• Issue 60 - July 2005

    01 July 2005
    I'm writing this on July 7th, the day that London has come under terrorist attack. I'm in Ireland at the moment, but was in London on the 6th, in Aldgate East, where one of the attacks took place. I have a flat there, where I stay when I am in London. I've had it for three years, and feel like it is my home away from home. It's always a scary feeling when something like this happens, especially if you know the area and have friends and family there. It's especially scary, I have now discovered, if you come from that area, or spend a lot of time in it. If I'd been coming back home to Ireland just a day later, maybe I would have been caught in one of the blasts ... maybe I wouldn't be writing this right now ... maybe my life would have been altered in the horrible, unjust way that the lives of so many Londoners will have been after today ...

    But you can't give in to fear. You can't let terrorists disrupt your life any more than possible. You can't let them think they have affected you and those around you. You have to return to normal life as soon as you can, get on with things, show that you can continue without fear.

    So, although my thoughts are very much in London and with those who have been injured or killed by the explosions, I'm going to push the Shanville Monthly out regardless. It's a very small, insignificant gesture, but if all us small, insignificant people do what we can in our own small, insignificant ways, together we'll show that as a group we're enormous and significant, and that no matter what cowardly, vicious things ungodly terrorists do to us, we will hold, carry on, and prosper.

    And happy birthday!!! Because this month the Shanville Monthly celebrates its 5th birthday!!!! It's hard to believe that it's been five years since I first sat down to compose one of these news round-ups. There's been a lot of news to report since then ... sales of my books in 30 countries ... movie deals ... chart-topping success ... global tours. I used to worry in the early days that I wouldn't have enough to report each month, and that I might have to fill up space with waffle. Luckily that hasn't happened yet, and it doesn't look like it will any time soon!! This month most of the news is about "Lord Loss" -- the start of a whole new series has meant a whole lot of new news to report!! So, let's waste no further time on self-congratulation. On with the news!!!


    "Lord Loss" was released in the U.K. and Ireland in June, and has been selling like hot cakes!!! As I write this, it has been the #1 Irish Children's Bestselling Book for an incredible five weeks in a row!! I always love it when my books do well in Ireland, since it's my home turf, and this is absolutely amazing!!! My Irish fans truly are some of the greatest Shansters in the world, and regularly set the yardstick by which all other fans are measured!! You can check out the full Irish bestseller list here: http://www.irishreader.com/Features/Bests5.htm

    In the U.K. "Lord Loss" was the #2 bestselling children's hardback in June, and got to #7 on the overall children's list. It's still going strong, and on the July 2nd chart it was the #3 bestselling children's hardback!! You can buy "Lord Loss" in just about any book store in the UK and Ireland right now, but if you prefer ordering it through Amazon UK, the link is http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007193211/shanville

    One kind of downside to the book's success is that I think Collins have decided to put the release of the paperback version of the book back by six months, to June 2006 (it was originally scheduled to come out in January 2006). I'll confirm this next month, hopefully, but it's looking like those of you who were waiting for the paperback will have to wait a bit longer -- SORRY!!!!!! Of course, you could always buy the hardback copy instead!!! Or, if you're going on holiday, you might be able to get a softback copy at the airport (£9.99). Or you could try your local library -- if they don't have it in stock, they should be able to order it in if you ask!!


    If you live in the UK, you can still get a howling ringtone for your mobile phone, and a Darren Shan logo!!!

    To get a howlingly groovy ringtone, text howl to 81222.

    To lord it up with a Darren Shan logo, text logo to 81222.

    Messages cost no more than 12p inc. VAT. (Some handsets may not have WAP push capability. Please refer to your service provider for assistance.)

    Please note, these are ONLY available in the U.K. (sorry, Irish Shansters!). Make sure you tell all your friends about them -- unless you want to keep the secret to yourself, so that you can show off!!!!


    In the UK and Ireland, HarperCollins are doing an audio CD version of "Lord Loss", which goes on sale on July 18th. Look out or ask for it in your local book shop, or else you can order it through Amazon by clicking here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007213891/shanville The person they've hired to read the book is Rupert Degas, and according to early reports, he has done a FABULOUS job!!! You can check out some samples of Rupert's audio work by clicking here: http://www.yaketyyak.co.uk/Celebs%20pages/RupertDegas.htm


    Although I haven't done any touring for "Lord Loss", I've signed lots of copies in various shops in central London. If you act quickly, you can probably get a signed copy in the following stores: Waterstones Picadilly, Hatchards Picadilly, Foyles Charing Cross Road, Borders Charing Cross Road, Waterstones Oxford Street -- the store opposite John Lewis, NOT the one near Tottenham Court Road!! -- and at Blackwells Charing Cross Road. I also signed copies at Goldsboro Books, 1 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4EZ (just off Charing Cross Rd). Goldsboro have a web site, through which you can order a signed copy if you can't make it to the shop in person -- http://www.goldsborobooks.co.uk/

    In addition to all of the above, I also signed 1,000 copies (yes, ONE THOUSAND!!) of "Lord Loss" at HarperCollins, and they will be sent to various shops around the country!


