• Issue 1 - August 2000

    01 August 2000

    Hi, and welcome to the first issue of the SHANVILLE MONTHLY! Instead of sending (very!) occasional News Bulletins to registered readers, I've decided to create a once-a-month news round-up. The plan is to post a new issue at (or near) the start of each month, letting readers know what's been going on recently, and what I have planned for the month ahead. There might be rare "news flash" e-mails from time-to-time, but for the most part I intend to stick to these once-monthly offerings. I hope you approve -- let me know if you don't!
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    On the foreign front, things are moving along nicely. To bring you up to date with the current worldwide state of play: the American rights to Books 1 to 3 were bought earlier in the year (it's due out next Spring), and translation rights have been bought by the following countries: Brazil (in the Portugese language), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Spain. If you have pen-pals/friends in any of these countries, I hope I can rely on you to help spread the word! I assume different covers will be used by each country's publishers, which should be interesting. I'll put copies on the Shanville web site as and when I get them.
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    Fancy yourself as a writer? Itching to reach an audience? Courtesy of the BBC, you now have the chance to "co-write" a story with ME!! The What's Your Story? site is a great idea: an established writer begins a story, which readers (up to the age of 14) are invited to complete. I'm the featured August writer. I've started a Sam Grest story (like the one on the Vampire's Assistant site) -- now it's up to YOU to finish it! The winner's story will be posted on the BBC site for everyone to read. The competition's open to anyone up to the age of 14 -- so get those imaginations cracking, those fingers tapping, and let's show the "normals" what we "freaks" are made of!!!!
    The URL for the site is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/write
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    I've been going to lots of book shops, libraries, schools, etc. this year, promoting my books and signing copies. August will be a quiet month -- school holidays, as I'm sure you all know! -- but I'm doing one big event near the end of the month: I'll be in Edinburgh for the International Book Festival on Saturday 26 August (J K Rowling will be there on Sunday, but I'm sure I'll prove a much more popular draw than her -- ahem!!). I'll be in the Lloyds TSB Scotland Children's Theatre at 10.00am, strutting my funky stuff, acting out a scene from Cirque, answering questions, signing books, etc. If you can make it, I'd love to see you.
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    A TV interview I did with BBC Newsround aired late in June. I did a couple of radio interviews in Ireland in July, for Lyric FM and Limerick 95 FM. (The interviewer on 95 FM tried arguing that horror movies are by nature more scary than books -- needless to say, I quickly put him right!) In the press, I was interviewed by The Limerick Leader again, and also by The Evening Echo (Ireland), for a piece scheduled to appear in next Wednesday's issue (2nd August). You can access a truncated version of the Newsround interview and newspaper reports on the Interviews page on the Vampire's Assistant site. (I'll add the Evening Echo article as soon as I can.)
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    Good news with regard to sales in the UK and Ireland: they've been so brisk, Cirque Du Freak and The Vampire's Assistant have both gone to second prints already. Hold onto those first print copies -- a few more years and you could be cashing them in!
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    In Ireland, Cirque Du Freak and The Vampire's Assistant are both part of EASON'S Summer Sizzlers promotion, which means they're currently selling for £1 less than normal -- if you have friends who haven't bought them yet (unthinkable!), tell them now's as good a time as any to jump on board. Of course, other shops do good deals too: O'Mahony's in Limerick have given the books great support, as has the Book Centre in Waterford, and the Kilkenny Book Centre. If you think a store deserves special mention, let me know by sending an e-mail to [email protected] and I may feature them in a future issue of the Shanville Monthly.
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    As well as adding the Shanville Monthly to the site, I've made some other recent alterations. I've taken my list of recommended books/movies/CDs and comics from Cool Stuff on the Cirque site, expanded it, and set it up as the Shan Shop, which you can access from any of the site home pages. I've also added a News Vault, which will collect the various issues of the Shanville Monthly as they come out, so you'll always be able to track down a copy or point a friend towards it. Plus, I've re-designed the site buttons: I think they look cooler now, and they download quicker too. Finally, I've added quite a few reader's Letters to the Vampire's Assistant site since it went on-line, which you might like to check out if you're curious.
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    And that's all the news for August! I'll be back around the start of September. If you've any thoughts/suggestions about the site or the new-style Shanville Monthly (or anything else, for that matter), drop a line to the Mail Box and let me know. Until next time, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x
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