• Issue 53 - December 2004

    01 December 2004

    Yo-ho-freaking-ho!!!!! Merry Christmas, Shansters, one and all -- and welcome to the fifth Christmas edition of the Shanville Monthly!!!! After a month on the road doing the Destiny Tour, November was a time for me to catch up with my writing. I did my final edit of the book I have coming out in the U.K. next June (Lord Loss), and squeezed in work on a couple of other projects too. I was approached by Marvel Comics recently, to talk about maybe doing some work with them -- but there simply isn't time for me at the moment to even consider any work like that!! But maybe one day ...
    November wasn't ALL work though -- I got to see one of my fave singers, Nick Cave, playing in Brixton in London -- a great gig!! I also went to a few Spurs games -- mostly grisly, ghastly affairs!!! I was there for the 5-4 loss to Arsenal, then the humiliating Carling Cup defeat at the hands (well ... feet!!) of the Liverpool reserve team. It's hard to be a football fan most of the time, but EXTRA hard if the team you support happens to be a certain Tottenham Hotspur!!!!! Oh well -- if good times ever do come back to White Hart Lane, they'll be all the sweeter after having suffered so many years of setbacks and failures! But enough of my footballing woes!! Time to find out what's been happening in the world of Darren Shan lately ...
    december 8th: I've just updated the details of my Japan signing events -- see below for more info!


    I found out in November that Cirque Du Freak won the Soaring Eagle -- Wyoming Young Adult Book Award for the year 2003/2004!!! The Soaring Eagle award is voted for by readers in Wyoming state, in the 7th to 12th grades. They pick the winner from a shortlist of 15 books. I don't win many awards (horror writers normally don't!!), so any award is special -- but this one's extra special, since it was voted for by children instead of by a committee of adults, i.e. by kids who KNOW what they like to read, as opposed to adults who THINK they know what kids SHOULD enjoy!! I'm really chuffed, especially since I got a beautifully designed pair of bookends as a prize!!! Thanks to everyone in Wyoming who voted for me -- you brought a happy smile to a young half-vampire's face!!!!!

    Book 2 of the Saga - The Vampire's Assistant - has been nominated for the 2004/2005 award, so if you live in Wyoming and feel like a casting a vote for it, or if you just want to learn more about the Soaring Eagles, click here: http://www.ccpls.org/html/soaringeagle.html


    Due to popular demand (and angry rumblings!!) I decided to do something which I'd been considering for quite a long time -- I created a NEW message board, designed for Chit Chat, Polls, Pen Pals, Stories, etc. The URL of the new board is: http://p196.ezboard.com/bshanvilleusamessageboard The new board offers fresh opportunities for members who used to post mostly in the Chit Chat section -- there's a forum dedicated solely to stories, poems and RPG threads; and there's room to create more new forums in the future, if demand is there for them. I've currently created a Hot Topic forum, though I might delete it if it doesn't attract enough posts. At the moment the hot topic is the American Election, but I'll be changing that within the first week or so of December.

    I also created MODERATORS on the new board!!! As many of you might know, I'm not keen on the idea of moderators in general, but I decided to give it a go and grant a few Shansters moderating powers. But don't worry -- Pablo and I will still be there to keep an eye on the moderators and make sure they don't abuse their position!!! One downside to the new board is that it IS NOT a gold community -- which means there will be ezboard adverts for those of you who are not ezboard supporters. Sorry!!!

    The regular Shanville message board, of course, will continue as normal, only now it will be dedicated entirely to discussion of the Darren Shan books. I think this is the best way forward, as it will allow me to pack in more features on each board without cluttering either board up too much with dozens of forums. The link for the original Shanville Board is the same as it was before: http://p090.ezboard.com/bdarrenshanmessageboard


