• Issue 35 - June 2003

    01 June 2003

    June already?!? Where's the year going?!?!?! I had a busy May. Got lots of writing done. Did an event in Listowel, in County Kerry, which was lots of fun -- a big turn-out, and loads of people brought along books to be signed! The only problem was, the library was next to a court house, which was in session, so the crowd wasn't allowed to applaud!!! That's the first time that ever happened to me!!!!!!! I'm going to be doing a lot of travelling in June, as you'll find out below. But before that, there's just time to bring everybody up to date with all the latest news. So, without any further ado, here we go ...


    The waiting is over! The guessing can stop! The title for Book 12 of The Saga of Darren Shan is ... SONS OF DESTINY!!!!!! Some of you might remember that this was originally announced as the title of Book 11 last year. I decided to move the title back when I re-wrote and changed Book 11, because it was now more relevant to Book 12. I can also reveal that the title for the Books 10, 11 and 12 trilogy is The DesTiny Trilogy! (I deliberately left out the space between the "s" and the "T" because it can be read either way!!) Although Book 10 stands apart from the next two (in much the same way that Book 7 stood apart a bit from 8 and 9) the 3 books are all closely linked, centering on the rise of the Lord of the Shadows, the future of not just the vampire clan but the world itself, and Darren's role in it ...


    A quick reminder that Book 5, Trials Of Death, is on sale in America NOW!!!! I've had lots of excited e-mails about it, and posts on the Shanville Message Board. One of the most asked questions is: "The cliffhanger ending drove me crazy -- can you bring book 6 out sooner?!?" Sorry -- I'm afraid I have no control over the release dates of any of my books in any countries. :-( If you can't find the book in your local store, or prefer internet trading and want to order the book over the web, I'd recommend B&N or Amazon. You can order by clicking on either of the following links:
    AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0316603678/ref=pd_sim_books_2/002-8151684-3603236?v=glance&s=books
    BARNES&NOBLE: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?userid=33L0SLN95X&pwb=1&ean=9780316603676
    You can also find links to the B&N and Amazon pages by visiting the U.S.A shop, where there are also links to the first 4 books in the series too. Find it by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/us_site/usshop/usshop.html


    [email protected]
    It seems like a VERY long time since we had a competition here! So, just before I head off to Japan, here's a quickie. Last year, when book 8 was released in the U.K., we released a pair of postcards through cinemas to promote them. On one there was the cover of book 5, on the other the cover of book 6. They were both pretty cool in my opinion!! Well, I still have some left over, and although I've offered them as prizes before, I didn't think anyone would mind if I offered them again! So, to be in with a chance of winning one of each card, with a short, autographed message on the back from me, just send your FULL NAME AND ADDRESS (don't forget to say what country you're from!) to [email protected] And please put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX of your e-mail when sending it to me. Closing date is midnight (Greenwich Mean Time), Sunday, June 8th. I'll pick out 10 (ten) entrants at random on Monday, June 9th, and send the cards to them through the post. Only 1 (one) entry per person -- anyone sending more than one entry will be barred from the competition! Entries will be accepted from ALL countries. May the luck of the vampires be with you!!!!


