, but to keep things simple I'll only be posting here, on the DEFAULT page!! So, go ahead -- whadaya want to know?!?!?

    18:10:00 [Charlie] Is there any chance of you coming to the US for a tour this year?

    18:10:38 [darrenshan] I haven't heard anything from my American publishers about a tour this year, but the last CDF book comes out in October, so who knows ...

    18:11:05 [blathnat] Darren: where do you get your insperation?

    18:11:44 [darrenshan] People ask me all the time where my ideas or inspiration come from. I never answer, because it's too difficult a question!!!!

    18:11:46 [Triviumrox] What's your alltime favourite book/author?

    18:12:34 [darrenshan] My favourite author is Stephen King. My fave book ... maybe "Salem's Lot" or "The Secret Garden". VERY different books, I know, but I love them both!!

    18:13:03 [ari] If you did get asked, would you like to have a role in the movie???

    18:14:13 [darrenshan] If I was asked to play a VERY small role in the movie (like a background character), yeah, it would be fun. But so far I've had no direct contact with anyone involved with the film, so I wouldn't hold out too much hope of being in it!! Then again, that might changes as things move forward...

    18:13:39 [shadowfox] May I ask how long did it take for you to get your first book published?

    18:14:55 [darrenshan] It took me a LONG time to get a book published. First it took several months to find an agent, then a year to sell it, then 2 years before it came out!

    18:13:56 [mr. atomic] Hi darren, remember me? i told you about the right click blocker for your secret shanville

    18:15:16 [darrenshan] Thanks for the tip, right-click blocker!! I've used it on Secret Shanville!

    18:15:13 [adam123] I'm 14 and I write darren can you give me some original advice?

    18:16:15 [darrenshan] The best advice I can give any young writer is WRITE. It's as simple as that! The more you write, the more you learn. There are no short cuts!!

    18:15:34 [freakking] Darren shan...um..is it normal to not be able to write short stories bcs you always turn them into novels?

    18:16:47 [darrenshan] I like writing short stories, but I prefer the longer format of novels, which is why I mostly write books.

    18:15:42 [Charlie] How did warner bros hear about your books before theu were published and buy the rights?

    18:17:23 [darrenshan] My agent sent Warner Bros a copy of the manuscripts of the first 3 books before they were published. That's the advantage of having a smart agent!!

    18:16:22 [shanicus] Did you ever have doubts about becoming an author?

    18:17:53 [darrenshan] Yes, I had doubts about being able to succeed as an author. But I never had any doubts that that was what I WANTED to do.

    18:16:51 [Wail] Have you ever had trouble speaking in public?

    18:18:45 [darrenshan] No, I've never had trouble speaking in public -- I love that side of my work! But I was VERY shy in secondary shcool and uni, and almost never spoke out in class!!

    18:18:27 [shadowfox] If you had any advise for a person that wants to become an author what would it be?

    18:19:35 [darrenshan] If you've got to the stage where you want to send your work off to publishers, read The Writers And Artists Yearbook (or whatever the American equivalent is).

    18:18:15 [mr.atomic] Can you give any clues to your SECRET PROJECT!?!?

    18:19:54 [darrenshan] No clues about the SECRET PROJECT ... yet!!!!

    18:19:32 [phsyco9] How do you feel about having so many fans?

    18:20:43 [darrenshan] I love having lots of fans -- it's great to know there are people out there who want to read my books, and who love them as much (or more!!) than I do.

    18:19:51 [blathnat] Darren have you hade any intrest in being a script wrighter??

    18:21:07 [darrenshan] I never wanted to be a script writer. I DID want to try directing a film, and maybe I will one day.

    18:20:24 [mr.atomic] What do you think about danny devito playing mr tiny in the film?

    18:21:44 [darrenshan] Danny DeVito as Mr Tiny?!? Maybe!!!!

    18:21:27 [nidhiki] Darren, Is it cavader on the slawter cover?

    18:22:42 [darrenshan] No, that's not Cadaver on the "Slawter" cover. It's a new demon.

    18:22:45 [Wail] Darren, do you ever listen to certain music and use the songs to get ideas for your stories? (It's what I do...)

