• Issue 46 - May 2004

    01 May 2004

    Welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly! The reason it's out early this month (like last month) is that I'm heading off to the United States soon, for a 3-week book tour. Things should be back to normal next month, meaning the June issue of the Monthly should hit web-space at the very end of May or beginning of June. Anyway, there's lots of news and updates this month, so I'm not going to waste any more time or space here. On with the show!!!


    Book 7, Hunters of the Dusk, is released in the States near the end of May -- officially!!! But, as usually happens with my books in America, they have shipped from the warehouse a few weeks earlier than scheduled -- meaning it should be possible to buy the book in early May. In fact, it's possible to buy it NOW!!! Barnes & Noble have it in stock, and are ready and waiting to send the book straight to you within 24 hours of you placing your order!!!! The link to their site is: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=mHu1m7Jwg6&isbn=0316605964&itm=1 B&N normally get (or list) the books a few days before Amazon -- maybe they have some vampires on their staff!!! But, judging from past experience, I'd expect Amazon to start selling it VERY soon. So, if you prefer buying through Amazon, their link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316605964/ref%3Dpd%5Fecc%5Frvi%5Ff/102-9879905-1014532 If you'd rather buy the book through your local book store, I'm not sure how long you'll have to wait. Some stores might be selling it already -- others might not get it until later in May, or might have it in stock but don't want to put it on the shelves until then. The only thing you can do is get down to the store, have a look around -- and hope that the luck of the vampires is with you!!!!!


    The hour is almost upon me!!!! In a few days' time I'll be boarding my plane for the West Coast and embarking on my most intensive, exhausting tour EVER!!!!! As packed as my tour already was last month, my publishers managed to squeeze in another couple of school events!!! They are both on Friday, May 14th, and are:

    11:30 am – 12:30 am - Tuxedo Park School, Mountain Farm Road, Tuxedo Park, NY 10987
    2:00 pm – 2:45 pm - Hamilton Avenue Magnet School, 184 Hamilton Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830.

    There have also been a couple of cancellations -- on Tuesday, May 11th, the Schaumburg event has been called off. Not sure of the exact reasons, though I suspect it's because of timing (I'm doing 3 other events that day!). And the event on Friday May 7th, at Kid’s Center, 1725 North Swan Road, Tucson, Arizona 85712, 15.00-17.00 has also been cancelled (although, if you were planning on going to it, you should contact the organizers, since I think there's still a small chance that it MIGHT go ahead!!!!)
    For the attention of anyone interested in coming to see me at Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St., Skokie, IL 60077, on Tuesday May 11th, from 10.30a.m.-2.30p.m.. I've been informed by the librarian there that although this is a schools event, there are also some places open to members of the public!! So if you live nearby and want to come see the Shanster in action, contact Linda Zeilstra Sawyer at the library ASAP!!!!

