About Darren Pillsbury

I started writing back in my senior year of high school, more years ago than I care to admit. I wrote throughout college, and then decided that I wanted to get into the “movie business” after I graduated.

I went to Los Angeles and tried to sell screenplays. I got close a couple of times, including an agency submitting one of my scripts to 30 studios and production companies, and doing some ghostwriter rewrites for very small direct-to-video type movies. But after a string of failures and backstabbings, I got burned out and quit writing.

A couple years later, I felt something was missing, so I went back to that script that almost sold and turned it into the novel IMAGINARY FRIENDS. I self-published that in 2007, then went on to blog PETER AND THE VAMPIRES and its various sequels a page-a-day until I self published it and PETER AND THE WEREWOLVES and PETER AND THE FRANKENSTEIN in May 2011.

Right now I'm working on the follow-ups to those books and fiddling with some other projects as well.

Drop me a line at darrenpillsburybooks(at symbol)gmail dot com. I love hearing from readers!

35 Responses to About Darren Pillsbury

  1. Jessica Kennedy LeBlanc says:

    I have been reading Darren’s work since the fall of 2008, and I have loved every second of it. I was hooked after the first entry, his style is fun and a pleasure to read. Peters adventures have captured both my mind and heart. Darren writes his characters with a great deal of realism. It is far too easy to fall right in beside Peter in the small town of Duskerville and be just as shocked as he is every time the world tips itself over. I am a loyal fan and have been trying to spread the word to my friends and family. If you have been thinking about reading some of Darren’s work, stop thinking about it, just jump in, you won’t regret it!

  2. Lisa Patrie says:

    hello, i got a kindle for chirstmas and happened on the peter books. they are fun to read with lots of twists and turns. please keep them coming. thanks, lisa

  3. Rob Lear says:

    Hi Darren
    Have been reading “Peter and the vampires” thoroughly enjoying it. Just the style and sort of themes I am writing with myself. I am just starting my kindle journey with a writing style similar to yours which attracted me to reading this one. Spent the last 20 years bringing up my kids solo and sadly put my writing aside. Lately i’ve had that itch i am sure you have had to pick up the pen (keyboard) and start. will contact you when my first is published.
    Thanks Rob. NZ

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hey Rob,

      Good to hear from you! It’s never too late – heck, I started writing a loooooooooong time ago, and I really only achieved any minimal sort of success starting in 2011. And I hope that it’s only the beginning of what I will eventually accomplish. So enjoy getting back to writing and good luck!

  4. Audrey says:

    I am so glad that you made the first four stories free! After reading the early
    adventures of Peter and Dill, I purchased all of the series to date. My favorite character is Dill. The interplay between Dill and Seamus is priceless! Who is Dill’s character based upon? I can so relate to the characters that it’s almost scary. Thank you for introducing them to us.

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hey Audrey! Thanks for buying all the stories – I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them! Yes, Amazon allowing me to make Volume One free (and I guess other sites allowing me to make it free, too) is definitely the best thing that’s happened so far in me being able to promote the stories to new readers.

      I actually based the character of Dill on…Dill, from To Kill A Mockingbird. Original, huh? When I was first brainstorming about a good friend for Peter, I thought, “He should be very funny, and a troublemaker. Like Dill from To Kill A Mockingbird.” I couldn’t come up with a good name for Peter’s new friend, so I just decided to call him ‘Dill’ as a placeholder and then change it after I wrote the first story. Well, by the time I finished the story (incidentally, ‘Vampires’ was the first – I wanted to write that one, already had the plot for it, and then I went back and wrote ‘Dead Men’), I couldn’t see him as anything other than ‘Dill.’ So I kept him that way.

      Years later I actually went back and read To Kill A Mockingbird, and it was funny how different the two characters are. Mockingbird‘s Dill is a lot more thoughtful and intelligent, a lot more delicate, and not nearly as loudmouthed. Which all makes sense, because he was based on Truman Capote as a child, whom Harper Lee knew.

      My Dill has many worse qualities…but he’s all the funnier for them, so there’s that. And the couple of redeeming characteristics he has more than make up for his various lapses.

