• CROWGRRL'S PERCH | 18 September 2005 | Crowgrrl

    Darren Shan is one of the Crowgrrl’s favorite authors! I’ve been hooked on his books ever since I first sank my fangs into the first book of his Cirque du Freak vampire series, Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare. The entire series is deliciously macabre and at a fast pace where the reader can’t wait to see what happens next.Darren creates his own realistically believable world of Vampires, a new mythos that immediately draws the reader in. Now Darren has another series as well, the Demonata, which offers a new insight into a demonic world. The Crowgrrl recently caught up with Darren to talk about both of these phenomenal book series!

    How was the Edinburgh Book Festival?

    Great. I've gone for the past 6 years and I love it up there. I stay on for a few days after my events and go to lots of plays and comedy shows. The best show I saw this year was "Dirty Fan Male" -- real transcripts of letters written by fans to soft-porn models!!!!

    With all the book-signings and touring, how do you find time to write?! Do you work on the road as well?

    No, I never write when I'm traveling. I try to do my touring in chunks, i.e. go to a few different countries within the space of a month. Then I write when I return home. It's a bit tricky, and I don't get to spend as much time writing as I'd like, but that's just part of being a successful writer in today's wide open world.

    I’ve noticed you’re always hard at work on future books before others are officially released. How far ahead do you stay of your publishers?

    Usually 2 or 3 years. I don't like working to a deadline!!

    The new Vampire mythos you created in the "Cirque du Freak" series varies a bit from more conventional vampire beliefs in popular culture. How did you come up with your Vampires’ world?

    I just thought a lot about the old myths and tried to think what life would really be like if you had to drink blood to survive and could live for hundreds of years.

    Do you have any personal favorite books in that series?

    Not really. For me, it's one big book which I simply released in installments. So, "Cirque Du Freak" is chapter one for me, "Vampire's Assistant" is chapter two, etc.

    What were your inspirations behind your Demonata series?

    I wrote "Lord Loss" as a stand-alone novel, a 3 or 4 years ago. I set it aside for a couple of years, to focus on finishing my vampire series. During that time, I had ideas for other books about demons. Originally, the books weren't meant to link or form a series. But, as I wrote the other books, links began to fall into place and I saw that I could knit all the various plot-line together to create an overall series story-line.

    Are the two series ever going to cross into each other, or remain separate?

    They're two entirely different stories, and won't cross at all.

    Your books are translated in lots of languages; how do the storylines have to change with each culture where the books are released?

    Well, because I only speak English, it's hard for me to know if anything's been changed in the translated editions!!!! :-) I think the actual plots are kept intact, and only certain words and phrases are changed, when they wouldn't make sense for foreign readers. e.g. in Japan they don't cross their fingers for luck, so my Japanese translator always has to use some other expression.

    The short stories and "deleted scenes" and other extras on your website make the stories even richer! Did you work on most of that while writing each book, or do you revisit the stories from time to time?I wrote the extras as each of the first books was released. My original plan was to write some short stories each time a book came out. But, as the popularity of the books increased, and I was called upon to travel a lot to promote them, I found myself with less and less time to write. Something had to go -- and unfortunately that was the extras.

    All of your books that I’ve read so far would make great movies. Is that possibility in the works?

    Universal have optioned the rights to "Cirque Du Freak", and Brian Helgeland ("L.A. Confidential", "Mystic River", etc) is working on a script.

    Would you be writing the screenplays yourself?

    Nope. Writers normally have no input when a movie is made from their books. I'm happy to stand back and let the film people do as they like.

     What was your tie-in with Jetix UK, and will that happen with Jetix US as well?

    My publishers set up the tie-in with Jetix. It wasn't something I was involved in.

    You’re very hands-on with your website, aren’t you?!

    Yup!! I love having a web site. As a fan, I would have been ecstatic if I'd had the internet when I was a kid. I'd have been surfing it day and night to find out more about my writing idols. The web allows a writer to build extra links between themselves and their fans, and I try to take as much advantage of that situation as I can. Apart from the design of my site, which is done by Xeropoint.net, I do everything on the site -- I scan in and upload the photos and art, update all the pages ... the lot!!! It means the site isn't updated as regularly as it should be, since I have to squeeze work in around my other commitments, but it means that everything fans see there came from me personally!!!What have I not asked that you would like to tell Perch readers?

    When is my next book out?!? :-) Book 10 of my vampire series, "The Lake of Souls", is on sale NOW, and the first book of my demon series, "Lord Loss", goes on sale in October (but might start appearing in shops as early as September!!!).

    http://www.crowgrrl.com/reviews/091805perch.htm

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