    So, here's the final schedule. Please note -- "School Event" means I'll be going in to a school during school time, or schools will be coming to see me in a store, so only the students from that school will be able to attend. (But if the event's being held in a store, it MIGHT be possible for individuals to come too! Or for you to arrange for YOUR class to come! Contact the stores in question for more details!!!) "Public Event" means ANYONE can come to see me.
    Monday 26th -- La Jolla Country Day School, La Jolla, CA -- 11.00-16.00 -- school event.
    Monday 26th -- Tierrasanta Library, 4985 La Cuenta Dr, San Diego, CA 92124 -- 18.00-19.00 -- public event.
    Tuesday 27th -- Yellow Book Road, 8315 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, CA -- 10.00-11.00 -- school event.
    Tuesday 27th -- Marshall Middle School, 11778 Cypress Canyon Road, San Diego, CA 92131 -- 14.00-15.30 -- school event.
    Tuesday 27th -- Mysterious Galaxy Books, 7015 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Suite 302, San Diego, CA -- 17.30-18.30 -- public event.
    Wednesday 28th -- Vista Grande Elementary School, 5606 Antigua Boulevard, Tierrasanta, CA 92124 -- 10.30-13.30 -- school event.
    Wednesday 28th -- San Diego Library, Santee Branch, 9225 Carlton Hills Blvd, #17 Santee, CA 92071 -- 15.30-16.30 -- public event.
    Wednesday 28th -- Barnes & Noble, 10775 Westview Parkway, San Diego, CA 92126 -- 19.00-20.00 -- public event.
    Thursday 29th -- Mrs. Nelson’s, 1030 Bonita Avenue, La Verne, CA 91750 -- 10.00-12.00 -- school event.
    Thursday 29th -- St John’s Episcopal School, 30382 Via Con Dios, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 -- 13.30-15.00 -- school event.
    Thursday 29th -- Whale of a Tale, 4199 Campus Drive Suite A Irvine, CA -- 16.00-17.00 -- public event.
    Friday 30th -- DePortola Middle School, 11010 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Tierrasanta, CA 92124 -- 09.00-12.00 -- school event.
    Friday 30th -- Milligan News & Sunnyvale Middle School, 108 Mango Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 -- 16.00-17.30 -- school event (or maybe it's a public event -- not sure!!).
    Saturday 1st -- Oakland Public Library, 125 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612 -- 14.00-15.00 -- public event.
    Saturday 1st -- Cody’s Books, 1730 4th St, Berkeley, CA -- 19.00-20.00 -- public event.
    Sunday 2nd -- Borders, 588 Francisco Blvd West, San Rafael, CA -- 14.00-15.00 -- public event.
    Monday 3rd -- Silverado Middle School, 1133 Coombsville Road, Napa, CA 94558 -- 09.00-10.00 -- school event.
    Monday 3rd -- M is For Mystery, 86 East Third Avenue, San Mateo, CA -- 12.30-16.30 -- schools event (various classes will be coming to the store, but individuals can proably come to get their books signed too, probably at 16.00 or so -- phone store for more details).
    Monday 3rd -- Dark Carnival, 3086 Claremont Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94706 -- 17.30-19.30 -- public event.
    Tuesday 4th -- Linden Tree, 170 State Street, Los Altos, CA 94022 -- 10.00-12.00 -- school event.
    Tuesday 4th -- American Canyon Middle School, 300 Benton Way, American Canyon, CA 94503 -- 13.30-14.30 -- school event.
    Tuesday 4th -- Rakestraw Books, 409 Railroad Avenue, Danville, CA -- 15.30-17.00 -- public event.
    Wednesday 5th -- IRA Convention, Reno, NV.
    Friday 7th -- Tucson Public Library -- 11.00-13.00 -- school event.
    ***THIS NEXT EVENT HAS, I THINK, BEEN CANCELLED -- BUT YOU SHOULD CONTACT THE ORGANIZERS IF YOU WANT TO BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN!!! Friday 7th -- Kid’s Center, 1725 North Swan Road, Tucson, Arizona 85712 -- 15.00-17.00 -- public event.***
    Saturday 8th -- Changing Hands, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283 -- 14.00-15.00 -- public event.
    Saturday 8th -- Southeast Regional Library, 775 North Greenfield Road, Gilbert, AZ 85234 -- 16.00-17.00 -- public event.
    Monday 10th -- South High School, 3131 19th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407 -- 10.00-12.00 -- school event.
    Monday 10th -- The Bookcase, 607 E. Lake St, Wayzata, MN 55391 -- 12.30-14.00 -- school event.
    Tuesday 11th -- Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St., Skokie, IL 60077 -- 10.30-14.30 -- school/public event.
    Tuesday 11th -- Barbara’s Books, 1100 Lake St, Oak Park, IL 60301 -- 15.30-16.30 -- public event (I think!!).
    Tuesday 11th -- Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood St., Des Plaines, IL 60016 -- 19.00-20.00 -- public event.
    Wednesday 12th -- Chicago International Charter School - West Belden, 2245 N. McVicker,,Chicago, IL 60639 -- 10.00-14.00 -- school event.
    Wednesday 12th -- Highland Park Public Library, 494 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035 -- 17.00-18.00 -- public event.
    Wednesday 12th -- Anderson’s Bookshop, 5112 Main St, Downer’s Grove, IL 60515 -- 19.00-20.00 -- public event.
    Thursday 13th -- Joliet Central High School, 201 East Jefferson Street, Joliet, Illinois 60432 -- 10.00-11.00 -- school event.
    Thursday 13th -- Barnes & Noble, NYC, upper east side, 240 East 86th Street, New York, NY 10028 -- 19.00-20.00 -- public event.
    Friday 14th -- Just Books, 28 Arcadia Road, Old Greenwich, CT 06870 -- 15.30-17.00 -- public event.
    Friday 14th -- Elizabeth Public Library, 11 South Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202 -- 19.30-20.45 -- public event.
    Saturday 15th -- Book House of Stuyvesant, 1475 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203 -- 14.00-15.00 -- public event.
    Saturday 15th -- North Shire Book Store, 4869 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT 05255 -- 19.00-20.00 -- public event.
    Sunday 16th -- Bank Street Bookstore, Broadway & 112th Street, New York, NY -- 14.00-15.00.
    Sunday 16th -- Donnell Library Teen Center, 20 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019 -- 16.00-17.00.


