Care for a scare? Head to the Sharjah book fair

Care for a scare? Head to the Sharjah book fair
Darren Shan

Sharjah - Master of horror, author Darren Shan, to interact with fans on November 12

By Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 19 Oct 2015, 5:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 25 Oct 2015, 5:39 PM

UK #1 bestselling author Darren Shan will be thrilling, enthralling and generally 'terrifying' visitors at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) taking place from November 4 -14 at the Expo Centre.
Known as the Master of Children's Horror, Shan has sold more than 20 million copies of his books in 31 languages that has topped the best-sellers' lists in the UAE, US, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and others. Shan has now published over 40 books and is still going strong with his work, on sale in 39 countries. His first children's book, Cirque du Freak attracted rave reviews and a growing army of fans and was turned into a movie starring Salma Hayek, Willem Defoe and Ken Watanabe.
Shan will be presenting "Dare to be scared" on November 12, treating his fans to a fast paced event and reading that gives an insight into his writing that also spans adult horror stories such as Procession of the Dead, Hell's Horizon and City of the Snakes.
According to Darren, "I'll be reading some extracts from my books, answering questions from the audience, and then doing a book signing afterwards. It will be fast and grisly. I love getting to see different parts of the world and meeting people with different backgrounds and beliefs. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the region and chatting with local people."
Shan says that writing is a very solitary activity and that when he is working, he won't see anyone else during the day and it does sometimes get lonely. "I miss the dynamics of working in a group. Touring is my form of compensation for the lonelier days. It's an amazing feeling to see my stories come alive in the imaginations of my readers, to have fans tell me what they liked or didn't like about my books, to be able to share my fictional worlds with a very real readership. For me, that interaction with the fans is when my stories truly come to life, and I find out (after having spent two or three years working on each book) whether or not I've been wasting my time!"
This is Shan's third trip to the UAE, but first to Sharjah. He says: "I had a wonderful time in the UAE before and launched the "Zom-B" series here. This was a very ambitious project, as I had to release twelve books very quickly; most of the books came out at three month intervals and had one large story play out over the course of them. With "Zom-B", once you strapped yourself in with book one, there was no pause for breath. The story rocketed forward from book to book, with almost every book ending on a huge cliffhanger. To my great relief, the reception has been very positive, with the more recent books in the series picking up some of my best reviews. Hopefully that's going to continue through the last two books in the series."
However, now that the series is over, can we persuade Shan to share the details of his next project with us? Not really, but all he said was: "I am working on a new series, and it's a move away from the grislier style of "Zom-B" or "The Demonata".
"But at the moment that's all I can say, because a) I don't like to talk too much about work in progress, and b) I've no idea how many books there will be, or where exactly I'm going to go with the story. But it's massive in scale and scope, the biggest challenge I've yet to set myself, and I'm both excited and terrified by the prospect of it!" To meet Darren and hear more about his work visit the Intellectual Hall at SIBF on November 12 from 7pm-8pm.

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