HORRIBLE Histories author Terry Deary returned to York today (July 20), giving fans of the hugely successful children's book series a chance to meet the writer.

Terry was at Waterstones in Coney Street from 2pm to 4pm ahead of a special early screening of the new Horrible Histories: The Rotten Romans film at City Screen at 4.30pm.

The 73-year-old, who lives in County Durham, told The Press that he "loves" York, and has visited the city numerous times since he was a child.

He said: "I have been to York quite a lot.

"I used to go for school trips. It is a fabulous place. It is unique."

He added: "York pops up now and again in my books because of its unusual and horrible history."

Terry's Horrible Histories books have been educating and entertaining children with their gory and gruesome tales of Rotten Romans and Terrible Tudors for 26 years.

There are 70 books in the series, which are aimed at eight to 13-year-olds.

The books have been adapted into a TV comedy series, stage shows and a prom concert.

One of his many fans, nine-year-old Tess Sandle, was "excited" to meet the author at Waterstones.

She commented: "I like Horrible Histories for the fun facts and I know a lot more about history from reading them and watching the Horrible Histories programmes on TV."

Explaining what makes the series so popular, Terry said: "The reason it is so successful is because nobody has done that before. Nobody had ever tried to make history fun before my first book in 1993.

"I had written about 50 children's novels before doing Horrible Histories. I was a well established children's author.

"A lot of texts about history for children are written by historians. Historians use academic language they are used to from their studies where as I don't.

"With all the fiction I have written as well it is more natural for me to tell stories than a historian.

"It's not just the content I write it's also the style I write that makes the books engaging."

In total, Terry has had 315 fiction and non-fiction books published in the past 40 years, selling more than 32 million copies in over 40 languages.

He has written 150 novels, as well as the non-fiction, Horrible Histories: The Rotten Romans will be released on July 26.

The film is adapted from The Rotten Romans book and Terry even plays a small role in the movie.

He said: "It is a triumph. It's a great film.

"It's great family entertainment."