I was absolutely delighted to find out that I have been Ireland’s most borrowed Irish author in libraries nationwide for a third year in a row!! I’ve always loved libraries, and have done many memorable events with them over the years. Irish librarians have been hugely supportive of me, particularly in my early years of touring, when they were cheerfully booking me in for events when their counterparts in other countries were holding off, nervously waiting to see if there was going to be a backlash from parents about such gory, grisly books!! Being the most borrowed Irish author for three years running is a huge honour for me — there’s nothing as sweet as a home victory!! Long may our happy relationship continue — as long all the libraries aren’t shut by swingeing government cutbacks!! To find out more about what made the list, click here: http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0302/libraries.html
I had a fabulous time in Dubai on tour in March, doing a mix of school events, a big solo event for 500 fans, and a panel event with David Almond, Tim Bowler and Noura Al Noman. You can read a report by a journalist of that panel event by clicking here: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/media/pulling-out-all-the-stops-until-words-flow-1.992683# I also gave quite a lengthy interview to the Gulf News newspaper -- you can read it here: http://gulfnews.com/arts-entertainment/books/darren-shan-on-giving-dubai-fans-a-taste-of-terror-1.991723
The Dubai Literary Festival is one of my favourite book events. Because they are so generously sponsored by Emirates, they are able to create a communal feeling -- it's almost like being on holiday! They allow every author to bring their partner with them, and lay on cultural events where you get the opportunity to spend time relaxing with other writers. On this trip I spent a lot of time hanging out with the likes of David Almond, Mal Peet, Tim Bowler, Jacqueline Wilson, Andy Stanton and many, many more. I had dinner sitting next to Kate Adie one night, where the talk was all very political and serious. On another few nights I was up drinking until the early hours of the morning and talking nothing but delicious nonsense! It's a good job not all literary festivals are like this one, or I think a lot of authors would be spending most of their time touring, and getting no actual writing done!!!