• Issue 61 - August 2005

    01 August 2005

    August already?!? I'm not feeling very summery at the moment -- the clouds are hanging low in the sky outside my office window as I type this! One of the downsides of living in Ireland (particularly if you're on the west coast) is that you don't get too many sunny days in the summer. Oh well -- the crap weather means I just have to stay indoors and focus on work, so I guess it's a good thing in a way!!!! Plenty of news to report this month. Probably the most exciting (if you're into blogs) is that I've finally decided to experiment with an online web log, so those of you who want more of an insight into the mind and ways of Darren Shan will have plenty to sink your teeth into over the coming weeks and months!!! I was delighted to hear that "Lord Loss" got to the top of the Taiwan bestseller chart in July! My Japanese publishers have constructed a Demonata micro site. One of my books has been nominated for an award in the States. A famous nun has thrown her weight behind "Lord Loss". And my American publicist has somehow managed to squeeze a few more events into my upcoming Fall tour!!!! For all the lowdown on the above nuggets, and more, read on ... Oh, and there's a brand new competition too!!!!!



    I've been thinking for quite a long time about starting up a blog (that's short for "web log", for those of you unfamiliar with the term), but I assumed it would be tricky to get started, and would take a lot of time and effort, so I procrastinated. Last week I decided to look into the matter, did a Google search, and lo and behold, discovered it was as easy as pie to get started! So I've set one up at http://darrenshan.blogdrive.com/

    While I'll still be posting the Shanville Monthly each month, with all the Darren Shan news, I thought it would be fun for readers to keep up with me on a day-by-day basis, to form a better idea of what I'm like and what I get up to with my time. So the blog will be a sort of diary. I'll chat about what I'm working on, but also let you know what I've been watching or listening to, what I've been reading, what I've been thinking about, etc. Anything might pop up in the blog! In the first week, for instance, I chatted about a silent movie, the bombings in Sharm El Sheikh, Stephen King, my current editing work, and the blending of fascism and art!! You can access all of the entries on the blog site -- they stay archived and accessible indefinitely.

    My plans are to post as regularly as possible -- ideally once a day -- although of course that depends on work commitments and what sort of interest the blog raises! Anyone who's interested can either access my blog by adding it to their favourites, or through a link which I'll adding to http://www.darrenshan.com shortly, or by registering on the blog site to receive updates whenever I add a new comment. (I've checked the registering system out, and it's simple to join, and just as simple to opt out of -- you just click on a link if you want to unregister at any time.)

    Being new to the Blog world, I'm not sure if I've chosen a decent blog provider in going with BlogDrive. I tried out a few different packages, and this was the one that seemed to work best for me. But it's possible that I'll be moving to a different provider in the near future (maybe even set up my own blog, integrated into my site!). If that happens, I'll provide a link to the new blog from the old one. Also, if you try to access the current blog and can't get through, try again later -- I'm not sure how much online traffic it can take at any given time!!!!


    After several years of hosting my web site on Irishtourism.com, I'm moving web hosts, and setting up with a firm called http://www.clook.net I had virtually nil down time with Irishtourism.com over the past few years, so I was reluctant to move, but they had a very poor stats site, and I was very limited with what I could do with my site. Many of my publishers want to know how many hits I'm getting each month, where they're coming from, which pages fans visit, etc. So eventually I had to move to a host which could let me access those facts quicky and in depth. We temporarily lost some pages during the move (mostly from the Vampires Covers section of the site), but these have been restored. There shouldn't be any other problems with the move -- users shouldn't even be aware that anything has changed!! But you might want to hit your refresh button the next time you visit the site, to be sure you're viewing the most up to date version. And if you can't see anything, or get an error message, do please let me know!!!!


    "Lord Loss" got to Number One on the Kingstone bestseller chart in Taiwan!!! That's #1 on the overall chart -- including adult's books as well as children's!!!! The book haD already gone into its third printing by mid July!! Many thanks to my loyal legions of Taiwanese Shansters who've followed me from "The Saga" to "The Demonata"!!! I hope "Lord Loss" has whetted your appetite for more demonic books -- because there are 9 more to follow!!!!!

    "Lord Loss" continued to sell strongly in the U.K. and Ireland in July, and is still in the top 10 children's hardback novels bestsellers list at the start of August. You can buy "Lord Loss" in just about any book store in the UK and Ireland, but if you prefer ordering it through Amazon UK, the link is http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007193211/shanville


    Contrary to last month's mistaken comment by me, I'm happy to report that the release of the paperback edition of "Lord Loss" in the UK and Ireland has NOT been changed -- it's still set to come out in January 2006!! This is the current planned schedule for the release of the books in the UK, assuming everything goes smoothly. Obviously, the schedule might change slightly over the years, but this is roughly how we expect things to pan out, all else being equal. (HB=hardback. PB=paperback.)

