• Rampaneze

    23 May 2019

    I had a trip down memory lane recently when shifting some papers around in my office. Pretty much all of the fan art that I feature on Facebook and my blog these days is sent to me electronically, but back in the old days it was mostly posted to my by fans (or given to me by them at signings and events). I used to keep those drawings in a folder (indeed, some old pieces are still inside it, waiting -- probably in vain, I'm afraid -- to be processed) until I had time to scan and upload them. If you're interested in checking out the old fan art (some dating back almost twenty years) it's still up on my site: https://www.darrenshan.com/fanart/


    Anyway, back to the point.


    I hadn't looked at that art folder in ages, and it has become buried under a mound of other bits and pieces. A short while ago, I stumbled across it, and noted the two words written on the cover -- ART, whose meaning is obvious and, RAMPANEZE, which is more puzzling until the story behind it is explained.


    Many moons ago, back when I was putting together my ideas for Tunnels of Blood (the third book of my Saga Of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak series), I had planned to feature an evil vampire in the story. But the world had seen more than its share of evil vampires, even by that stage, so I started to re-think my approach, and decided to come up with a breakaway group of vampires, with their own beliefs and customs. While these ideas were bubbling around in my head, one day I was making up stories to tell to a young cousin of mine called Kealan. I was always doing that for Kealan and his brothers (and later his sister), but on this day I decided to encourage him to use HIS imagination and tell a story to me. He came up with some weird kind of monster which he called a RAMPANEZE. I liked the sound of that and wrote it down on the folder which ended up being used for fan art, thinking it might be a good name for the breakaway gang of vampires that I was planning to write about. In the end I decided to tweak it slightly and replace the R with a V.


    And thus were born the VAMPANEZE!



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