    Books 1 and 2 of the Saga were released in the States in April in mass market paperback editions -- so they're now small and reasonably priced!!! Cool new covers too!!!! If you don't own the books yet, and want to pick them up for a bargain, or have friends you'd like to recommend them to, this is the ideal time!!!! You should be able to find the books in your local store, or else you can buy them through Amazon or Barnes&Noble:
    Book 1 - Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0316905712/qid=1078913879/sr=12-6/104-4396226-2523926?v=glance&s=books
    Book 1 - B&N - http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=387RPDE2OZ&isbn=0316905712&itm=14 (N.B. B&N have the wrong image of the cover on the site! But you should still be able to order it from them without any problems!!!!)
    Book 2 - Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0316905720/qid=1078913879/sr=12-2/104-4396226-2523926?v=glance&s=books
    Book 2 - B&N - http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=37RV2DDQJ4&isbn=0316905720&itm=18


    I had a great time on my recent trip to Bangkok!!! My publishers, NanmeeBooks, http://www.nanmeebooks.com (especially A and Bo -- sawasdee ka, girls!!!) took fabulous care of me and worked me hard -- which is exactly the way I like it!! Things started with a book launch for book 3 at their newly opened, snazzy offices on Thursday March 24th, which was great fun -- they'd transformed most of the lower floor of the offices, with webs, spiders, snakes -- even a mad scientist's laboratory!!! Lots of fans turned up too, which was nice!!! Some local actors put on a short play based on the books, then I gave a lengthy interview, and answered loads of fan questions. The event was filmed, and I have it on DVD, so hopefully one day, when we're all hooked up to Broadband, I'll be able too add it to Shanville for everyone to have a look at!
    Next up, on Friday, was the opening ceremony of the HUGE International Literary book festival at the Queen Sirikit Convention centre. I met the Crown Princess very briefly, and gave her the 3 Thai editions of my books -- I'm expecting a fan letter from her any day now!!!!! As soon as the Crown Princess had departed, the fans started flooding in, and I spent an hour or so signing books.

    Then, on Saturday, the festival started for real, and it was HOT!!!! I started signing at 10.30 in the morning and, except for a 30 minute lunch break, and a few toilet trips, I didn't stop until 18.30!!!! And even then I stayed for another hour and was fairly busy!! I've never spent so much time with a pen in my hand!!!!!! And as those who know me know, I'm never happier than when I'm signing for a load of fans -- so as you can imagine, I was in seventh heaven!!!!!

    Sunday wasn't quite as busy as Saturday, but I was still signing fairly solidly from 10.15 until 18.00 (with only a 15 minute lunch break this time!!). But I did have the occasional 2 or 3 minute breaks at the table to flex my wrist and get my breath!!!

    I was supposed to see some of the famous Bangkok sights on Monday morning, but when I got a taste of the Bangkok heat (40 degrees Celsius, at least!!), I melted, and had to head back early for my air-conditioned hotel!!! I wasn't too upset, since I'd been in Bangkok in December and seen the Grand Palace then -- otherwise I would have been very disappointed to have missed it!
    The festival wasn't quite as busy after the weekend, but I still signed plenty of books and met lots of fans, both old and new, on Monday and Tuesday (and even Wednesday morning). I also met the Crown Princess again on Wednesday, at the official opening ceremony for my publisher's new building, and had a short chat with her this time. I told her a bit about the books. She seemed to like the sound of them, and was especially impressed with the Tunnels of Blood cover!!! So maybe she WILL become a Shanster after all ...
    I was delighted to see that a picture of me had been added to the Hall of Fame at NanmeeBooks. But what pleased me even more was the picture they chose! The publishers represent an amazing collection of Western authors, and the hall is full of "professional photos" -- i.e. photos where the people look very serious, handsome, thoughtful and neat. J.K. Rowling's photo was there ... Philip Pullman ... Anthony Horowitz ... Paulo Coelho ... all very distinguished! And then there was MY photo ... taken from my web site ... of me with a plastic, bloody human hand in my mouth!!!!! I could have sung with joy!!! It was PERFECT!!!!!! You can check out the photo (or one very similar to it) yourselves by clicking on: HALL OF FAME PHOTO


