• Issue 51 - October 2004

    01 October 2004

    Ah yes -- October!! I always get a special tingle when October rolls round. October means lots of things -- shorter nights, colder weather, trees shedding their leaves, the REAL start of Autumn. But for me (and probably most of you lot too) it means one thing more than any other -- HALLOWEEN!!!!!!! I always loved staying up late on Halloween when I was younger, watching the scariest movies I could get my hands on, delighting myself by imagining all manners of ghouls, ghosts and grisly grotesques on the loose just outside my bedroom window! And all the games -- bobbing for apples and coins (I was a dab hand at getting the coins!), blind man's buff, the game where you perch a grape or cherry on top of a mound of flour and everyone has to take turns cutting away a slice of the mound and the one who topples the cherry or grape has to rub their face in the flour!!! I never got to go trick or treating, unfortunately, since that was something we didn't really have in rural Ireland in the 1980s. But I did it lots of times with my cousins when I was older, tagging along as "chaperone", pleased as punch to have a valid excuse to hit the road and cause monstrous mayhem!! I've been away from home for the past four Halloweens, promoting my books in one corner of the world or another. But this year, since it's on a Sunday, I've been able to keep the day (and, more importantly, the night!) free, so WATCH OUT LIMERICK -- Shan is on the loose and will be going wild this Halloween!!!! ArrrrrrrrrrRRRRoooooOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!


    The biggest news of the month, of course, is that Book 12 - Sons Of Destiny - goes on sale in the U.K. and Ireland!! While every new book of mine is eagerly awaited by my fans (I hope!!) there has been an extra special buzz of anticipation about this one, for reasons which I can't go into here (because of all my global Shansters, who don't know what you lot who've read book 11 know!!!). I think it's fair to say that this has been the most eagerly awaited of any of my books -- I hope it lives up to everybody's expectations!!!!!
    HarperCollins are giving this book a massive publicity push (part of which is my Destiny Tour -- see below), so hopefully it should be very visible in bookshops everywhere in October. And not just bookshops -- it's going to be Book Of The Month in Asda!!!! (In the unlikely event that you can't find it in your local store, or if you just prefer to buy over the web, you can get it from Amazon UK here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007159218/shanville) There will be lots of interviews with me this month, and hopefully lots of reviews of the book, special offers in book stores, a couple of GREAT competitions (see below) and a whole lot more!! They're also advertising the book by putting up posters on bus shelters!!! This is being done in conjunction with WHSmith. For a full list of where the posters will be, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/news/archive/bus.html
    October 2004 WILL be the month of the Shan!!!! So tell all your friends to read my books, come to see me if I'm going to be doing an event in your neighbourhood, enter the competitions, read book 12, admire the posters the next time you're waiting for a bus -- and let's make it a month to remember!!!
    As part of the promotional push, Collins have created a microsite for Sons of Destiny, with some cool wallpaper and screensaver Downloads, a list and map of the Destiny tour, the first full chapter of Book 12, notes and recollections about each of the books written by me (a lot of them come from message threads set up by Nate on the message board, but I've fleshed some of them out and added new tidbits), and more! You'll also be able to vote for your favourite character from the series, and your fave cover!!! But please note, although the microsite is online now, it's still being worked on and changes are being made, so you should probably check back after a week or so (i.e. October 7th or thereabouts) for the full, updated version of the site.
    I'm going to provide the link for the micro just underneath this paragraph, but before I do, A WARNING!!! The site is designed for readers who have read all 11 of the books which have been published in the U.K. THERE ARE LOTS OF SPOILERS!!! Especially in the About The Saga section. I URGENTLY advise anyone who has not read all the books (especially my American fans, who are only up to book 8) NOT to read the sample chapter of book 12, OR the info about books 9, 10, 11 and 12 in the ABOUT THE SAGA section. If you ignore my advice, you will learn things that will spoil a lot of your enjoyment of the later books!!!!!!! Trust me -- there are twists revealed here which you REALLY don't want to know about in advance!!!!!!!!!


    The draw has been made and the winner of the 50th Shanville Monthly competition has been chosen!! And it is ...

    AMY SOYKA, from the U.K.

    I will be sending Amy a signed, international set of my 12 books soon. This competition had the most entries of any which I have run so far. There were 396 correct entries (plus a LOT of incorrect ones!). The answer was that the first issue of the Shanville Monthly came out in August 2000. Because so many fans entered, I decided to give out 5 runner-up prizes as well as the main prize! So the following 5 lucky Shansters will each get ONE signed book from a country other than the one where they live.
    VERENA SCHULTE -- Germany.
    With so many global entries, I was surprised that the winners came from such a small number of countries (U.K., U.S.A. and Germany). But that's the luck of the draw!!!! Congraulations to everyone who won, and commiserations to all who didn't -- better luck next time -- or with the competitions below!!!!