    Here's a chance - actually, LOTS of chances!!! - to add a little something extra to your stocking this Christmas!! I've decided to run not one ... not two ... not three ... but FOUR competitions!!!! I recently managed to get hold of a load of extra copies of my books from various countries around the world, and I'm offering mixed, SIGNED sets of these as prizes. The first competition will feature books from Germany as prizes, the second books from Spain, the third books from Taiwan, and the fourth books from the United States of America. You can enter any or all of these compeitions no matter where you live, but PLEASE NOTE -- AT LEAST TWO PRIZES for each competition WILL go to a native of that competition's country. So, when I pick a name at random for the American draw, I will first be looking for somebody living in America -- if the first person drawn IS NOT living in America, that name will be rejected and I will draw again until a winner from America comes up. The next draw will also only be for Americans. After that, the next draw (there are 3 sets of American prizes) will be open to readers everywhere. Sounds complicated? It's not really -- so just enter and keep your fingers crossed!!! No questions to answer -- just pick the competition you want to enter (or more than one if you wish) and send your FULL NAME AND ADDRESS to the relevant e-mail address.
    GERMANY - [email protected] - first prize (only for people living in Germany): books 3, 8 (hardback), 4, 5, 6 (paperback); second prize (Germans only): books 3 (hardback), 4, 5, 6 (paperback); third prize (open to everybody, no matter where you live): book 3 (hardback), 4, 5, 6 (paperback); fourth prize (everybody): books 3 (hardback), 4, 5 (paperback); fifth prize (everybody): book 3 (hardback), 5 (paperback).
    SPAIN - [email protected] - 5 prizes of book 1 - the first 2 prizes will be for Spanish residents (if any enter!!), the rest will be for everybody.
    TAIWAN - [email protected] - first prize (Taiwanese and Chinese only): books 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. second and third prizes (Taiwanese and Chinese only); books 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. fourth and fifth prizes (open to everybody): books 1, 2, 7, 8. sixth prize (everybody): books 1, 2.
    U.S.A. - [email protected] - first prize (Americans only): books 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 (hardback). second prize (Americans only): books 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 (hardback). third prize (open to everybody): books 1, 2, (paperback), 4, 6 (hardback).
    N.B. -- PUT YOUR NAME IN THE SUBJECT BOX WHEN YOU SEND YOUR E-MAIL!!! I won't accept your entry if you don't! And make sure you INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS in the e-mail -- and don't forget to add the name of your country!!!! This is so that I can easily send the books to you if you win! Closing date is midnight, GMT, Wednesday, December 15th, 2004. But I won't be sending out the prizes until January!
    Now, for the rules: (1) This competition is open to everybody, anywhere in the world, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations!! (2) Only one entry per competition per household (i.e. you can enter all 4 competitions, but onle once each) -- if you send in more than one entry, ALL of your entries will be rejected! (3) Closing date is midnight, GMT, Wednesday, December 15th, 2004. (4) The draw for the winners will be made on Thursday, December 16th; I will try to notify the winners by e-mail, and will post their names (but not their address) on the Shanville Message Board and in the October issue of the Shanville Monthly. I will send the books to the winners in January 2005. (5) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company! I'll keep your details on my PC, then delete the info once the competition ends.


    The poll on the Sons of Destiny microsite to find the fans' favourite character, and their favourite UK cover, is still ongoing. To check out the results of the fave character poll, click here: http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/microsites/darrenshan/vote1.aspx
    For the fave UK cover, click here: http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/microsites/darrenshan/vote2.aspx I think the Cover poll actually states that it's the Favourite Character poll, but don't let that confuse you!!! The polls will run until December 31st, and I'll be announcing the winners in the January issue of the Shanville Monthly.


    Book 10, The Lake Of Souls, went on sale in Germany and Taiwan last month. In Germany, it's called Der See Der Seelen. If you can't find it in your local book shop, you can order it from Amazon.de by clicking on the following link: http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3426628457/qid=1099432854/ref=pd_ka_0/028-0432990-9060524 You can find out more about the Taiwanese version by visiting the official Darren Shan Taiwan web site at http://www.crown.com.tw/darrenshan/index.htm


    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!!


    You can read a recent interview with me on the ghoulishly groovy Gothic Revue site at http://www.gothicrevue.com/interviewdarrenshan.html This was one the more enjoyable interviews I've given over the last few months -- some quirky questions!!! And, reading through it again, some quirky answers!!! Bogey collectors?!? I've absolutely no idea WHERE that one came from!!!!!!!! Maybe I'd inadvertently been munching on some of R.V.'s magic mushrooms when I replied to that question ...