    June 05 - "LORD LOSS" HB
    Dec 05 - "DEMON THIEF" HB
    Jan 06 - "Lord Loss" PB
    May 06 - Book 3 HB
    June 06 - "Demon Thief" PB
    Dec 06 - Book 4 HB
    Jan 07 - Book 3 PB
    May 07 - Book 5 HB
    June 07 - Book 4 PB
    Dec 07 - Book 6 HB
    Jan 08 - Book 5 PB
    May 08 - Book 7 HB
    June 08 - Book 6 PB
    Dec 08 - Book 8 HB
    Jan 09 - Book 7 PB
    May 09 - Book 9 HB
    June 09 - Book 8 PB
    Dec 09 - Book 10 HB
    Jan 09 - Book 9 PB
    May 2010 - Book 10 PB

    Phew!!!! I'm exhausted just looking at that list!! It's scary to have such a large chunk of my future so clearly mapped out -- but at least I don't have to worry about what my next project is going to be for the next half a decade!! So -- what are YOU doing for the next 5 years?!?!?


    I reported last month that in the UK and Ireland, HarperCollins are doing an audio CD version of "Lord Loss", and I said it was going on sale on July 18th. It looks like I was wrong, and that the audio CD doesn't actually go on sale until January 2006!!! I'm going to check with my publishers to be certain, and I'll let you all know next month. If the new information is right, then you'll be able to buy the CDs in your local book shop in January, or else you can order it through Amazon by clicking here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007213905/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


    My Japanese publishers, Shogakukan, have created a new micro site for my "Demonata" series. It's seriously cool, even if you can't read Japanese, and has a couple of great wallpapers which you can download! You can check it out here: http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/demonata/ I assume the site will grow and evolve as more and more books from the series are released in Japan, so make sure you check back every now and then to see what's new!!!!


    "Allies of the Night" has been nominated for a Quills award in the USA!! The Quills are a new, prestigious book award (the awards will be shown on NBC in October), in which readers vote for the winners. "Allies" has been nominated in the Young Adult/Teen category. You can see the full list of nominees here: http://www.quillsliteracy.org/categories.php?sortby=title&cid=20&pid=3 5 titles will be shortlisted from the full list of nominations, by 6000 librarians! Readers will then be able to vote for their favourite from the shortlist, between August 15 and September 15. If my book gets shortlisted, I'll post information about how to vote for it.


    I've recently updated the Covers section on both the Vampires and Demons sites, to show how many books of the series each country has bought. So, you can now see that Brazil and Thailand have bought up to book 12 of "The Saga of Darren Shan", and Australia/New Zealand and Hungary have signed up for the start of "The Demonata". If you live in a country where my books have been translated, and you're wondering if the publisher there is going to release all of my books or not, you should check on the Covers pages at http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/index.html and http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/covers/index.html

    Please note -- I try to keep these pages as up to date as possible, but I do sometimes fall behind, so occasionally a country's publisher might have bought more of my books than I have showing on my web site. Also, publishers buy books at different times and in different ways -- so just because a publisher might not have bought all of my books yet, it doesn't mean that they won't buy them later!!!


    While we're on the subject of covers ... You can check out the cool American cover for book 2 of The Demonata -- "Demon Thief", by clicking on this link: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/covers/covers/usa/usaindex.html And you can also view their splendiferous cover for the hardback edition of Book 10 of the "Cirque Du Freak" series, "Lake of Souls", by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/countries/usa/hardback/10.html I think the book 10 cover is one of my favourite American covers from the vampire series -- it rocks!!!


    Sister Wendy, the famous art-critic nun (you can find out more about her by clicking this link if you're not familiar: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/sisterwendy/meet/index.html ) recently read "Lord Loss", and here's what the 75 year old, art-loving, hermit nun had to say about it:

    "Darren's new book is outstanding, not only as a fine (and amazing) thriller, but for the moral values. All the exciting events are underpinned by the need for responsible love and our ability to react cleverly and bravely to pressure."

    So if anyone (e.g. your parents or teachers) complain that "Lord Loss" is unsuitable for you, show them Sister Wendy's review and ask them if they're really prepared to take the moral high ground over a woman who's devoted her life to prayer, meditation and the work of God!!!!!