    (1) A bookstore chain in the U.K., Ottakar's, are running a competition in which the grand prize is -- a chance to meet and spend a day with ME!!!! Leaflets explaining more about the competition and how to enter will be available in all Ottakar's shops in the U.K. from early October. I have nothing to do with the running of this competition, so I don't know the full rules and can't answer any queries that you might have, but I imagine it will only be open to readers living in the U.K. If you want to be certain, get down to your nearest branch of Ottakar's and pick up a leaflet -- NOW!!!!
    (2) An online newspaper -- catchingly called The Newspaper and accessible at http://www.thenewspaper.org.uk -- is running a competition for readers to win a set of signed copies of the 12 UK books of The Saga of Darren Shan!! All you have to do is answer the following easy-peasy question: What is the name of Mr Crepsley's spider? Send the answer, and include your name, age and address, either by e-mail to [email protected] OR by snail mail to Darren Shan, The Newspaper, PO Box 8215, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 9WW, U.K. There are 5 sets of the books up for grabs, and the closing date is December 31, 2004. I have nothing to do with the running of this competition, so I don't know the full rules and can't answer any queries that you might have, but I imagine it will only be open to readers living in the U.K. (and maybe Ireland). If you want to be certain, send an SAE to the address above and ask for a set of the full terms and conditions.

    May the luck of the vampires be with you!!


    Sales of my books in the UK and Ireland have now exceeded a million copies!!!!!!! (One million, fifty thousand, five hundred, at the last count, to be accurate!) This is a brilliant achievement, one I'm really chuffed about! A lot of hard work has had to go into racking up that many sales, not just by me but by all the HarperCollins crew, from my editors to my publicists to the sales crew on the ground. The drinks are on me the next time any of the Collins clan make the trip to Vampire Mountain!!!!

    My American publishers, LittleBrown, are also closing in on the big million mark -- for a while it looked like there would be a race between LittleBrown and HarperCollins to be first past the post!!! I've also sold over a million copies in Japan (actually, I've sold over 3 (three) million copies there!!!), and I think I might have sold over a million in Taiwan too, or if not, very close to it! Which country will be next to hit the seven figure mark? I'll let you all know here as soon as the results come in!!!!!


    "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!!! Most of my events will last one hour, with signing afterwards. And I usually sign ALL of my books that fans bring, unless time runs out -- so don't be afraid to bring your entire Darren Shan collection with you!!!!!!!

    Please note: PUBLIC EVENT means it is open to anyone who comes along on the day of the event (if it says PUBLIC SIGNING it means I will only be signing books). TICKETED PUBLIC EVENT (FREE) means you should contact the venue in advance for a free ticket. TICKETED PUBLIC EVENT (PAY) means you should contact the venue in advance to BUY a ticket. Tickets at both FREE and PAY events MIGHT be available at the venue on the day, but to be sure of a seat you should book in advance. 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!!!
    Saturday, October 2nd -- 2.30p.m. -- ticketed public event (pay - £5 for 2 tickets -- this includes entry for 2 people, one FREE copy of Sons Of Destiny, discount vouchers to be used in the shop, and refreshments!!! How's that for a bargain!!!!!) arranged by The Children's Bookshop, 1 Red Lion Parade, Bridge St, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 3JD. Tel: 020 8866 9116. The event will be held in West Lodge School, West End Avenue, Pinner. There are only 200 places available, so book ASAP to be sure of a seat! I will be signing at the school after the event, and then going to the store to sign for anyone who was unable to make it to the event -- I expect it will be 4.00p.m. or later before I get to the store.
    Sunday, October 3rd -- 5.30p.m. -- ticketed public event (pay - £3.50) at The Word festival, at the Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB. For ticket details phone: 0208 5434888 or check out their web site at 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 -- 09.45a.m. -- school event arranged by Ottakars, 71 High St, Guildford. Contact: Clare Gambell, 01483 536366.
    Tuesday, October 5th -- 4.30p.m. -- public signing at Lion & Unicorn Bookshop, 19 King Street, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1ND. Tel: 020 8940 0483.
    Wednesday, October 6th -- 10.30a.m. -- school event at Black Swan Theatre, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Contact: Eileen Armstrong, 01670 712311.
    Wednesday, October 6th -- 4.30p.m. -- public signing at Waterstones, 104 Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6JG. 0191 2616140.
    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. Contact: Jenny Watt, 0161 476 3392.
    Thursday, October 7th -- 4.30p.m. -- public signing at Waterstones, Deansgate, Manchester. Contact: Jon Atkins, 0795 2400457.
    Friday, October 8th -- 1.30p.m. -- school event, Ottakars, 50-52 The Precinct, Coventry CV1 1DX. Contact: Jenni Hope, 0247663 4224. (The event will be held at the Belgrade Theatre, so there are LOTS of seats available!!! )
    Saturday, October 9th -- 1.00p.m. -- ticketed public event (pay) at Cheltenham Book Festival. Check out their web site for more details at http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk/frame_festindex.cfm?FEST=LITERATURE or contact: jane Churchill 01722 743 450.
    Monday, October 11th -- 10.45a.m. -- school event arranged by Ottakar’s, 12 Boscawen Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2QU. Tel: 01872 225765.
    Monday, October 11th -- 12.30p.m. to 1.30p.m. -- public (lunch time!!) signing at Ottakar’s, 12 Boscawen Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2QU. Tel: 01872 225765.
    Monday, October 11th -- 7.00p.m. -- public event at Devonport High School for Boys, Paradise Road, Plymouth PL1 5QP, arranged by In Other Words, 64 Mutley Plain, Plymouth PL4 6LF. Contact: Libby Allman, 01752 663889. I don't think this is ticketed, but you should probably phone to make sure.
    Tuesday, October 12th -- 10.30a.m. -- school event in St Boniface’s R C College, Tavistock Road, Plymouth PL5 3AG. Arranged through Libby Allman (see above).
    Wednesday, October 13th --10.00a.m. -- school event at Lode Heath School, Lode Lane, Solihull B91 2HW.
    Wednesday, October 13th -- 4.30p.m. -- public signing at WHSmiths, 29 Union Street, Birmingham B2 4LR. Tel: (0121) 631 3303.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 10.00a.m. -- school event arranged by Ottakars, 72 Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, MK9 3GA. tel: 01908 395384.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 12.30p.m. to 2.00p.m. -- public (lunch time!!) signing at Ottakars, 72 Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, MK9 3GA. tel: 01908 395384.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 6.30p.m. -- Party-type public event in Heffers, Grafton Arcade, Cambridge. Contact: Suzanne Jones: 01223 568512. I don't think this is ticketed, but you should ring in advance to check. Guests will be asked to pay £1 to be donated to the National Literacy Trust. There will be blood-red drinks, spider cakes, etc!!!!
    Friday, October 15th -- 10.00a.m. -- school event in the Simpson Room, in Waterstones Picadilly, London. Contact: Larissa Procktor at [email protected] or 0208 9964390.
    Friday, October 15th -- 4.00p.m. -- public signing at The Children’s Bookshop, 29 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London N10.