    Like I said last month, I had to postpone my trips to CHINA, TAIWAN and THAILAND because of SARS. I'll try to come to these countries as soon as possible in the not-too-distant future, possibly later this year, or maybe in 2004.
    Japan, fortunately, is all-systems-go, and it should be HUGE fun! I've received the plan of action from my publishers, Shogakukan, and it's very exciting!! I arrive on Thursday, June12th, and will be doing a TV interview which will be shown on the show, Ohasuta, on TV channel, TV Tokyo, on Friday morning! So watch out for me on your screen!!!! On Friday, June 13th, I'll be giving newspaper/magazine interviews, and also signing lots of books to be given away as prizes at my events at the weekend!
    On Saturday, June 14th and Sunday, June 15th, I'll be doing my BIG events! I'm going to be doing 4 "shows" each day, acting out a scene from one of my books, taking photos with fans, answering questions, and so on. Because of the numbers of people we're expecting -- my publishers are predicting somewhere in the region of 3000 fans over the two days, maybe more!!!! -- it won't be possible to sign books for everyone. But I've taken steps (in combination with Mr Tiny!) to ensure that everyone who comes (as long as there aren't more than 4000!) will walk away with a genuine, hand-signed Darren Shan autograph! For more details of these events, to find out where they're on, the times, and so on, check out the Shogakukan web site at: http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/darren/
    After that, I'm taking a trip north, to visit Osorezan. I don't think I'll be doing any events here -- I just want to wander around and see the place, and maybe get some good ideas for later books!!!
    After Japan, the plan is to go to South Korea and then America. Unfortunately I still don't have any firm details for either country. If all goes according to the currently vague plans, I should be in South Korea on June 19th, to stay for 2 or 3 days, and in America after that, where I'll be going to San Francisco, Cincinatti, and New York. But I'm not sure what my publishers want me to do in each place!! As far as I've been able to gather, I'm probably going to be doing mostly bookstore signings in the States -- maybe even just signing stock! When I know for certain, I'll put details on the Shanville NEWS forum on the message board: http://pub41.ezboard.com/fdarrenshanmessageboardfrm9. I'll also try to send out an e-mail to everyone, but this might not be possible.


    And the touring doesn't stop there! I'll probably be doing a public event in London, as part of a panel event with some other authors, to promote the launch of the WarChild Kids Night In anthology (see the section underneath this one), on Saturday July 5th. I'll confirm this in next month's Monthly, giving the time and place if applicable.
    I'll be attending the Edinburgh Book Festival again this year, and will be appearing in 4 very different events! I'm doing a solo event at 10.30 on Saturday August 9th, followed by a panel event at 17.30 that afternoon with Garth Nix and Theresa Breslin, where we'll be talking about fantasy books. On Sunday August 10th, I'll be doing another solo event at 11.30, and an event with Annie Dalton (and that wild woman of intrigue, Lady Bas of the Busty Wilds!) at 17.30 to talk about the superb WarChild anthology, Kids Night In (see further down for more info about that). I'll be performing "The Song of Darren Shan, verses 7 to 9" at one of my solo events. (It's the plot of the books set to rhyme! I did the first 3 books/verses two years ago, and 4 to 6 last year, so it's become something of an Edinburgh institution by now!) For the second event, I'm going to be trying something entirely new -- a Darren Shan Christmas play!!! Basically, it's going to be a dramatised, altered version of the "Shanta Claus" story which I post on Shanville each Xmas. A Yuletide play in the middle of summer?!? It could only happen in the freaky world of Darren Shan!!!!!!
    I'll also be doing some events in the U.K. (and maybe Ireland) in late September/early October, to celebrate the launch of Book 10, The Lake Of Souls. One event which I have already confirmed is The Word Festival at the Polka Theatre in Wimbledon in London on Saturday, September 27th. This will be one of my rare solo public events in London -- so miss it at your peril! (If the "Shanta Claus" play works out OK in Edinburgh, I might use it again here!!) I'll add further details -- how to get tickets, exact times, etc -- a bit closer the time.
    Later in October, I plan to travel to Australia and New Zealand, partly for a long holiday, but also to do some promotional work. Again, I'll add more details to the News Forum and Shanville Monthly as and when they're confirmed.


