I.M. Spooky (writer)

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

I.M. Spooky is a British horror, thriller and crime writer, editor, blogger and publisher. She is best known for writing over 30 books, mostly containing only horror, but adding crime and thriller to about ten of the books.


Cirque du Freak[edit]

Darren and Steve are mesmerised by the fantastic and disturbing show, especially by the act of the mysterious Mr. Crepsley and his giant spiAddder, Madam Octa. Mr. Crepsley's act consists of him letting the highly poisonous spider out of her cage and controlling her actions via telepathic communication, using a small flute to focus his thoughts. One bite from Madam Octa will kill a human being after several days.

Darren plans to steal her, leaving a note for Mr. Crepsley that told him he was stealing his spider, and if Crepsley came looking for him, he would tell everyone about Mr. Crepsley's true identity, being a vampire.

Darren's plan succeeds, and after a few weeks of training Madam Octa, he is fully comfortable with having it in his bedroom, using Mr. Crepsley's flute as an excuse for privacy. During this time, he grows more and more detached from Steve due to overhearing Mr. Crepsley stating that Steve has bad blood and is not good enough to become a vampire's assistant. Steve figures out that Darren lied to him and witnessed what he did, but still chooses to be friends with him.

One day while Steve is at Darren's house playing with Madam Octa, Darren's younger sister Annie barges into his room unknowingly and shocks him, causing him to drop the flute and lose control over the spider, which bites and poisons Steve badly.

Steve's only hope for survival is if Darren makes a deal with Mr. Crepsley to become his assistant and pay off the cost of the spider antidote. Steve lives, but Darren is turned into a half-vampire, and is forced into the dark world of the vampires. In order to successfully free Darren of all previous bonds, including family, Mr. Crepsley fakes Darren's death. During an open-casket funeral, Steve recognises the small hidden scars on Darren's fingertips—the marks left behind when Mr. Crepsley transformed him into a half-vampire. Following the events of Darren's funeral, Mr. Crepsley returns and digs Darren up. Unbeknown to Mr. Crepsley, Steve tries to kill Darren, but fails, instead swearing revenge on Darren for stealing his rightful place of being Mr. Crepsley's vampire assistant and betraying him. Steve cuts a cross into the palm of his own hand, and swears on it, saying that the scar left behind will always be a reminder of Darren and Mr. Crepsley's betrayal.

The Vampire's Assistant[edit]

In Cirque Du Freak two best friends, Darren Shan, and Steve "Leopard" Leonard go to see the Cirque Du Freak, an illegal and mysterious freak show. They see many amazing events and "freaks", along with Larten Crepsley, who has a performing spider as well. Steve recognizes Mr. Crepsley as a vampire, and after telling Darren to go home without him, corners Mr. Crepsley and demands he be turned into a vampire in exchange for keeping Mr. Crepsley's identity a secret. Mr. Crepsley unwillingly tastes Steve's blood, but Mr. Crepsley says it's evil blood, and rejects Steve, who promises when he grows up, he'll kill Mr. Crepsley and become a vampire hunter. Darren, who was watching this, unbeknownst to Steve and Mr. Crepsley, tries to avoid Steve from then on, thinking Steve is really evil. A few days later, Darren goes to the Cirque Du Freak, and steals Madam Octa, Mr. Crepsley's performing spider, because of his love for spiders, and also steals a flute that controls Madam Octa. As long as Darren is playing the flute, he can control the dangerous spider. However, when Steve visits, he and Darren play with Madam Octa, who bites Steve when Darren loses concentration when his sister, Annie, comes into the room. Steve is poisoned and sent to the hospital (Darren told only Annie about Madam Octa and that she's poisonous) and the doctors can do nothing. Darren goes to Mr. Crepsley and begs him for an antidote to save his best friend, and they make a deal: Darren becomes a half vampire, and Mr. Crepsley gives him the antidote. Mr. Crepsley and Darren give Steve the antidote, and later turns Darren into a half vampire. Darren finds living his normal life as a vampire impossible, as he apparently ages much slower than normal kids and cannot control his thirst for blood, as when he accidentally attacks one of his friends and licks the blood off his scraped knee. Darren then tries living with his family, but isn't capable of this, after almost killing Annie. He returns to Mr. Crepsley. In order to avoid explaining his becoming a vampire to his family and friends; as well as not merely running away for that would keep the family in hopes he would return, Darren fakes his death. Mr. Crepsley breaks Darren's neck (which does no harm) and throws Darren off Darren's own house. Later, Mr. Crepsley unburies Darren from his coffin, and takes him to be The Vampire's Assistant, however before this happens, Steve finds out about Darren being a vampire, and tells him he'll kill "Creepy" Crepsley and Darren, along with all other vampires.