    Sunday, October 17th -- 5.00p.m. -- Tipperary -- public event in the "Main Guard" courthouse in Clonmel. Contact: South Tipperary Arts Centre, 052 27877.
    Monday, October 18 -- 10.00 -- school event in Westport Library, Mayo. Contact: Eleanor O'Toole, [email protected]
    Monday, October 18 -- 12.00 -- school event in Castlebar Library, Mayo. Contact: Eleanor O'Toole, [email protected]
    Monday, October 18 -- 3.30p.m. -- public event in Ballina Library, Mayo. Contact: Eleanor O'Toole, [email protected]
    Tuesday, October 19 -- 10.00 -- Meath -- school event at Navan library. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, [email protected]
    Tuesday, October 19 -- 11.30 -- Meath -- school event at Trim library. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, [email protected]
    Tuesday, October 19 -- 1.30p.m. -- Meath -- school event at Dunboyne library. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, [email protected]
    Tuesday, October 19 -- 4.00p.m. -- Meath -- public event at Ashbourne library. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, [email protected]
    Wednesday, October 20th -- Dublin -- school events at Sutton Park School, and North Bay School.
    Wednesday, October 20th -- 3.00p.m. -- Dublin -- Eason's, O'Connell Street -- school event, to be followed by a PUBLIC SIGNING from 3.45p.m. onwards!!!! This is my first ever public signing in Dublin -- so don't miss it!!!! (If you can make it to Eason's for 3.00p.m. you can take part in the event too!!)
    Thursday, October 21st -- 10.00 -- Dublin -- school event at Pembroke Library -- Contact: Valerie Kilboy, 01 6689575.
    Thursday, October 21st -- 12.00 -- Dublin -- school event at Finglas Library -- Contact: AnneMarie Kelly, 01 8344906.
    Thursday, October 21st -- 2.00p.m -- Dublin -- school event at Cabra Library -- Contact: Terri Murray, 01 8691414 .
    Thursday, October 21st -- 4.00p.m. -- Dublin -- *SOLD OUT!!!!* Central Library, in the Ilac Library, in the Ilac Centre -- Contact: Cathy McKenna, 01 8734333 -- this is a ticketed public event (free), which has now SOLD OUT!!! You might still be able to get tickets from your local library (a number were distributed to various libraries in central Dublin), or there might be a few seats available on the day if some people don't turn up. But as of September 15th, this event is officially a sell-out!!! My advice is to come to Eason's on Wednesday the 20th for the signing!!!
    Friday, October 22nd -- 10.30 -- Dublin -- school event at Ballyroan Library, Rathfarnam. Phone: 01 4941900.
    Friday, October 22nd -- 12.00 -- Dublin -- school event at Castletymon Library. Phone: 01 4524888.
    Friday, October 22nd -- 2.30p.m. -- Dublin -- school event at Tallaght County Library. Phone: 01 4620073.
    Tuesday, October 26 -- 11.00a.m. -- Cork -- St Mary's Road Library -- ticketed public event (free). Contact: Eleanor Twomey, 021 4924937.
    Tuesday, October 26 -- 2.00p.m. -- Cork -- Children's Library, Grand Parade -- ticketed public event (free). Contact: Eileen O'Sullivan, 021 4924903.
    Tuesday October 26 -- 4.00p.m. -- Cork -- Waterstones book shop -- public signing.
    Wednesday, October 27 -- 10.00 -- Limerick -- public event in Newcastlewest library.
    Wednesday, October 27 -- 12.30p.m. -- Limerick -- public event in Adare library.
    Wednesday, October 27 -- 2.30p.m. -- Limerick -- public event in Dooradoyle library, to be followed by a public signing at 3.15p.m., with books on sale, supplied by O'Mahony's.


