• Issue 49 - August 2004

    01 August 2004

    Ay carumba!!! I completely forgot that last month's issue of the Monthly -- #48 -- marked its 4th birthday!!!!! Yup, this little newsletter has been going strong for 4 years now, picking up more and more readers every month, keeping you all up to date with everything that's been happening to me and my books. I'd like to thank all my long-term Shansters for their continued support, and say a big howdy to all the newcomers!!! I hope you all enjoy the next 4 years of news as much as I've enjoyed the last 4!!!! :-) Now, enough nostalgia already!!!! Let's catch up with the current news ...


    Although I answer almost all the fan mail sent to me, it was taking a VERY long time for me to answer (sometimes 2 or 3 months, occasionally more!!!), mostly because of the delay involved in post being forwarded to me from my various publishers. So, to speed the process up, if you want to send a letter to me, you can now bypass my publishers, to save time. The new address to send mail to is:
    Darren Shan,
    c/o Paul Kenny,
    County Limerick,
    This should enable me to reply much quicker than before, although it might still take a month or more in some cases, depending on the amount of mail I have to answer when your letter arrives!!! If you've already sent a letter to my publishers, don't worry -- it WILL be forwarded on to me! Please note, when sending a letter, you do not need to enclose an SAE, but you should write your name and address as clearly as possible -- I can't reply if I can't read your address!!!!!!!


    I have new books coming out in quite a few countries around the world in August! In alphabetical order, here are the ones I know about. (Contrary to what a lot of people think, I don't always know when one of my books is released!! I only get release schedules from a few countries -- most of the time I'm unaware of what's going on with my books around the globe!!)
    America -- Book 8, Allies of the Night. This isn't officially on sale until September, but the Barnes & Noble website says they will have it in stock on August 18th!!!!! (They originally had it listed for release on August 4th, but I've just double-checked and the date has been revised. Boo!!!) B&N usually seem to get the book a week or two before anybody else (maybe vampires work there!!), but even if you can't find it in your local store that early, it should be on sale in most places by late-August -- so watch out for it!!! The B&N link to buy book 8 is: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=mHu1m7Jwg6&isbn=0316155705&itm=1 If you'd rather buy it on Amazon (they say it will be September 1st before they have it in stock, but from previous experience I'm guessing that date will probably be brought forward), their link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316155705/qid=1090417772/sr=ka-1/ref=pd_ka_1/103-3482506-7217418
    Australia -- Book 9, Killers of the Dawn.
    Japan -- Book 11, Lord of the Shadows. This will be released, appropriately, on August 11th!!! The link to my Japanese web site is http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/darren/ If you want to buy it from Amazon Japan, the link is: http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4092903111/qid=1091444296/sr=1-12/ref=sr_1_2_12/250-3024131-5993005
    Taiwan -- Book 9, Killers of the Dawn. The link to my Taiwanese web site is http://www.crown.com.tw/darrenshan/index.htm I recently found out that Book 10 will be released in Taiwan in October, and book 11 in January 2005. Three new Darren Shan books in 6 months -- it doesn't get much better than that!!!!! :-)


    Book 11, Lord of the Shadows, spent 6 weeks at #2 in the Irish children's bestseller list. This was the first of my books since Trials Of Death not to get to #1 in the Irish charts. That wasn't because it sold less than the others -- it was "relegated" to second position solely because of the runaway success of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which has been both the children's AND adult's bestseller for most of the last 3 months, and even kept the paperback release of the latest Harry Potter book off of the top!!! Book 11 slipped out of the Irish chart after its sixth week in second position, but has since re-entered at #4!!! The link for the Irish chart is: http://www.irishreader.com/Features/Bests.htm
    If you live in the U.K. or Ireland, you should now be able to buy book 11 in any good book shop, but just in case you can't find it, or prefer to buy on the web, the link for Amazon U.K. is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/000715920X/shanville

    "Roll up!! Roll up!! Roll up for the Destiny tour ...."