  5. Deena Hicks says:

    Hey Darren – I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU for coming and reading Peter and the Vampire to my first period class. They still can not believe we lied to them about who you really were. They still think that the lie was very funny. I have had parents email me commenting on how their child enjoyed meeting you and how they also have started reading about Peter and Dill. The students have written you thank you letters and I should have them in the mail to you this weekend (as soon as I officially write mine). I hope other students and schools will benefit from your visits:) I look forward to seeing you again.

  6. aidan bokelman says:

    Hey man,
    dig the stories. Reminds me a lot of Christopher Moore’s work, but a bit more raw. Going to check the rest of Peters adventures. Found you from being a cheap bastard and reading the free books but these are for sure the diamnomd in the rough. Keep it up brother. Typing on a kindle fire can go to hell though…

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Thanks, Aidan! I’ll take a comparison to Moore any day of the week. And hey, I priced the first one for free to lure everybody in – glad it works!

  7. Melissa C. Pointer says:

    I love your books (I have bought every single one) I have even gotten my mom hooked on them as well.

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hi Melissa! Glad you’re enjoying the books – and thanks for introducing your mom to them, too!

  8. Cari Ludrosky says:

    This series is such a guilty pleasure for me. I am certain that I am not your target audience (I am in my 40s, and a police officer) but I just love the stories. I love your style of writing, and would love to see them made into a series of movies or TV shows. Without fail, when I complete one, I buy the next. And I agree with your previous statement about the benefit of giving the first book away, then practically giving the next two away, by the time I had to pay full price, I was hooked. Well played.

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hi Cari!

      Hahaha – thank you for the ‘well-played’ comment. That was hilarious!

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the books – and while I suppose you might not be in the “target audience,” almost nobody in my target audience actually reads the books! You’re actually right in the middle range for most of my fans. In fact, I would say that 90% of my readers are older than 20 years old, with a large proportion of them in their 30’s and 40’s – so you’re in good company!

      Thanks for reading the books!

  9. polina shapiro says:

    Such an amazing series! I stumbled upon it when I was bored and playing around with my kindle. I didn’t think i would like it but after seeing such good reviews from adults I decided to give it a shot and was not disappointed. Thus far I have told pretty much anyone who will listen what a great story this it. It is written in such a way that it sucks you in from the very first story and then you can’t put it down book after book. I have enjoyed every second spent reading it and would just like to say keep the stories coming!

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hi Polina,

      I’m so glad you took a chance on the book! Thanks for that – and thank you for telling people about the series, that’s the nicest possible thing you could do for me. (Other than reading the books yourself, naturally.) And thanks for writing in! I promise not to take so long to reply next time!

      Darren

  10. Bailey says:

    I absolutely, positively love your books. They are totally awesome. I mean, I love how Peter and Dills characters flow and enter act with each other. The part where you say that Dill is based on “To Kill a mocking bird” and now I sorta want a read it but, I’ve tried reading books that old and I don’t have the patience, maybe still to young. Anyway my favorites character is Dill and I want to write a monologue based on your books for my drama club. I hope you don’t mind. If you do mind all you have to do is tell me and I’ll stop. but I REALLY hope you don’t mind.

    Anyway the way you make the first volume free is genius and totally roped me in. I will recommend this series to most anyone I know.

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hey Bailey!

      I’m so sorry I took so long to get back to you – I hope you went ahead and did that monologue, because you totally have my blessing! I don’t mind at all. Quite the contrary – I’m very flattered! Thank you!

      Definitely give TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD a try. It’s not your typical golden oldie, trust me. It’s pretty dark yet very funny and touching, and the kid Dill is named after is pretty hilarious. Just a quick cast of characters, because I totally got lost when I first read it years ago: the narrator is Scout, a young girl, and her (slightly) older brother is Jem. Their father is the lawyer Atticus Finch (Scout calls him Atticus all the time rather than ‘Dad’). They’re a white family in the South, and Atticus is defending a black man accused of a crime by a white family. That’s all I’ll say about that – I’ll let you find out the rest for yourself.

