• Issue 66 - January 2006

    01 January 2006

    Happy New Year, everybody!!!! I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year's Eve, and that you're looking forward to a freakily fabulous and demonically delightful 2006!!! And, if things didn't go so well over the yuletide and you're feeling a bit glum -- chin up!!!!!!! Things won't necessarily get better, but they probably will eventually if you just hang in there!!! I had a nice break over Christmas and New Year's, devoting my energies to eating, drinking, socialising and theatre!! But I'll be back behind my keyboard early in January to return to work on "The Demonata" and keep ahead of my gruelling schedule of bringing out two new books a year. There's lots of news to report in this issue of the Monthly -- new books going on sale in a few different countries, a short UK tour in January, my 2005 summary, and Secret Shanville -- a new, exclusive area of my web site!! To find out about these stories and a whole lot more, just scroll down and read on ...


    I have new books going on sale in a few different countries in January, First, in Japan, "Demon Thief", the second book of "The Demonata", will go on sale on January 27th. You can find a small image of the cover by clicking here: http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/demonata/news/news02.html I'll add a bigger, clearer image to my site in the near future -- this one's just meant to wet your appetite!!!!! The book will be available in just about every bookstore in Japan, but you can buy it through Amazon.co.jp if you prefer, at http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4092903227/qid=1136116700/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_10_1/503-2914600-7120707 (You can order it if you live outside Japan too, if you're familiar with the Amazon buying procedures!)

    Also, the Japanese edition of "Kids' Night In" will be released on January 19th. The book contains a short story by me, called "Hagurosan". The English version of the story is available on my site, but this will be the first time a translated version of it has appeared. Since the story was based on something I experienced while in Japan (in 2002), I'm delighted that it will finally be released there in a format that all of my Japanese fans can read!!!!! From what I understand, the book has been split into two separate books, since it's so big!!!

    In Germany, after quite a long wait, books 11 and 12 of "The Saga of Darren Shan" have been released simultaneously -- so fans there can read the Saga's conclusion in one big gulp!!! The books should be on sale in most book shops in Germany now, and are also available on Amazon.de at:

    Book 11, Lord of the Shadows/Der Herr der Schatten - http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3426632756/qid=1134306545/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/302-4714759-0058406

    Book 12, Sons of Destiny/Die Sohne de Schicksals - http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3426632764/qid=1134307164/sr=8-2/ref=pd_ka_2/302-4714759-0058406

    In Australia and New Zealand, "Kids' Night In 2" has been published. It features LOADS of great stories and art, including a couple of recycled "Sam Grest" stories by me! It should be available in every good book store Down Under. Alternatively you can order it online from Dymocks at: http://www.dymocks.com.au/ContentDynamic/Full_Details.asp?ISBN=0143300164 They DO ship internationally, but they only deliver by DHL internationally, so shipping is quite expensive if you live in Europe, the States or elsewhere!! But, having said that, don't forget the prices quoted on the site are Australian dollars, and the Oz dollar is VERY weak compared to other currencies, so it might not work out TOO expensive in your own currency!! And don't forget, every copy sold raises funds for the charity organisation, WarChild!!!!!

    Finally, in the UK and Ireland, the paperback edition of "Lord Loss" has gone on sale. The paperback has the same cover as the hardback, so it's easy to spot. It has a cover cost of £5.99 -- great value, even if I do say so myself!! You can also buy it online through Amazon UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007193203/shanville


    "Demon Thief" went on sale in the UK and Ireland in December. It was difficult for me to keep track of its chart movements as December is ... shall we say ... a rather "loose" month -- web sites don't get updated as regularly as normal. For instance, the site that lists the Irish bestsellers is still stuck on December 3rd!!! What I was able to find out was that for much of the month it was the #1 bestselling horror book on Amazon UK, ahead of the latest "Dark Tower" novel by Stephen King!!!!! And, in Ireland, it entered the the Irish Children's Bestsellers chart at Number Three! Usually I'd hope to get all the way to the top on my home territory (seven out of my last eight books hit the #1 position in Ireland!!!), but seeing as the two books ahead of me were "Narnia" books, riding high on the back of the film's success and a level of publicity I haven't seen for any children's book apart from the "Harry Potter"s, I wasn't too confident of rising any higher than third this time round. But maybe my ever-loyal Irish fans proved me wrong and shot me to the top in subsequent weeks -- but, as of January 1st, I haven't been able to find out!!!!!



    Prompted by a conversation I had with a member of the HarperCollins web team recently (cheers, Alison!!), I've created a new, exciting, "secret" area on my web site, accessible ONLY to fans who register to go on my mailing list and become "official" Shansters. You can find the link to the registration form on my home page, or else click here: http://darrenshan.com/phplist/?p=subscribe

    I'll be putting certain material on this part of the site before I make it accessible elsewhere -- and some items might even remain exclusive to Secret Shanville!! Right now, for instance, you can see the first ever visual for "Slawter" (Book 3 of "The Demonata"), as well as the Taiwanese cover for "Demon Thief"!!! And I've started to publish my "Slawter" notes there -- my plan is to reveal something new about the book each month in the lead-up to its publication in the UK. These notes will be made available on the general site eventually, but for the next six months you'll only be able to read them on Secret Shanville!!!!

    I plan to put a lot more onto Secret Shanville in the future -- maybe even downloads, exclusive competitions, and more!! So, if you're not already a Shanster, JOIN NOW or risk missing out!!!!!!!

    The new part of the site is password-protected. I'll be sending the password to every Shanster by e-mail. In the future, I'll be changing the password occasionally, but I'll always notify fans in advance by e-mail.

