WHILE some celebrated Valentine’s Day with flowers and chocolates, scores of horror fiction fans flocked to Waterstones to meet acclaimed author Darren Shan.

The popular writer has had book sales of more than 20 million worldwide, and his works has been translated into more than 30 different languages.

Among those there to meet Mr Shan in Festival Place were teenage couple Vera Banks and Tom Milner, both 17, who attend Peter Symonds College, in Winchester.

Vera, from Kempshott, said: “We are both big fans, especially me, and I’ve read all of his books.

“He was really different to how I was expecting him to be but he was really nice.

“I’d much rather come and meet an author than some of these celebrities from reality shows.”

Tom, from Farnborough, said: “I’d like to be an author and it is inspiring to meet people who have made a career out of writing. It was really exciting to meet him.”

Mr Shan is the author of the The Saga of Darren Shan, aka the Cirque Du Freak series, The Demonata, The Thin Executioner and The Saga of Larten Crepsley.

His latest 12-book series is called Zom-B, and Mr Shan visited the Basingstoke shopping centre to sign the tenth in the series, Zom-B Bride.

Waterstones manager Zara Cherry said around 60 people came to the book-signing.

She added: “The signing went really well. He was really nice and chatted to everybody who came along.

“We have a real variety of people for our book signings, and we were very excited to welcome Darren Shan to the store.”