• What’s in a name?!?

    15 July 2009
    It seems certain now that Universal are going ahead with their October 23rd release date for the movie in the States (no word yet on other countries -- I'll keep you posted once I find out), and also that the name has now been changed to The Vampire's Assistant. There's still a slim chance that they might retain the Cirque Du Freak title, but it's looking VERY slim -- even slimmer than a Size Zero model!! I have to admit, I'm disappointed by the decision to change, especially at this late date, as I think Cirque Du Freak is a much better and more fitting title. Unfortunately, the marketing people in the movie business often have the final say on key decisions like this. It shouldn't happen that way, but it does -- which is one of the reasons I took such a hand-off approach to the film, since I knew that time invested in the project would very likely turn out to be time wasted!!! A movie involves dozens, if not hundreds of people, and unlike with a book, it's very rare that one individual will have a complete controlling say over any given project. Rather than get closely involved from the start, and risk coming away bitter and twisted by the experience, I chose to stay distance from it -- and I'm delighted now that I did!!! Instead of feeling angry or betrayed or anything like that, I'm in a position where I can just smile ruefully and marvel at the shifting sands of the Hollywood mindset!!!

    Mind you, having said all that, I'm going to have to show some decency and allow myself a little bit of a blush at this stage!!  Because the good Hollywood folk aren't the only ones who can change their minds when it comes to names -- I'm going to have to hold up my hands too on this one!!!! Most of you are probably aware that I started to re-release my adult novels last year, starting in the UK. I decided to release them under the name of D B Shan, since I wanted to make it clear that they were not for younger readers. At the time, my publishers, HarperCollins, argued strongly to keep the Darren Shan name. They made some very persuasive arguments, but I stuck to my guns and thus my first two adult books came out under the D B Shan moniker. Last month, my American publishers, LittleBrown, asked if I would consider using the name of Darren Shan for when Procession of the Dead is released next year. At first I was going to reject the proposal out of hand -- but then I realised that there were putting forth the exact same arguments that HarperCollins had!!! Now, when one person contradicts you and lists their reasons why, you can choose to ignore their advice and forge ahead as you are. But when another personal contradicts you, independently of the first party, and makes the exact same argument... well, that's usually time to pause and re-assess the situation.

    Basically, to cut a long story short, I've decided to stop publishing my adult books under the name of D B Shan, and will instead be releasing all titles in future as Darren Shan. In the UK, the paperback of Hell's Horizon will come out under the Darren Shan name in a few months, and Procession of the Dead will also be rebranded once it is reprinted. I'm not sure what publishers in other countries will do, but I suspect they will fall into line with the UK and USA, and that all titles from me in future will come out under the Darren Shan name. We will take great care to make clear on the adult books that they are intended for older readers. One of the advantages of having just one name is that I will now be able to have a single web site, and it will be easier for me to collate all the news and information about the books, so that fans can more easily keep abreast of all the Shan goings-on.

    Phew!! It all sounds very complicated, doesn't it?!? But it's a complication of my own making -- if I'd just listened to my publishers in the first place, we could have avoided the whole brouh-ha-ha!!!! Oh well, better that I see sense later rather than never!!
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