    Time for another exclusive Shanville competition!!! I've had a rummage through my collection and come up with the following prizes! There will be ONE overall winner, and that person will receive all of this: signed copies of the UK trade paperback edition of "Lord Loss" (they're quite rare -- they were made primarily for sale in Ireland and at airports in the UK) ... the American hardback edition of "Killers of the Dawn" ... the Norwegian edition of "Cirque Du Freak" ... the Indonesian edition of "The Vampire Prince" ... and the Taiwanese editions of "The Vampire's Assistant" and "Hunters of the Dusk"!!!! In addition, the winner will also receive 3 signed postcards: two are from the UK, and feature the covers of "Trials of Death" and "The Vampire Prince", the third is from America and features the cover of "Allies of the Night"!!!!

    There will be FIVE runner-up prizes. Each runner-up will receive 3 signed postcards (see above for details about what's on the postcards).

    You don't have to answer any questions -- you just have to send your FULL NAME AND ADDRESS to the e-mail address at the bottom of the rules. But make sure you read through the rules first, because any incorrect entries will be rejected!
    Rules: (1) 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! (2) Closing date is midnight, GMT, Wednesday, August 10th, 2005. (3) This competition is open to everybody, anywhere in the world, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations!! (4) Only one entry per household -- if you send in more than one entry, ALL of your entries will be rejected! If more than one person in a house wants to enter, you'll need to make a joint entry and include all of your names in a single e-mail. (5) The draw for the winners will be made on Thursday, August 11th. It will be a completely random draw, made by Darren Shan personally (I use an online number generator to pick the winners). I will try to notify the winners by e-mail, and will post their names (but not their addresses) on the Shanville Message Board and in the September issue of the Shanville Monthly. I will try to send the prizes to the winners on Thursday, August 11th, but it MIGHT be September before I can post them out! So, if you win, please be patient! (6) 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. (7) Only entries sent to the following e-mail address will be eligible for entry into the draw:

    [email protected]



    Tickets are selling out ultra swiftly for my first event in Edinburgh on Friday, August 19, at 5.00p.m.!!! It's in a smaller venue than the Saturday event, and they've almost sold out! In fact, you can't order them through the Book Festival web site any more! If there are any tickets left, you need to phone to order them, by ringing the Box Office on 0131 624 5050 (If you're phoning from overseas, drop the first 0 and add 0044 before the number.) If you haven't booked for the Friday event already, and want to come to it, I'd act ASAP if I were you!! You can still order tickets for the Saturday, 19 August event on the Festival web site, by clicking here: http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/whatson/event_listing.html?event_id=16151 I've no idea how many seats are left for the Saturday event, but I'd advise booking early just to be safe!

    I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do at the events. But, as in previous years, I'll probably be asking for volunteers from the audience to help me out. If you want to take part in either event, be outside the entrance to the author's tent (in the corner of the square to the right of the main entrance as you enter) at least half an hour before the show starts. If there are more volunteers than I need, I'll randomly pick from among the bunch.

    Friday, August 19th -- 5.00p.m. -- "Saga of Darren Shan" event -- phone 0131 624 5050 for tickets.
    Saturday August 20th -- 1.30p.m. -- "Lord Loss" event -- click on the following link for tickets: http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/whatson/event_listing.html?event_id=16151

    Public events are open to anyone who wants to come. School events are for classes from selected, pre-arranged schools. Where the name of a library or book shop is listed for a school event, it MIGHT be possible for you to arrange a visit. If you are a teacher, you MIGHT be able to arrange for one of YOUR classes to come to the event. Or if you're an individual, you MIGHT be allowed to come yourself or with some friends. In either case, you will need to make direct contact with the store or library in question -- I have no control over who can or can't come to school events!! Please note, all the events listed underneath are currently TO BE CONFIRMED!!!! Keep checking back for updates!

