• Issue 6 - January 2001

    01 January 2001

    Welcome to 2001, Shansters -- here's hoping it turns out to be as bloody and nightmarish as last year! I'm sure you're all rolling around the place, stuffed on turkey, eyes bleary from watching too much TV over the holidays, so I'll keep this first Monthly of the year short and to the point.
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    As revealed last month, the official release date for Vampire Mountain is June 4, 2001. I've added a thumbnail of the cover to the main Shanville site (http://www.darrenshan.com), and if you click on it, you can see a larger version on the Vampire Mountain home page.
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    New Year -- new competition! As I said above, Vampire Mountain hits the stores in June, BUT book proofs will be sent out to journalists and booksellers at least a couple of months before then, and I'm going to give 5 lucky Shansters the chance to be among the very first people to read Book 4!! Basically, book proofs are the same as the book you'll buy in the store, except the cover won't be the same (it will be rougher) and there might be typing errors.
    To win a copy of the proofs of Vampire Mountain, all you have to do is write a poem and send it to [email protected] The poem must be in some way related to my books or the characters in them, but apart from that you're free to experiment. It can be as long or as short as you wish, gory or tragic, scary or funny. You can write about one of the main characters (Darren, Mr Crepsley, Steve, etc.), or one of the lesser cast members (Annie, Donna and Jessie, Bradley Stretch, and so on), or maybe just about circus freaks or vampires in general. It's your call.
    The competition will run for at least 2 months (I'll let you know the exact finishing date in the March Monthly), so you've plenty of time to enter. At the end, I'll pick my 5 personal favourites, then contact the writers for their addresses and post on the copies of the book. You can enter as many times as you like, but I won't award more than one book to any single person.
    Please note: I'll send a short confirmation notice to each entrant, just to let them know their poem has arrived safely, but I'll be away from home between January 6 and January 27. If you submit a poem during that period, you won't hear from me until after the 27th. If you haven't received a reply by February 1st, that means the poem got lost while I was absent -- so you'd best make sure you hold onto a copy, and send it again.
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    I've always preferred paperbacks to hardbacks -- easier to carry around -- but I know many people don't share that view. The good news for those of you who like books with hard covers is that a hardback version of Cirque Du Freak will be available in April. It's the American release, but you can pre-order it through the UK branch of Amazon (or wait until April and order it then) by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316603406/shanville
    In America, you can order it from http://www.amazon.com by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316603406/o/qid=978350489/sr=8-1/ref=aps_sr_b_1_3/104-5935359-5147102
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    Cirque Du Freak and The Vampire's Assistant are coming out in the Netherlands in April and July respectively. Their titles there will be: De Grote Freakshow and Vampiersleerling.
    Meanwhile, Cirque Du Freak debuts in Germany in February (I think). The German publishers have established their own Darren Shan web page (not much on it at the moment) which you can access by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.de
    world online
    I did an interview with World Online recently, which should be uploaded soon. In the meantime, you can read their review of Tunnels Of Blood by clicking on this link: http://www.worldonline.co.uk/kids/kids_center_001219.626651.html
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    Speaking of reviews: BBC Online have a books section, where readers can write their own reviews. Tunnels Of Blood is one of the books you can now write a review of. So if you want to let hundreds of thousands of readers know what you thought of TOB, click here and get writing: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/books/review_book4.shtml
    Don't forget, you can also post your views on ANY of my books by going to the http://www.amazon.co.uk site. There are also links to the Amazon site on most of the Shanville pages.
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    I had a quiet December -- hey! I needed a rest! -- but I'll be making a few appearances in England late in January, including a visit to Birmingham on the 25th (I'll be dropping in to the Centre For The Child in Birmingham City Library in the afternoon, and meeting the Northfields Teenage Reading Group later on).
    Looking somewhat further ahead: it looks like I'll be spending World Book Day (March 1st, I think) in Manchester this year, although that isn't confirmed yet -- more details as and when I get them. One confirmed date for MUCH later in the year is Thursday, August 16th, when I return to Edinburgh for their annual Book Festival.
    If you want to keep abreast of my future movements -- in case I'm ever in your region -- register now.
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    I signed a huge amount of copies of all three of my books in the City Of London School while I was there. I think they still have some in stock in case you're interested, which they're selling through their book store's web site. The URL for the site is http://carpenter.seekbooks.co.uk/default.asp?StoreURL=carpenter For more information, prices and shipping options, check out the web site, or phone the shop on 0207 3320223.
    I also signed copies of Cirque Du Freak and Tunnels Of Blood in Waterstone's in Picadilly Circus recently. If you're in the area, and you hurry, you MIGHT still be able to find some!
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    Shanta has come and gone! I posted my Shanta Claus story (entitled "Merry Bloody Christmas!") to the Tunnels Of Blood site a week or so before Christmas, but I've now taken it off again. For those who missed it, fear not -- I'll put it back up again next Christmas. Ho-ho-ho!!
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    That's it for this month. I'm on holiday for most of January (visiting some old friends in Vampire Mountain!!!), so anyone writing to me after the 6th will have a long wait for a reply! I'll be back home near the end of the month -- just in time to go to work on the February edition of the Shanville Monthly! Till then, wrap up warm, exercise hard to work off all the extra pounds you've piled up over Christmas, and try to keep your New Year's Resolutions -- and I hope you've all resolved to convert at least one new person to the Shanville cause in the months to come!!!!! Till February, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x
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