    I'm doing a major tour of the U.K. and Ireland in October to promote the release of Book 12, Sons Of Destiny. This is going to be the biggest tour I've ever done here, with lots of public events, to give as many of you a chance to meet me as we can squeeze in!!!

    Please note: SCHOOL EVENT means the event is in the day time, at a library or some other venue, and only students from selected schools will be allowed to come. SCHOOL EVENTS are being organized by librarians or book sellers, so if you live close to one of the areas where I'm going to be, it might be possible for you to organize a visit for a group from YOUR school!! The first thing you have to do is tell a teacher about it and ask if they're interested in arranging a visit. If they say yes, you or your teacher (or both!) should write/phone/e-mail the library/book shop/contact which will be organizing the event, and ask them what the set-up is, if there's space for you, how many of you can come, etc. You have the power to arrange a visit to see me -- so use it!!!

    All dates and venues are subject to change or updates -- I'll add more details as and when they become available.
    Saturday, October 2nd -- The Children's Bookshop, 1 Red Lion Parade, Bridge St, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 3JD. Tel: 020 8866 9116. (This is a public event, but will probably be held in a local venue other than the store.)
    Sunday, October 3rd -- 5.30p.m. -- The Word festival, at the Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB. Tel: 0208 5434888. http://www.polkatheatre.com
    Monday, October 4th -- 10.30a.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT arranged by Ottakar's Bookshop, 6-6a Exchange Centre, High St Putney, London SW15 1TW. Tel: 020 8780 2401.
    Monday, October 4th -- 6.30p.m. -- public event at Ottakar's Bookshop, 6-6a Exchange Centre, High St Putney, London SW15 1TW. Tel: 020 8780 2401.
    Tuesday, October 5th -- 10.30a.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT arranged by Ottakars, 71 High St, Guildford. Contact Clare Gambell for further details.
    Tuesday, October 5th -- 4.30p.m. -- Lion & Unicorn Bookshop, 19 King Street, Richmond, Surrey,TW9 1ND. Tel: 020 8940 0483.
    Wednesday, October 6th -- 1.30p.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT at Cramlington Community High School, Highburn, Cramlington, Northumberland NE23 6BN. Contact Eileen Armstrong for further details.
    Wednesday, October 6th -- 4.30p.m. -- Waterstones, 104 Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6JG.
    Thursday, October 7th -- 10.30a.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT arranged by Borders Books & Music, Unit 1b, Peel Retail Park, Great Portwood St, Stockport Cheshire SK1 2HH.
    Thursday, October 7th -- 4.30p.m. -- Waterstones, Deansgate.
    Friday, October 8th -- 1.30p.m. -- public signing, Ottakars, 50-52 The Precinct, Coventry CV1 1DX. Contact: Jenni Hope.
    Saturday, October 9th -- 12.45p.m. -- Cheltenham Book Festival. http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk/frame_festindex.cfm?FEST=LITERATURE
    Monday, October 11th -- 10.00a.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT arranged by Ottakar’s, 12 Boscawen Street, Truro, Cornwall
    TR1 2QU. Tel: 01872 225765.
    Monday, October 11th -- 12.00p.m. -- public signing in Ottakar’s, 12 Boscawen Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2QU. Tel: 01872 225765.
    Monday, October 11th -- 7.00p.m. -- In Other Words, 64 Mutley Plain, Plymouth, Devon PL4 6LF. Tel: 01752 663889.
    Tuesday, October 12th -- 10.30a.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT in Birmingham -- details TBC.
    Wednesday, October 13th -- SCHOOL EVENT in Solihull -- details TBC.
    Wednesday, October 13th -- 4.30p.m. -- WHSmiths, public signing, 29 Union Street, Birmingham B2 4LR. Tel: (0121) 631 3303.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 10.30a.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT arranged by Ottakars, 72 Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, MK9 3GA. tel: 01908 395384.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 12.30p.m. -- public signing at Ottakars, 72 Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, MK9 3GA. tel: 01908 395384.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 6.30p.m. -- Party-type celebrity signing in Heffers, Grafton Arcade, Cambridge.
    Friday, October 15th -- 10.00a.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT in Waterstones Picadilly, in the Simpson Room, London.
    Friday, October 15th -- 4.00p.m. -- public signing at The Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill, London.

