The sky have turned grey but that will not dampen the spirit of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It appears there are fewer people than yesterday however there is still a great turn out. The square is buzzing with children which is lovely to see. I love seeing children sitting reading a book, it seems to be something that we are missing from our society, children seem to spend more time playing computer games rather than getting lost in a good book. That is certainly not the case at the Edinburgh International Book Festival every where you look people of all ages are sitting in the gardens reading.
Another thing I absolutely love about the Edinburgh International Book Festival is the fact that authors are everywhere you look. I just love that aspect of the festival, the fact that the authors are not separated for everyone else, you are more than likely to find an author browsing the book shop or just sitting in the gardens soaking up the atmosphere. And all the one I have come across are more than willing to have a five-minute chat.
Two events for me today. First being Darren Shan.
I saw Darren Shan many years ago at the festival, he is always so animated and you can really here the passion he has when he reads from his books.
As you entered the RBS main theatre you were greeted by a stage that was lined with limbs, these had been provided by Edinburgh Dungeons.
Hugh Mackay came on stage to introduce Darren Shan and he reminded us that this would be Darren Shan’s 13th year at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Then a video started playing, audience members were then treated to the world premier of the Zom-B book trailer. It is one of the best book trailers I have ever seen and it gave everyone a taste of what they were to be treated to.
The Zom-B series is going to be an epic 12 part series which each book being released every 3 months. He mentioned how he used Dickens as inspiration for this, Dickens famously used serialisation with his books. All books will end on cliff hangers and leave the reader wanting more.
The audience was then treated to the prologue of the first book. I love hearing Darren speak, his readings are always filled with passion and hand gestures.
We were then treated to the first chapter of Zom-B, which was the first time he had read it out. He folds us that past zombie films were his main inspiration however inspiration for the first book could be found from an unusual source, the television programme, The Royal Family and this inspiration is seen through the first line of the story. This is going to be a series full of twists and turns.
Time for questions:
“do you take inspiration from other writers?”
Darren’s answer was simple to him all writers start out as readers. Stories go back to the dawn if time and are present through every generation.
“what is your favourite type of monster?”
Darren responded with his favourite characters are always the villain. Human villains are his favourite as humans are the scariest monsters of all. He gave the audience an insight into the characters in Zom-b there are characters in these books that will make your skin crawl!!!!!
Darren the stated the fact that he heated popular series that result then in a lot of spin-off books. He always tries to apply the rules of reality in his books hence why main characters die. He actually stopped reading fantasy as authors protect their main characters too much, resulting in them not willing to kill them off. When in reality they would be dead a long time ago.
He then gave eager audience members a sneak preview of book 2 of the Zom-b series. This particular passage involved a very scary clown, who I know will terrify a lot of readers.
The event drew to a close and it was time for a mammoth signing session. Darren signed books for 3 and a half hours. He signed as many as you had and was willing to have photographs with every person. He also had a personal conversation with everyone and was willing to answer any question, one might have.
It is authors like Darren that really make the Edinburgh International Book festival a great experience. I loved how he talked to everyone and it did not seem like he was rushing through people so he could get away. I am sure this event will be one of my personal highlights of the book festival and if you have an opportunity to go and hear Darren speak in the future, I suggest you grab it with both hands as believe me no one leaves a Darren Shan event unhappy.