• Quadruple Fleck

    04 September 2021

    A lot of people assume that the character of Darren Shan in Cirque Du Freak is based directly on myself, since we share the same name. (Although, of course, Darren Shan is no more my real name that it's the character's real name!) But in truth, although we share certain personality traits, he's no more based on me than any of the other main characters that have featured in my books over the years. You'll find bits of me in all of them -- Grubbs Grady, Capac Raimi, Bec, Jebel Rum, B Smith, and even in some villains like Steve Leopard, Mr Tiny, or The Cardinal -- but also a plethora of differences. I let my characters develop as and how they wish, and try never to over-layer them with my own world view.


    That said, if you had to ask me to pick one who is the closest to myself in temperament and spirit, I'd probably opt for... Kernel Fleck. One third of the Demonata narrative team, Kernel might be nothing like me in looks, and he goes on a journey the likes of which I've never experienced (what human has?!?), but of all the narrators, he's the closest I've come (thus far anyway) to plonking myself slap bang in the middle of a story.


    Which is why I'm especially pleased to be presenting four drawings of Kernel this Saturday, by three different fans. It's extra nice for me to see him hogging the limelight, because I can feel like I'm kind of starring up there with him! :-)


    The first drawing is the most recent, sent to me last week by Emma (who might be better known to followers of my Twitter feed as Demonairs). Kernel was often the voice of reason in the books, when Grubbs was running wild, and Bec was plotting mysteriously behind the scenes, and he's as rational here as he ever was there. Whereas Grubbs would be aggressively barking at anyone who was sitting on the COVID vaccination fence, "Get vaccinated, you morons!!" and Bec would be weaving some magical spell to protect the naysayers against their wishes, Kernel just calmly and politely makes his point, and leaves it up to anyone who might be watching to see sense and choose wisely.



    Next up we have a couple of nice black and white drawings. The first is by a fan called Katie, and features Kernel surrounded by those strange panels of light which only he (for the most part) could see. The next was drawn by Tony, who cleverly captures an awful lot of Kernel with very few lines.




    The final drawing is once again the work of Demonairs Emma, who decided to swap Kernel and Bec out of their time zones with one another. A while back I shared the first drawing, which imagined Bec as a schoolgirl in the 1970s. This one sends Kernel hurtling back into the past, and captures what he might have looked like in the southwest of Ireland sixteen hundred years ago.



    Quite a few readers have described getting a certain Kernel Fleck/Demon Thief vibe from my new Archibald Lox series. It wasn't something I was consciously trying to do, but I can see where they're coming from -- although the Archie books are a lot less bloody than the Demonata novels! I released the sixth book last week, and the eBook of Book 1 is FREE to download, making it easy to try before you buy. If you haven't yet given the new series a go, and are a Kernel fan, and curious to see if the new books can strike the same sort of chord with you, click here to find out more about them: https://darrenshan.com/news/shanville-monthly

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