• Issue 64 - November 2005

    01 November 2005

    First of all, sorry for the lateness of this issue of the Monthly, but as I explained last month, I was on tour in the States until November 10th, so it wasn't possible to do an update until I got back home. I had a great time in America, and kept a close chronicle of it in my BLOG. You can read some of the extracts below, and can find the rest of the entries on the blog itself at http://darrenshan.blogdrive.com I don't have a huge amount of actual news this month -- pretty much everyone knew that I was away for most of the last 4 weeks, so they didn't bother me if possible!! In fact, this might prove to be my shortest "Shanville Monthly" ever!!!!!! But that's not necessarily a bad thing -- short can be sweet!! Besides, I haven't had time to unpack my suitcase yet, so I'm rather pleased that I can wrap this up relatively quickly!!!!!!! So, without any further ado, let's start with the biggest news of the month ...


    On the back of my recent tour of the States (see below for more info) the "Cirque Du Freak" series re-entered the New York Times Top 10 bestseller chart!!! It re-entered at the Number 7 position for the week ending November 13th. If you live in the States and haven't bought the latest book on the series - "The Lake of Souls" - yet, you should be able to find it in most book stores. Or you can order over the internet, from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, by clicking on one of the links below.

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0316156272/ref=pd_sim_b_3/102-2116902-1183369?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

    B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?userid=l73LUBKBqx&pwb=1&ean=9780316156271


    "Lord Loss", the first book of my new series called "The Demonata", went on sale in the States last month. If you haven;t bought it yet, get down to your nearest book shop NOW!!!! Or, if you prefer, you can order it online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble via the links below.

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0316114995/ref=pd_sim_6/102-4403401-4596156?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

    B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?userid=yJ3JizsBut&pwb=1&ean=9780316114998


    The audio book CD edition of "Cirque Du Freak" has finally gone on sale in the U.K. -- and it's BRILLIANT!!! Rupert Degas does a fabulous job of giving voice to the characters. Ideally I'd have preferred him to have given Mr Crepsley less of a "Bela Lugosi" style accent, but it seems that's how many people think the orange-haired vampire sounds!!! (Alan Cummings gave him a similar accent when he did the abridged version of the books several years ago.) I recommend the CD unreservedly -- it really is a fantastic version of the book, and should adorn the shelf of any true Shan fan with a taste for audio books!!!! It's nicely packaged too. If you can't find it in your local shop, you can order it through Amazon UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007214154/shanville/202-9220274-5213411

    Oh, and before anyone asks, my favourite character on the CD is actually the husband of the woman who gets her hand bitten off at the Cirque Du Freak!! Rupert makes him sound just like Johnny Vegas!!! I've performed that scene hundreds of times at schools, libraries and book stores across the world over the last six years, and heard the husband done with a huge variety of accents -- but this is the first time I ever associated him with Johnny Vegas!!! From this time on, though, he'll also speak like Johnny inside my head!!!!



    The Darren Shan Blog continues with no sign of slowing down!! I managed to keep up to date during my tour of the States in October and early November, adding entires on most days, using a variety of PCs and TV internet connections -- some of which were hell itself to operate!!! I can't believe I only came to blogs so recently!! What a pity I didn't discover them sooner. Oh well, better late than never!!!!!!! You can read every entry from my tour (and before) by clicking on the link just above this paragraph. Here are a few randomly selected highlights, covering the tour and other topics, like editing ...
    I started editing Book 3 of "The Demonata" again today. This (...) will be my penultimate edit. After this, my editor will send me her fine-tuning notes, then I'll check the proofs when they're produced, and then that will be that!!! So the end is within sight ... I started the first draft back in June 2004, so from birth to print will have been an even two years!! click here for full entry

    one of the worst movies I've ever seen ...
    ... it sucked from almost the first minute, with Wenders narrating over quite boring footage, waxing lyrical about nonsense. I knew it was going to be a teeth-grinding experience when he began babbling about his video camera having an affinity for fashion!!! click here for full entry

    finishing book 8 of "The Demonata" ...
    ... the first draft is now officially COMPLETE!!!! I'll be editing it for the next 2 and a half years or thereabouts (it's due to be published in the UK in December 2008), but the hardest part of the process is now behind me, which is a relief. click here for full entry

