Every generation likes to think that children don't read as much as they used to when they were young! You listen to some adults saying they were going around reading 'Ulysses' when they were seven or eight! I think children are voracious readers if you give them the right books and if you make those books accessible to them.
I grew up on all sorts of horror - Hammer Horror and Vincent Price's 'Theatre Of Blood.' I loved the hidden, scary layers, but there wasn't that much around for youngsters in terms of horror books. I can remember reading Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot' and 'Cujo,' but I thought there should be more for teenaged horror fans.
I released my first book as Darren O'Shaughnessy, so when I started writing children's books, I decided to release it under a different name. My grandfather was known as Paddy Shan, and so I took on the name Darren Shan, I thought it was a nice nod to my granddad; it's nice and short and close enough to my real name so it won't confuse readers.