    18:24:24 [darrenshan] I listen to music all the time when I write, but I never really get ideas from it. I just like background noise!!!

    18:22:40 [Dan] Look Darren I don't have long, Do you know if there are auditions yet?

    18:23:28 [darrenshan] There are no auditions for the movie yet. Right now Universal are looking for a director. So casting is a LONG way off, I imagine.

    18:24:50 [Triviumrox] What type of music do you listen to?

    18:25:27 [darrenshan] I listen to lots of pop and rock. Beatles, Stones, Franz Ferdinand, Editors ... anything, basically!

    18:22:45 [Triviumrox] Out of the books you've written so far, who is your favourite character?

    18:23:55 [darrenshan] My fave character is probably Mr Crepsley. Although I like Bec in the new series a lot, and Dervish too.

    18:25:07 [Wail] Have you ever read the stuff on fanfiction.net that people write about your books?18:26:17 [darrenshan] No, I NEVER read fanfiction. All writers start out copying other writers and writing about established characters. That's how we develop. But I've no interest in reading such stuff.

    18:26:13 [duckiealex] YET ANOTHER QUESTION!!! In your blog, you mention that you write 10 pages a day. Is that A1 computer pages or pages as they'll appear on a book??

    18:27:03 [darrenshan] I write 10 A4 pages a day. About 3000 words.

    18:26:20 [mr.atomic] Don't you ever get plane sick, flying all around the world?

    18:27:30 [darrenshan] I never get air sickness, but my ears pop badly!! I have to wear special plugs to ease the pain!!

    18:27:36 [Wail] Any possiblities of your adult series getting re-printed?

    18:28:07 [darrenshan] I WILL reprint my adult books one day, but there are no current plans to do so.

    18:27:43 [Charlie] Did you ever track down a copy of the book with your LL poem?

    18:28:34 [darrenshan] Somebody has found a copy of the book with my LL poem and has sent it to me!!! But I haven't got it yet.

    18:27:54 [irishguy] Will you be setting up an official fanclub?

    18:28:54 [darrenshan] No plans for a fan club. With the web site, I don't really think we need one.

    18:29:09 [phsyco9] Is the warning on Lord Loss real or a mock warning?

    18:29:50 [darrenshan] The LL warning is both real AND mock! It was a fun way of letting people know it was a fairly dark book!

    18:29:27 [nidhiki] Darren, What football team do you support?

    18:30:04 [darrenshan] I support Tottenham Hotspur!

    18:29:42 [shadowfox] Can I ask do you put up all of your fanart? Or is there too much to put up on your website?

    18:31:00 [darrenshan] I don't put up ALL the fan art I receive -- there's too much of it! I have to whittle it down. I plan to add new art to the site SOON!!

    18:29:37 [GannenGirl] Do you have a favourite quote from your books?

    18:30:25 [darrenshan] My fave quote -- "Even in death may you be triumphant!"

    18:30:23 [Wali] Do you support an American football team?

    18:31:27 [darrenshan] I have no interest in American football at all, I'm afraid, or any other sport except soccer really!

    18:30:45 [adam123] Darren from reading your blog i know that you like films what's ur favourite

    18:31:55 [darrenshan] One of my fave films is "Salem's Lot", as it had a huge impact on me when I saw it as a kid.

    18:30:53 [Charlie] Do you think as an extras on your site you could name all 17 parts of the trials?

    18:32:16 [darrenshan] I couldn't name all 17 trials, as I only thought up 4, since that's all I needed!!!!

    18:31:49 [Wail] How do you go about book signings in foriegn countries? Is there a translater?

    18:33:07 [darrenshan] Yes, I always have a translator when I go to a foreign country.

    18:35:00 [ari] Do you eat garlic bread?

    18:35:11 [darrenshan] Yes, I like garlic bread!!!

    18:35:12 [Vampaneze] Darren can you please answer this: how any series are there? cos i only just found the website 90 mis ago so i didnt get a chance to look up

    18:35:48 [darrenshan] There are 2 series -- "The Saga of Darren Shan" (or "Cirque Du Freak") and "The Demonata".

