• HARPER COLLINS | 14 October 2004 | N/A

    So, Book 12 is out this month - how does it feel to have finally finished the story?Exciting!!! I spent 7 years writing the Saga of Darren Shan. For me it was always one big story - i.e. one big book - and I was eager for fans to be able to read it as a complete, finished work so that they could see how it all tied together and functioned as a whole. I was especially keen to get their reactions to the revelations of book 12 and how it affects the earlier books in the series!!!

    Do you think readers will be surprised by how Sons of Destiny finishes Darren's story?

    I hope so!!! There has been a lot of speculation on my web site's message board about this, and LOTS of guesses!! While some people have guessed certain elements of the final book, nobody has guessed the whole (or even most of the) truth!!!

    Your books are now available in countries other than the UK - Japan, America, Spain just to name a few. What is it like being a world famous author?

    Fabulous!!! I love seeing foreign editions of my books, the different covers, the way they change some of the characters' names, etc. I've also had the chance to travel to several countries promoting my books -- America, Australia, France, Holland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and Thailand, with a trip to Hungary next year -- which has been fascinating.

    In between Cirque du Freak and Sons of Destiny Darren has lost a few friends, and enemies. Are there any characters you wish you'd kept around longer because you liked them so much?

    I would have loved to keep Murlough (from Tunnels of Blood) around, because he was such a fun character to write!! But the story called for his death, so reluctantly I had to let him go. That's been one of the characteristics of the series which I think the fans like best -- you never know who's going to be alive at the end of any given book, because I don't protect important characters and keep them alive despite all the odds!!!!

    Sons of Destiny has loads of twists and turns, so how did you keep track of what had happened in the previous eleven books?

    I spend at least 2 years editing each of my book, but will work on several books at the same time, so my work on them overlaps. This meant I was always able to keep events from earlier books clear inside my head, because I was still working on some of those books.

    You've always been several books ahead of readers and probably finished Sons of Destiny a while ago. Has it been hard not letting any big secrets out to readers who are desperate to know more?

    Not really -- I LOVE keeping secrets!!! One of the biggest kicks I get is meeting fans and not answering their questions about big upcoming twists -- it drives them mad!!!!!!!! :-)

    You've got a big tour coming up this month where you'll be meeting lots of fans, what question do you most regularly get asked?

    Am I really a vampire?!? It sounds crazy, but the fact that I wrote the books in the first person, using my own name, means it's not actually that strange a question!! And it's one that will be answered once and for all in book 12!!!!!!!

    The Saga of Darren Shan has been scary and bloody in places - how do you know when a book is just scary enough?

    I don't think kids believe a book can ever be scary enough -- they always want more blood and gore!!!!! The way I decide where to draw the line is this: I think of what it would be like to read a scene out loud to a group of fans. If I think it would be too upsetting, and that I wouldn't want to read such a scene aloud, I tone it down.

    Your next book is a brand new story with a new hero, new villains and new monsters. What can we expect to find when we get to read Lord Loss in June next year?

    A fast-moving story. Short punchy sentences. Truly evil and powerful monsters. And a hero who likes to drench his sister in rat guts!!!!!!!!! :-)

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