• Issue 14 - September 2001

    01 September 2001

    Welcome to the September issue of the Shanville Monthly. September's the month that The Vampire's Assistant officially hits Shansters in America!!! I'll be talking about that below, and a trip I'll be making to the States a bit later in the year to promote it! Plus news of a brand new competition, planned trips at home, and more. On with the show ...
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    usaThe vampire's assistantusa

    The Vampire's Assistant goes on general release in America in September!!!! Although it's been available on the internet and in certain shops since early August, September marks the official release date for Book 2 of The Saga Of Darren Shan in the States. So, if you live in America, get down to your local book store and snap up a copy NOW!!!! And tell your friends to buy one too!!!! It's been getting really good reviews in the States (check out the reviews section of Shanville) -- in fact, most reviewers seem to prefer it to the first book! Don't forget, when you've read it, you can post your own reviews on Amazon or Barnes&Noble if you feel like it. Cirque Du Freak made the Top 10 of the New York Times Children's Bestseller list -- it would be great if The Vampire's Assistant could repeat that feat!! (Though it won't be easy!) So let's all dig deep, freaksters, spread the word to all who'll listen, and send it shooting up the charts!!!
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    Now that The Vampire's Assistant is on general sale in America, I've added some extras to the Shanville site, including TWO exclusive short stories and some details about vampire facts and legends as they relate to The Saga Of Darren Shan! Definitely worth checking out!! (Please note: these extras are the same as those on Shanville UK.)
    I've also added a new USA letters page, plus a new covers page, with copies of various covers of The Vampire's Assistant from around the world. Plus, I'd added links to several reviews (of both books) in the last month or so: all available on the reviews page. If you haven't surfed Shanville USA in a while, this is a pretty good time to ...
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    [email protected]
    A brand new competition, to celebrate the forthcoming October 1st release of Trials Of Death!!!! The prizes: signed copies of the new book! What do you have to do to win? Read on ...
    As one of my Shansters pointed out recently (Hi, Elsa!!), Evra Von's snake doesn't have a name. While I don't think I'll ever bother naming his snake in the books, I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of names you lot could come up with! So, have a think about it, come up with some names, and send them to [email protected] You can submit up to five different names (if you send more than five, I'll discount the rest -- so don't bother!). They can be real names or made-up, sensible or crazy -- whatever!!! I'll look through all the names submitted, pick my favourite three, and send a signed copy of Trials Of Death to each of the three winners. I won't be using the snake's names in the books, but I'll publish them in next month's issue of the Shanville Monthly for everyone to see. The competition will run until midnight, Sunday September 16th -- shorter than usual, because I'm going on holidays later in September!
    Important: If my copies of Trials Of Death arrive before I leave for holiday, I'll post them to the winners ASAP. If they don't, it will be mid-October or later before I get a chance to send them out. But I'll contact the winners once I've picked them, to let them know.
    Please note: only one entry per person (with a maximum of five names per entry); when sending your e-mail, please put your name in the SUBJECT box (it makes things much easier for me that way); this competition is not open to readers in America (sorry, gang!). Best of bloody luck!!
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    You can now vote for your favourite Cirque Du Freak cover by going to the Shanville UK covers page at http://www.darrenshan.com/ukcdfcovers.htm or the Shanville USA covers page at http://www.darrenshan.com/uscdfcovers.htm and scrolling down to the bottom, where you can tick your fave cover and submit it by pressing the vote button. I'll be adding more of these voting boxes to the site in future -- assuming this one generates plenty of interest ... Please note, you can only vote once (it won't allow you to vote a second time) but you can check the results -- to see what others think, and how the voting's going -- any time. Also, though there's nothing to stop you voting on both sites, I'd rather you didn't -- it would be interesting to compare the two sets of votes!
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    shan tv

