On Day 10…

October 10, 2009 at 23:33 (1)

… all unholy Hell was unleashed!!!! But first, let’s go back to day 7!!

I did a large school event in Teeside on the morning of the seventh day, then a long signing in Newcastle — 2 hours and 40 minutes!! After that, I caught the train north to Dundee, arriving late to my hotel, not getting to bed until after midnight.

Thursday was another mad day. First, I did a 2 hours 10 minutes signing in Dundee in the morning — my first time there, and it was great to get such a large turnout. Then I did a public signing in Sterling in the afternoon — again, new territory, and the same sort of a crowd — the signing at this one ran to 2 hours 15 minutes!! And THEN I did a public event in Wishaw for 180 rabid fans, and was signing for 2 hours after that as well!!!! I was absolutely shattered when I crawled into bed late that night — but delighted too!!

The next morning I was due to do a radio interview with a DJ called Gareth O’Callaghan on an Irish station. They had made a big deal of setting the time and date, so I assumed they wanted to do a proper interview. That morning, they tried ringing me at 07.20 to confirm that my number was correct!! Luckily, I’d had a premonition that they might do that, so I’d set my phone to silent — otherwise I would have roared abuse down the phone at them for waking me at such an ungodly hour!!! But I rose in plenty of time to text them and let them know that I was ready for the interview, and that my phone was working fine. I assumed, again, that this was going to be a good interview, since they had gone to that effort of making sure that everything would run smoothly. They rang me a few minutes before I was due to go on. Then I got put through to Mr O’Callaghan. He asked me three questions — one to briefly describe what Hell’s Heroes was about. One to ask me what the film was about. And one to ask me what I was doing at Halloween. And that was the end of the interview!!! What a waste of time — I even ended up missing my breakfast, because it clashed with what I thought would be valuable radio time, so I made the decision to take the call rather than head down to the dining room!! I’ve given lots of rushed radio interviews over the years, but this was without doubt the most pointless and unproductive one yet!!

After that brief brush with ignorant amateurism, it was back to the real world of the next leg of the gruelling Hell’s Heroes tour. I did a great schools event in a church for about 350 kids from 13 different schools. Then, after lunch (a rarity on this tour!) I did a signing at Borders in Glasgow. I was there for 3 hours, signing at a furious rate, aware that I had to catch a plane back to London later. I made sure that everybody got a decent message (I don’t like to shortchange my fans at signings), but I didn’t have as much time to chat as I would have liked. But that’s the way it goes sometimes — when you’re up against the clock, you have to go like the clappers!!!

Which brings us to Day 10 — Bluewater!!! I’d been to Bluewater twice before, and both were mammoth signings, clocking in around or over the four hour mark. So I was prepared for another busy one. I got in late the night before (the flight was delayed), and I had to get up earlier than I would have liked, so I was a bit groggy starting out. I arrived in plenty of time and met some of the winners of the Hell’s Heroes Waterstones competition. I handed them their copies of the special edition, then moseyed on down to the store to start signing at 10.10a.m. on the 10th day to promote the release of the 10th Demonata book. The line was massive as I passed, and I knew it was going to be a long one. And, for a few hours, it never really got any smaller, as others joined and patiently waited… and waited… and waited…


That’s how long I was signing for!!! It was mammoth — no — BEYOND mammoth!!! I drank three cups of Starbucks Strawberries & Cream Frappuccinos!!! I felt guilty later, but I didn’t eat anything in all that time, and the sugar rush kept me going!! It was an amazing feeling, to know that so many people wanted to come see me, and were prepared for wait for several hours just to chat with me for a minute or two and have their books signed. I should have felt exhausted, but I just felt honoured. I can remember past events when nobody has turned up, or only a handful of people, and I’ve felt as if I’ve been wasting my time writing… nights when I’ve travelled for hours to and from an event, and come back to my hotel room feeling lonely and unloved and useless.

But not tonight!!! Tonight I feel like a STAR!!!! People kept asking me if I was tired or weary or if my hand hurt — and, yes, I felt all three of those over the course of the six and a half hours that I was sat in a chair, signing, chatting and posing for photos — but above all else I felt elated, and though I should have been grimacing, I couldn’t stop grinning — and I’m still grinning now!!!! I was told afterwards that it was the second longest signing the store had ever boasted — Jacqueline Wilson beat me by about half an hour!!! But I’m perfectly delighted with my six and a half hours, and while it might be nice to have another crack at the record one day, I’m happy not to go for it any time soon — two sessions like that in close proximity to one another and my hand might drop off!!!!!!!

To round out the night, and to get away from books for a while, I went to visit my uncle Derek and watch Ireland play Italy in a World Cup Qualifier. We drew 2-2, whcih was a fabulous result, and secure a play-off place for the finals — but we went 2-1 up with three minutes left, so it ultimately felt like a crushing defeat when we threw the lead away. Still, after all that had gone earlier, I couldn’t feel TOO disappointed. Football is fun, but for me, writing and touring is life — and today, without any doubt, no matter what else may have happened in any other area, life is GOOD!!!!!

Now roll on Ireland and the last three days of the tour — I have no doubt whatsoever that with the support of my always incredible Irish fans, its’s going to end on a high!!!!


  1. Robbie said,

    Great blog- glad you are liking the tour and football. Keep up the good work by writing more soon please!!!

  2. Bella Baltierra said,

    wow! 6 hours of signing! i would have waited that long to meet u too but sadly, i live in the u.s. lol. im glad you are having so much fun. keep writing! you are me idol!!

  3. donna wilson said,

    I am impressed with how much book signing that you are actually doing! Our kids in the states are looking forward to the Cirque de Freak movie. we have not even started the Demonata series yet. Do you know of any retailers that are selling posters or other items related to your books?
    Keep up the great work.

  4. Zoe said,

    WOW is all i can say six and a half hours or signing books :0 I would soooo wait as long as I need to to just meet you and get a picture with you. you are amazing Darren Shan. I cant WAIT to read the 10 book of the Demonata series

    I am so confused because at the end of the Ninth book it says “COMING SOON BOOK 10 OF THE DEMONATA SERIES IS EARTHS BREAKING” I am so confused because I thought that the 10th book is called “HELLS HEROES” if you can could you PLEASE clarify why in the book it is called EARTHS BREAKING

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