• Blackpool Gazette | 05 October 2012 | Elizabeth Broughton

    IT MAY be a few weeks to Halloween – but the zombies are already out in force.

    Blackpool’s undead scared the town’s schoolchildren senseless as the master of horror came to the resort.

    Children’s author Darren Shan – famous for his ghoulish tales of spooky events – took to the stage at The Grand Theatre on Wednesday surrounded by his zombie cast, leaving a theatre full of pupils spellbound.

    Mr Shan was reading extracts from his new book, Zom-B, and came face to face with some of his biggest fans at the special event.

    Year eight pupil James Bedell, from Poulton’s Baines High School, said: “I was not really into reading but when I read Darren Shan’s books I really got into it.

    “The zombies are brilliant.”

    And classmate Ewan Frederick, 12, added: “I’m a big fan of Darren’s, I’ve read all his books and it was really great to see him.”

    The pupils were entertained by the zombie dancers from Blackpool-based Phil Winston’s Theatre Works, before hearing extracts from Zom-B and getting the chance to quiz Mr Shan about his popular books.

    Lucy Franklin, from Fleetwood’s Cardinal Allen High School, said: “I was very excited to meet Darren Shan and the zombies were really good.

    “My favourite book is The Vampire’s Assistant.”

    And year eight pupil Owen Salthouse said: “I was excited to be there and see Darren and get my book signed.”

    The event was organised by Kirkham bookshop Silverdell – the first time the Poulton Street shop has worked with the theatre.

    And Silverdell co-owner Elaine Silverwood said: “I was thrilled to be working with Darren at the beginning of his tour promoting his new series Zom-B.

    “I loved working with the Grand Theatre and bringing multiple schools to share this event, it’s a great opportunity to get youngsters excited about reading.”

    The theatre’s programme manager, Phil Harrison, added: “An event like this creates excitement and a buzz around the book.”

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