    Although "Lord Loss" hasn't sold quite as well as the last few books of "The Saga of Darren Shan" in Japan, it has got off to a very strong start there, and has already been reprinted!! In terms of numbers of fans, Japan led the field where "Tha Saga" was concerned -- it was the country where I sold most books and had the largest fan base. Although a few countries such as America, Taiwan and Britain have been catching up in the last year or so, it looks like Japan will hold on to its status as the #1 Shan country in the world ... for a while at least!!!!!!! :-)


    I did a lot of interviews for "Lord Loss", and there have already been some very favourable reviews of it. (The Times said it was "utterly unputdownable" - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-1461-1675497,00.html) There was an article about the book in The Funday Times. I appeared on TV on the BBC London News show in June, and on radio I was on the Simon Mayo show, Big Toe, Front Row, and the Vanessa Feltz show. Each interview was different, focusing on varying aspects of "Lord Loss" and writing in general, so they were all very enjoyable for me. One highlight was playing a game of chess on the Big Toe show while I was interviewed!! Another was not getting roasted on the Simon Mayo show! I'd been told the book was to be reviewed by a panel of reviewers, and I assumed they would be children. It was only when I went live on air that I discovered the reviewers were adults!!!! The first to review it was a mother of two young children, and she started off by saying this wasn't the sort of book she would normally read! My heart sank ... but then she said that in spite of that, she loved "Lord Loss" and thought it was great!!!! It was plain sailing from that moment on!!!!!!!


    I recently contributed a "Top Tip" to the super-cool Write Here Write Now web site. You can read it, along with lots of tips by other children's authors, by clicking here: http://www.writehere.org.uk/toptips.shtml


    The latest countries to buy the rights to "The Saga of Darren Shan" are Vietnam and Sweden. I was on holiday in Vietnam a few years ago and found it a fascinating, beautiful place, so I'm very pleased that my books will soon be on sale there!!! I've never been to Sweden, but it's one of Lady Bas's favourite countries, so I'm sure I'll be popping over there sooner rather than later!!! Sweden became the 30th country to publish my books (not counting countries where bootleg versions are available, or which merely import the U.K. editions.) It's astonishing to think that my stories have taken off in so many different corners of the world. Some days I think that it's all a dream! If so, it's one I don't ever want to wake up from!!!!!!


    Great news for UK and Irish Shansters! Book 2 of The Demonata -- "Demon Thief", will go on sale in December 2005, a month earlier than originally scheduled -- so you'll be able to get it in time for Christmas!!!! I also hope to go on a tour to promote the book around that time -- but I haven't discussed it with my publishers yet!!! More info to follow ...


    Collins have shown me their cover for "Demon Thief" -- and it's a monster!!! I thought their "Lord Loss" cover was going to be hard to top, but they've come up trumps!!!! This is a beastly beauty of the highest standing!! You can check it out by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/covers/covers/uk/uk&ireland.html

    You'll also see the revised dates for the release of books 2 and 3. The original plan was to release the books every June and January, but Collins now want to hit the Christmas market, so book 2 will definitely be coming out in December, which means book 3 will probably come out in May next year, or else early June.


    I've added the front and back covers for the Taiwan edition of "Lord Loss" to my site, and they're gruesomely fabulous!!! You can check them out by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/covers/index.html

    I've also added new covers to my "Vampires" site from the following countries: America, Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy. Click here to go surfing for them: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/index.html


    My American tour schedule has now been pretty much decided. If any spaces become free over the next few months, I'll post the news here and provide fans with info about how to set about nabbing me. Otherwise, I'm afraid if you're not living in one of the areas that I'm coming to (see below), you'll have to wait for my next tour to try and arrange an event with me!!! Please note, all the events listed underneath are currently TO BE CONFIRMED!!!! Keep checking back for updates!


    The Darren Shan touring show continues across the globe in 2005!! See below for the list as it currently stands.

    You can book tickets for the Edinburgh Festival NOW!!!! Click here for ticket info: http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ One of my events last year sold out far in advance, and the other was almost full, so my advice is to BOOK EARLY!!!!!

    Friday, August 19th -- 5.00p.m. -- Edinburgh Book Festival -- "Saga of Darren Shan" event.
    Saturday August 20th -- 1.30p.m. -- Edinburgh Book Festival -- "Lord Loss" event.