    The Alan Moore tribute book was delayed slightly, not going on sale until June 4th, so I decided to include mention of it one last time. If you read the last couple of issue of the Monthly, you can skip this bit!
    Alan Moore is the guy who wrote the comics Watchmen, Miracleman, Saga of the Swamp Thing, From Hell, etc. In my opinion he's one of the best writers ever, a definite personal hero of mine. His best work is absolutely amazing! He turns 50 in November, and to celebrate, a bunch of comics writers and artists have contributed stories, essays, artwork and a whole lot more to a collection called "Alan Moore: Portrait Of An Extraordinary Gentleman". To my great delight and honour, I was also asked to contribute, so I came up with a light-hearted story about a 10 year old Alan Moore, which will be appearing in it. In short, it follows young Alan around on his 10th birthday, and sows lots of pretend seeds for the ideas behind most of the comics and stories he was to write later in his life. For people who've read a lot of Alan Moore stuff, it should be lots of fun, spotting all the in-jokes -- but for those who know nothing at all about him, it might produce nothing more than a blank stare and a "huh?!?" Still, if you want to check my story out, the book is being released in May, and should be available in all good comics shops. Or else you can order it from the Page 45 comics shop in Nottingham by going to their web site at http://www.page45.couk.com/P45main.html
    In July you'll be able to read a new short story by me in the WarChild anthology, Kids Night In, published by Harper Collins (the self-same good folk who publish my books too!). WarChild are a charity organisation who work in war zones, helping out children who are suffering as a result of war. To help raise funds, their prettiest staff member, Helen Basini (aka Lady Bas of the Busty Wilds!!) has put together a short story collection which is simply staggering! There are brand new stories by Jacqueline Wilson, Eoin Colfer, Garth Nix, Brian Jacques, Philip Ardagh, and a whole, WHOLE lot more!! In fact, the full list of contributors reads like a Who's Who of modern children's authors! Their biggest coup, however, was grabbing yours truly! (And yes, my tongue IS in my cheek!!!) I proved so hard to atract, that in the end Miss Basini resorted to hounding me in my personal life, and even set herself up as my girlfriend to convince me to give her a story!!!! The story I finally came up with is called "Hagurosan". I got the idea while climbing a holy mountain in Japan last year. It's very different to the Saga, slow and thoughtful, with not an action scene in sight! But it's a story I'm very proud of, and I recommend the collection to all readers of my books -- you'll not only be getting a book full of the best short children's stories of 2003, but you'll be helping save children's lives too. (p.s. the WarChild web site is http://www.warchild.org.uk/ )


    You can read a new, Brazilian interview with me by clicking on the following link: http://www.alanmooresenhordocaos.hpg.ig.com.br/entrevistas30.htm Most of it centres on comics, and particularly a comics writer called Alan Moore, who's one of my idols. (See above.) But there's also a little bit about me and my books.


    Once upon a time, before he became Darren Shan, there was a writer who went by the name of Darren O'Shaughnessy. He wrote books for adults -- weird, wild, violent affairs. Two of his books (Ayuamarca and Hell's Horizon) were published, and though they didn't sell very well, they did find a few loyal fans, and Darren quite liked them too! (especially the second book). Now a long-term Shanster (take a bow, Nate!) has set up his very own message board devoted to these books. If you'd like to check it out, click on the following link: http://pub75.ezboard.com/bthecity24869 (N.B. If you ever come across either of these books, please remember that they were written for adults, not children, so they might not be suitable for readers of a certain age group or sensibility.)


    Something a little bit different in this month's Deja Vu!! I'm assuming many of you are familiar with ebay, the best auction house on the internet, where just about everything you can ever imagine is for sale -- including lots of my books! You can find first editions, signed copies, even promotional material like vials of fake blood!!! The list changes all the time, of course. Some days there might be loads of items for sale -- at other times, very litte, or none at all. To check what's on sale right now, click on the following link: http://search.ebay.com/darren-shan
    If you like, you can add it to your list of favourites, and check back every so often to see what's on offer. Good luck!!! (Please note, I'm not affiliated with ebay, and have nothing to do wtih any of the items sold -- I'm just letting people know in case they're interested.)


    And that's it for this month! I'll be away from my computer for much of June (from the 11th onwards) so you won't be seeing much of me on the Message Board or replying to e-mails!!!! If you're in Japan, South Korea, or America, I hope you manage to make it along to one of my events. If not, then until next month, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x