In The Vampire's Assistant Darren Shan and his vampire mentor, Mr. Crepsley, have gone back to the Cirque Du Freak, where Darren makes friends with Evra Von, a freak who has certain snake like traits. Later, Darren and Evra meet and befriend Sam Grest, and later Reggie Veggie (R.V.). R.V. is a nice, earth-loving person. However, Reggie Veggie soon learns that the freaks are feeding on animals. Darren tries to tell Mr. Tall, the circus owner, but is always interrupted and soon forgets. However, he finally tells Mr. Tall, and the Cirque moves the location, when Reggie threatens to call the police. A few days later, the Cirque is performing; Darren, however, is not performing. He goes to investigate, when he hears a noise near the wolfman's cage. Reggie is there trying to free the wolfman, whom he believes to be a trapped animal, when the wolfman bites off Reggie's hands, and kills Sam. Mr. Crepsley tells Darren that if a vampire drains a human of blood, the vampire would keep a part of the person's spirit with them. Darren willingly drinks blood for the first time to keep part of Sam's spirit alive.

In Tunnels of Blood (set in the month of December), a vampire named Gavner visits Mr. Crepsley, and soon Darren, Evra, and Mr. Crepsley travel to what later is revealed to be Mr. Crepsley's birth city. Mr. Crepsley disappears several times for what Darren and Evra presume to be business, so they act as if they are on holiday. Later, Darren is looking for a Christmas present for Evra when he meets Debbie Hemlock, a girl whom he likes, and the two soon begin dating. Darren and Evra, later, see a news report about dead bodies being found, but dry of blood; they suspect it is Mr. Crepsley and secretly follow him. Believing they are about to stop a murder, they ambush Mr. Crepsley as he was watching a man. However, it turns out the real murderer was a vampaneze (a kind of creature that is like a vampire in every way except they always kill the human they feed on, and how a purple tinge to their skin as a result of the amount of blood they drink) named Murlough, who kidnapps Evra. Mr. Crepsley and Darren set off to the sewers where Darren wanders off in a fit. He is soon kidnpped by Murlough, as a deal is made to trade with Murlough: Debbie for Evra. Later, Darren and Murlough go to Debbie's house, where Murlough mistakenly attacks what he believes to be Debbie, only to find out he was set up. Mr. Crepsley soon appears and, after a short fight, kills Murlough. It is soon revealed that Darren had drugged Debbie and her family and planned all of this with Mr. Crepsley after Murlough's demise. Before departing from Debbie forever, Darren decorates the Christmas tree in her room as he heads back to rescue Evra.

Tunnels Of Blood[edit]

The story starts with Gavner Purl, a vampire general and an old friend of Mr. Crepsley, arriving at the Cirque du Freak and talking to Mr. Crepsley alone briefly. After the meeting, Gavner walks with Darren for a while, revealing to him that Mr. Crepsley was a Vampire General and was about to be invested as a Vampire Prince, one of the leaders of the Vampire Clan. He also tells Darren that Mr. Crepsley is going to leave the Cirque for a while. A day or so later, Mr. Crepsley does inform Darren that he must leave and Darren has to accompany him to somewhere. He suggests that Evra can come with Darren as if on a holiday and to help him keep Darren out of trouble.

Vampire Mountain[edit]

Eight years have passed since Darren Shan was "blooded" by his colleague in blood, Mr. Larten Crepsley. The Vampire Council will be gathering again soon, as it does after every 12 years, and Darren has to accompany Mr. Crepsley to the Vampire Mountain, a mountain where all the vampires share a safe haven in the mountain's caves, to be presented to the ruling committee of the Vampires - the Vampire Princes.

Six years have passed since the events in Tunnels of Blood and eight years in total in Darren's vampire life. Darren is whisked away by Mr. Crepsley to a perilous and torturous journey to the Vampire Mountain. Whilst Evra Von the Snake-Boy has grown up, and will not be accompanying Darren in his journey, Darren and Crepsley are accompanied by Mr. Desmond Tiny's two of the many workers – the Little People. One of them is Lefty, a Little Person named after his limp by Darren and Evra.

On their journey they encounter a cave which is splattered with a dead vampire's blood, Gavner Purl - a friend of Crepsley's, the blood of a dead vampaneze, and a mad bear who had been infected with vampaneze blood (hence the madness) and thus attacked Darren, who with a little help from the Little People and a pack of wolves whom he had befriended, killed the bear. After the fight, it is then revealed that Lefty, a Little Person, is actually named Harkat Mulds and can speak. He has been given the ability by Mr. Tiny to give the Vampire Princes a message about a person who will lead the vampaneze in a war against the vampires.