    Sunday, October 17th -- 5.00p.m. OR 6.00p.m. -- Clonmel, Tipperary -- public event in the "Main Guard" courthouse.
    Monday, October 18 -- Mayo -- school events in libraries in Castlebar, maybe somewhere else as well. Contact: Eleanor O'Toole, [email protected]
    Tuesday, October 19 -- Meath -- school events in Trim and maybe Ashbourne libraries. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, [email protected]
    Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, October 20, 21 & 22 -- school events at libraries in Dublin. (I'm also hoping to add a public signing session when I'm in Dublin, either on one of the weekday evenings, or on Saturday, October 23rd -- but this is to be confirmed, and isn't yet definite.)
    Tuesday, October 26 -- 11.00a.m. -- St Mary's Road Library, Cork -- public event. This is a free event, but you will need a ticket to get in!! You can order tickets by phoning Eleanor Twomey: 021 4924937. There might be spaces available on the day, if they haven't sold out or if people with tickets don't turn up -- but if you want to be certain of a place, then BOOK IT NOW!!!!
    Tuesday, October 26 -- 2.00p.m. - Children's Library, Grand Parade, Cork -- public event. This is a free event, but you will need a ticket to get in!! You can order tickets by phoning Eileen O'Sullivan: 021 4924903. There might be spaces available on the day, if they haven't sold out or if people with tickets don't turn up -- but if you want to be certain of a place, then BOOK IT NOW!!!!
    Tuesday October 26 -- 4.00p.m. -- Waterstones, Cork -- public signing.
    Wednesday, October 27 -- Limerick -- public events in libraries in Newcastlewest, Adare and Dooradoyle. (There will also be a signing session at the Dooradoyle library after the event, with books an sale, supplied by O'Mahony's.)


    Thursday, October 28th -- 4.00p.m. -- Borders Books and Music, 98 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, G1 3HA. tel: 0141 222 7700.
    Thursday, October 28th -- 6.30p.m. -- Glowworm Books, Unit 3&4, Bishopsgate Business Park, 189a West Main Street, Broxburn EH52 5LH. Tel: 01506 857570. (This event is being arranged by Glowworm books, but will probably be held in a different venue. Contact store for further details closer the time.)
    Friday, October 29th -- 10.30a.m. -- SCHOOL EVENT in The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, arranged by Glowworm Books (see above).
    Friday, October 29th -- 4.00p.m. -- Waterstone’s 128, Princes St, West End, Edinburgh EH2 4AD.
    Saturday, October 30th -- 2.00p.m. -- The Whitby Book Shop, in Whitby.
    And that will be that!! Phew -- what a monster!!!!!!! I hope my voice keeps working that long!!! :-) Updates and confirmations will follow, so make sure you check back a bit later in the year for the final itinerary!!!!!!


