The Irish author Darren O’Shaughnessy, best known under his pen name,
was born in London in 1972. His family moved to Limerick, Ireland, when
he was six, and he has lived there for most of his life.
Shan began to write for fun when he was a teenager and was an avid
storyteller. He wrote his first novel when he was 17, and had entered a
scriptwriting contest at 15. He continued writing novels while he
studied in London at Roehampton University.
Upon returning to Ireland, Shan worked for a cable company, but soon
quit to become a full time writer when he was 23. His first novel,
Ayuamarca, was published in 1999. Hell’s Horizon followed the next year.
The books were not an immediate success, but when the final part of the
trilogy, City of the Snakes, was published in 2010, new versions of the
first two books were released.
Shan’s biggest series was The Saga of Darren Shan. The series of vampire
novels for children was itself made up of four trilogies. The first,
Vampire Blood, was published in 2000. The first book of this series,
Cirque du Freak, was successful with reviewers and readers, and has
since been made into a film.
The twelve books of The Saga of Darren Shan were followed by a ten-book
series called The Demonata. This series was a similar style to the
previous series, though with a focus on demons. He has also written
further novels for all ages, including The Thin Executioner, a novel
inspired by The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.