    live music ...
    Went to see a band called "Toasted Heretic". They were great live -- very funny, but very professional too, with a hugely energetic front man. You can visit their cool, crazy web site at http://www.toastedheretic.com/ where you can download some songs, read all about the band, and find links to buy the "new"CD. click here for full entry

    world cup misery ...
    Well, we're out of it!!!! We fought hard, but just weren't good enough on the night. The game ended 0-0, meaning Switzerland are through to the play-offs, while Ireland's World Cup campaign is OVER!!! click here for full entry

    an unusual event ...

    (I did an event) in the Youth Service Center in Seattle. I had to enter via a metal detector, and leave my passport at reception. I was speaking to a small group, but almost all of them had read my books. Some had even read all 12 of my vampire books! We had a nice intimate chat about the series. In fact, this was the first time I've talked in-depth with fans about book 12 -- when I went on tour in the UK and Ireland last year, it was mostly just signings, so I never got a chace to really discuss the finale with fans!!!! So this event was a LOT of fun for me! click here for full entry

    hardcore fans ...
    A couple of teenagers had FLOWN up from MEXICO (to Las Vegas) -- JUST to see me!!!!! They had to get a connecting flight, and were heading back straight afterwards, because they had school on Monday!!!! I always appreciate the effort fans go to when they come to one of my public events, but this was dedication far above and beyond the call of any normal duty!!!! click here for full entry

    a room with a view ...
    (At one of my events) a self-contained room in the library had been decorated spookily, and the kids all chipped in to create a ghoulishly delicious feast, with treats such as "icky eyeballs" and "Sam's remains"!!! click here for full entry

    doing a Guys Read panel event ...

    I read out some of the "Guyifesto" that I wrote for the book "Guys write for Guys read". It was the first time I'd read the piece out, and I have to say I really enjoyed it -- a lot different to what I normally do at an event!!! click here for full entry

    more hardcore fans ...

    One family of fans drove for SIX HOURS from Oklahoma to come to my events!!! I appreciate the efforts that all of my fans go to when coming to an event -- I know it's not always easy getting to a store, or convincing your parents to bring you. But a 12 hours round trip is dedication on a truly top-notch level!!!!! Oh, and they gave me a really cool home-made T-shirt too!!!!!!! click here for full entry

    ... and much, MUCH more!!! For every entry I've ever entered, or ever will, click on http://darrenshan.blogdrive.com/ and either bookmark it, or register on the site to be sent an e-mail every time I update it. It's your gateway to the world and mind of the REAL Darren Shan!!!!


    I managed to add some new photos to my site at last, after a year and a half or so since my last update!!! I can't believe it's been so long!! While I say they're "new" photos, they're actually all fairly old. One folder contains photos of me when I was a very young child (looking impossibly cute and innocent!!!!). The others contain photos from 2002, 2003 and 2004!! You can check them out here: http://www.darrenshan.com/photos/index.html


    A signed set of the UK first editions of all 12 of my "Saga of Darren Shan" books sold for £320 in a recent ebay auction!! That's the highest price I've seen any of my books generate yet! Although no individual U.K. edition of any of my books is probably ever going to be hugely valuable (because they all had relatively large first print runs, even "Cirque Du Freak"), a full set of first editions will, I think, be pretty hard (and expensive!) to track down in years to come. And a set of signed first editions will be even rarer!!! I've seen the number of first editions on sale on ebay drop considerably over the last couple of years, meaning they're harder to find and usually more expensive when one comes along. Hold onto those first editions, little Shansters -- they could be worth money one day soon!!!!



    Here are the details as they currently stand for my tour of the UK in November/December to promote Demon Thief.


    Friday 25th -- morning -- signing stock in Central London book shops, probably including Hatchards, Waterstone’s Piccadilly, Foyles, Borders, Books etc Charing Cross Rd, Waterstone’s Oxford St, Selfridges, Goldsboro Books, Daunt Bookshop.

    Friday 25th -- 4.00-5.00pm -- Public signing at Muswell Hill Bookshop, Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London. phone: 0208 4445500.