    From Bangkok, I flew to Taipei in Taiwan, and had an equally successful and enjoyable time there. Once again, I was lucky to be in the hands of first-rate publishers -- Crown, http://www.crown.com.tw/darrenshan/index.htm (special thanks to Emily for guiding me around so expertly!!). I gave several interviews to the press while there, and appeared at a number of highly enjoyable events. Met loads of my Taiwanese fans -- they're a freakishly fanatical lot!!! Some queued for hours -- and travelled for hours! -- to meet me!!! Some even came in fancy dress, as characters from my books!!!!! Unfortunately, because so many people came to the events, at most of them I was only able to sign one book per person -- but I did insist on scribbling a little message in each book that I signed!!! That's one of the drawbacks of success -- in the early days, when I toured and didn't draw big crowds, I was able to sign all the books that every fan brought along. These days, when there are sometimes 200+ fans at an event, that just isn't possible -- unless I signed all day and all night!!!! Of course, there are still events I attend which don't draw such big crowds, and at those events I'm always happy to sign every book presented to me (that should be the case at most of the events I do in America) -- so it's always worth bringing your entire collection along if you're coming to see me!!!

    Anyway, apart from the events, I saw a fair bit of Taipei -- the National Palace Museum, the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, etc. I liked the city -- it had a nice feel!! I also went to KTV one night -- the Taiwanese version of Karaoke!!! I don't think my singing voice went down too well with the locals, but I had a great time, and I think, once those around me had stuffed ear-plugs into their ears, they did too!!!!

    Didn't have a chance to see much of the country outside of Taipei, except for a trip on my final day there to a small coastal town -- Chiu Fen, which was very scenic and traditional. Hopefully, the next time I come, I'll be able to travel around a bit more. And I definitely DO hope to come again -- and to Bangkok too!!! I had a fab time on the trip and was very impressed with the set-up in both countries! I also enjoyed the company of the people I met, and the various exotic foods which I happily gobbled up!!!! With the luck of the vampires it won't be too long before I have a chance to return ...


    My Taiwanese publishers, Crown, have put together a truly fabulous Darren Shan web site. It's been impressive since its very early days, but has steadily grown more and more involved and feature-packed. Even though it's all in Traditional Chinese, the site is easy to browse, and while bits might not make much sense to Western readers, a lot of it does -- and you can download wallpaper too!!! Recent additions include the following highlights:
    You can view a brief video clip of me talking about Book 8. This was filmed while I was in Taipei. It's fairly short, but if you haven't seen me talking before, it'll give you a taste of what I'm like in action! And you don't have to download anything -- you should be able to just click on the image of me, and it should play instantly! The link is: http://www.crown.com.tw/darrenshan/index.htm
    You can check out LOADS of photos from my events in Taiwan by clicking on the following links:
    (1) http://www.crown.com.tw/darrenshan/news/040401.htm (2) http://www.crown.com.tw/darrenshan/news/040403.htm
    (3) http://www.crown.com.tw/darrenshan/news/040403a.htm (4) http://www.crown.com.tw/darrenshan/004.htm
    And, finally, Crown are currently running a poll to see which of the first 8 books of the Saga that readers enjoyed the most!! To vote, or to check out the votes already cast, click on the following link: http://www.crown.com.tw/vote/ds/dsvote002.htm You might be surprised by the results -- and also by the number of people who have voted!!!!!!


