Darren Shan is the International best selling author of The Saga of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak and The Demonata. He has two upcoming releases: Dark Calling book 9 of The Demonata for the USA and Hell's Heroes book 10 of The Demonata for the UK and Ireland. Both are expected to be released October 1st, 2009. Also, The manga based off his hit series Cirque Du Freak is on shelves... NOW!
Find him on his Website: Darrenshan.com.
Tainted Poet: How does writing The Demonata differ from when you were writing The Saga of Darren Shan?
Darren Shan: It was much more complicated, because there are three narrators and the storyline jumped backwards and forwards in time during the first half of the series. I think The Saga was a "warmer" series, in that you got closer to the characters. The Demonata works on a different level, and makes more demands of readers -- you have to be prepared to go with the flow of the story and accept the fact that things are going to tie together as it progresses. The Saga was more fun to write, but The Demonata was more challenging.
TP: How does it feel having Hell's Heroes coming out this year in the UK and Ireland?
DS: Nice!! When you start a big project like this (it took over eight years from start to finish!!), there are so many things that can go wrong -- injuries, writer's block, cancellation of series by publishers, DEATH!!!! There's no guarantee you're going to make it to the end -- in fact, the odds are very much against it!! So to have overcome all those obstacles and made it intact (well... almost!!) to the finishing line is sweet!!!
TP: If you had to choose a favorite character from The Demonata, who would it be?
DS: Grubbs. He's the most intriguing of the characters for me, and goes on the longest, strangest story arc of any of my characters ever -- just wait until you see where he ends up in book 10!!!!
TP: Dark Calling hits American bookshelves around the same time as Hell's Heroes hits UK bookstores (in October). Would you have preferred the books coming out simultaneously in the UK and USA rather then separated the way they are?
DS: Yes -- it would make my life a lot simpler!! But that's just the way these things go. Because I live in Ireland, the country where I first sold my books was the UK, which is why they're ahead of everywhere else. My American publishers have done all they can to catch up (they started to release The Demonata before The Saga finished), but to get totally level, they would have to release a glut of titles over a very short time period, and no publisher enjoys doing that! I'm happy with the way things stand -- and it also allows me to tour both territories with the same book at different times, which is good!!
TP: Music or no music when you write?
DS: Music, definitely -- I feel very isolated and lonely if I write in silence!!
TP: Do you have any foods or drinks that you like to eat or drink while writing?
DS: No. I try not to nibble when I'm working.
TP: What is your favorite Horror movie?
DS: One of them is Salem's Lot. It had a HUGE impact on me when I was it as a young child!!
TP: Did any particular authors inspire you to write?
DS: Stephen King has been my biggerst role model. I love his books, obviously, but also the fact that he's pushed himself so hard throughout his career. I think writers should challenge themselves to be as productive as they can be, and King is one who had.
TP: Do you want to say anything to American readers that are still waiting for Dark Calling to be released?
DS: Enjoy the wait!! Once the series is finished, you'll have no more demon books by me to look forward to!!!!
TP: Any last words?
DS: The Demonata is by no means the end for Darren Shan! I will be sticking to my two books per year schedule until 2012 at least (hopefully even longer than that). I have a one-off fantasy book coming up next, and then a four book series about... well, that will be revealed in the middle of August!!!
END.Darren Shan has been my favorite author (and my brothers!) for years. He had me on Chapter one of Cirque Du Freak and now I'll forever be a Shanster. It was an amazing experience to be able to interview him. Thanks Darren for the interview!
2009/2010 is an exciting time frame for us Shansters! The manga of Cirque Du Freak released this month, Dark Calling in October (as well as Hell's Heroes for UK Shansters) and the Cirque Du Freak movie early next year! For more on Darren Shan, check out his website which is listed above and check out my book reviews on:
-Cirque Du Freak