    Saturday 26th -- 11.00am–12.00pm -- Public signing at WHSmith Croydon, 34 North End, Croydon, CR0 1UB, London. phone: 020 8688 5211.

    Saturday 26th -- 4:00pm (I'll probably start signing about 3.30pm) -- Public signing at Ottakar's Bromley, 100 The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley, Kent. phone: 020 8460 6037.

    Monday 28th -- 4:00pm -- Public signing at Borders, MSU8, Bullring, Birmingham. phone: 0121 616 1094.

    Monday 28th -- 7.00-8.30pm -- Public event & signing at Earls High School, Furnace Lane, Hales Owen, Dudley, DY1 1HF. Phone for more info and tickets: 01384 816105.

    Tuesday 29th -- 4:00pm -- Public signing at Borders, 51 Regent Crescent, The Trafford Centre, Manchester. phone: 0161 202 9908.

    Wednesday 30th -- 2.30pm approx -- Signing stock at The Bookshop Dulwich Village, 1d Calton Avenue, London. phone: 020 8693 2808.

    Wednesday 30th -- 4.00pm -- Public signing at Dulwich Books, 6 Croxted Rd, London. phone: 020 8670 1920.


    Friday 2nd -- 2.00-3.30pm -- School event in Milton Keynes.

    Friday 2nd -- 4.00-5.30pm -- Public signing at Ottakar's, 72 Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes. phone: 01908 395384.

    Monday 5th -- 4.00pm -- Public signing at Waterstones, 128 Princes Street, West End, Edinburgh. phone: 0131 226 2666.

    Tuesday 6th -- 10:30am -- School event at St Aloysius College, Hill St, Glasgow.

    Tuesday 6th -- 4.00pm -- Public signing at Ottakar’s, Buchanan Galleries,220 Buchanan Street, Glasgow. phone: 0141 353 1500.


    Wednesday 7th -- Dublin -- 11.00am -- Public signing at Easons Dundrum.

    Wednesday 7th -- Dublin -- 4.00pm -- Public signing at Easons O'Connell Street.

    Thursday 8th -- Galway -- 11.00am -- Public event at City Library.

    Thursday 8th -- Galway -- 1.00pm -- Public signing at Easons.

    Friday 9th -- Cork -- 10:30am -- Library event at Torytop Library.

    Friday 9th -- Cork -- 12:45pm -- Library event at Douglas Library.

    Friday 9th -- Cork -- 3:00pm -- Public library event at Mayfield Library, Cork. Booking is required for this event -- please ring 021 4924935 if you are interested in attending.

    Friday 9th -- Cork -- 5:00pm -- Public signing at Waterstones, Cork.

    Saturday 10th -- Limerick -- 1.00pm -- Public signing at Easons O'Connell Street.


    The Darren Shan road show will continue in 2006!!! I've already penned in some dates. I plan to do a handful of events around London and the south-west UK in January. I'm appearing at the Brighton Book Festival on Sunday May 21st. I'll be doing more events in the UK on May 22nd and 23rd, then doing a short tour of Scotland on May 24th, 25th and 26th. I'll probably do a few more events after that, culminating with my second appearance at the Hay Festival on May 31st. I also hope to fit in a book tour of Northern Ireland at some point during the year, though I haven't decided exactly when yet!!

    More details about these events, and any others than arise, will follow in future issues of the Shanville Monthly.


    It's been an age, but I've finally managed to add some new fan art to my site!!! I'd uploaded a selection of demonic drawings I've received based on characters in "Lord Loss". You can find them at http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/fanart/index.html I hope to add some new "Saga of Darren Shan" art to the site soon too -- watch this space!!!!

    Also, you can check out some of the "Lord Loss" fan art from Japan on my Japanese publisher's Demonata site, by clicking here: http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/demonata/ The artwork can be found by clicking on the PORTRAIT link on the main page.


    And that's it for the November issue!!! I'll be back in a few weeks with the round-up of the latest news, season's greetings, a link for the much-anticipated (by me, anyway!) seasonal short story "Shanta Claus", and maybe -- MAYBE!! --a special Christmas competition!!!! Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x