Dan Abnett (1984, English) is a multiple New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning comic book writer.
He has written more than forty novels, including the acclaimed Gaunt’s Ghosts series, the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies, volumes of the million-selling Horus Heresy series, The Silent Stars Go By (the 2011 Christmas Doctor Who novel), Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero, and Embedded.
In comics, Dan is known for his work on The Legion of Super-Heroes, Resurrection Man, The New Mutants, Nova, the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Vertigo series The New Deadwardians. A regular contributor to 2000AD, he is the creator of series including Grey Area, Kingdom and the classic Sinister Dexter.
He also writes screenplays, and has written extensively for the games industry. He is published in well over a dozen languages and has sold millions of books worldwide.
Dan returned to the Hall (with fellow Hall Writers Stewart Lee, Tom Moyser and Jack Hackett) to give a talk in May 2013 entitled “Ka-Boom! (And Other Made Up Words)” . Watch the video, to see Dan talking about how comics are constructed and the rules for storytelling.
“A notebook in your back pocket is essential. Just because you happen to sit down at your keyboard bursting with enthusiasm to write, it won’t automatically follow that you will have the ideas you’re going to need. What you actually require is the great notion that popped into your head at the bus stop three weeks earlier…..Writing is a lonely and unforgiving activity. Bluntly, you should only really do it if you feel that you absolutely have to. Having said that, I’ve spent twenty-five years writing all manner of lurid and fantastical pieces of escapism – a process that’s nothing like the fun and games it might appear to be from the outside – and no matter how hard a day at the desk is, I am still regularly grateful that I have the chance to do, for a living, something that I would otherwise be trying to fit into my life around some more respectable occupation…
…I clearly remember, in a tutorial, telling Lucy that I wanted to write because I wanted to be able to pick up a nice, chunky paperback, feel the heft of it in my hand, and know that I was responsible for it. On reflection, I don’t think that’s the best reason for becoming a writer. I have discovered many other, better reasons since. Although… I do still love to split open a box of comp copies and hold a new edition in my hand.”