    For those of you who like to know what I get up to in my spare time ... I've gone to quite a few concerts this summer, and the variety of the artists involved should give you a small idea of what my taste in music is like!!! First I went to see the Red Hot Chilli Peppers in Hyde Park, in London, which was a so-so gig -- I like some of their songs, but I'm not a big fan. Then it was Metallica in Dublin -- great gig! I went through a short-lived semi-heavy metal phase when I was at college. Metallica made a big impact on me at the time -- and they still do!!! These guys truly know how to rock!!!
    After Metallica came my favourite gig of the year, and maybe of all time -- the Pixies in Manchester!!!! The Pixies were one of my top 5 bands in the late 80s and early 90s, and they still are. I love their albums, and they didn't disappoint me live!!! I also moshed to the entire set -- the first time in several years that I've joined the heaving masses at the front and had to fight to stay on my feet!!!!! I thought my moshing days were over, but it seems there's a bit of life in the old dog yet!!! :-)
    The Stereophonics were also playing at the Manchester gig. They were OK, but while I quite like the band, I wouldn't normally go out of my way to see them. Next up was Simon & Garfunkel, again at Hyde Park. This was another brilliant gig -- they might be a bit twee, but this pair have so many great songs up their sleeves! It wasn't an exciting gig, but it was one full of great, memorable songs. The Everly Brothers played support, and they were pretty cool too!!! Then, the final gig of the summer ... the one ... the only ... the impossibly cheesy but always entertaining ... Tom Jones!!!! I saw him, with Lady Bas, at Chatsworth House, and the beautiful setting added to the atmosphere nicely! Tom might be older and wrinklier than Methuselah, but he's still got one of the best voice around! Whilst waiting for him to come on, Bas and I were snapped by a BBC Derby photographer. To see the pic, click on the following link, then look in Gallery 1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/derby/music/2004/tom_jones/photos_01/gallery/pop_05.shtml


    Anybody planning to come to see me in Edinburgh on August 21st and 22nd, please note that both these events are now SOLD OUT!!!! I am, quite frankly, astonished at the demand, especially for Sunday's event, which is in the biggest tent at the festival -- it holds 500 people!!!!! I was genuinely worried that it would be mostly empty. I would have been pleased if 200 or so had come!!! I was even planning a few jokes about all the empty spaces!!!! Guess I'd better cook up something extra special for the events to reward such fan loyalty ...

    If you were planning to come to the events, but haven't bought a ticket, you MIGHT still be able to get in on the day of the event if tickets are returned by people who aren't able to come -- so if you live closeby, it's probably worth popping down to the box office to have a check. Plus, even if you can't get in to the events, you can come along afterwards to the signing sessions. The web site address for the festival is: http://www.edbookfest.co.uk
    4/8/04 -- UPDATE!!! Whoops -- I forgot to mention this when I uploaded the monthly on the 2nd!! If any of you want to be in the show (I'll probably be picking 4 volunteers to help me out on each day), turn up at the entrance to the "yurt" (the author's tent in the corner to the right of the main entrance) at least 30 minutes before the start of the show. You can't actually enter the yurt by yourselves, but if you hang around just outside I'll come and find you!!!! :-)


    You can check out the suitably menacing cover for the American edition of Book 8, Allies of the Night, by clicking on the following link: http://www.darrenshan.com/us_site/ushome/ushome-08allies.html You can also find the new Book 8 Norway cover there. The Book 10 cover from Hungary, meanwhile, can be found at http://www.darrenshan.com/gallery/shancovers/book10.html I think this is my favourite Hungarian cover yet -- and perhaps one of my favourite Darren Shan covers of ALL TIME!!!! It definitely makes my personal Top 5!!! It's gorgeous!!!


    I'm running this again, in case any of you missed it last time round ...
    I've had quite a lot of e-mails and letters from Canadian fans recently, wanting to know when books 5 onwards are being released in Canada. Well, the news ain't good, Shansters!!! My publishers seem to have stalled at book 4, and don't look to be planning to release #5 any time in the near future!!! Now, that MIGHT change, since book 7 has been so successful in America, but if you want to try and hurry the process along, my advice is to write to my Canadian publishers, tell them how much you like my books, and politely ask them to carry on printing!!!! The address to write to is: Children's Department, Scholastic Canada Ltd, 175 Hillmount Road, Markham, Ontario L6C 1Z7. Good luck!!!!


    And that, my pack of pixieish Shansters, is that for August!!! I hope you're all having a terrific summer, and that you get great weather in August! I'm looking forward to the start of the new football season -- for once, it actually feels like a long time since the end of old season! I'm also looking forward to the Shanville Monthly turning 50 next month!!!! It's a major milestone, and I'll be celebrating it with maybe the biggest and best competition I've yet to host here!!! I might also try to add a couple of bits and pieces to Shanville, as an extra bonus! Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x