Darren Shan’s real name is Darren O’Shaughnessy. Although he is Irish, he was in fact born in London. His family moved back to Ireland when Darren was 6 years old. Darren started writing when he was 14 and had his first taste of literary success when he was 15 winning a TV script-writing competition for RTÉ in Ireland. He continued writing adult fiction while he attended university studying Sociology and English at Roehampton University, London. He then worked for a TV company in Limerick, Ireland before becoming a full-time novelist at the age of 23.
Although he concentrated on adult fiction, with his first novel Ayuamarca published in 2000 (later republished as Procession of the Dead), Darren had always liked the idea of writing for children and his first children’s novel Cirque du Freak was published in 2000 to rave reviews. It was adapted for film by Universal Pictures and released in 2009 starring, Salma Hayek, Willem Defoe and Ken Watanabe.
His most recent adult fiction, Lady of the Shades, a one-off thriller with supernatural undertones was published in August 2012.
In 2006, a Japanese manga (comics) adaptation of The Saga Of Darren Shan began. The manga appeared first in serialized format in an anthology comic called Weekly Shonen Sunday and these chapters are later collected into graphic novel format. Each graphic novel volume covers a whole book in the Saga series.
Darren has continued to write both children’s and young adult fiction and his novels have been widely translated becoming Children’s Book best-sellers in America and Europe. His adult fiction has regularly topped the best-seller charts in Hungary, Japan and Taiwan. In total, Darren’s books have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.