    18:35:50 [shanicus] darrenshan> CAN YOU REVEAL MORE ON SLAWTER

    18:36:25 [darrenshan] Read Secret Shanville to learn more about "Slawter".

    18:35:53 [Wail] Will Koyasan ever come out in the U.S.?

    18:36:43 [darrenshan] i hope "Koyasan" will be released in America, but I've no idea when or if it will.

    18:36:13 [mr.atomic] darrenshan> whats CASPIAN? its in the names game section of your secret shanville but i dont recall seeing that in demon theif

    18:37:10 [darrenshan] Caspian is the name of Kernel's Dad.

    18:36:21 [duckiealex] Bex, you gave me an idea... HEY DARREN!!! Do you speak any other languages, besides English ??

    18:37:29 [darrenshan] No, I only speak English. I was always terrible at languages!!!

    18:37:10 [nidhiki] Why does lord loss love chess?

    18:37:56 [darrenshan] You'll find out in book 4 how Lord Loss first got interested in chess!!!

    18:37:23 [Charlie] Do you ever let family or friends proof read books to get their take on it?

    18:38:29 [darrenshan] I never let family or friends see my books before they're published. My agent sees them first, then my UK editor.

    18:37:45 [shadowfox] darrenshan> Do you think that you will create another saga of books after Demonata?

    18:39:01 [darrenshan] I don't know if I'll write another series after "Demonata". i probably will, but I might release a few stand-alone books first.

    18:38:26 [GannenGirl] darrenshan> What's your favourite food?

    18:39:42 [darrenshan] I love all types of food. Pizza, sweet and sour chicken, and fish and chips are some of my faves. And square pies, of course!!!

    18:40:07 [duckiealex] OK, When you first found out when either your adult books OR the Saga of Darren Shan... how did you feel? What were the circumstances??18:41:20 [darrenshan] It was great when my first book sold, but not as exciting as winning the lottery -- there was a build-up to it, and I'd worked hard to make it happen, so it didn't come as a complete shock.

    18:40:53 [Charlie] Do you like writing for children where you have to censor your writing more or do you like writing for adults where you can be more open?

    18:42:01 [darrenshan] I don't prefer writing for adults or children -- I like the challenges of both!

    18:42:51 [duckiealex] Any advice for when you have writer's block??

    18:43:19 [darrenshan] I've never had writer's block. A professional writer MAKES himself write!!!

    18:43:42 [darrenshan] I've no idea what the release schedule for my books is in most countries.

    18:44:06 [GannenGirl] darrenshan> Do you like playing or doing any sports?

    18:44:46 [darrenshan] I don't play any sports now, but I played soccer, hurling and gaelic football when I was younger, and I was quite a fast runner too!

    18:44:36 [headless] are you going to any good concert this year i refuse to miss you at one again

    18:45:24 [darrenshan] I might go to Metallica in Dublin, maybe V in England, Rolling Stones at Wembley, and Robbie Williams!!

    18:45:07 [Charlie] We know you write a lot of books ahead of time, do you have a couple for after the demonata?

    18:46:09 [darrenshan] Yes, I've written a few books already which I might POSSIBLY release after "The Demonata". We'll see ...

    18:45:20 [guest] Did you have a spider when you were younger?

    18:46:25 [darrenshan] No, I never had a spider. I was always rather scared of them!!!!!

    18:46:52 [dervish] cool. Will you be coming to dublin anytime soon for a signing?

    18:47:21 [darrenshan] I'll be doing signings in Dublin either in May or October. Or both!!!

    18:47:07 [trudemon] What Director would You like to see Directing The Saga

    18:47:41 [darrenshan] Since I won't have any choice in who directs the film, I try not to think about it.

    18:47:43 [duckiealex] What type of negative reactions have you had from the content of your books? Anything that has put them in jeopardy ??

    18:48:15 [darrenshan] I've never had any really negative reaction to the books.

    18:48:45 [headless] what would you think of darren shan dolls?? cute cuddly arterys teddys??

