The second interview of the fortnight, people! How cool! And yes. THE Darren Shan. He’s possibly the best children’s and YA horror author on the planet. I loved Cirque Du Freak so much, and as you have probably been able to tell if you’ve been following this blog for a while, I am the hugest fan of Zom-B ever! 😀 So, imagine the delight on my face when the amazing Darren answered some interview questions for me, and allowed me to put them on my blog! I didn’t just have a happy face. I kind of squealed and ran around the room in circles for a bit and did some nonsensical babbling and probably really freaked out most of my family. But enough of that, you want to read this interview, right? All the questions that I’ve asked are themed around Darren’s bestselling new ZOM-B series, so enjoy!
An Interview With Darren Shan
1- What made you decide to move on from Vampire novels to Zombie ones?
I wanted to write a book that looked at the society in which we live, especially issues like racism and the abuse of power, but I wanted to do it in an exciting way. Zombies just seemed to suit the needs of my story the best!
2- Did you always intend to shock readers with B Smith’s actual gender in Zom-B?
It wasn’t about shocking readers, but about drawing their attention to the fact that we all make assumptions in life, but sometimes those assumptions are inaccurate. One of the things I hope readers do after they’ve read Zom-B is look at themselves and the world a bit more questioningly. This was one of my ways of encouraging readers to look at the world more closely – in effect I was saying “Take nothing in life for granted.”
3- Mr Dowling, your antagonist zombie clown, has definitely creeped out a bunch of readers (even me, he’s terrifying!) Are you also a bit scared of your creation?
No. As a writer, I don’t get spooked by my own stories, because I always know where I’m going with them. I have a different relationship to my books. I’m like a puppet master – I see lots of strings from overhead, not the show from the front that everyone else sees.
4- where did the idea of ‘Angels’, the group of revitalized zombies, come from?
I knew that B was going to team up with a group of similarly revitalised zombies. And I knew I was going to tackle the issue of religion over the course of the series. So this seemed like a good opportunity to get that ball rolling.
5- Are you able to give Zom-B fans out there any hints about upcoming books?
Only that we still have a long way to go, and there are a lot of twists still to come. Zom-B Angels answers a lot of the questions raised by the first three books, but it also throws up some new questions. I hope to keep fans on tenterhooks until the end of the series – there are going to be huge surprises right up until the very last chapter of book 12!
6- What are your favourite zombie-themed books or films?
Dawn Of The Dead (the original version, made in the 1970’s) is my favourite zombie movie.
7- If zombies invaded London while you were there, where would you go?
I explore those different options during later books in the series, when we get to see what life is like for the survivors who stayed, and those who fled.
8- Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring young horror writers?
Keep writing – the more you write, the more you learn and the better you get!
Thanks so much, Darren Shan, for the brilliant interview answers! I was so happy you were able to answer- I’m honored! I, and I’m sure every other ZOM-B fan, can’t wait to see what happens next in the ZOM-B series. ZOM-B BABY looks really great!
Here are the links to my reviews of all of the ZOM-B books so far: click on the jackets for that book’s review. I recommend the whole series, for teen horror fans!
Have you read any of Darren Shan’s new gory horror series? What have you thought of it so far, and what are you looking forward to in the future titles? Happy reading!