Shan, Darren 1972–

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Shan, Darren 1972–

(Darren O'Shaughnessy)


Born Darren O'Shaughnessy, July 2, 1972, in London, England; son of Liam (a laborer) and Breda (a teacher) O'Shaughnessy. Education: Roehampton Institute of Higher Education, B.Sc.


Agent—Christopher Little, 10 Eel Brook Studios, 125 Moore Park Rd., London SW6 4PS, England. E-mail—[email protected]





Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare, HarperCollins (London, England), 2000, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2001.

The Vampire's Assistant, HarperCollins (London, England), 2000, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2001.

Tunnels of Blood, HarperCollins (London, England), 2000.

Vampire Mountain, HarperCollins (London, England), 2001.

Trials of Death, HarperCollins (London, England), 2001.

The Vampire Prince, HarperCollins (London, England), 2002.

Hunters of the Dusk, HarperCollins (London, England), 2002.

Allies of the Night, HarperCollins (London, England), 2002.

Killers of the Dawn, HarperCollins (London, England), 2003.

The Lake of Souls, HarperCollins (London, England), 2003.

Lord of the Shadows, HarperCollins (London, England), 2004.

Sons of Destiny, HarperCollins (London, England), 2004.


Lord Loss, HarperCollins (London, England), 2005.

Demon Thief, HarperCollins (London, England), 2005.

Slawter, HarperCollins (London, England), 2006.

Bec, HarperCollins (London, England), 2007.

Blood Beast, Little Brown (New York, NY), 2007.

Demon Apocalypse, Little Brown (New York, NY), 2007.


Ayuamarca: Procession of the Dead, Millennium (London, England), 1999.

Hell's Horizon, Millennium (London, England), 2000.


Koyasan, HarperCollins (London, England), 2006.


Darren Shan once commented: "I've been writing all my life. I've always loved telling stories. I started out writing for adults (my ‘grownup’ books are published only in the United Kingdom). Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare began as a side-project: I wanted to write a book which the ten-to- twelve-year-old within me thought was ‘cool!!!’ It's since pretty much taken over my life, with a series of a projected twenty or so books. Moral: beware of casual side-projects!

"I write to a page count: ten pages per day, five days a week. Sometimes I also edit other books while writing a new one. Occasionally I'll work on two books at the same time. My first aim is always to tell an exciting story which anyone with a good, basic grasp of the language can read.

"I also use my books to explore personal issues, or areas of interest to me; for example, loneliness, codes of honor, death, violence, friendship, fate, religion, et cetera. Childhood and coming of age revolve around such key issues, so I think children's books should, too. Most of my books are quite darkly themed—some are downright morbid—but I do work in humorous and warm moments. I like to mix genres. Thus, while the first three books of ‘The Saga of Darren Shan’ are primarily horror books, the next three will be fantasy. After that? Readers will just have to wait and see!

"Stephen King has been a huge influence on me. Other favorite writers and books include Roald Dahl, The Secret Garden, Alan Garner, Robert Cormier, Robert Westall, and Rebecca's World.

"My books have been and are being published in many countries, from Brazil to Japan to Israel—with more to come, hopefully. My aims for the future are to carry on writing and to improve. Writers should always be looking to go one better. On my deathbed, I want my last words to be, ‘Hang on! I've just had a really good idea….’"



Books for Keeps, May, 2000, review of Cirque du Freak: A Living Nightmare.

Children's Books in Ireland, May, 2000, interview with Darren O'Shaughnessy.

Daily Telegraph (London, England), March 11, 2000, review of Cirque du Freak.

Independent (London, England), December 3, 1999, review of Cirque du Freak.

Manchester Evening News (Manchester, England), February 24, 2001, review of Cirque du Freak.

Observer (London, England), October 22, 2000, review of Cirque du Freak.

Scotsman, February 5, 2000, review of Cirque du Freak.

Times (London, England), February 4, 2000, interview with Darren O'Shaughnessy; February 17, 2000, review of Cirque du Freak.


Darren Shan: Vampires, Secret Shanville, Demons, (September 15, 2007).