Shane Hegarty is the author of the awesome Darkmouth series. It’s full of legendary creatures of all kinds and there are plenty of laughs. You may have been one of the lucky people who got to hear Shane talk about his books when he visited the top half of the country last month (I’m very jealous!). The third book in the series, Chaos Rising, is soon to be released here in NZ and I got the chance to interview Shane about the series.
What inspired you to write the Darkmouth series?
I ran out of excuses not to do it! From a very young age I’d wanted to write a story of fantasy and adventure, with scary bits, jokes, an ordinary hero in extraordinary circumstances. In the end, I wanted to write a story for my own kids that gave me the focus to make the relationships the heart of it even as their town is under attack.
What 3 words would you use to describe the series?
Fun. Fantastic. Freaky.
What would your Legend Hunter name be?
Shane the Easily Spooked.
Which of your characters do you most relate to?
I relate to a few in different ways. Finn has to become a Legend Hunter even though he doesn’t feel strong enough, and I recognize his fear. His friend Emmie is fearless, and she’s the flip side of things – how I would actually like to be. Finally, Finn’s dad Hugo is a but pushy to his son, and I guess I recognise that even if I don’t want to be a pushy dad!
Which Legend would you least want to encounter?
There’s a Hydra in Darkmouth 3: Chaos Descends, and I really wouldn’t like to meet any of its heads on a dark night. Or a bright day. Or at any time.
The series is being adapted in to an animated movie. Will you have any part in the creation of the movie?
I’ve seen some of the early drawings and story ideas they’re working on in Hollywood, and it looks amazing. There are brilliant directors involved – Dave Pimentel (Moana) and Doug Sweetland (Storks) – so I know they’ll do a great job. I’m having fun watching it being put together.
What books do you recommend for readers who love your series?
If you haven’t read Derek Landy’s amazing Skulduggery Pleasant, they’re so good. I always tell readers of my own favourite book, Douglas Adams’s the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I’m always delighted when a reader is inspired to pick that up because they always love it.
For kids in New Zealand today there are lots of books in Te Reo Maori and retellings of Maori legends that they can enjoy, but when I was a kid there weren’t many around. The Maori myths and legends that I was introduced to as a kid were those that were retold and illustrated by Peter Gossage. Through Peter’s books I learned all about how Maui fished up New Zealand, how he discovered fire and how he slowed the sun. As an adult I love these books because the text is simple and the illustrations are striking. Penguin Random House NZ are releasing a very special collection of Peter’s stories this month.
Maui and Other Maori Legends collects 8 of Peter’s beloved Maori myths, including Battle of the Mountains, The Fish of Maui, How Maui Slowed the Sun and Pania of the Reef. They are presented in a beautiful hardback that will with-stand the many readings that it is sure to have. The copies in my library have been very well loved by kids right from Year 1 to Year 8. Their readability for any age is one of the things I love most about Peter’s retellings.
Every classroom and library needs to have this collection as it will be an invaluable resource.
Rick Riordan’s new series is finally here! The first book in his Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, Sword of Summer is out in NZ. This new series follows Magnus Chase as he tries to prevent the end of the world, Ragnarok. It sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to read it!
My name is Magnus Chase. I’m orphaned and living rough on the streets of Boston. And things are about to get much worse.
My day started out normally enough. I was sleeping under a bridge when some guy kicked me awake and said, ‘They’re after you.’ Next thing I know, I’m reunited with my obnoxious uncle, who casually informs me that my long-lost father is a Norse god.
Nothing normal about that. And it turns out the gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Apparently, if I can’t find the sword my father lost two thousand years ago, there will be doom. Doomsday, to be precise.
A fire giant attacking the city? Immortal warriors hacking each other to pieces? Unkillable wolves with glowing eyes? It’s all coming up.
But first I’m going to die.
This is the story of how my life goes downhill from there…
Check out this awesome trailer for Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer