Darren Shan – Favourite Storytellers

Lord Loss (Demonata 1) by Darren Shan | Sevenoaks Bookshop

To start of December, I wanted to write about one of my favourite writers. As a kid I Was always a big reader. I read through the Harry Potter series, most of the Narnia books and I absolutely loved The Hobbit (which I think is the book I’ve re-read the most). From the start of secondary school I used to spend my lunch time in the school library reading or looking through books. It’s what I spent most evenings doing as well. While I was always a big reader, Darren Shan was the first author that I was obsessed with. I started with his books after he’d finished writing The Saga of Darren Shan. The first two books of The Demonata were out as well.

One English lesson we were taken down to the library to find something to read. I didn’t know what to pick and someone gave me the Vampire Rites trilogy book to read. I didn’t realise it was the second trilogy in The Saga of Darren Shan at the time, but I was immediately hooked. I checked the book out and read it over the weekend, going back for more. I read through the series in a roundabout way. Starting with book 4-6, I then carried on to the final book before going back around and reading the first three. I absolutely devoured them, and could wait to read each page. The second I finished the Saga, I moved on to The Demonata, which I liked even more. Starting from Slawter, the third book in The Demonata, I read them pretty much as they came out.

There was a race on the release day for each book, to see who could get them out of the library first. I also remember going into Tesco one evening with my mum and they had the new one out on the shelves the day before it was supposed to be released, which was beyond exciting.

As I grew up, he started to write more fiction aimed at adults, which was how he originally started before the YA stuff. Every time a new Darren Shan or Darren Dash (which is what his fiction for adults is released under) book is announced or released I always want to read it straight away. His new books Archibald Lox have been really good so far, but I haven’t had time to read the second trilogy just yet. I have them on my table next to me as I’m writing this, and will be reading them as soon as I can, but just haven’t been able to just yet.

I remember when I was university and at the time his Zom-B books were coming out, which I made a special trip into town to Waterstones every time the new one was released. I loved that series so much. I probably shouldn’t have prioritised them, but I just needed to know what happened next.

After university finished, I barely read books for a while. I don’t know if it was getting a job, having to up to read 4 books in a week for the previous three years, or just growing up but it felt like a chore whenever I tried to read. I did keep on top of the Zom-B books though, reading each one in a day or two whenever they were released. In the same way that Molls Like it Hot, which was released back in 2019 felt like a godsend at the time. It really was pure escapism for me.

Darren Shan has been one of my favourite writers for around half my life at this point. I will read everything he writes and will be up to date with Archibald Lox by the time the next ones are released. I met him at a book signing, almost 10 years ago when Brothers to the Death was released. He seems like a really nice and genuine person. A little while ago he also read and commented on a post on here when I spoke about reading the first Archibald Lox trilogy. I took a screenshot of the notification on my phone and sent it to my parents, in complete shock.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

Ashley

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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