• Issue 4 - November 2000

    01 November 2000

    Hi, and welcome to the latest issue of the SHANVILLE MONTHLY! October was busy -- plenty to report; I've got news of the French and German releases of Cirque Du Freak; and November sees the release of Book 3 of the Saga. Let's cut straight to the chase ...
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    The horror is upon us!! November 6 is the official release date for TUNNELS OF BLOOD, though copies might hit some stores a little earlier. You can't miss them -- just look for the glorious blood-red covers! I'm really pleased with this one -- it looks super cool, and I think it's the best book yet. I hope everyone else likes it as much as I do! Now get out there with your friends and family and buy Buy BUY!!!!!!
    Also released this month is the audio cassette adaptation of THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT. Read by the wonderful Alan Cumming, this is great, creepy fun. If you want to refresh your memory before settling into TUNNELS OF BLOOD, but don't fancy reading the books again, you might like to check out the tapes of V.A. and CIRQUE DU FREAK.
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    Great news on my home (Irish) front -- THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT hit #3 in the children's chart!!! Considering the opposition it's been facing these past few months -- four Harry Potter books and a seemingly endless number of Pokemon spin-offs -- it's wonderful to have soared so high (CIRQUE DU FREAK made it to #5, but this is the first time I've been inside a Top 3). Many thanks to the Collins crew in Ireland (Anne, Moira, Tony), and to all the librarians, teachers and book-sellers who've helped get the books into their readers' hands -- and, of course, to all those who went out and bought it! Sl‡inte!!!!!
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    I was in Paris during October, where I met my French publishers (Havas Poche). They'll be releasing CIRQUE DU FREAK in February, with a similar sort of cover to the British version. The title (translated into English) is: "THE PARADE OF MONSTERS"!!!! In Germany, the company Verlaag will be releasing CIRQUE at around the same time. They've come up with a whole new look for the book, and have also designed some super-cool promotional materials. The title in Germany, I think, is "MIDNIGHT CIRCUS". For a sneak preview of the Verlaag "look", check out the Darren Shan website they've set up, at http://www.darrenshan.de
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    I did lots of travelling during October, promoting the books. In Ireland, I visited Dublin, Galway, Tuam and Limerick; in England I made it to Newcastle and Guildford, as well as to the Mayflower School in Billericay (there was also a trip to WHSmith in Paris, but I was the only one who bothered to turn up!!!!). Lots of fun at all the venues, with plenty of sharp questions from the audiences to keep me on my toes. Thanks to everyone who turned up and contributed, and to all those who helped arrange the events. I'm doing some more school and library appearances early in November -- I'll let all my registered Shansters know via an e-mail if anything else pops up later in the month.
    In Newcastle and Billericay , I was photographed for local papers (pics to be added to Shanville when and if I get them), and in Guildford I was interviewed both by a local paper and radio station -- good fun. I was supposed to do an interview for GMTV, but they cancelled it -- c'est la vie. I did a filmed interview for CBBC Online, which you can access at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/write/interviews.shtml . You'll need speakers to be able to listen to it, and the correct programme (Real Video) to download it.
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    I've updated the TUNNELS OF BLOOD LETTERS page recently, and I'll be adding new ART as soon as I get back home to Ireland (I'm still in England as I type this). I've also added a new Cirque Du Freak review and I hope to add some reviews of Tunnels Of Blood during the month, as and when they come in.
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    Q & A

    I'm afraid I left my list of reader's questions behind in Ireland, so the Q&A wrap-up will have to wait until next month. If you've any questions you'd like answered, e-mail me at [email protected] and I'll try to answer your queries here.
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    The following is taken from the latest online edition of The Bookseller.
    *** WEBSITE OF THE WEEK *** The Darren Shan Website http://www.darrenshan.com/

    A ghoulish author's website for Halloween. This is Shanville, the online home for Darren Shan, author of Cirque du Freak and Tunnels of Blood. Shan is an enthusiastic chap and his ebullience pervades these web pages like an oversized pumpkin: here you will find publicity shots of Shan, photos of Shan on holiday in South America and photos of people who work with him. The site also acts as a repository of news, fresh material, unpublished writing, interviews, reviews and fans' letters. The site has an amateurish feel and design about it, and some of the cosier material limits any attempts there might have been to extend the books' mythology online. But, gripes aside, this is an irreverent and ultimately successful attempt to capture Shan and his work online.
    You will find links to this and other useful Websites at http://www.thebookseller.com/links/links.html To read previous reviews visit http://www.thebookseller.com/links/mlinksreviews.html
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    That's it for this month. I'll be back around the start of December, when we should have some early feedback on TUNNELS OF BLOOD, how it's going down with readers and how it's selling. Let me know what you think whenever you get around to reading it (and if you'd like to post your comments publicly, the AMAZON site is a good place to start). Until next time, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x