Now, I don’t know if I’m aging myself or what (if anyone considers 27 old), but when I was in Elementary School, they’d have annual Scholastic Book Fairs that sold a variety of children’s books. I have no children as of this writing, so I don’t have a clue if they still offer these in schools (they absolutely should if they don’t), but had it not been for such a fair, I may not have found my inspiration to pick up my pen. At least, not as soon as I did. This is because it all began when I bought a Horror book called Cirque du Freak, by the infamous author Darren Shan.
I’d never heard of him, nor the series before, but when I began that novel, I was abruptly dragged on a long, exciting and mysterious journey. What started in my first year of middle school, continued all the way through high school. I read all 12 books of that series and continued on with his next series, called The Demonata. Both series were filled with ingenious concepts and themes and while they were series for children, they had such a maturity to them. As a child wise beyond her years, I believe I took deeper meanings from them and that allowed me to enjoy them that much more.
My fondness for these series as well as for him as an author have carried along with me even now, such that I’d resolved myself to collect all his series for my growing collection of books. This post is mainly to share the delight I feel in having finally achieved this goal. Pictured below is the complete Darren Shan series collection.
The nostalgia I feel looking at this is unbelievable and it makes me so grateful to Darren, who inspired me. I had the opportunity to send a letter to him and he responded with advice I’ve never forgotten. He told me to write as much as possible and not to worry about if it’s good or will be successful. He said if I write the stories I’m passionate about, eventually someone will come to love it too. This gave me the confidence to start writing and while I still have alot to learn, I’m certain I’m better for it. I hope one day I’ll be able to write an amazing horror novel and when I do, I hope he could discover it somehow.
As for the series themselves, I will gladly go into detailed analysis at another time, but for now I just want to shine a light on the amazing Darren Shan, who has been called the Stephen King for children and was even praised by the Master of Horror novels himself. I have yet to read the Larten Crepsley Saga or Zom-B, but I now have the chance to do so, and enter one of his hauntingly magnificent universes again.