• Important stuff!

    24 November 2022

    I was sent the following email by a fan of my books called JAKE. He was just about to start his university degree, and wanted me to know how my books had helped set him on his academic path. I often say that I hate the phrase, "Reading is important." I prefer to stress that reading is fun, and exciting, and thrilling. It's something that kids should do first and foremost for the sake of entertainment, the same way they watch TV and movies and play video games. BUT we do of course all know that reading can also change the way we think and the way we move through life. Reading IS important, and gets people's brains working in different, sometimes life-changing ways. It's a beautiful moment for a writer when you get that double-hit confirmation from a fan who read your books primarily for fun, but whose life has also been incredibly enriched and changed by them.


    * * * * *


    "I remember one day in class as part of English class in 6th class we had to read an extract a book and then answer questions on it. Virtually all of these extracts were very boring, but one day we did a bit from your book, Cirque Du Freak. I found it quite interesting and the teacher told us that she had read the book before and it was terrifying. Looking back, it was definitely a reverse psychology trick, but it worked on me. Next time I was in the school library I borrowed it. When I finished my work I started to read it and I got hooked. By the time school ended I had finished the first three ones, and I convinced my mom to go to the book store to get the 4th one because I was desperate to find out what happened next. (My local library had one pathetic shelf for young adult books.)


    "When I arrived in secondary school I read through all of the rest of the Saga of Darren Shan and then almost immediately started to read the Demonata. I was hooked on them. I loved the twists and turns and the supernatural monsters. I still remember the twists of the word play on Desmond Tiny, the twist return of RV, and the reveal that xxCENSOREDxx was the lord of the vampaneze. Since then I have become a massive horror junkie and I cannot stop watching horror movies, playing horror games and as of late reading H.P. Lovecraft.


    "Today I received my college offer and will be studying "Theoretical Physics and Mathematics" in Maynooth University. But looking back I see how those two book series had a big impact on me. They got me into the habit of reading. Once I started reading I eventually stared reading some more academic books. At first I read those books for a laugh with my friends because telling people that I am reading a book about how to teach quantum physics to your dog or a book about how to be a dictator is great fun. Reading those books lead to me becoming far smarter and led to me converting into a total academic and actually doing something productive with my brain. But of course I still read lots of fiction. But your books were the books that got me on that path, and I would like to thank you for it. Not that long ago I saw all of them on amazon and I almost impulse bought all of those two series because of how much I loved them. They were both great books, even though the movie sucked. (I cannot express how angry I was that they cut the 'are we the bad guys' subplot and replaced RV with a love interest.)"


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