• Issue 39 - October 2003

    01 October 2003

    Welcome to the October (Halloween! Halloween!) issue of the Shanville Monthly! And the first news is -- this is going to be the last issue for a couple of months!!! No, I'm not getting lazy in my old age! I head off on holidays early in October, for Australia and New Zealand (I'll also be doing some events in both those countries -- see below for details), then Cambodia, Vietnam and Borneo (with a few days in Bangkok thrown in for good measure!!!). With all that travelling, I won't be back home until late December (just in time for Christmas!), meaning I won't be able to do any new issues of the Monthly until then. I did consider hiring somebody else to do them for me while I was away, but I like the fact that I've put every issue of the Monthly together myself, wrote them, uploaded them, and sent out the e-mails letting everybody know they're online. I think that's quite rare for an author, and it's something I want to keep on doing as long as possible. So, in the end, I decided to have a temporary break. I'll still be adding updates to the News forum on the Message Board (http://pub41.ezboard.com/fdarrenshanmessageboardfrm9) while I'm away, so keep an eye on that for all the latest Darren Shan info! And when I return, I plan to do a Christmas (December) issue of the Monthly, quickly followed by a January issue (I'll split up my 2 months of back news, so there should be plenty in each issue!). So, really, we're only going to miss out on November's issue. There'll be more about this at the end of this Monthly, but for now, on with the show ...


    Book 10, The Lake Of Souls, goes on sale in the UK and Ireland this month!! You should be able to find it in your local book shop from October 6th. If you don't see it on the shelves, you can always ask your bookseller to order it for you!! Alternatively (or if you live outside the UK and Ireland) you can order it through Amazon UK by going to the Shanville UK Shop, or by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007159196/shanville There seems to be a bigger buzz about this book than normal -- maybe because of the long wait for it!! (Actually, 8 months is a very short time for most authors, but long by Darren Shan standards!) It's already made the Top 100 Hot Books on Amazon UK -- a week before its official release!
    To help promote the book, my U.K. publishers - HarperCollins - have hired an outside firm to create a limited edition web site (called a microsite). This is due to run until the end of October. The link is http://www.darrenshan-lakeofsouls.com. There's loads of cool stuff on the site -- you can win prizes, fish for the souls of the dead on the Lake Of Souls (!!!), learn some Darren Shan facts, download a shantastically fabulous screamsaver (like a screensaver, except it screams!!) and wallpaper. The microsite's proved a big hit already with Shansters, since it went online last month. If you haven't checked it out yet, do so now -- and enjoy!!!
    Oh -- one last thing! The book also comes with a page of FREE TATTOOS!!! They're at the beginning -- 3 tattoos on a separate page, all the same design (the skull, from the covers of the books). You can cut them out and then stick them on -- although, of course, if you do that, you'll lessen the value of the book!!!! To cut or not to cut -- that is the question! Maybe the easiest thing is to buy TWO copies of the book, one for the tattoos, one to keep intact!!!!!!!!!! :lol :lol :lol


    I'll be signing copies of my new book (as well as copies of all the others, of course!) at the Children's Book Shop in Muswell Hill, in North London, on Thursday October 2nd at 3.45 p.m. I'll be there for at least an hour -- probably more! Sorry about the late notice!!!! This will be my last appearance in the UK this year, so if you want your books signed, try hard to get there!!!!

    After that, I'll be in O'Mahony's on O'Connell Street in Limerick on Saturday, October 4th, at 09.30 a.m. Sorry about the early start, but that's the only time I could do!! And I'll need to leave not long after 10.30, so I'd advise you to come to it as close to 09.30 as you can!!
    For the information of anyone coming to either signing session -- at my events I'll happily sign ALL of your books. So if you have all 9 of my books at home, please feel free to bring them along. Sometimes fans come along with only 1 or 2 books, and leave disappointed when they realize they could have got the whole lot signed!!! Every author's different, but I ALWAYS sign every book I'm presented with, except on very rare occasions when time is against me (e.g. if the venue has to shut at a certain time).
    As I said above, I'm coming to Australia in early October and New Zealand late in October and early November, mostly for a holiday, but also to do some promotional work! I'm going to be doing loads of interviews (magazines, newspapers, radio, TV -- you name it!!), store events and book signings (including a few events for the fabulous War Child anthology, Kids' Night In, which is being releaed there in October), and some schools visits. Here's the running order.
    Sydney: Saturday 11th October - 12.00-13.00 - Angus and Robertson, Shop 445, Westfield, Chatswood, NSW 2067
    14.00-15.00 - Borders Macquarie Centre, Herring Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113
    16.00 - 17.00 - Shearers Gordon, 790 Pacific Hwy, Gordon.
    Sunday 12th October - 11.00-12.00 - War Child event - Dymocks, George St, Lower Ground Floor, 424 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
    Melbourne: Monday 13th October - 16.00 - 17.00 - Angus and Robertson, Shop 1014, Southland shopping centre, Nepean Highway, Cheltenham.
    Tuesday 14th October - Schools events in the morning, then a Kids' Night In event in Camberwell at 13.30. (Sorry to be a bit vague about these events, but I think they're all ticketed, and not available to the general public!)
    Brisbane: -Wednesday 15th October - schools visits, arranged through The Book Garden.
    Friday 17th October - 18.30 - War Child event - Avid Reader Bookshop, 193 Boundary Road, West End, Brisbane.
    New Zealand.
    Auckland: Friday 31st October (Halloween!!!) - some schools events in the day, arranged through Whitcoulls..
    16.00-17.00 - Event with John Graham Paperplus at his Remuera Store.
    19.30-???? - Halloween Event with Childrens Literature Foundation at Auckland College of Education.
    Saturday 1st November - 12.30 - 13.30 - event at Whitcoulls Botany Downs.
    Wellington: Friday November 7th - Schools event at Heretaunga College, arranged through Bookends Kapiti.
    Maybe an event at Dymocks - still to be confirmed! My advice is to check with Dymocks!!!!