    I appeared on BBC1, on a programme called Xchange on Tuesday, July 31st. I was mostly talking about scary stories with the hosts, and commenting on some viewer's tales. Lots of fun! I also shot a promotional video (to be shown to sales reps) in August, in an old church in London, with live tarantulas! Basically I had to sit in a pulpit for a few hours, handling the tarantulas, while a bunch of kids asked me questions, a film crew shooting around us. It was hard work, with lots of re-takes -- I definitely don't envy actors any more!! Thanks to everyone involved, especially the kids who gave up their free time and stood around patiently during the lulls. Apparently a short segment of the video is going to be shown on a giant plasma screen in (I think) Victoria train station next February, to help promote the release of The Vampire Prince -- so keep an eye out for it!
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    I had a brilliant time at the Edinburgh Festival this year. I did two public events, both of which were sold out!! (I was hoping for a big crowd for the Sunday event, but I was taken by complete surprise by the Monday turn-out: with everyone back at school, I was expecting maybe only 20 or 30 people -- not a full-house!). I debuted "The Song Of Darren Shan" (basically it's the plot of the first 3 books set to rhyme) which went down a treat -- I'll definitely be using it again at future events!! I answered loads of questions at the Sunday event -- if we'd had more time, I think it could have gone on for hours!!! On Monday I was explaining about how I write the books, and where some of my ideas come from. This was the first time I'd tried this (since I thought there wouldn't be a big crowd, I decided this would be a good time to try something new and more serious!!!), and I found I'd prepared rather more than I could fit into the allotted hour -- so apologies to those who were there if it felt a bit rushed towards the end!! I was busy signing after both events -- cheers to those who queued patiently, especially those near the back who had to wait for ages to get their books signed!!!! Many thanks to everyone who turned up: your support was GREATLY appreciated, and I hope you all had as good a time as I did. Hopefully (fingers crossed!!) I'll be invited back again next year, when I'll be able to present Part 2 of "The Song", covering books 4 to 6 ......
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    usau.s.a. bound!!!usa

    Plans for my trip to America in October/November are beginning to take shape. As things stand right now, I'm scheduled to fly over on October 25th for a whirlwind tour (I've been waiting all my life to use that phrase!!!!) of (deep breath) San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago and Boston. No definite dates for the various cities yet, or an itinerary for what I'll be doing in each place, though I think there are going to be school/library/book store visits. As soon as I know more, I'll post the info on the American Message Board, and include it in a future issue of the Shanville Monthly. If you're interested in having me come to your school, check out the FAQ section on Shanville for tips on how to arrange for an author visit.
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    I've no visits planned for September, but October's going to be a VERY busy month for me! I'll be in Swansea on Thursday October 11, and I've lots of events planned for Ireland for October 15th to 23rd. I'll publish the full details in the October Monthly, but basically I'll be taking in the following areas/libraries: Wexford; Raheeny, Charleville Mall, Donaghmeade, Clondalkin, Lucan, Ballyroan and Castletymon -- all in Dublin; various libraries in Clare; and the Dooradoyle and Adare libraries in Limerick. I think all the events will be schools events, where specific classes are invited in, so they won't be open to the general public. But if you live in any of these areas, and fancy the idea of catching me in action, check out the FAQ section on Shanville for tips on how to go about arranging it.
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    global covers

    Now that The Vampire's Assistant has been released in a few different countries, I've added copies of the various covers to the Shanville covers page. I've also added the cover for the newly re-worked French edition of Cirque Du Freak -- very different to the original version, and MUCH freakier!!! On the subject of covers, I received an advance copy of the cover for The Vampire Prince this month -- my publishers in the UK (Collins) have gone for a brand new look for Book 6, a lot creepier and darker!! I won't be revealing it on the site just yet (though I did show it at Edinburgh, to get some feedback), but I'll put it up before the book is released next February. I think you'll like it ...
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    And that's it for this month. I hope all my American readers enjoy sinking their teeth into The Vampire's Assistant in September, and that Shansters on this side of the Atlantic start preparing themselves for the release of Trials Of Death in October (only one month to go!!!). I'll be back a bit earlier than usual with the October Monthly (I'll probably be uploading it a week or so before the end of the month). Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x
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