• LITERATI | 10 October 2008 | N/A

    Darren Shan began writing as a teenager, bought his first typewriter when he was 14 and has since written several short stories, comic scripts and books for both adults and children. His first series of books for children The Saga of Darren Shan comprised 12 stories about vampires while his most recent series The Demonata will run to 10 books. In his spare time, Darren enjoys watching films, collecting original artwork, travel and watching football as well as thinking up new ways to fascinate and terrify his readers.

    Did you always know that you were going to be an author?
    Yes, ever since I was 5 or 6 years old. I've always loved telling stories.

    How did you celebrate when your first book was published?
    I had sweet and sour chicken from my nearest Chinese takeaway!!!

    From where do you get your ideas?
    All over the place.

    Do you ever suffer from writer's block and if so, how do you overcome it?
    Not yet. I think you need to abandon yourself to the story, and not worry too much about it. Get your head down, plough through, and don't stop until you're done!!!

    How long did it take you to write your last book?
    I spread each book out over at least two years, but I juggle several books around at the same time.

    What are you working on at the moment?
    Doing my final edits of the last two Demonata books, moving close to the final edit stage of the book which will follow them, and in the early editing stages of the next four books after that!!

    Do you get to choose the front covers for your books?
    I get consulted about what will go on them, and discuss with my editor what we'd like to see.  If I'm not happy with what the artist comes up with, my publishers will normally ask him to re-think his design. Not all authors have that much of a say though.  Publishers always have final say on the cover image. If you have a good working relationship with them, they'll usually take your comments into consideration. So it pays to keep on their good side!!

    Who is your favourite author and what is your favourite book?
    Stephen King for adults, Philip Pullman for younger readers. Salem's Lot and His Dark Materials respectively.

    Tell us a secret...
    When I look back at books that I've published, I often can't remember actually writing them!!!!! 

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