|Darren Shan is the pen name of the Irish author Darren O'Shaughnessy, as well as the name of the protagonist of his book series The Saga of Darren Shan. This series is also known as The Cirque Du Freak Series in the United States. He also is currently writing The Demonata series.|
Darren O'Shaughnessy was born on July 2, 1972, in St Thomas' Hospital, London, England. He lives in Pallaskenry County Limerick. At the age of three, he started school at English Martyr's. When he was six, he moved, with his parents and younger brother, to Limerick, Ireland, were he has been living ever since. He received his primary education in Askeaton, and went to secondary school at Copsewood College in Pallaskenry. He then traveled back to London to study Sociology and English at Roehampton University.
Darren worked for a cable television company in Limerick for a few years and then decided to become a full-time writer. He bought his first typewriter when he was fourteen and wrote several short stories, comic scripts, and books that he never finished. His first success came to him at age fifteen, when he was a runner-up in a TV script-writing competition for Radio Telefís Éireann in Ireland, with a dark comedy story entitled A Day in the Morgue. He finished his first novel at age seventeen. Mute Pursuit was never published, but Shan loved the writing experience, so he started focusing on novels more and not on short stories.
All of Shan's first books were oriented to adults. He thought writing children's books would be a nice idea for the future but adult books were his main focus. His first breakthrough was with his book, Ayuamarca, written under his full name instead of his pen name. It was published in February 1999 by Orion Publishing Group, and did not sell very well. The sequel, Hell's Horizon, published in February 2000, was thought to be a better book, but it sold fewer copies than did the first.
Then between the two adult books, Darren published his first children's book, Cirque Du Freak, and it launched him into becoming a best selling author as he started The Saga of Darren Shan which he would finish twelve books and five years later. After The Saga, he started his new series, The Demonata with four books already released and six more on the way. When he finishes those, he plans to write 4 books on the life of Mr. Crepsley.
By 2006, Shan's books were on sale on every continent, in 30 countries, and in over 20 languages. He has been a children's bestseller in the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries and he has topped the adult bestsellers charts in Hungary, Japan and Taiwan. His books have sold over 10 million copies. . Darren Shan always makes an appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival. He also sits for hours afterwards signing books and talking to fans.
Darren has a collection of thousands of movies, and he also likes to collect original artwork. He enjoys reading books and comic books, taking long walks, watching soccer (a Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and Republic of Ireland fan), listening to pop and rock music, and traveling worldwide.
During his book tour in the United States, he confirmed the future release of the Mr. Crepsley series. He also released Bec, the 4th book of the Demonata Series.
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