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Success story Darren Shan


Success story Darren Shan

Darren Shan’s first book, Ayuamarca, was published in 1999 by Orion and didn’t have much impact. The sequel, Hell's Horizon, sold fewer copies than the first. But in January 2000, Shan released Cirque du Freak, the first book of The Saga of Darren Shan series in the UK and Ireland and this was the beginning of his tremendous success and a YA (and, more recently, adult) horror writer.

Shan has revealed that he has written first drafts of 53 books in total, 31 of which are published or due for publication over the next few years. The rest include some books that he is working on for the future, along with some he might one day return to and publish. This very prolific author started writing at a young age.

Shan was very much in the news at Frankfurt 2011, when his agent

Christopher Little (whom he used to share with J K Rowling until the mega-author left Little recently) announced two major deals for him, moving him from HarperCollins UK to Simon & Schuster for a YA series and signing with Orion, where he started, for a two-book deal for adult novels.

Shan will also write "a dark, supernatural thriller" for adults, LADY OF THE SHADES, plus a second novel, for Orion. His editor, Jon Wood, commented: "It’s incredibly exciting to welcome Darren back to our list. He has become one of the foremost writers of YA horror in the world, and these new adult projects are equally powerful. Lady of the Shades combines the best of dark thriller and supernatural writing into a brilliantly high-concept whole."

He has made his name over the years with his young adult series, The Saga of Darren Shan, The Demonata and Mr Crepsley. He has also written novels for adults including Procession of the Dead, Hell’s Horizon and City of the Snakes. His books are sold in 60 countries in more than 30 languages, and have topped bestseller charts in Hungary, Japan and Taiwan.

Shan is a compulsive writer and very prolific. He is has already developed into an industry, with this output shared by more than one publisher. These new deals will accelerate that. But he has also worked hard to build his audience and to interact with it and his blog is a model of its kind which has done a great deal towards building his audience.

Our last two Success Stories: Hilary Mantel and Rosie Allison