From the age of five, Darren Shan knew he wanted to be a writer. So, as a very young child, he channelled his creativity into the stories he wrote. Sometimes he was praised for writing at school, but other times, with horror and fantasy being his genre of choice, his writing landed him in hot water.

“Sometimes, if I wrote a really good story, I would be able to go to the other class and read it aloud. I would occasionally get in trouble in school as well, when I would write stories that were deemed inappropriate,” recalls Darren with a laugh.