Homeward stretch

April 24, 2010 at 16:28 (Uncategorized)

I’ve almost finished my final draft of the UK proofs of Birth of a Killer. I’m pleased with how nicely it all hangs together. I’ve had to add several new sections to the book since I wrote the first draft a few years ago, to fill in more of the blanks from Mr Crepsley’s early years and give the first book more focus. I see the four books as one large single story — in fact, when I first wrote them, I carried the chapter numbers forward from one book to the next — so the more dramatic scenes are obviously saved for further down the line, in the later books. Book 1 is an introduction, covering the early years, getting the major players into place, setting up plot lines which will resonate all the way to the end (and, indeed, on into The Saga Of Darren Shan — Mr Crepsley will read in quite a different way, I think, for fans who re-read that series after they’ve read these, or who read these first). But at the same time it needed to tell a good story that would entertain in its own right, one that would surprise and intrigue and excite and sadden. I think the book now has all those elements. It’s not self-contained, and was never meant to be — it’s very clearly the first book of a series, and it doesn’t attempt to draw all the story strands together at the end. But I don’t think it will be seen as a book readers have to slog through either — it’s not dry or slow-paced. If you compare it with, say, Vampire Mountain, a book it resembles in lots of ways (that was the first book of a 3 book story arc, which has to serve the purpose of introducing readers to a whole new world and cast of characters), I think this is a lot stronger — there’s more going on, it covers a larger emotional range, there are plenty of fights and deaths (you won’t have to wait for the second book for main characters to start meeting a grisly end!!!). Yeah, I’m happy with it, and I think you guys will be too. And only 5 months to wait — it hits stores in the UK and USA at the start of October.

In the meantime, The Thin Executioner is due to be launched on the world this week — that hits shops in the UK and Ireland this coming Thursday, and I’ll be heading out on tour to promote it. (You can find the dates and venues in the Shanville Monthly on my www.darrenshan.com web site.) I received some copies of the book during the week, and it looks absolutely fabulous!!! As I’ve said many times already, this is my personal favourite to date out of all of the books which I have written. And I think it looks and feels great too — I get a nice little shiver down my spine every time I pick it up!! I really hope fans enjoy this as much as I did — it will be a big anti-climax for me if it comes out to indifference. Of course, there’s nothing much I can do at this stage to influence how fans are going to react. Reader will decide its fate and reception by themselves. That’s the wonderful glory of literary democracy at work!!!

Bas, for those of you who might be wondering, is almost home!! She finally caught a flight out of Liberia on Thursday night, and made it safely to London, where she’s spent a couple of days. On Sunday, volcanic ash permitting, she should be flying the final stretch home to Shannon, and thence to chez Shan. In honour of her imminent arrival, and given the hardships she faced travelling home, I’ve broken with habit and not only hoovered round the house but washed the kitchen floor too!!!! I must be getting soft in my old age…

6 Comments

  1. Kathryn Winstanley said,

    Hi, Darren.

    I have to say, I can’t wait until Birth of a Killer comes out. I’m dying to read it!!
    Actually, I’ve just started reading the Saga- again! I do love those books. I’m on the last few chapters of The Vampire’s Assistant.
    Also, I’m really pleased to hear that The Thin Executioner is coming out this week. I most definitly will have to buy it as soon as I can!
    Great news that Bas is on her way home, you must be pleased and I bet she’ll be glad to get home!

    Take care, Darren. Have a nice weekend.

    From your huge fan, Kathryn Winstanley.

  2. Bas said,

    WOW – Darren you have cleaned in my honor! I can’t wait to get home to a sparkling house…. as you enjoyed it feel free to hoover anytime you like again!!
    Darren Shan domestic god!
    Bas x

  3. Bella Baltierra said,

    Master Shan, what i love about you is you keep your fans informed on how you are doing and the progress of your books. and i think it is way cool that Bas has commented on this blog!! lol im glad Bas is going to make it home safely. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Love from California USA,
    bella

  4. Maria said,

    Hi Darren.

    I just heard from my friend about The Thin Executioner, I can’t wait to get my hands on the book (: (Hurry with Birth of a Killer, please :D)
    I’m sort of from a long-away-shut-off-crappy country (Norway) so I hope the new books will be available here too (not in Norwegian tough, English is so much better) Actually, I can’t find a single English Saga in Norway… My friend bought it for me from Britian ^^’
    Anyway, I’m spacing out…. Good luck with the new books
    and… Way to go, Bas C:
    Hang in there (lame)
    Maria

  5. Ana said,

    Ahhh!!! Your page! It changed!!!

    Congrats on the book though:)

  6. GrassabBede said,

    i am a free illustrator, is there a chance you’d like to show some of my images? i think it would be nice for your blog ๐Ÿ™‚
    really like your page! write me a e-mail please in case you want to colaborate

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