The company hurries on even more tensed than ever, and are welcomed into the Vampire Mountain by Seba Nile, Mr. Crepsley's mentor. Soon after, Darren meets a friendly and a soon-to-be Vampire Prince, Kurda Smahlt, a pacifist, a cartographer and probably the only vampire to be invested as a Prince because of his wit; Vanez Blaze, the one-eyed and caring Games Master; and Arra Sails, one of the very few female vampires, with an extraordinary sense of balance.

Soon, Darren and Crepsley attend one of the Vampire Council sessions, and it is decided, that because Larten Crepsley blooded a child for no obvious or logical reason, Darren would have to prove himself that he is worthy of being a part of the Vampire Clan by passing the Trials of Initiation or the Trials of Death - five of many tasks which a vampire must perform to show their physical strength, courage and bravery. Darren agrees to this, out of affection for Crepsley so that he may not be shamed, and also because of his own desire to prove himself. He, however, remains oblivious to the fact that the price for failing a Trial is death on stakes, until it is too late to take back his word.

Trials of Death[edit]

Darren Shan is about to take the Trials of Initiation, a series of tests that vampires were forced to take part in during years gone by, to prove himself to the Princes. Currently, it is only used for vampires who want to become a general, or for those who wish to demonstrate their strength. However, Darren Shan is required to endure the trials to earn the respect of the entire vampire race for his mentor Mr. Crepsley's 'impulsive' decision to turn him. Darren is mostly trained by the games master of the Mountain, Vanez Blaze.

For the first trial, he must escape from a maze that is filling with water whilst dragging a stone weighing half of his body weight. The second trial Darren must complete is The Path of Needles, a barefoot journey through one of the mountains many caverns littered with stalagmites and stalactites, all of which are razor sharp and could fall at any second.

Luck is on Darren's side as the Festival of the Undead takes place right after his second trial. During this three-day period no official business can take place meaning he gets a five-day rest before his next trial. Suffering from a lot of cuts, notably on his hands and back, he finds it hard to enjoy the festival. A veteran vampire and Larten Crepsley's mentor, Seba Nile, asks to meet with him later as he has a cure for his discomfort. They go to a cavern deep inside the mountain which is covered in spider webs and Darren soon realizes that it is full of hundreds of thousands of spiders. Seba breaks up the cobwebs and applies them to Darren's cuts which he says helped immediately.

After the Festival of the Undead, Darren must choose his third trial which is The Hall of Flames, a metal room with various jets that emit flames periodically. Darren must remain in the room for approximately fifteen minutes, trying not to be 'toasted' by the scorching hot flames. This is revealed by many to be one of the hardest trials he could have picked, and he barely survives it.

The fourth trial is The Blooded Boars, a trial which is generally considered quite easy for full vampires. As Darren is only a half vampire and still nursing bad wounds from the previous trial, he struggles. The aim is to kill two wild boars which have been injected with vampire blood making them more aggressive than usual. Darren kills the first boar but it lands on top of him, and his lack of strength means he is unable to move the boar as the second closes in. It charges at him, certain to kill him when Harkat Mulds, the Little Person who accompanies Darren in his journey to the Mountain steps in and kills the boar. This causes an uproar as failure to complete the trials leads to death. Mr. Crepsley and Kurda, a soon to be Vampire Prince, argue that Harkat is not a vampire and cannot be expected to behave by their rules, and that Darren would've died if he had not been interrupted by Harkat. However, it is decided for Darren to be executed for not completing the Trials.

Kurda finds Darren in his room facing imminent death and encourages him to escape the mountain. Regretfully Darren follows Kurda as they make for one of the mountains many exits. Soon they are tracked down by Gavner Purl who tries to convince them to go back but eventually end up following them. They come across a cavern full of the Vampaneze. Kurda tells Darren to go on while he and Gavner would stay and fight the Vampaneze. Darren heads off but decides to come back and fight. He comes back and witnesses Kurda stabbing Gavner in the stomach and it is revealed he is an ally of the Vampaneze. Darren runs and ends up in the Hall of Final Voyage, where dead vampires were tossed into the strong current and washed out of the mountain. He realizes he is on the wrong side of the stream and attempts to jump over it. He falls short and manages to grab on to a rock as Kurda and the Vampaneze enter the cave. Kurda offers his hand to help pull him back to safety but Darren brands him a traitor and pushes himself out into the current. He is swept out of sight into the darkness beyond.

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