One last romp through The City

November 5, 2009 at 20:50 (1)

I started editing the page proofs of City of the Snakes, the third and last of the books in my The City trilogy, which are intended for older readers. The first two books were released under the name of D. B. Shan, but the third will be coming out under the name of Darren Shan in March 2010, and the first two books will be re-released under the Darren Shan name at the same time. I have very strong feelings for these books, and fans who’ve managed to track them down have liked them too, so hopefully the switch of name will help a lot of new readers find them — I know that many of my older fans (teenagers and adults) are unaware that I write for grown-ups too.

As I’ve said (probably quite a few times) on this blog before, I think City of the Snakes is the best of the trilogy, combining the best elements of the first two books, while throwing in some new twists and kinks as well. The impression has been re-inforced today, as I’ve been going through the proofs. It’s at this stage that I always get closest to the reaction a reader will feel when they read the book. At the proofs stage, there’s very little left for me to do, just make a very minor change or correction here or there, so I’m able to plough through it, almost as if reading someone else’s book. The speed at which I do that usually reflects my final feelings about a book — if it’s one I’ve struggled with, one which I think isn’t quite as strong as it could be, then I’ll usually go a bit slowly, treating it as a must-do job rather than a reading pleasure. If it’s one I’ve really enjoyed, and that I think works as perfectly as I can get it to work, then I’ll fire ahead swiftly.

I edited more than a quarter of City of the Snakes today, breezing through more than a hundred pages, which I think shows how pleased I am with this particular twisted little baby!!! In fact I would have happily carried on working on it for another couple of hours, but Bas and I are about to head in to Limerick to see The Saw Doctors at Dolan’s (they’re a fun, Irish band). I won’t be able to do a lot of it on Friday or Saturday either, because we’re heading up to Dublin to see Muse at the O2. Part of me is frustrated by that — I’d love to crack on and finish it over the weekend now that I’m caught up in it. But at the same time I’m quite glad of the break, because it means I’ll get to spend a few more days in the world of The City next week. Once I wrap up work on this edit, that will be it, I’ll probably never read the book again — and I’m going to miss it when that happens. This way I get to stay in the dark, gloomy, menacing world of my creation until at least Tuesday or Wednesday, when I’ll reluctantly have to bid farewell to The City forever. Well, maybe not forever — I did actually write a fourth book, meant to slot in between Hell’s Horizon and City of the Snakes. If the books ever find a large, encouraging audience, it’s possible I might one day return and fashion that book into final, publishable shape. But it was the darkest, most nightmarish book I ever worked on (nightmarish in a bad, depressing way, not a fun, ghoulish way), and I’m in no rush to slip back into that particular section of The City. But if enough fans demand it over the coming years… Well, who am I to deny the demands of my fans?!?

For the time being, though, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride of City of the Snakes — once I’ve rocked out to the Saw Doctors and Muse, of course!!!!!


  1. Robbie said,

    Good blog, hope you enjoy the music and that people savour and are delighted by City Of The Snakes- please keep up the good work by writing more soon please!!!

  2. LennardF1989 said,

    Hello Darren,

    Indeed I was unaware too that you wrote books for grown-ups. I really enjoyed the Darren Shan series which I’ve read in Dutch 8 years ago, as my English wasn’t as developed as it is now, obviously. The downside of that was that I had to wait for the translation of the follow-up, arggh! I still have all of them in my bookcase here.

    I certainly also want to watch the movie based on the first 3 books currently in the cinemas. I might look into “The City” series.

    Yours sincerely,
    Lennard Fonteijn, an old fan from the Netherlands

  3. Rowan said,

    I love ‘The City’ books. They have so many twists and unexpected turns; I can’t get enough of them! I’ve read the first two so many times…and I’ve got most of my friends hooked on them too!

    You’re so lucky; going to see Muse. I’m sure it’ll be amazing, as all their concerts are!
    Hope you have fun! ^_^

    Rowan. X

  4. Paul said,

    Anybody out there who didn’t know that Darren wrote books grown-ups is in for a pleasant surprise. They are really excellent. To me they are less dark than the kids books so there should be no problem for anybody making the move up once they have finished with the others. Looking forward to the 3rd book and Darren if you need any advanse readers i would be glad to oblige. Paul

  5. Sarah D said,

    Oh wow, saw doctors and muse! I’ve seen the saw doctors a few times at the oxegen music festival and they were always brilliant live despite them not being my favourite band. I really really really wanted to go see muse but no funds unfortunately 😦 Hope you had an amazing time and good luck with the editing!

  6. Kathryn Winstanley said,

    Hi, Darren.

    I’m very happy as I came across Procession of the Dead yesterday, which so far I think is really good! And I look forward to reading the rest of the books.
    I hope you had a good time at the concert. Take care.

    From your big fan, Kathryn Winstanley.

  7. Zoe said,

    OMG! i just started reading the city book 1. it is great! I know that it is for adults but i dont care even if i am12. CAPAC IS COOL, The Cardinal is also, he is very strange.

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