    Thursday, October 28th -- 4.00p.m. -- public event at Borders Books and Music, 98 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, G1 3HA. tel: 0141 222 7700.
    ***CANCELLED***Thursday, October 28th -- 6.30p.m. -- ticketed public event (pay - £3) at Mitchell Theatre, Glanville Street, Glasgow G3 7DR, arranged through Glowworm Books, Unit 3&4, Bishopsgate Business Park, 189a West Main Street, Broxburn EH52 5LH. Tel: 01506 857570.***CANCELLED***
    Friday, October 29th -- 10.30a.m. -- school event in The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, arranged by Glowworm Books (see above). This is a 700 seater venue, so there should still be places available -- if you're interested in coming, ask your teacher to get in touch with Glowworm Books ASAP!!!!
    Friday, October 29th -- 4.00p.m. -- public event at Waterstones, 128 Princes St, West End, Edinburgh EH2 4AD.
    Saturday, October 30th -- 2.00p.m. to 4.00p.m. -- public event at The Whitby Book Shop, 88 Church St, Whitby, North Yorks YP22 4BH. Contact Madeleine Gair: 01947 606 202, or e-mail [email protected] The bookstore is organizing a fancy dress event to tie in with my appearance, for 400 people or more!!
    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!!!!!!


    Well, that might be that for the Destiny tour, but the Darren Shan touring show will continue across the globe in 2005 -- there really is no rest for the wicked!! Plans are already being made for me to visit the following countries on book tours next year:
    January -- Japan.
    April -- Hungary -- schedule currently as follows: Thursday, April 21st, 2005 -- arrive Budapest. Friday, April 22nd -- fly to Debrecen for events that day. Saturday, April 23rd -- Budapest International Book Fair, Budapest Congress Centre. 10:00 – interviews, dedication. 17:00 – dedication in Mammut Libri Book Palace. Sunday, April 24th – Budapest International Book Fair, Budapest Congress Centre. 10:00 – dedication.).
    October -- America.
    And it's likely that I'll be fitting in a few other countries as well! Keep reading the Shanville Monthly for further news and updates!!


    Let's run last month's Deja Vu again -- after all, it's not every month that I add new material to the Extras section!! (Plus I'm feeling lazy!!!!)
    After what seems a lifetime (it's been 2 years or more), I've finally added some new stories to the Shanville Extras pages!!! Well, they're not, strictly speaking, "new", since they've both been previously published in anthologies, but this is their first time to hit the web, and most of you won't have read them.

    First up, a story I wrote for an Alan Moore celebration anthology. You'll find out more about Mr Moore at the start of the story, and I've even included a link to a page which explains most of the references and in-jokes for those of you unfamiliar with his work. You can read it by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/extras/uk-extras-alanmoore.html

    Next, "Hagurosan", a story I wrote for the War Child anthology, Kids' Night In. This is one of my gentlest stories, and has surprised a lot of readers who thought I could only write grisly, blood-soaked tales!! You can read it by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/extras/uk-extras-hagurosan.html


    And that, my Halloweenistic Shansters, is that for October!!! Enjoy your trick or treating exploits on the 31st, and may you wind up with more treats than tricks!! I hope those of you in the U.K. and Ireland enjoy your 12th slab of the Saga. Those of you living in other countries, who might be feeling jealous -- don't worry!! Your night will come!!!!!! I also hope to meet LOADS of my British and Irish fans during the Destiny Tour -- this is the first big home tour I've done in quite a while, and the first time that I've included so many public events. Don't let me down!!!!!! I'll be back home at the end of the tour to tell you all how it went and update you on all my other news. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x