    18:49:32 [darrenshan] I'd love to see darren shan dolls!! I'm perfectly cool with merchandise!!

    18:49:34 [mr.atomic] i havnt got a book mark, so right now im using an old legoland ticket from 2001, is there such thing as official darren shan bookmarks?

    18:50:16 [darrenshan] There have been several Darren Shan bookmarks, printed by publishers in different countries.

    18:49:40 [blathnat] ari> are you planning on keeping this room?

    18:50:33 [darrenshan] I'll probably close this chat room down a few days after this event.

    18:50:05 [Wail] How about yellow boxers with pink elephants on them?

    18:51:09 [darrenshan] Yes, I think there's a BIG market for yellow boxers with pink elephants on them ...

    18:50:45 [LethalLion] Until yesterday, I thought it was pronounced Darren SHARN, but then I saw your MeetTheAuthor thing, and learnt it was pronounced Shaan.

    18:51:26 [darrenshan] Shan -- rhymes with Man!!

    18:53:49 [LethalLion] First sentance of Koyasan: Koyasan stood nervously by the narrow stone bridge, chewing on a clove of garlic. Chewing garlic? Huh? :S

    18:54:16 [darrenshan] In the far east, they do chew garlic cloves!! Though they normally cook them first!

    18:53:53 [mr.atomic] where did you come up with the name bec?

    18:54:38 [darrenshan] Bec is based on the Irish word for small -- "beag".

    18:54:45 [dervish] is the cover for bec near complete yet or has it even been drafted?

    18:55:11 [darrenshan] I haven't seen a cover for Bec yet.

    18:55:26 [mr.atomic] is bas with you now?

    18:56:42 [darrenshan] Bas is in the other room, getting ready -- we're going to see a band called The Transmitters play in the Clapham Grand later! One of her friends is the lead singer.

    18:57:07 [Charlie] Question: whats the book you've changed the most from the first round of writing?

    18:58:20 [darrenshan] The book I changed the most was my second adult book, "Hell's Horizon". The first draft was totally different from the finished book!

    18:58:49 [emmett] since you buy art do you dabble in drawings

    18:59:13 [darrenshan] Nope, I can't draw to save my life!!!

    18:59:19 [Dan] what would you say has been your most successful year

    18:59:54 [darrenshan] My most successful year ... hard to call!! Financially, each year has been better than the last for the past 6 or 7 years!!!

    18:59:38 [mr.atomic] darrenshan> are you actually any good at chess?

    19:00:28 [darrenshan] I'm OK at chess, but haven't played it in years, so I imagine I'm rusty as hell!!!

    18:59:59 [Charlie] you originally said you were going to write 18 books for the saga, knowing that you write far ahead, how many of the 18 did you plan out and write before deiciding to end it?

    19:01:14 [darrenshan] I had most of the series planned after book 12, but when I got there, I realised 12 was the best place to stop. I MIGHT write a follow-up series one day, using the ideas I had.

    19:00:43 [Wail] Darren -- dare I ask? -- erm, what was your first kiss like?!

    19:02:10 [darrenshan] My first kiss was like ... my second and third kiss!!!!

    19:00:49 [adam123] other than Stephen King and Garth nix who's ur fave author?

    19:01:33 [darrenshan] My fave Irish author is Eoin Colfer -- he the man!!!

    19:01:06 [freakking] Darren, in your opinion, do you think its okay to get an idea from an anime or a book, but...just a vague Idea....like.....some war is happening, and your thoughts go far away from what the book is planning...

    19:02:45 [darrenshan] All writers get ideas from other works of fiction. That's how ideas spread and develop.

    19:01:15 [mr.atomic] darrenshan> i really want to see what the cannaball king would have been like, could you tell us what would have hapened?

    19:03:06 [darrenshan] I never discuss "Cannibal King", because I might use parts of it one day!!

    19:03:21 [headless] how did you feel after you finish the saga

    19:04:07 [darrenshan] I didn't feel much when I finished "The Saga", because I was already hard at work on "The Demonata", and I knew I might return to the vamp world one day, so I didn't consider it TRULY finished ...

