"The grave lies ahead of us all!" - Darren Shan
Even as I turned up a half hour before the event was due to start, there was already a que forming at the door. Both adults and children had at least one copy of a Shan novel. One boy went as far as to have 7 books with him! And it’s no wonder, really. Given that Darren has written as many as 28 novels and claims that he has three books on the go at any given time. His current stories, including:
The Saga of Darren Shan
The Demonata Series
The City Trilogy (For older readers)
And most recently:
The Thin Executioner (his only stand-alone novel published to date)
The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Birth of a Killer (The first in a four book series focusing on the favourite Vampire from his first Saga.)
All of these novels have one critical thing in common: They are full to the brim with blood.
And so with a full-house – Darren bounds on stage to resounding applause. Right from the first you get the impression that he really is a big kid. With his rosy cheeks and spring in his step, you can tell he loves what he does.
After a bit of an introduction he reads from the first book in his Demonata series – Lord Loss. This guy really loves gore and horror. And as he reads from what he says is the goriest scene he’s ever written, the room is deathly silent… and Darren revels in it. He takes great joy in using many-a-scary voices for his characters and the kids in the room are both excited and afraid.
Among the various topics he spoke about - he claimed that of all the books he’s published to date, his favourite is The Thin Executioner. Which, as well as being a book about a young boy who wants to chop off heads for a living, is also Darren’s views and opinions on the current political state of the world. And far from being over anyone’s head, the kids know this and understand it.
He then treats us to a chapter to his most recently published novel – Birth of a Killer. Book two of which will be called:
, due May 2011. Ocean of Blood
Questions are then opened up to the audience with many hands shooting into the air from the minute the floor lights are raised. One of the first questions asked is about the origine of Darren’s love for horror. To which he replies that ever since he was a child he has always loved scary stories and movies – actually enjoying the nightmares they induce! He is of the opinion that every child should be exposed to the dark side of literature and cinema as he believes it is a vital ingredient in growing up.
He then ended the event with a reading from a short story used for the World Book Day in 2008 – Koyasan.
|Darren reading from 'Koyasan'|
|Darren clearly loves his fans *grins*|