    Almost as soon as I put the Taiwanese cover of Book 8 on my web site - see http://www.darrenshan.com/gallery/shancovers/book8.html - lots of readers asked me who the green figure was meant to be. At first I thought it was Evra, but having met the artist (the incredibly talented, and ultra cool BO2) in Taiwan on my recent visit, I can now exclusively reveal that it is meant to be ... a vampaneze!!!! And, yes, I know vampaneze aren't meant to be green, but the artist was focusing more on the colour scheme than the facts, got a bit carried away, and ... well ... there you are!!!! Even though it's a mistake, I don't mind -- I still think it's a fab cover, and BO2 and I had a good laugh about it when we went out for a few drinks!!!!


    Italy beware!!! The Cirque Du Freak is coming to town!!!!! Yup, the first 6 books of The Saga of Darren Shan have just been sold for translation to Italy!!!! That means The Saga Of Darren Shan is now on direct sale in 27 different countries around the world, and has been translated into 19 languages!!! (I'm not including countries where they import other editions of the books.) I'm not sure when my Italian publishers plan to release the first book, but I'll let you all know about it when I hear. Ciao for now!!!


    You can check out the cover for the Hungarian edition of Book 9: Killers of the Dawn by clicking on the following link: http://www.darrenshan.com/book09/hungary.html


    I will be in Birmingham on Tuesday, May 25th for their annual Young Readers festival. I'll be doing an event in the morning from 10.30am to 11.30am in The Centre for the Child, Central Library (100 capacity), and then taking part in a debate at the Library Theatre at (I think!) 13.00 or 13.30 (250 capacity), where I'll be arguing that books by the likes of Shakespeare and Dickens shouldn't be force-taught in schools. If you go to school in Birmingham, and would like to come to either event, you'll need to have a word with your teacher and ask them to investigate ...


    For those who like to plan far ahead ... I'm due to appear at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Saturday and Sunday, the 21st and 22nd of August, at 11.30 and 10.00 respectively. It will be June (at the earliest) before anyone is able to book tickets for the Festival. As soon as I know the complete details, contact number and e-mail address, prices, etc, I will post the news here -- so be patient, Leah!!!!! :-)

    DEJA VU -- 1!

    Like last month, there are TWO doses of deja vu this time round!!!! First -- more NEW deja vu!!!!!! Last month I revised and expanded the Who's Willi Wanderwanst? section of the Shanville Extras, listing the various translated names of many of the characters in Book 1 of the Saga. This month I've done the same with Book 2, The Vampire's Assistant. Once again there are some deliciously different adaptations, some logical, some bizarre!! There are also three clear examples of destructive forces at work in the French editions!!!!! To find out what I mean, and who the likes of Torvelinho, Ofidio and Lothar Lulatsch are, you'll need to click on the following, conveniently placed link: http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/extras/uk-extras18.html

    DEJA VU -- 2!

    New fan art!! New fan art!!!!! Yes, I know it's been a long time coming, but that's what happens when an author tries to run a web site by himself!! One day I'll probably hire somebody else to maintain and update Shanville, but for the time being I'm the only hand on the tiller, which is why the site isn't refreshed quite as often as it should be. But, hey, can you imagine Stephen King or J.K. Rowling spending a couple of days personally scanning fans' artwork, manually adjusting the sizes of the art on their PC, then uploading them to a web site?!? I like being the man with his finger on the button, and as long as I can carry on doing it (without falling TOO far behind in my responsibilities to the site), I will!!! *AHEM* Sorry for that ramble! Anyway, as I was saying -- New fan art!!!!!! I've added LOADS of new artwork (some of the pieces have been sitting in my file for 6 months or longer!!) to the site, to every section (i.e. Darren, Mr Crepsley, Evra and Various). You can get to the main page by clicking on the following link: http://www.darrenshan.com/gallery/gallery1.html After that you can surf away to your heart's content!!! Enjoy!!!!!!


    And that, my gloriously grotesque gang of Shansters, is that for May!!! I had hoped to run a competition this month, but since I'm going to be away from home for most of May, I decided to postpone it until next month (hopefully!). We're also getting VERY close to the landmark 50th issue of the Shanville Monthly!!!!!! I plan to run an extra special competition that month -- but I won't say any more about it for the moment!!! On that suspenseful note, I'm going to leave you. As I said above, normal service should be resumed with the next issue of the Monthly, so I should be back here on my soapbox again some time around the start of June. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x