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Frequently Asked Questions That Darren Shan Has BeenVery Kind  To Answer

Are your books REALLY true?    How many books have you written?    Any news about the movie?

I'm a brilliant actor -- can you give me a role in the movie?

Why have more books been released in the UK than anywhere else?

When's your next book coming out?        I want to become a writer -- any tips?

I've written a story -- can I send it to you?     Can I have your autograph?

I want you to visit my school or library -- how do I get you?!?

When were you born and where do you live?     What are your favourite books?

Any chance of a freebie?!?
 
Q: Are your books REALLY true?

A: There are two answers to this. One, the obvious answer, is "No, of course they're not!" I'm not a half-vampire. I don't expect readers to believe that I've survived the trials which Darren in the books must endure, or that the Cirque Du Freak is real, or that vampires exist. The books are fictional, and the use of the first person narrative is purely a literary device. HOWEVER, there's an inner logic at work within the Saga of Darren Shan, which becomes apparent at the end of the series. So, if you can suspend credibility and believe in vampires and circus freaks, then yes, the story COULD be true. You'll find out what I mean in the very last book!!! I can state categorically that my demon books are genuine works of fiction!!

Q: How many books have you written?

A: I wrote 12 books in The Saga Of Darren Shan (or the Cirque Du Freak series, as it's known in America). I've also published a couple of books for adults, under my real name (Darren O'Shaughnessy), called Ayuamarca and Hell's Horizon. My next series of books will be about demons, and it's called The Demonata. The first book is called Lord Loss, and there will be 10 books in total! They will be coming out in the UK every June and October. After that? Who knows!! We'll just have to wait and see ...

Q: Any news about the Darren Shan movie?

A: Universal Studios have bought the film rights to my first three vampire books, and they plan to combine them to make one single movie. Oscar-winner (L.A. Confidential) Brian Helgeland is writing the script, and the Donner Company is producing it (they made the X-Men movies). As soon as I hear anything new, I'll write about it in the Shanville Monthly.

Q: I'm a brilliant actor/actress -- can you give me a role in the movie?

A: You'd have to write to the film-makers (i.e. Universal Studios). I'll probably have nothing to do with the movie, and won't have any say in who gets cast. If they're holding open auditions, and they tell me about them, I'll post the details in the Shanville Monthly.

Q: Why have more books been released in the UK than anywhere else?

A: Cirque Du Freak was published in the UK many months before it was published anywhere else in the world, since I sold it to the UK first. Certain countries caught up with the UK release schedule by the time of book 12, and will be releasing the books of my new series at the same time as the UK, or not long after. But other countries have been a bit slower. I cannot control the release of my books -- my publishers decide when the books come out, not me!

Q: When's your next book coming out?

A: Keep checking on Shanville, in the COVERS sections on the Vampires and Demons sub-sites, and in the Shanville Monthly. When publishers let me know their release schedules, I advertise every new book here, sometimes months before it hits the shops, giving the release date. But in most countries I don't always know when my books are released!! So if you can't find the details in the COVERS section, it means I don't know!!!!

Q: I want to become a writer -- any tips?

A: Write! The more you write, the better you become. There's no quick route to success -- just keep at it, never let your head drop, and don't give up. If you want to know more about how to publish your work, check out The Writer's And Artist's Yearbook -- it's in most shops, and should also be in your local library.

Q: I've written a story/book -- can I send it to you, to get your opinion?

A: NO!!!!! It's not professional for a writer to read an unpublished writer's work -- that's the job of editors and agents. I won't even LOOK at your story/book if you send it to me, and I don't think most other writers will either. If you want feedback you should show your work to your friends or teachers. Then, when you think it's ready to send to a publisher or agent, read through The Writer's And Artist's Yearbook.

Q: Can I have your autograph?

A: I have a strict but simple policy where autographs are concerned. If you e-mail me asking for one, the answer is NO -- I only respond to e-mails with e-mails. If, however, you write an actual letter and post it to me, I'll reply with a letter -- and my autograph. For the address to write to, check out the CONTACT page on Shanville -- but please note that it often takes letters a long time to reach me (sometimes a month or more!) so don't expect a swift reply ...

Q: I want you to visit my school or library -- how do I get you?!?

A: I love visiting schools, libraries and bookshops, and I do quite a lot of travelling around (usually at certain times of the year, around book events or book releases) -- so it's by no means impossible to arrange a Darren Shan visit! However, you have to do it the right way. 1) Don't write asking me to come -- that won't work, as I simply go where my publishers send me (they finalise event locations and details). 2) Get your teacher or librarian interested in my books; give them Cirque Du Freak to read (maybe ask them to read it out to the class). 3) If your teacher/librarian enjoys the book, ask them what they think about the possibility of having me come in to visit; if they like the idea, they can go about setting it up by either: 4a) contacting my publishers and enquiring about the possibility of a visit, or 4b) contacting a local book shop and asking them to try and arrange a visit. 5) I often announce details of my intended travelling plans far in advance, especially when I'm going to a country outside the UK and Ireland -- so keep reading the Shanville Monthly to keep up to date with my movements!!!!

Q: When were you born and where do you live?

A: I was born in 1972. I live in Limerick, in Ireland. For more biographical information about me, check out the BIOGRAPHY.

Q: What sort of books do you like to read?

A: I read lots of different books. Some of my favourites include: Salem's Lot by Stephen King; The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien; The Belgariad by David Eddings; Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke; The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall; Rebecca's World by Terry Nation; Sleeping In Flame by Jonathan Carroll; Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury; The Sirens Of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut; The Hyperion Books by Dan Simmons; The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck; Watership Down by Richard Adams; The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier; and Dracula by Bram Stoker (of course!!) Some of my favourite "hip, young and handsome" authors include: Eoin Colfer, Anthony Horowitz, Melvin Burgess, Louis Sachar, Philip Pullman, Garth Nix, and J.K. Rowling.

Q: I'm your biggest fan -- will you send me a free copy of the book?

A: Nice try -- now hit the road, toad!!!!!