Anyway today I have something very awesome to share with you! To celebrate the release of the next instalment in Darren Shan's amazing Zom-B series; Zom-b Mission, I have an mega cool interview to share! In fact a couple of years ago I have the pleasure of meeting Darren so being able to do this interview to celebrate this new book was actually really fun and exciting for me!
Moving on, I don't want to keep you waiting so without further ado, here is the interview!
1. What was you inspiration behind this series?
I wanted to write about racism and the abuse of power in the early 21st century, but I wanted to come
at it in a roundabout way, not write it as a straight-up issues book. I felt I might reach more readers if I made the issues part of a wider, thrilling, exciting, horrifc storyline, rather than focus on them exclusively. Zombies seemed like a good way to do that -- George A Romero's zombie films explored racist issues long before I hit the scene, so the precedent was already there -- so off I set.
2. Are any of the characters based on people you know?
Well, lots of them are named after people I know. I've done that in other books in the past, but more than usual in this novel, since it's got more of a contemporary urban feel than my other works, and "real" names suited the story more than they suited the stories of my previous work. But in terms of basing the characters on real people, no, not so much. Which is a relief, given how twisted and vicious the characters in these books are!
3. Do you have a writing ritual?
I tend to write about ten pages (3,000) words a day when I'm doing a first draft. I'll write five pages in the morning, take a break for lunch, edit them after lunch, then write another five. Continue until finished. I'll then give myself a break of a few months, before returning to do a rewrite, and I take further breaks between each subsequent edit. In total, I'll usually spend between two and three years working on any one book, although I'll juggle a lot of different books around over that period, which is how I can release books so quickly.
I was at an event once where a fan asked me about a certain character. I didn't recognise the name, and told the fan that I thought she was thinking of a book by a different writer. But no, she calmly reminded me of where the character appeared, and I finally recalled him! Luckily I'm not precious about these things, and I had a good laugh at my own expense.
5. When did you know you wanted to write?
Since I was five or six years of age. There were lots of others things I wanted to be too (vet, rock star, footballer, astronaut), but being a writer was top of the list, and also a lot more achievable for me than my other goals, since I was actually good at writing.
6. Who is your favourite author and what is your favourite book?
Stephen King is my favourite author, and has been for about thirty years, since I read my first book by him. My favourite book as a child was The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
7. What is the book you wish you had written?
I don't have a desire to write any books that are already written. There are amazing, groundbreaking books that I admire the hell out of -- for example, Lord of the Rings, and the graphic novel Watchmen -- but they were the work of other creative minds, and I only focus on what I can produce myself.
8. How does it feel to see your book in bookshops?
Nice, though not as mind-blowing as I think many people imagine. It's not like winning the lottery and walking around in a happy daze. A published book is the result of months and years of hard graft. By the time it appears on a bookshelf, I've gone through so many different stages that it's something of an anticlimax.
9. Can you give us any info of what you're working on next / what your next project is?
There are several more Zom-B books to come (there will be twelve in total) so I'm finishing off those at the moment. I have also completed a first draft of what I hope will be my next book after that, but I can't say anything about it yet, as it's still very much in its infancy.
10. And finally a fun question! If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Stephen King, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens. I'm sure I'd get some good stories out of those three over the course of a meal.
So as you can see that was a fantastic interview and if you haven't already read the Zom-B books you should definitely check them out. Here are the links for: