• Issue 20 - March 2002

    01 March 2002

    Welcome to the March issue of the Shanville Monthly! Lots to report about this month, news of my first #1 in Ireland, info about the new-look Shanville, a competition for American readers, and more. So let's get straight on with it.
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    Book 6 of The Saga Of Darren Shan, The Vampire Prince, was released in the UK and Ireland at the start of February, and - to my great delight - climbed to the #1 spot in Ireland by the end of the month!! Cirque Du Freak also re-entered the Irish chart, and got to #3. In the UK, both The Vampire Prince and the 99p version of Cirque Du Freak are in the Top 50 and selling well. There's been a brilliant reaction to The Vampire Prince -- most readers have cited it as their favourite of the series so far! It's also stimulated a lot of debate on the Message Board, particularly in regards to the identity of the Vampaneze Lord!! If you want to join in, just click on this link: http://pub41.ezboard.com/bdarrenshanmessageboard
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    Big drum roll ... dim the lights ... Shanville has been re-born!! As mentioned in the last couple of Monthlies, I've hired a professional web designer to give Shanville a makeover. You can now view the results by going to the Darren Shan home page: http://www.darrenshan.com You'll notice an immediate change, with a new logo and a chilling, creepy collage. Then, when you click on any of the links for other parts of the site, you'll bring up a brand new navigation board, which allows you to access any part of the site, no matter where you are (so you don't have to return to the home page all the time). There are also rollovers on the new navigation board, so if you hold your mouse arrow over a link, a little box will appear, telling you more about what the link links to. And those are only the most obvious changes -- there are lots of new little odds and bobs!!!
    Although the new site will be accessible from March 1st, we'll still be working on it for at least the next few weeks, transferring all the old material across, then testing it. So, for much of March, there will be a lot of blank pages on the site. But don't worry -- you're still going to be able to access the old site from the main home page, and use it as usual. Then, when everything's in place, the old site will be closed down, to be replaced entirely by the new site.
    Also, don't forget -- your feedback counts! If there's anything you don't like about the new site, or anything extra you'd like to see, you can let me know via the Message Board (use the Chit Chat forum). Shanville has undergone a number of format changes since its original launch 2 years ago, but none this dramatic. I hope you enjoy the new style Shanville -- I think you will ...
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    I've finally added The Vampire Prince extras to the site. If you click on the following link - EXTRAS - you can find deleted scenes from the book, plus an essay I wrote last year for the Times Educational Supplement (about one of my old childhood friends -- a tree!!!!!!). Enjoy!
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    I had a great time on the road in March, promoting The Vampire Prince. Thanks to everyone who turned out to see me in Limerick, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Birkenhead, Kingston Upon Thames, Cambridge and Sutton. Extra special thanks to all the librarians, booksellers and teachers who set the events up and helped them run super smoothly. I hope you all had as much fun as I did! The highlight for me was a public event I did in the Edinburgh Dungeons -- I felt right at home in the creepy dungeon room, dark and gloomy, with coffins and flickering lights, and screams in the background!! I even got to stand in a pulpit and create my own pillars of smoke!!!! Newsround were there to film the event. It was supposed to air in February, but I don't think it did -- so maybe it will go out in March ...
    It's World Book Day on March 14th. To tie in with it, I'm doing a number of events. Here's the full list:
    *Monday, March 11 -- Waterstones, Canterbury.
    *Wednesday, March 13 -- Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, Kent (arranged through Bromley Library).
    *Thursday March 14 -- The London Eye!! This is part of a big children's authors event, where a load of authors are going on the London Eye, one per carriage, each with a group of families. You can learn more about it on the World Book Day site: http://www.worldbookday.com The event starts at 10.00am. Afterwards, I'm doing an event in the Tate Modern Gallery.
    *Friday, March 15 -- Heffers Bookshop, Grafton Centre, Cambridge.
    *Wednesday, March 20 -- Naas, Nas Na Riogh shop, Kildare.
    *Thursday, March 21 -- Tallaght Library, Dublin.
    These are all school events -- 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 usually space for individuals or very small groups at these events - assuming you can get off school for an hour or two! - so if you want to come, you probably can. But check with the store first, to make sure!!]
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    USA -- BOOK 3!!

    Book 3 of the Saga, Tunnels Of Blood, finally hits shops in America in April -- but it's due to be shipped from the warehouse in the middle of March, so you might find it in some shops later this month! I love the cover of book 3 -- I think it's the best American cover yet! You can check it out on Shanville USA by clicking on this link: http://www.darrenshan.com/ustunnels.htm or buy it by clicking on this link: http://www.darrenshan.com/usshan2.htm In my view, Tunnels Of Blood is the best of the first 3 books -- and that's a view shared by about 70%-75% of the people I've heard from in the UK and Ireland who've expressed a preference. You're in for a bloody great treat, Shansters ...
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    [email protected]
    To celebrate the imminent release of Tunnels Of Blood in the States, I'm running a competition for readers in America. The prize: a signed copy of a proof edition of Tunnels Of Blood!!! Proof editions are paperback copies of the book which were printed up a few months before the book's release, to be sent to journalists and booksellers. They're very rare! I've two copies to offer as prizes. To be in with a chance of winning one of them, all you have to do is send your full name and address to [email protected] Easy!! I won't hold on to your details once the competition ends, and I won't pass them on to anybody else, or send you any junk mail! NB: this competition is ONLY open to readers living in the USA, with a USA address. ONLY one entry per person. Closing Date for entries: midnight, Sunday, March 17. I'll hold the draw on Monday, March 18, e-mail the winners to let them know, and post the books on ASAP. Best of luck!
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    I did a radio interview for BBC show, Go4it, early in February. You can listen to the interview (you'll need RealPlayer) by clicking on this link: G F I and then clicking on the "hear what Darren had to say" link. I also gave a web interview to Jubilee Books. You can access that by clicking here: Jubilee Interview. Plus, I did a live Q&A session with ACHUKA, which you can read by clicking here: ACHUKA Interview.
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    And that's it for this month! I hope you all like the new-look Shanville, and that my American readers enjoy their trip down the Tunnels Of Blood! I'll be back at the start of April with the 21st edition (!!!) of the Shanville Monthly. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x
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