• Issue 16 - November 2001

    01 November 2001

    It's been a hectic month, Shansters! A holiday in Kenya at the start (the calm before the storm), a trip to the Swansea Book Festival to do a couple of events (great fun), followed by a week and a half of library visits here in Ireland, in Wexford, Dublin, Clare and Limerick (I met loads of dedicated fans, and hopefully recruited lots of new ones!). And tomorrow I head off for America, for 2 full weeks of publicity events!!! It's hard work, and very tiring, but I've got to be honest -- I love it!!!!!! Meeting readers is the most enjoyable part of the writing process as far as I'm concerned, so at the moment I'm in seventh heaven. Anyway, on with the Monthly ...
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    usa u.s.a. bound usa

    As I said above, I'm flying over to America on Thursday, October 25th, for a two-week signing tour, taking in various venues in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago and Boston. For a full list of exactly where I'll be and when, check out my itinerary on the TimeWarner site at this link: http://www.twbookmark.com/children/shan_tour.html
    There are also links to a couple of the events I'll be doing, giving a bit more info about them. Click on either of the following links to learn more:
    Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, CA, on Friday October 26th: http://www.keplers.com/eventscalendar.htm#shan
    Milligan News Open House, San Jose, on Saturday October 27th: http://www.milligannews.com/event.htm
    This is my first time in the States (though I've been to South America on holiday), so I hope all of you living in the above areas come along if you're able, and give me a great big freaky welcome!!!
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    trials of death

    Book 5 of The Saga Of Darren Shan -- Trials Of Death -- went on sale in the UK and Ireland at the start of October, but it was late getting into most shops, and didn't start appearing on many shelves until the second or third week of the month!! Sorry about that, but unfortunately I have no control over delivery schedules -- we're in the lap of the gods (or the Collins warehouse staff!) where that's concerned!! Anyway, it's proving hugely popular with those who've read it -- the general consensus among those who've contacted me is that it's the best book yet!!! It entered the Irish bestsellers chart at #2 (which I was delighted about -- my highest placing yet!!), and has just entered the top 50 in the UK -- hopefully it'll climb much higher now that the books have (hopefully!!!!) reached all the stores where they're supposed to be!
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    book 6 cover

    Ay carumba!! Those of you with good memories might recall me mentioning last month that the cover for Book 6 was being kept under wraps until February. Well, that was the plan -- but the luck of the gods was against us, and a copy of the cover was accidentally sent to a certain well-known web bookseller, and they (quite understandably) added it to their site!! So some of you have already had a sneak preview of the supposedly top-secret new-look cover!!! I've been frantically e-mailing my publishers since I learned about the boo-boo, and they've been contacting the bookseller, and the upshot is that the cover WILL be removed, as soon as they can arrange it. The new "official" release date for the cover is the first of January, 2002 -- so I'm going to add a copy to Shanville on the last day of the year (Monday, December 31st) -- so watch out for it!! I'll be talking more about the new look later, and our other big plans for next year ... And those of you who managed to catch the cover while it was prematurely online -- no gloating!!!!!
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    interview usa

    There's a cool Halloween interview with me and 7 other authors on an American website -- Authors on the Web. Some of the other horror luminaries interviewed include Whitley Streiber and R.L. Stine!! You can access it by clicking on this link: http://www.authorsontheweb.com/features/0110-horror/0110-horror.asp
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    competition usa

