March 30, 2010 at 21:31 (1)

I finished my latest edit of what will hopefully be my next adult book today. I can’t say anything about it yet, except I’ve got a very good feeling about this one! I think it’s my most mainstream adult book to date, and hopefully it might prove to be my breakout novel in that field. While I’m not overly concerned if I never make it big in the adult market, it would be nice to kick up a storm — like any ambitious writer, I always want MORE!!! I think it’s good to challenge yourself, to ask more of your muse. I could very easily just sit back and coast along with my children’s books — I enjoy writing them, they sell in massive numbers, children are the most appreciative fans you could ever hope for — I’ve already sold more books than most writers can ever dream of selling in the whole of their career. But I don’t believe in sitting on one’s laurels. The money in the bank has never mattered much to me — it’s certainly very nice to have, but it’s not what I wake up thinking about in the morning. For me it’s always been about writing the best books I can, winning over as many readers as I can, entertaining or fascinating or revolting as many fans as I can. I’ve hit the heights with my chidlren’s books, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to take it easy on myself. I’m going to keep on pushing myself to produce adult books every bit as successful as my books for younger readers. If I fail, so be it, I won’t lose any sleep — but I’ll fail knowing I tried. Life is ultimately all about trying. At the end of your days, if you can look back and know that you’ve made a decent stab at chasing all the dreams that you ever had, I think you can pass on happily to whatever lies beyond this realm. But if you get to the end of the line, look back and realize you didn’t push yourself as hard as you could have… if the last thing you think is “I’m really sorry I didn’t make the most of my time here”… Well, who wants to go out like that?!? Dream big, have fun chasing your dreams, don’t be too disappointed if they don’t all come true — that’s Darren Shan’s recipe for a happy, contented life!!!

As well as editing, I’ve been busy answering fan mail over the last few days — another huge pile has built up while I was away. One letter got me fuming yesterday. It was from a teenage girl. She wants to be a writer, and asked me if I had any advice, then said, “but not the obvious stuff like ‘just keep writing’ — that won’t be any use to me.” I replied to her, as I reply to every letter which I receive, but rather more curtly than usual. I basically told her that, actually, ‘just keep writing’ WAS the best advice I could offer, and that if she didn’t pay attention to that advice, all other advice would be wasted on her. I say it her often, I know, but it’s always worth repeating — the secret to becoming a writer is to WRITE!!!! If you do that, and work hard, and push yourself, and learn from your mistakes, and put in the time and effort and sweat and tears that becoming a writer requires… well, if you do all that, the practicalities will take care of themselves. You’ll learn things and find out things and figure out things — publishing is like anything else, there are rules and regulations, and it’s not that difficult to work them out. But the writing has to come first, and it’s all you should be focused on in the beginning. Knuckle down and prove yourself TO yourself before you go looking to win over the rest of the world. If you’re not prepared to do that — if you try to cut out the hard work and just straight into producing a bestseller and getting a publisher before you’ve written a good book — then you’re just pretending to be a writer and you’re only fooling yourself. And as you’ll find if you write me a pouty letter and catch me in a stern mood, Shan has little time for fools….

p.s. check out this video about the Daily Mail — it made it chuckle a lot!!! CLICK HERE


  1. Paul said,

    Hey Darren. Good to hear that there another book coming. Enjoyed the first three and looking forward to the next one. Paul

  2. Stephanie said,

    Mr. Shan you dont need to worry about it becoming big i mean you have ( the AWSOME) series Cirque and the Demontata series they became huge with out you knowing they would some day become best selling novels im just saying always look on the brightside 🙂

  3. Bella said,

    hi Master Shan

    i commented on the myspace version of this blog but i didnt watch the “daily mail” video then. lol it was so funny 🙂 you’re the best! lol
    demon/vampire freak,

  4. Sarah said,

    Def write more adult books. 🙂 I wasn’t an adult when I started reading the other books but I am now, well sort of as I’m 21. LOL Although I still read the childrens books anyway…I’m obviously a big kid at heart. =o


  5. Rozhan said,

    You never answer my questions. I’ve sent you emails many times. But you didn’t answer any of them. I’m anger!!!!
    من اعصاب ندارما!!!!!!!!!!!

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