Gosport pupils find inspiration from their horror hero

SPOOKY Author Darren Shan with Matthew Humby and Maria Goodger.    Picture: Sarah Standing (113497-7810)
SPOOKY Author Darren Shan with Matthew Humby and Maria Goodger. Picture: Sarah Standing (113497-7810)
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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TERRIFYING tales of spine-chilling horror were read to children when a top author visited their school.

Darren Shan, writer of the Demonata series and The Saga of Darren Shan, dropped in to Bay House School yesterday to talk to students about his spooky novels.

He gave a talk and read from his latest story Palace of the Damned before signing copies for the youngsters.

The world-famous horror writer is one of several top authors set to appear at Portsmouth’s BookFest, which is backed by The News.

His visit was organised as part of Bay House school’s new scheme to encourage reading for pleasure.

Mr Shan said: ‘It has been great. This is the fun part of what I do.

‘You spend a lot of time locked away writing stories but then you get to come out and meet and chat with the kids. Bay House school’s scheme to get kids reading more books for pleasure is a fantastic idea.

‘Because schoolchildren can associate reading with school work and if nothing else they can forget it’s a form of entertainment like watching a film.

‘It’s something I think is quite important so a scheme like that gets a big thumbs up from me.’

Students spent the last week decorating their hall for his arrival and made displays based on the monsters in his books.

Adele Hawksworth, the school’s Learning Resource Centre manager, said: ‘We wanted to have a big name to come and see us and it was nice Darren agreed.

‘He is a very good storyteller and he managed to make the kids really shout and jump at the scary parts.

‘The displays the children made are fantastic.

‘He is obviously such an inspiring author because they enjoyed creating the creatures.’

Mr Shan appeared at an early BookFest event at Portsmouth’s Highlight club yesterday.

Between October 17 and November 13, authors will promote reading in a range of fascinating talks, workshops and activities.

For more details or to buy tickets call (023) 9268 8685.