I had never heard of Irish author Darren Shan until a couple of days ago, but one of the beauties of blogs is that you can be exposed to people and ideas you may not have a chance to otherwise.
Over on the Mulholland Books blog this past Friday, Mr.Shan proposed an idea - whimsically I presume, but who can really say for sure? - that was so cool I wish I had thought of it. As a New York Times bestselling author, he spends some of his time doing book tours in support of his work and in the middle of his current tour he had an intriguing epiphany: "How deliciously, dementedly easy it would be to combine my day job with that of a serial killer!"
Think about it, he says. On a book tour the author rarely stays in the same location more than a day or two, spends his time alone following any signings or other promotional obligations he may have, and has plenty of time on his hands when those obligations have been met. "Weapons would never be a problem, not in the land of the Free. Hell, if the worst came to the worst, every writer travels with one or two sharp pens..."
Then he moves on to the next location to repeat the cycle, all in accommodations paid for by his publisher, leaving the scene of the hypothetical crime behind, moving on to new hunting grounds. "A new town. A new hotel. More fans. More signings. More opportunities in the dark."
Is that a dark fantasy? Sure. Twisted? Yeah, probably. But you have to admit it makes a macabre kind of sense, if your tendency is to probe the dark places that most people prefer to ignore whule they whistle past the graveyard, pretending those rustling noises approaching from behind are nothing more than leaves blowing in the breeze.
Oh, and the best part of the whole thing? Darren Shan writes children's books. I'm not quite sure why I find that so perfect, so freaking funny, but there it is. Undoubtedly Mr. Shan is engaging and interesting and the most well-adjusted guy around, but a serial-killing author who gives in to his homicidal urges on his book tours? That's beautiful...