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The True Story of Darren Shan

Over the past several years, a British author has written a series of books that have captivated readers around the world. It's an author whose books involve adventure, terrifying enemies, and heroic young characters with special powers. No, it's not J. K. Rowling. As millions of fans across the globe already know, the author is Darren Shan.

Darren Shan is the pseudonym for Darren O'Shaughnessy. Originally born in London in 1972, O'Shaughnessy has lived most of his life in Ireland. He began writing stories, comics, and books during childhood. Starting at the age of 26, he published two books for adults. At the same time, O'Shaughnessy wrote a children's book, Cirque du Freak, which included frightening creatures like vampires and werewolves. Though children's writing was not his focus, this book was his biggest success. O'Shaughnessy began to work on sequels to Cirque du Freak featuring a boy named Darren Shan. This extremely popular series, The Saga of Darren Shan, now encompasses a total of 12 books, which have been translated into 29 languages and sold in 36 countries.

Recently in Taipei, Darren O'Shaughnessy spoke about his experiences as a writer. Because his books are often bloody, they can be intense. However, O'Shaughnessy says that carnage is not the point of his stories. While readers won't really see their friends killed by terrifying monsters, everyone encounters death sooner or later. "It's important for children to examine . . . these issues," O'Shaughnessy says. "If you explore ideas of death and loss in fiction, it makes it easier to deal with loss when it happens to you in real life." Through their frightening adventures, O'Shaughnessy's characters teach readers lessons about coping with and recovering from the trials of real life.

As for readers who may want to be writers someday, O'Shaughnessy suggests that they write as much as possible. According to O'Shaughnessy, writing is hard work, but the most important thing is to keep writing the best stories that you can. With over 10 million books sold worldwide, it's fair to say that this popular author knows what he's talking about.

     
  1.

What is NOT true about the name Darren Shan?

       
    (A) It is the pen name of Darren O'Shaughnessy.
    (B)

It is the title of Darren O'Shaughnessy's first book.

    (C) It is the name of the main character of some horror books.
    (D) It is in the title of a series of horror books.
       
  2.

Darren Shan's books are often scary in order to

       
    (A)

help readers deal with death

    (B) terrify the books' readers
    (C) sell the highest number of books he can
    (D) be as realistic as possible
       
  3.

Darren O'Shaughnessy says that writers have to _____ to be successful.

       
    (A) sell over 10 million books
    (B) write horror stories
    (C) try to write just like him
    (D)

constantly work very hard

       
  4.

Which of the following is true about Darren O'Shaughnessy's books?

       
    (A) They have sold fewer than 10 million copies.
    (B) They have been printed in 23 languages.
    (C) They have included only 12 different characters.
    (D)

They have been sold in 36 different countries.

       
           
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  Answers : 1) B    2) A    3) D    4) D
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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