      Thanks so much for your kind words – I’m really glad you like the books! And yep, Dill is my favorite character, too, followed closely by Dark Peter. They’re both just so much fun to write. 🙂

      Hope that monologue went well!

      Darren

  11. Katniss says:

    I started reading Peter and the Monsters series this spring because I wanted a break from all the syfy books I had been reading and the first volume was free on Amazon (I have a kindle fire). I thought the books would be to easy for me (I’m 13 and according to my teachers, I’m at a collage level. Not to brag or anything) and that I would read them all in a couple of weeks. I was wrong. I started reading the first book and I was in love asap. I was at first a little sceptical bc Dill seemed like a typical character I see in other books and j wasn’t really wowed. But by the end of the first book, I loved Dill and Peter and Beth and Grandfather and every one. But before I started the second book, I was sceptical again. Vampires has been done so many times that I was bored of it. But when I started reading, it was not like any other book I had read. I was amazed. The series has continued to amaze me also. Now Dill is a character of his own and I love him. Darren creates intresting monsters and puts a twist on old ones. He has a lot of connections to things I know and like. For example when he talked about CreepyPasta, I happen to read those a lot. It made me excited. I literally just finished the 27th book 10 minutes ago and I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I have enjoyed these books more than I ever imagined and look forward to the rest of the series. 🙂

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hey Katniss!

      Sorry it took me so long to write back. That’s cool – I’m so glad you gave the series a chance, and that you’ve enjoyed it so much. I’m glad that you’ve found it challenging, too. I figure anything that makes references to Jung, Oliver Cromwell, and Goethe isn’t your normal, run-of-the-mill ‘children’s series.’ 🙂

      In fact, I never meant PETER AND THE MONSTERS to be a ‘children’s series’ at all – not really. I wanted to write a series of horror novels that were also funny, and it was a lot easier to do that with a younger cast. As another one of my readers said, “It’s a series that just happens to have 10-year-olds as the protagonists.” And that’s exactly it. Most of my fans tend to be in their 20’s through their 60’s. I’m glad you found it earlier, though.

      Interesting note: KINDERMORD was originally supposed to be PETER AND THE SLENDERMAN. Somebody told me about Slenderman (I’d never heard of him) and I thought, “Now THAT would be an awesome story – Peter versus a made-up story on the internet that comes to life.” But the guy who created Slenderman put up some statements on his site about how he wasn’t giving his blessings to any new projects, especially since he was part of an independent film that would be coming out called THE ENTITY – so rather than ask (and potentially make myself a legal target), I just decided to come up with a creepypasta of my own. And thus was born the Kindermord. Besides, I’m not sure the creator would have taken too kindly to Peter killing ol’ Slendy.

      Thanks for reading my books – I’m so glad you found them, and I’m really glad you gave them a chance!

      Darren

  12. Par.B says:

    hello Mr.Pillsbury. At first I apologize for my poor English, and then thank you really very much for your fantastic book. At first that I started to read the book I really didn’t think that I’m going to like your book this much. I don’t know why, but I was expecting a boring story but when I just read two or three pages, found it so funny and continued reading. I remember I had English exam and the grade was so important but I was just reading your book and I really enjoyed it (mentioning that I got a really good grade maby because of reading your perfect book.)
    Anyway just I wanted to tell you that you are a perfect writer and I loved Petter and Dill so much and I hope to read more of your books. Thanks for giving us a good time with peter and dill.

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hi there, Par.B!

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad that you’re enjoying Peter and Dill’s adventures – and I’m glad they’re helping you learn English! I really hope that the books make learning English fun.

      I’m glad you got a good grade on your exam – and I hope my books helped you out some!

      If you ever have a question about any of the jokes or cultural references – since a lot of them are about American popular culture – just email me, and I would be happy to try to explain them.

      Thanks for reading my books, and thanks for writing in!

      Darren

  13. kyle says:

    Hello sir I truly love your books I’m 37 year old truck driver Peter and dill crack me up dill going on saying don’t wanna talk about it lol love it your good writer I have a short attention span with reading but your stories hooked me real quick can not wait till book 29 so I just keep reading your other ones over and over while on the road thanks for the laughs

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hey Kyle!