    A new competition, open to all readers!!! As I said above, my publishers have some big plans for next year -- basically we want to raise public awareness of The Saga Of Darren Shan and get more people reading the books! Sales have been excellent so far, but we're greedy -- we want MORE!!!!!! To kick things off, I've decided to start with YOU, the readers! So I'm running a "publicity competition" in which you can win some cool prizes AND help promote the Darren Shan books. To enter, all you have to do is write a review of any of my books for Amazon or (in America) Barnes & Noble. Everybody who writes a review between now and the end of the year (i.e. December 31st) will be entered into a draw. There will be 2 winners, picked at random, one from Europe, and one from Rest of the World. I haven't finalised the prize list yet, but there'll be a number of goodies for each of the winners, including a very special copy of the UK first edition of Cirque Du Freak, a bottle of the fake blood given away with Trials Of Death, and more! A full list of the prizes will be published in next month's Shanville Monthly.
    Rules: *you can only write one review per book, but you can write one for as many of the books as you wish, and each review will be entered separately into the draw (so, if you've read all 5 books, you can write a review for each, and I'll put five slips of paper with your name on them into the hat, giving you a better chance of winning).
    *You MUST include your name when submitting the review on Amazon or B&N (but you don't have to include an e-mail address).
    *Reviews MUST be submitted directly to Amazon or Barnes&Noble, using their online review forms -- reviews sent to Shanville will not be eligible.
    *Only reviews PUBLISHED on Amazon or Barnes&Noble between October 25 2001 and January 5 2002 will be eligible for entry -- if you submit a review which is NOT published on the site, or which was published on either site before October 25 or after January 5, I cannot enter your name into the draw. Also, I'm not responsible for lost or rejected reviews -- if your review isn't published, there's nothing I can do about it. This competition hasn't been authorised by Amazon or Barnes&Noble, so they have nothing to do with it, and I have no influence over their web policies -- if you have any queries, you should contact Shanville at [email protected].
    *If you submit a review, and it is published, you MUST e-mail me at [email protected] stating which site your review was published on, and the name you published it under -- but please don't e-mail me UNTIL your review has been published. Once you e-mail me, I will check the site, then e-mail you back to confirm your entry into the draw.
    *If you are submitting a review from a country OUTSIDE Europe, it MUST be either to Amazon.com OR Barnes&Noble -- NOT BOTH!! If you send a review to both, only one review will be entered into the draw.
    *If you live in Europe, you can only submit a review on Amazon.co.uk. If you live anywhere in the rest of the world, you can only submit a review on Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com. (So, for instance, if you live in America, and write a review for the UK Amazon site, that review won't be counted or entered into the draw.)
    *And, finally, ALL published reviews will be eligible for the draw, regardless of whether they're positive or negative -- so you don't have to write a good review to win!!

    Whew -- complicated!!! Sorry about the long list of rules, but this is the most complex competition I've run so far, so I want to make it as clear as possible! You can find the books by going onto the web sites -- http://www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com or http://www.barnesandnoble.com -- and entering the words DARREN SHAN in the search box, or directly by clicking on any of the links beneath:

    AMAZON.CO.UK (for readers in Europe)
    Cirque Du Freak
    :The Vampire's Assistant
    Tunnels Of Blood
    Vampire Mountain
    Trials Of Death

    AMAZON.COM(for readers outside Europe)
    Cirque Du Freak
    The Vampire's Assistant

    BARNES&NOBLE.COM(for readers outside Europe)
    Cirque Du Freak
    The Vampire's Assistant

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    Lots more of you have voted for your favourite Global Cirque Du Freak cover. You can check the status of the voting (or cast your own vote) on the UK and USA sites by clicking on either of the following links: UK COVERS or USA COVERS I've added the Brazilian cover for The Vampire's Assistant to the site this month -- you can check it out on either of the Covers pages (but it's a poor quality copy -- I'll add a better one later). I'll be adding more as and when I get them, including the cover for KOREA, where we've most recently sold the series to!
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    message board usa

    The Message Boards have been taking up a lot of my time recently, so I've hired somebody to help maintain them. He's called Pablo Kenny, and basically he'll be checking the board every day, editing out swear words and deleting inappropriate messages where necessary. I'll still be using the board and answering questions -- I just won't be quite as actively involved as I was before. (Up until now, I've had to check EVERY message posted!!)
    On the subject of the message boards: the American board has been very quiet since its launch, and it just isn't working at the moment. The point of the boards is to encouarge debate, and to get Shansters talking to each other, but most users seem to be focusing on the UK board, even if they live in the States. So, unless there's a dramatic upsurge in interest after my trip to the States, I'm going to merge the 2 boards. What this means is that everybody will be using the same board, but it will have a number of new forums on it, one for UK readers, another for USA readers -- so readers in America won't have to worry about plot spoilers as long as they stick to the USA forum. I think it'll make the board livelier than ever, and hopefully encourage some more of those shy young Americans to post a few messages!!! :)
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    usa vampire's assistant reviews usa

    There have been several new American reviews of The Vampire's Assistant, most of which have been extremely positive! You can check them out by going to the REVIEWS section on Shanville USA, or directly by clicking on this link: http://www.darrenshan.com/usvareviews.htm
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    I'm in America at the end of October/start of November. You can click on this link for the full list or where I'll be and when: http://www.twbookmark.com/children/shan_tour.html
    Later in November, I'm going to France for four days, from Monday November 19 to Thursday November 22. I'm not sure what I'll be doing there, whether it will be media publicity or library/school events, but I know that I'm starting out in Paris and ending up in Lille. More details to follow (on the UK Message Board) as and when I get them ...
    On Friday November 23 I'll be in Sheffield for the Children's Book Award. Cirque Du Freak is one of the short-listed books in the Longer Novel category. I'll be at the award ceremony in the morning (it should be fun, even if -- horror of horrors!! -- I don't win), and I'm doing a schools event in the afternoon.
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    And that's it for the November issue! I'll be back at the start of December to wish you all a merry Christmas, run an update of the new competition, and tell you how I got on in America and France. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x
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