    There are also reviews of all 8 of my American books on the site, although they're more plot summaries than actual reviews. The main link can be found at http://www.gothicrevue.com/CDFindex.html


    This one made me smile! A guy called Justin Daly from my local village (Pallaskenry) has gone out to the United Arab Emirates to teach. On his first day in class, when getting to know the kids for the first time, he told them a bit about himself and that he came from Ireland. He asked if they knew anything about Ireland, and they told him they only knew three things about the country -- Ireland was where Roy Keane came from ... and Westlife ... and Darren Shan!!!!! I think that's probably the first time I've been grouped with that particular pair!! Maybe we can do a tour one day ... Roy playing football with the local kids ... Westlife singing their hearts out ... and me trying to scare everyone senseless!!!!!! :-)


    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 a number of countries around the world on book tours next year. Latest addition is a return trip to Taiwan!! Here's what I currently have lined up (N.B. dates, venues and times are subject to change -- please keep checking back for updates).


    January 21 (Friday) -- Interviews.
    Tokyo -- Saturday, January 22, Maruzen Book Shop, Marunouchi Main Shop, near Tokyo Station. http://www.maruzen.co.jp/home/tenpo/index.html The signing sessions will be at 10:00-12:30 and 13:30-16:00. There will be a limit of 250 people per session. You will need a ticket to get your book signed. The bookshop (Maruzen Marunouchi Main Shop) will distribute 500 special tickets to people who buy book 12 there on the launch date -- 17th December. Because of the numbers involved, when you come to the signing, you will only be able to get 1 (one) book signed.
    Osaka -- Sunday, January 23rd, Junkudo Book Shop Main Shop, Dojima. http://www.junkudo.co.jp/kaisya2.html The signing sessions will be at 11:00- 13:30 and 14:30-17:00. There will be a limit of 250 people per session. You will need a ticket to get your book signed. The bookshop (Junkudo Main Shop) will distribute 500 special tickets to people who buy book 12 there on the launch date -- 17th December. Because of the numbers involved, when you come to the signing, you will only be able to get 1 (one) book signed.
    January 24-26 (Monday - Wednesday) -- Visit Kumano and Koyasan, and maybe fit in a School event there (but that is still to be confirmed, and may not be possible).

    March 31st - April 4th. More details to follow.

    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.

    Details to follow.


    Recently, I e-mailed an Irish DJ, requesting he play the debut song from one of my fave current bands, The Pennywhores (a naughty name, I know -- but then, they're quite a naughty band!!!). He did, and also made mention of my e-mail on air. You can hear it by clicking on the following link, which might take a few minutes to download and play if you don't have broadband: http://www.gencodesigns.com/thepennywhores/legmurrickos2fm.mp3

    DEJA VU 1
    There are now 39 (yes -- THIRTY NINE!!!) pages of fan art on the official Japanese Darren Shan web site!!! To check out the latest page, click here: http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/darren/portrait/portrait39.html You can easily access the other 38 pages from there. Most of the artwork is truly incredible -- if you've never visited this site before, you should -- immediately!!!!! And prepare to be blown away!!!!


    Yes, it's that time of the year again when Shanta Claus makes a brief appearance on Shanville!! Shanta Claus is one of the stories I wrote a few years ago for the Extras section of Shanville (http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/extras/uk-extras-main.html) -- and it's one of the fans' favourites!!!! The story's set just after the end of Book 3 - Tunnels of Blood, and finds Shanta visiting several of the characters from the first 3 books. I'll be putting the story on the site around the middle of December (15th or 16th) and taking it off early in January. Don't miss it -- or you'll have to wait another year to find out why it's so popular!!! The link for the story will be: http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/extras/uk-extras08.html

    And that's it for December! I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful Christmas and receive loads of presents!!! I'll be spending Christmas Day up the side of a mountain in Rwanda, tracking and trying to find mountain gorillas -- so no roast Turkey and ham for me this year!!!! If I survive my (hopefully!) close encounter with our Simian relatives, I'll be back here in January (probably the 2nd or 3rd) to tell you all about it and write up the annual Shan report!!!!!!! Until then, all the bloody ghoultide best, Darren Shan x x x