      Thank you for writing in! That’s really cool – I’m glad you’re enjoying the stories so much! That’s great that you’ve gone back and re-read the stories, too – thank you. There’s a lot in there, and it’s nice as an author to hear that you enjoy them that much. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy #29 even more when it comes out – we’re going to see the reappearance of some characters who haven’t been around since the first eight books. Peter And The Jehovah’s Witnesses should hopefully be out by the end of February.

      Thanks again for writing in, and keep on truckin’!

      Darren

  14. sam says:

    hi im sam I live in new Zealand and I just adore your books I hope I get to read your 29th book ive read a lot of books and yours is really the only one that I look forward too have you ever thought of turning it into a movie series like gabrelle lorde did for Conspiracy 365 I think it will really get the audience hooked and if you do get it movieised don’t do it like they did with Percy Jackson how in the book hes 12 but oin the movie hes 16/17 make it as close to the book as possible man im just blabbering now sorry well anyway I hope you are well and sorry if im sending this at a difficult time 😛 but just an idea for you

    love your books your adouring fan
    Sam Philps

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hi Sam!

      Thanks very much for the kind words! Yeah, I wish I could get it made into a TV series – something on basic cable or HBO, so they wouldn’t interfere with some of the darker aspects of the story. (And keep him exactly the same age as he is in the books!)

      Unfortunately, TV series and movies of children’s books only get made if they’re insanely popular, and Peter is far from that at the moment. Some day, maybe.

      By the way, both JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES (#29) and PETER AND THE PAST (#30) are now out!

      http://darrenpillsbury.website/peter-and-the-jehovahs-witnesses

      http://darrenpillsbury.website/peter-and-the-past-30

      Be forewarned about PETER AND THE PAST… it’s pretty dark and very sad… but you’ll find out a ton about Grandfather’s entire life.

      Thank you for writing in, and thanks for reading my books!

      Darren

  15. Nisani says:

    Your books are great and the next book should be about how peter and his friends future travel to the past to help themselves with a evil robot who going to make sure Dr.veedermeier does build the robot that take ove the world and can you make the good witch they meet teach grew how to do magic and learn how to fight and can you make peter and grew get married in the future because I think after all they been through they need to get together in the end.

  16. Nisani says:

    I ment future self

  17. Nisani says:

    That take over the world and can you make peter sister beth and dill get together too and I can’t wait to read what dill says.

  18. Nisani says:

    Thank you bye

  19. Nisani says:

    I ment gwen and sorry for spelling it wrong.

  20. Nisani says:

    It could be like peter and the future robots

  21. Nisani says:

    In the next book can you have peter in the future and gwen and dill and his sister beth travel through time to help themselves in the past fight a future robot who travel to the past to make sure Dr.veedermeier make him as well as every robot that going to take over the world.Can you have gwen found out how her mother was a witch and have the good witch teach her and beth to do magic and know how to fight.Can you have peter and gwen get to marry in the future and have peter sister beth and dill get together in the future too and I can’t wait to read what dill says about it.It could be peter and the future robot

    • darrenpillsbury says:

      Hi Nisani!

      Thanks for your comment on my blog back in January! I’m so sorry I didn’t answer you earlier than this.

      I liked your suggestions – they were good! I originally had the idea to do PETER AND THE ROBOTS, and Dr. Veidermeyer would have constructed a robot that went out of control. The time travel part you suggested is pretty interesting.

      I might still do the ROBOTS storyline – I’m not sure. I know what the next four books are going to be, and then I have to figure out a whole bunch of new stories, so ROBOTS could be one.

      By the way, Peter And The Past #30 is out! However, it’s pretty dark and very sad, so I hesitate to let you know about it. It could be sort of depressing, so you might want to put off reading it for a while.

      If you’re still interested, here are the links:

      http://darrenpillsbury.website/peter-and-the-past-30

      Thanks for reading my books, and thanks for writing in!

      Darren

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