    JAPAN -- BOOK 9

    Book 9 will be released in Japan on October 24th. I know the books have a huge following in Japan -- I hope you all enjoy the latest one!!! Also, in February 2004, a Fan Book of me will be released by my Japanese publishers, including translated versions of many of the Shanville Extras short stories, with introductions from me written exclusively for the fan book!!!! For more information, click here: http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/darren/


    I was on the Big Toe radio show on September 26, Friday, on BBC 7. It was lots of fun, with a very good selection of questions for me to answer. You can still access the show, up until Thursday, October 2nd (I think!!) at http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/bigtoe/ (Click on the LISTEN section, then on the link for Friday.)


    In America, the Wigglefish review of The Vampire Prince is now online at http://www.wigglefish.com/stories/0001_0005_0001.cfm?id=1377 Since I'll be away for the next couple of months, I won't be able to inform you of any other new American reviews, but if you check on a search enigne like Google, you can normally track them down yourself!


    I had huge fun at the Polka Theatre on Saturday 27th September. I went there to be part of their Word Festival, which celebrates children's books by having loads of authors talk about their work. It's a lovely theatre (the UK's only specific children's theatre!), and the event was fabulously organised. Because it was my first time there, I wasn't sure whether or not many people would turn up, so I was genuinely utterly astonished to be told that over 220 tickets had been sold for my event -- the most for any event that day!!!! (Though Jacqueline Wilson was there the next day, so I very much doubt that I hold the record for the entire weekend!!) Thanks to everyone who came along -- I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did! And extra special thanks to the staff of the Polka for staying on long after their scheduled closing time, so that I could sign everybody's books!!!!!!! With the luck of the vampires I'll see you all again next year!!! (p.s. readers of London's The Evening Standard might have spotted me in the Friday (or was it Thursday?!?) edition of Metro Life, where my Polka event was previewed and listed as being the "Event of the Week"!!!!!)


    I was sent a link to the following cool book site recently: http://www.alanbrown.com/ It contains lots of author info, links to writer's sites, and reviews of books. So if you want to find a good book to read, or want to know more about your favourite authors, check it out!!


    Towards the end of September, something went wrong with the web server which handles my Shanville contact and register forms, meaning nobody was able to register for the Shanville Monthly or send me an e-mail. This problem still hasn't been sorted at the time of writing (midday, October 1st), but hopefully soon will be. My apologies to anyone who's been trying to contact me or register for the last few days!!!


    For those who might not know, before Cirque Du Freak was released, I had a book for adults published in the UK (under my real name -- Darren O'Shaughnessy). It was called Ayuamarca, and although it got some good reviews, it didn't sell very many copies (mainly, I think, because it was listed as a science-fiction book by its publisher, when in fact it's not!!!). It's been out of print for the last year or two, but second-hand copies are currently being sold on Amazon UK (by a German seller!!) for anyone who's interested. I quite like the book -- it's brimming with lots of ideas, and has some very cunning twists. A bit too wordy though -- if I was to do it again (and if the book is ever reprinted, I plan to give it another edit, for various reasons) I'd trim down a lot of the dialogue! It's also much more violent than the books I write as Darren Shan -- and it also features some very frank sex scenes!!!!!! In short, I don't recommend it for children, and I thought long and hard about mentioning it here on Shanville ... but I know that many of you are interested in it, and have been looking for a copy for a long time, so I thought it only fair to let you know. The link to Amazon is http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/075281639X/shanville If you're under the age of 16, I suggest you check with your parents before ordering -- as I say, it's not appropriate for younger readers! (The sequel, by the way, was Hell's Horizon, which I think is much stronger -- but I don't think you can get that on Amazon at the moment!)


    Two lots of Deja Vu this month!! To make up for recent slackness in uploading new items to Shanville, I added LOADS of new photos (about 60 or so!!) to the site last month. There are pics of me in Venice, at a family get-together, lots from my June trip to Japan, and much, much more! You can check the first batch of them out by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/shanography/photosjapan03i.html
    I also added several new international covers to the Gallery section, including new book covers from Thailand, Korea, Hungary and Taiwan. I also added the cover for the next UK collection of my books (books 4, 5 and 6), Vampire Rites, which is so cool it should be kept in a freezer!!!!! To check them out, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/gallery/gallery1.html


    And that's it for October! As I said at the beginning, this will be the last you'll hear from me (except on the Message Board!) until just before Christmas, when I'll be back with the latest news and an annual round-up (as well as Shanta Claus of course!!!). Obviously, since I'll be away until then, I won't be able to answer letters -- but please keep sending them in, and I'll get around to them in the New Year and reply ASAP! In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy your dip in The Lake Of Souls -- now you can start waiting desperately for Book 11!!!!! Until Xmas, all the bloody best (and have a hair-raisingly fabulous Halloween!!!!!!!), Darren Shan x x x