    Friday, 21st -- Seattle, WA. 9.00-11.00am -- School event at King County Youth Services Center, Seattle, WA. 1.00-2:30pm -- School event at Auburn High School. 6:30-8.00pm -- Public event and signing at Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA.

    Saturday, 22nd -- Seattle, WA. Morning (Time TBC) -- Public event and signing at All For Kids, 2900 NE Blakely St, Seattle, Wa. 2.00-3.30pm -- Public event and signing at B&N #2573, 2700 NE University Village, Seattle, Wa, 98105.

    Sunday, 23rd -- Las Vegas, NV. 4.00-5.30pm -- Public event and signing at Las Vegas Public Library.

    Monday, 24th -- Las Vegas, NV. 9.30am-1.30pm -- School events arranged through Las Vegas Public Library.

    Tuesday, 25th -- Dallas, TX. 9.00am-3.00pm -- School events at Irving ISD. 7.00-8.30pm -- Public event and signing at B&N #2060, 2601 Preston Road ~1204, Frisco, TX 75034.

    Wednesday, 26th -- Houston, TX. 2.00-3.30pm -- School event at Kingwood Middle School, 2407 Pine Terrace, Kingwood, TX 77339. 5.00–6:30 pm -- School event at Clements High School, 4200 Elkins Drive, Sugar Land, TX 77479.

    Thursday, 27th -- Houston, TX. 8:30–10.00am -- School event at Sam Houston State University, PO Box 2236, Huntsville, TX 77341. 2.00-3.30pm -- School event at Jackson Middle School, 4538 Vance Jackson, San Antonio, TX 78230. 7.00-8.30pm -- Public event and signing at B&N #2684, 12635 IH 10 West, San Antonio, TX 78230.

    Friday, 28th -- Austin, TX. 8.30am-3.00pm -- Public event and signing at Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas.

    Saturday, 29th -- Austin, TX. -- 10.00am-12.00pm -- Public event and signing at Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas.

    Sunday, 30th -- Chicago, IL. 6.00–7.30pm -- Public event and signing at B&N #2622, 55 Old Orchard Center, Skokie, IL 60077.

    Monday, 31st -- Chicago, IL. School events in day, plus special Halloween public event and signing (TBC) at night, arranged by Anderson’s Bookshop, 176 North York, Elmhurst, IL 60126.


    Tuesday, 1st -- Chicago, IL. 9.00am-12.00pm -- School event arranged by Anderson's Bookstores, 123 West Jefferson, Naperville, IL 60540. 7.00–8:30 pm -- Public event and signing at Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton, Skokie, IL 60077.

    Wednesday, 2nd -- Chicago, IL. 9.00-10.30 -- School event at CICS - West Belden Campus, 2245 N. McVicker Ave., Chicago, IL 60639. 2.00-3.00pm -- School event at Dakota Jr-Sr High School, 300 Campus Drive, Dakota, IL 61018.

    Wednesday, 2nd -- Milwaukee, WI. 7.00–8:30 pm -- Public event and signing at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, 219 N Milwaukee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

    Thursday, 3rd -- Milwaukee, WI. 9.00–11.00am -- School event arranged by Southeast Regional Library System.

    Friday, 4th -- Washington D.C. 10.30am-12.00pm -- School event at D.C. Public Library, 901 G ST NW, Washington, DC 20001.

    4.00-6.00pm -- School event at East Middle School, Carroll County Arts Council, 91 West Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157.

    Saturday, 5th -- Washington D.C. 11.00am-12.30pm -- Public event and signing at Howard County Library/Miller Branch, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City, MD 21042.

    Sunday, 6th -- A day off!!!! Maybe!!!!! I'll believe it when I see it!!!!!!!!

    Monday, 7th -- Boston/New England. 9.00-11.00am -- School event at Kickemut Middle School, 525 Child St., Warren, RI 02885.

    Tuesday, 8th -- Boston/New England. 10.00am-12.00pm -- School event at Manchester City Library, 405 Pine St., Manchester, NH 03104. 7.00-8.30pm -- Public event and signing at B&N #2966, 98 Middlesex Pkwy, Burlington, MA 01803.

    Wednesday, 9th -- Boston/New England. 8.00am-1.30pm -- School event in Portsmouth, NH.


    And that's it for July. I meant to have a competition this month, to celebrate the Shanville Monthly's 5th birthday, but I was on holiday in Florida at the end of June, and there just hasn't been time to organise one. But I plan to run the competition next month instead. Now I just have to decide what to offer as prizes ... Once I've made up my mind, I'll let you all know in the August issue. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x