    19:03:47 [GannenGirl] Darren, who is your favourite character from your vampire books that is not a vampire or vampaneze?

    19:04:33 [darrenshan] My fave non-vamp was Cormac Limbs!! I'd love to be able to do what he did!!!!

    19:05:06 [duckiealex] Have you ever been to a freak show?? If so, was it legal ??

    19:06:02 [darrenshan] I have been to a legal freak show, "The Circus of Horrors". It was COOL!!!!!

    19:04:55 [shadowfox] darrenshan> Could I ask did you ever base any of your characters on real people or not?

    19:05:41 [darrenshan] Some of my characters are based in parts on real people. e.g. Evra is based on my cousin Lorcan, who CAN stick his tongue up his nose!!!

    19:06:28 [Dan] HEY DARREN WHO DO YOU THINK IS A BETTER WRITER THAN YOU AND WHY

    19:07:07 [darrenshan] Nobody's a better writer than me!! I am the greatest!!! All others must bow before the master, Darren Shan!!!!!!!! :-)

    19:06:13 [Charlie] Darren, do you have questions for us?

    19:07:35 [darrenshan] I have no questions -- this is where YOU get to grill ME, not the other way round!!

    19:07:22 [headless] darren if you could have one pice of art in the whole world what would it be

    19:07:59 [darrenshan] One piece of art ... one of Van Gogh's oil paintings. Maybe Starry Night.

    19:07:56 [Arra] Darren, I noticed you mentioned The Lord of the Rings in both The Saga and The Demonata. (A poster on the wall in Debbies apartment, and the chessboard in Dervish's room.) Are you a fan of LOTR?

    19:08:31 [darrenshan] I'm a HUGE fan of LOTR. Murlough was actually based on Gollum!!!!

    19:08:02 [duckiealex] OK THEN!!! *What would be your idea of a perfect date ??? *turns on the grill*

    19:09:19 [darrenshan] Perfect date? Every date with the Shan Man is perfect!!!!

    19:08:34 [Charlie] whats the most common question are you asked at signings?

    19:09:50 [darrenshan] Most common question -- will there be a film? Or, Where do your ideas come from?

    19:08:55 [blathnat] Darren> can you speak gailic?

    19:10:19 [darrenshan] I know some words and phrases of Gaelic, since I studied it at school since I was 6! But no, I can't speak it.

    19:09:44 [dervish] what's the most books you had to sign at a signing?

    19:10:51 [darrenshan] My biggest ever signing was in Hungary -- 9 or 10 hours in one day!!!!

    19:11:32 [headless] did you think so many people would be on this chat

    19:12:18 [darrenshan] I had no idea how many people would turn up here. I have over 5500 registered fans, so it could have been huge!! I think we got the perfect numbers in the end.

    19:13:39 [amy] darrenshan> if you could change one thing in the saga what would it be?

    19:14:16 [darrenshan] If I could change 1 thing in The Saga, I'd have written a book between 3 and 4, featuring a teenaged Steve Leopard.

    19:15:21 [emmett] darrenshan> did you ever try and skate

    19:15:45 [darrenshan] I can't skate -- I have a terrible sense of balance!!!!

    19:17:05 [freakking] DARREN....Will you ever go on a trip to the Middle East?

    19:17:44 [darrenshan] I definitely plan to come to the Middle East one day ... (I've been to Jordan and Egypt already.)

    19:17:44 [headless] were you a goth??

    19:18:20 [darrenshan] I was never a goth, but I had LONG hair once ... then I shaved myself bald ... then I had a mohican!!!

    19:19:13 [darrenshan] OK, folks, I've got to go. Thanks to everyone for taking part. It's been fun!! We'll do it again some time!!!!! Bye!!

    19:22:32 [GannenGirl] Yes. Do you love us Darren?

    19:22:35 [ari] darrenshan> do you love your fans?

    19:22:59 [darrenshan] And that's it -- I'm logging off!! Final answer -- yes, I DO love my fans!!! Now ... I'm going ... going ... gone!!!!!!

    19:23:08 darrenshan exits from this room

    End of Abridged Transcript. 

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