    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, WA.
    6:30-8.00pm -- Public event and signing at Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, WA. -- phone: 206 366 3333
    Saturday, 22nd -- Seattle, WA. Morning (Time TBC) -- Public event and signing at All For Kids, 2900 NE Blakely St, Seattle, Wa. -- phone: 206 526 2768
    2.00-3.30pm -- Public event and signing at B&N #2573, 2700 NE University Village, Seattle, Wa, 98105. -- phone 206 517 4107
    Sunday, 23rd -- Las Vegas, NV. 1.30-3.00pm -- Public event and signing at Sahara West Library.
    4.00-5.30pm -- Public event and signing at GREEN VALLEY LIBRARY, 2797 NORTH GREEN VALLEY, PARKWAY, LAS VEGAS, NV 89014. -- phone: 702 507 3791
    7.00-8.30pm -- Public event and signing at BORDERS BOOKS AND MUSIC #183, 2190 North Rainbow Rd., Las Vegas, NV 89108. -- phone: 702 638 7866
    Monday, 24th -- Las Vegas, NV. School event at SUMMERLIN LIBRARY, 1771 INNER CIRCLE DR, LAS VEGAS, NV 89134.
    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. -- phone: 972 668 2820
    Wednesday, 26th -- Houston, TX. 2.00-3.30pm -- School event at Kingwood Middle School, Kingwood, TX.
    5.00–6:30 pm -- School event at Clements High School, Sugar Land, TX.
    7.30-9.00pm -- Public event and signing at BORDERS BOOKS AND MUSIC #140, Fountains on the Lake, 12788 Fountain Lake Circle, Houston, TX 77477. -- phone: 281240 6666
    Thursday, 27th -- Houston, TX. 8:30–10.00am -- School event at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.
    2.00-3.30pm -- School event at Jackson Middle School, San Antonio, TX.
    7.00-8.30pm -- Public event and signing at B&N #2684, 12635 IH 10 West, San Antonio, TX 78230. -- phone: 210 561 0205
    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. -- phone: 847 676 2230
    Monday, 31st -- Chicago, IL. 8.00A.M.-2.00pm -- School event at BENITO JUAREZ HIGH SCHOOL, S. Laflin St., CHICAGO, IL.
    7.00-9.00pm -- Public Halloween Party (hurrah!!!) and signing at ANDERSON'S BOOKSHOP, 5112 Main St, DOWNER'S GROVE, IL 60515. phone: 630 832 6566

    Tuesday, 1st -- Chicago, IL. 9.00am-12.00pm -- School event arranged by Anderson's Bookstores, 123 West Jefferson, Naperville, IL 60540. -- phone: 630 355 2665
    3.30-5.00pm -- Public/school (I'm not sure yet!!) event and signing at SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP DISTRICT LIBRARY, 130 South Roselle Road, Schaumburg, IL 60193. -- phone: 847 985 4000
    7.00–8:30pm -- Public event and signing at Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton, Skokie, IL 60077.
    Wednesday, 2nd -- Chicago, IL. 9.00-10.30am -- School event at CICS-West Belden Campus, N McVicker Ave, Chicago.
    2.00-3.00pm -- School event at Dakota Jr-Sr High School, Campus Drive, Dakota, IL.
    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. -- phone: 414 270 3434
    Thursday, 3rd -- Milwaukee, WI. 9.00-11.00am -- School event at COMMUNITY LIBRARY, 24625 89th Street, Salem, WI 53168.
    Friday, 4th -- Washington D.C. 10.30am-12.00pm -- School event at D.C. Public Library, 901 G ST NW, Washington, DC 20001. -- phone: 202 727 5535
    4.00-6.00pm -- School event at East Middle School, Carroll County Arts Council, West Main Street, Westminster, MD.
    7.30-9.00pm -- Public event and signing at BORDERS BOOKS AND MUSIC #29, 8027 Leesburg Pike, suite 100, Vienna, VA 22182. -- phone: 703 556 7766
    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. -- phone: 410 313 1964
    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, Child St., Warren, RI.
    8.00-9.00pm -- Public event and signing at BORDERS BOOKS AND MUSIC #445, 101 Independence Mall Way, C113, Kingston, MA 02364. -- phone: 781 582 8100
    Tuesday, 8th -- Boston/New England. 10.00am-12.00pm -- School event at Manchester City Library, 405 Pine St., Manchester, NH 03104. -- phone: 603 624-6550
    7.00-8.30pm -- Public event and signing at B&N #2966, 98 Middlesex Pkwy, Burlington, MA 01803. -- phone: 781 273 3871
    Wednesday, 9th -- Boston/New England. 8.00am-1.30pm -- School event in Portsmouth, NH.


    I'm going to be going on a short tour of the U.K. in late November and early December, to promote the launch of "Demon Thief"! (I MIGHT be doing a few Irish events too, but that's only a possibility, not a probability!!!) It's going to be called the "Thief in the Night" tour -- as most of my events are going to take place after dark!! More details to follow in the next few issues of the Shanville Monthly ...


    As you can see, it's going to be all systems go for me this winter!! I'd better make the most of my free time in the next few months, and get lots of writing done, because I'm going to be on the road from the middle of October to pretty much the end of the year!!! I'll be doing the final edit of "Demon Thief" at the start of August ... I'll have to prepare some new material for Edinburgh at the same time ... then I hope to draw up plans for the eighth book of "The Demonata" and get stuck into the first draft of it in September. Anyway, that's my next month in a nutshell!! I hope you all enjoy the end of the summer. I'll be back in early September with my next monthly update. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x