Darren O'Shaughnessy (; born 2 July 1972 in London, England), who commonly writes under the pen name Darren Shan, is an Irish author who is most famous for having written The Saga of Darren Shan. He has also recently published the last book in The Demonata series, as well as writing The City Trilogy, a series of books for adults under the alternative name of D. B. Shan.
Shan was born in 1972 at St Thomas' Hospital, London. At the age of three he started school at English Martyr's in London. When he was six, he moved with his parents and younger brother, to Limerick, Ireland, where he has lived ever since.
He received his primary education in Askeaton, and attended secondary school at Copsewood College, Pallaskenry. He returned to London to take a degree in Sociology and English from Roehampton University.
He lives in Pallaskenry, County Limerick, Ireland, with his girlfriend Bas.
Shan worked for a television cable company in Limerick for two years before he decided to become a full-time writer. He bought his first typewriter when he was fourteen and wrote many short stories, comic scripts, and books that he never finished. His first success came to him at age fifteen, when he was a runner-up in a TV script-writing competition for R.T.É. in Ireland, with a dark comedy story entitled A Day in the Morgue. He finished his first novel at age seventeen. Mute Pursuit was never published, but he loved the writing experience, so he started focusing on novels more and not on short stories.
His breakthrough came with Ayuamarca, written under his full name instead of a pen name. It was published in February 1999 by Orion Publishing Group, and did not sell very well. The sequel, Hell's Horizon, published in February 2000, was thought by some to be a better book, but sold fewer copies than the first. Ayuamarca was re-released in March 2008 under the title of Procession of the Dead and under the pen-name D.B Shan.Hell's Horizon followed in March 2009, and the third in the trilogy, City of the Snakes is set to be released in the UK in March 2010 (but this time under the name of Darren Shan). In January 2000, Shan released Cirque du Freak, the first book of The Saga of Darren Shan series in the UK and Ireland.
Shan is in possession of thousands of films and collects original artwork. He enjoys reading books and comic books, taking long walks, watching football (he is a Tottenham Hotspur and Republic of Ireland fan), listening to pop and rock music, and travelling worldwide.
The Demonata is a ten-book series. All ten books have now been released in the UK, US and Ireland.
The City Trilogy
The City Trilogy was written for adult readers and was originally released under the name of Darren O'Shaughnessy. The third book was never published and they are now out of print. They were published by Orion Publishing Group. However, in March 2008, Ayuamarca was re-published as Procession of the Dead (with substantial changes) by the Voyager imprint of Harper Collins (Shan's children's publisher). Hell's Horizon was released in March 2009 and City of the Snakes was released in March 2010.
Ayuamarca - Re-named Procession of the Dead - First published in the United Kingdom in February 1999 and later in Russia. Re-released in the UK in March 2008.
Hell's Horizon - Sequel to Ayuamarca. First published in the United Kingdom in February 2000. Re-released in March 2009.
City of the Snakes - Last book of The City Trilogy. It came out in the United Kingdom on the first of March 2010.
In March 2008, Ayuamarca was re-released as Procession of the Dead with the author's name as D. B. Shan. Shan vastly re-edited the book for its re-release. In March 2009 Hell's Horizon followed it, again in a re-edited version. The third book, City of the Snakes, which was previously unpublished, finally saw print in March 2010.
In July 2009, Shan announced that his adult books would, from this point on, be published under the name of Darren Shan in the UK and USA. The first two books of the series were re-branded as Darren Shan books in March 2010, when City of the Snakes was released for the first time. In the USA, the first book went on sale in June 2010, and the second is scheduled for January 2011.
Online short spin-off stories
" An Essay on Vampires" "by" Steve Leopard - book 1 tie-in story.
" Annie's Diary" - book 1 tie-in story.
" Tiny Terrors" - book 2 tie-in story.
" Transylvania Trek" - a short story "written" by Sam Grest.
" Shanta Claus" (only available at Christmas)
" Lonely Lefty" - book 3 tie-in story.
" Bride of Sam Grest" - another short story "written" by Sam Grest.
" An Affair of the Night" - book 5 tie-in story (should be read just before or after book 5).
" Hagurosan" - Originally written for Kids' Night In.
" Young Alan Moore" - Originally written for Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman, a book written to celebrate the 50th birthday of Alan Moore.
" The Good Ship Tree" - Originally written for the Times Educational Supplement, and accepted.
" Life's a Beach" - Originally written for the Times Educational Supplement, but rejected.
"Guyifesto...Who We Are" - Originally written for Guys Write For Guys Read. (Play on words of "manifesto")
The Saga of Darren Shan tie-in short stories - See above
"Koyasan" - Originally written for World Book Day 2006.
In July 2009, Shan revealed that he has written first drafts of 53 books in total. 31 of those are published or due for publication over the next few years. The rest include some books that he is working on for the future, along with some he might one day return to and publish, and others that he will probably never do anything more with. We know the names of two of these unpublished books.
Mute Pursuit - A futuristic cross between The Terminator and Stephen King's The Dark Tower; Shan's first completed book, when he was 17 years old. Shan has written lots of books which have not been published, mainly for adults, and most of these books are still at the first draft stage.
The Cannibal King - This was originally going to be the 12th book of The Saga of Darren Shan...book 11 was originally meant to be much longer, including elements from the first half of what became Sons of Destiny. The Cannibal King was never published because it was originally part of the planned 24-book Saga. Shan had planned to write 18...24 books for The Saga, with half of them taking place in the future wasteworld shown in Book 10, The Lake of Souls. For reasons explained on his web site, Shan decided to end the series with Sons of Destiny, which was written and released instead of The Cannibal King. He never reveals anything that he wrote in this book, because there is a possibility that he might one day write a follow-up series to The Saga, which would take parts of this book as its starting point.
The Thin Executioner
A one-off novel according to Shan, The Thin Executioner was released in April 2010. Inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and based in a brutal world of tyrants, it details the perilous quest of Jebel, the thin son of a respected executioner, to petition a fire god for invincibility and succeed his father.
The Saga of Larten Crepsley
Shan has mentioned several new works being developed on his blog, a four-book series about Mr. Crepsley (a character from The Saga of Darren Shan) with the first, titled Birth of a Killer, being released in October 2010 in the UK and USA. Book 2 of the Mr Crepsley series, Ocean of Blood, will be released in the UK and USA in May 2011, Book 3, Palace of the Damned, in October 2011, and Book 4, Brothers to the Death, in May 2012. This series will be entitled "The Saga of Larten Crepsley". Below is a list of all these books, and their release dates.
Book 1. Birth of a Killer (Late September 2010)Book 2. Ocean of Blood (May 2011)Book 3. Palace of the Damned (October 2011)Book 4. Brothers to the Death (May 2012)
Universal Studios bought the film rights to the first three books of The Saga and combined them to make a single movie. Lauren Shuler Donner produced the film, Paul Weitz directed. Original screenplay by Brian Helgeland but rewritten entirely by Paul Weitz. The first movie is called The Vampire's Assistant and was released in the USA on 23 October 2009.
From 12am to 1am on Sunday 23 August 2009, Shan stood upon the Fourth Plinth of London's Trafalgar Square as part of Anthony Gormley's One & Other living art installation. He used this opportunity to talk about the release of the film, and to read extracts from a number of his books. A video is available showing the entire hour of his appearance.