• Issue 19 - Februaury 2002

    01 February 2002

    Welcome to the February issue of the Shanville Monthly! This is going to be a busy month for me, with the release in the UK and Ireland of The Vampire Prince, and a jam-packed tour to promote it. I'm also working on getting the new-look Shanville up and running. So, without any further preamble, let's get cracking!!
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    Book 6 of The Saga, The Vampire Prince, goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on February 1st. The book actually turned up in some shops during the last week of January, and the initial response from readers who got hold of an early copy has been overwhelming -- the general consensus is that this is the best book yet! The ending is proving particularly popular -- though of course I'm not going to reveal that here!! (And please, Shansters, when you read the book, don't give away any of the twists on the Message Board!) Do let me know what you think of the book (on the Message Board) when you've read it. And don't forget to vote for the new-look cover by going to the Shanville UK part of the site. I know some of you have been moaning about the change, but trust me -- the cover looks a lot better in reality than it does on the web, and I've already had a few doubting Thomases repent and admit they now think it IS an improvement!!
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    As I said above, I'm doing a big tour to promote the release of The Vampire Prince in February. Here's the full list of times and places.
    *Saturday Feb 2 -- O'Mahony's, O'Connell St, Limerick -- 12.00. A Public Event, with signing session afterwards.
    *Monday, Feb 4 -- Waterstones, 128 Princes St, Edinburgh, 10.30-11.30 and 14.00-15.00.
    *Monday Feb 4 -- Edinburgh Dungeons, a Public Event, arranged by Ottakers, 18.00-20.00. (See below for details.)
    *Tuesday, Feb 5 -- Waterstones, 1-5 Bridle Gate, Nottingham, 11.30-12.30 and 13.30-14.30.
    *Wednesday, Feb 6 -- Hammicks, 2a Borough Pavement, Grange Precinct, Birkenhead, Merseyside, 11.00-12.00. [This event replaces the event I was supposed to do in London today.] I'm also doing an event in a local school, St Alban's, at 13.30-14.30.
    *Thursday, Feb 7 -- Waterstones, Bentall Centre, Wood St, Kingston Upon Thames, 11.00-12.00 and 14.00-15.00.
    *Friday, Feb 8 -- Waterstones, 20-22 Sidney St, Cambridge, times TBC.
    *Monday, Feb 11 -- Sutton Central Library, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, times TBC.
    Except for those listed as Public Events, these are all school events -- so if you'd like to be in on the act, ask your teacher to contact the store in your area and enquire about the possibility of bringing a class in. [NB There's usuaully space for individuals or very small groups at school events -- assuming you can get off school for an hour or two! -- so if you want to come to any of those events, you probably can. But check with the store first, to make sure!!]
    The Edinburgh Dungeons events is being arranged by Ottakar's, in the Edinburgh Dungeons! You'll need to book through Ottakar's if you're interested. The full details are:
    *The event will take place at the Edinburgh Dungeons on Monday February 4th, between 6.00pm and 8.00pm.
    * Tickets cost £5 -- really good value, as on top of your meeting with me, you get a guided tour of the Dungeons too!
    *There are only 100 tickets available, on a first-come, first-served basis. (Don't leave it too late if you want to book -- on my last trip to Edinburgh, for the Book Festival, I did 2 public events, both of which were sold out!!)
    *The event is being organised by Ottakar's, Cameron Toll. They're the people you need to contact about tickets.
    *The number to call, for tickets or to make general enquiries, is 0131 666 1866.
    *The general format of the event is -- I'll be talking to the entire group between 6.00pm and 7.00pm, and answering questions. Half the group will then be taken on a tour of the Dungeons, while I sign books for the other half. Then the groups swap, and I sign books for the first 50, while the second 50 are taken on the tour.
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    Well, not really! But it's certainly a day to note, for two reasons. (1) There will be an interview with me in the Funday Times (the children's section of the Sunday Times). I also did a photo shoot for this in the London Dungeons, so there should be some cool, spooky photos! (2) There will be a radio interview with me on GO4IT, a radio show on BBC radio 4 at 7.15pm (end time -- 7.45pm). So tune your dials, folks!! (Alas, I'm not sure what the frequency is, or if it's available in Ireland.)
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    I did quite a bit of experimenting on the Message Board in January, trying to find the right format. I've now (finally!) got it the way I want it. There's a forum dedicated to the first 3 books, called The Beginning (mainly for international readers, who haven't yet had a chance to read books 4 to 6), and a forum for the Vampire Mountain trilogy. I've also added a NEWS forum, where I'll be posting news bulletins as and when I receive them. This forum is where you'll hear about all the breaking Shan news first, so my advice is to check it at least once a week if you want to stay up to date.
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    I hoped to launch the new-look Shanville at the start of February, but while work is amost complete, it's not quite finished yet. I really like the new, professional look -- I think you lot will like it too! The new site will be going online a bit later this month. I'll be testing it online for a while, making sure everything works, fiddling about with it a bit. Then, when it's ready, I'll announce the official launch by sending everyone an e-mail.
    I also added some new material to the site this month, including a PHOTOS section and a SHANOGRAPHY, and I added some new ART. You can check them out by going to http://www.darrenshan.com Plus I'll add some new EXTRAS to the Shanville UK site soon, to tie in with the Book 6 launch. I'm going to put up the short article I wrote for the TES last year, and later (probably in a few months) I'll add some deleted scenes!!
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    I know I included this part last month, but for those who missed it, here's some of what's being done in the UK and Ireland to promote the release of The Vampire Prince:
    * Coffin-shaped dumpbins (a dumpbin is the industry name for those fancy book display stands you see in shops) have been produced, and each one holds 48 copies of Darren Shan books. These are being sent to a LOT of shops. They should be eye-catching!
    * A 99p version of Cirque Du Freak is being released. Yup, that's right -- CDF for less than a quid!!!!! So if you want to hook your friends on the series, tell them this is the best time ever to get started. For 99p, they can't go far wrong!
    * Book 6 has been chosen as Book Of The Month by Waterstones, WHSmith and Hammicks in the UK, and by Easons in Ireland!!!! Borders are also going to be heavily promoting it.
    * A short Darren Shan video advert is due to be screened on the big plasma screen in Victoria station throughout February (although I haven't had this confirmed for definite yet).
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    In the USA, Cirque Du Freak is being released in paperback on May 15th, 2002. In the UK, my publishers are planning to release a collection edition of Books 1, 2 and 3 in June. More details to follow.
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    You can access an interview with me, conducted by WHSmith by clicking on this link: Darren Shan Interview.
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    And that's it for February! I hope all my UK and Irish Shansters manage to get hold of and enjoy The Vampire Prince. (For international readers who can't wait -- it IS possible to order the UK editions through the Shanville UK SHOP, but I think shipping is very expensive!!) Book 6 marks an exciting new phase in Darren Shan's life -- things will never be quite the same for him after this one! Now the waiting for Book 7, Hunters of the Dusk, starts ... Until March, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x
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