Plot Outline:Book 3 of The Saga Of Darren Shan. Shortly after an old friend's visit, Mr Crepsley leaves the Cirque Du Freak and heads for a city, taking Darren and Evra with him. The boys enjoy their stay in the city. Evra soaks up a lot of TV shows, while Darren catches the eye of pretty young Debbie Hemlock! But Mr Crepsley's behaving strangely, patrolling the streets every night, saying nothing of his purpose to Darren or Evra.
Then, in the run-up to Christmas, police discover several human bodies hidden in an old building -- each of which has been drained of blood! Darren and Evra are horrified, and immediately set about shadowing Mr Crepsley, on the understanding that if he's the killer, they're going to stop him -- by any means necessary!
In a blood-soaked abattoir, Darren confronts his mentor, and aims for his throat with a rusty butcher's knife. But this attack is just the start of the true nightmare, and soon Darren finds himself fighting not just for his own life, but for the lives of his friends, Debbie and Evra, both of whom are threatened by a force of sinister, murderous evil ...
Author Notes:Murlough was based on Gollum!! Lord of the Rings was one of my faves as a teenager, and I wanted to evoke the spirit of Gollum in this book. I was VERY tempted to have Murlough say "My precious" at some stage, but eventually felt that would be a bit TOO obvious!!!!
Debbie -- hold onto your hats, folks!!! -- was based on Scary Spice!!!!!! The Spice Girls were huge back when I was writing the first draft of TOB, and while I wasn't that interested in their music, I did think the girls themselves were lots of fun!! I didn't deliberately base Debbie on Scary Spice, but when I sat down and thought about what I wanted her to be like, that's the image I got!!!!
Hypnotism... As some of you occasionally note, in book 1 Darren hypnotises Annie -- but this power is never mentioned again!! No, it's not a mistake on my part! One of the rules of vampirism is that when people are first blooded, their bodies and brains go hyperactive, and sometimes they develop temporary hypnotic powers, which soon fade. I was going to explain this in book 2, but there just wasn't a proper time for it. So I decided to push it back to book 3 -- but, again, when I came to write it, the moment just never seemed right. In the end I let it pass -- it's not important to the plot of the series, and although Darren does know about it, there's no real need for him to share the info with his readers. (Just like there's no need for him to go into specifics about his second set of Trials in book 7.)
The Vampaneze... their name evolved out of a story-telling session with a young cousin. I used to make up stories and tell them to my cousins (Ronan, Lorcan, Kealan, Tiernan, Meara) all the time. One day I'd finished telling Kealan a story and encouraged him to make up a story of his own. He invented some silly kind of monster which he called a Rampaneasy (at least that's what it sounded like). I liked the sound of that, and played around with it. I changed the R to a V, and the "easy" to an "eeze" sound, and the result was... VAMPANEZE!!!