    Please note, if you have previously registered to receive the Shanville Monthly (i.e. if you're on my mailing list, and get an e-mail from me every month letting you know when the Shanville Monthly is online) you are ALREADY part of the new "exclusive" club -- you DO NOT need to register again!!


    I've added the cover of the Australia/New Zealand edition of "Kids' Night In 2" to my site at http://www.darrenshan.com/extras/othercovers/kidsnightin2oz.html It features a couple of recycled short stories by me -- you can learn more about them by checking out the cover link. I've also added new "Saga of Darren Shan" covers from Germany, the Netherlands and Thailand. You can find them here: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/index.html


    I was interviewed by a young fan in Dulwich recently, called Cosmo Godfree. You can read a full transcript of it by clicking on this link: http://www.darrenshan.com/cosmointerview.html


    I've added even more reviews of "Lord Loss" to my website, from a mixture of British and American publications -- the reviews keep trickling in, and they're almost all full of praise!! You can find them all by clicking on the following link: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/reviews/lordloss/lordlossindex.html

    You can also find a couple of short reviews of "Demon Thief" at: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/reviews/demonthief/index.html If "The Demonata" follows the same sort of critical route as "The Saga of Darren Shan", I don't expect there to be too many reviews of "Demon Thief" or the later books -- critics, on the whole, tend to only review the first book of a multi-book series. But if and as they trickle in, I'll add them to my site for all to read.


    There are a couple of Ebay sales which I think fans of mine might be interested in -- if they have deep pockets!!! First, a complete set of signed first-edition copies of all 12 UK books of "The Saga of Darren Shan" (plus some extras) can be bought in the Ebay Store -- i.e. there's a fixed price, it's not an auction. The price is £299 (or just under $530), although the seller will accept other offers and you MIGHT be able to get them a bit cheaper. The link is http://cgi.ebay.com/SAGA-DARREN-SHAN-SET-12-EDITIONS-1-1-ALL-SIGNED_W0QQitemZ6992610496QQcategoryZ2232QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    In the auction part of Ebay there's another signed set of all 12 UK editions of "The Saga of Darren Shan" up for sale. There's ne reserve on this one, and the starting price is minimal, so maybe you'll wind up with a bargain if you bid!!!! The auction ends on January 8th, and the link to ebay is http://cgi.ebay.com/Darren-Shan-Books-1-to-12-SIGNED-1st-1sts_W0QQitemZ6998076055QQcategoryZ2232QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    By the way, I've nothing to do with either of these auctions -- I just saw them and thought I'd pass the info along in case anyone was interested!

    THE 2006 TOURS!


    I'm doing a mini tour of the UK in late January to promote the launch of the paperback edition of "Lord Loss". Here's what I have lined up:

    Friday 20th -- 10.00a.m. -- school event at Oaklands School, Old Bethnal Green Road, London.
    Friday 20th -- 12.00pm -- informal signing at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London. Tel: 020 7437 5660. You can contact the store in advance and ask them to arrange for me to sign books for you.
    Friday 20th -- 1.15-2.15pm -- school event at Emmanual College, Battersea Rise, London.
    Friday 20th -- 2.30pm -- informal signing at Ottakar's Bookshop, 70 St. Johns Rd, Clapham Junction, London, SW11 1PT. Tel: 020 7978 5844. If you can come along (or can convince a parent to come on your behalf!) I'll happily sign your books. Alternatively, you can contact the store and ask them to arrange for me to sign books for you.
    Friday 20th -- 4.30-5.30pm -- public signing at Ottakar's Bookshop, 6-6a Exchange Centre, High St, Putney, London, SW15 1TW. Tel: 020 8780 2401.
    Monday 23rd -- 10.00-11.30a.m. -- school event at Richard Lander School, Tresawls Rd, Truro, Cornwall.
    Monday 23rd -- 4.00-5.00pm -- public signing at Ottakar's Bookshop, 11-12 Boscawen St, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2QU. Tel: 01872 225765.
    Monday 23rd -- 6.00-8.30pm -- public talk and signing at Ottakar's Bookshop, 11-12 Boscawen St, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2QU.
    Tuesday 24th -- 1.30pm -- school event at St Boniface's College, Tavistock Road, Plymouth.
    Tuesday 24th -- 6.30-8.30pm -- public talk and signing at Plymouth College, Ford Park Road, Plymouth, PL1 3JL. This event is being arranged by the bookshop In Other Words Ltd, 64 Mutley Plain, Plymouth, Devon PL4 6LF. Tel: 01752 663889. Contact the bookshop for event details.
    Wednesday 25th -- 10.00a.m. -- school event at Plymstock School, Church Road, Plymstock, Plymouth.
    Wednesday 25th -- 4.30-5.30pm -- public signing at WHSmith High Street, 47-50 Fore St, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1NE. Tel: 01823 331156.
    Thursday 26th -- school events at Alleyn’s College and JAGs, Dulwich. Arranged through The Bookshop Dulwich Village, 1d Calton Avenue, London, SE21 7DE. Tel: 020 8693 2808. I'll also be signing stock for the store, so contact them if you would like to buy signed books or have a personalised message


    The Darren Shan road show will continue throughout 2006!!! 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. And, yes, I'll be back at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August for the seventh year in a row -- I'm practically becoming an institution there!!!! 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 that arise, will follow in future issues of the Shanville Monthly.


    The winners of the Shanville Monthly December Christmas Competition were:

    America -- Eric Donahue, MA.

    Rest of World -- Aisling Twomey, Cork, Ireland.

    Each won a signed Demonata hoodie. The answer to the question was that the Little People ate Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer!! There were less entrants than normal. It's funny -- if I set a question to be answered, the entry levels always drop dramatically, even when it's an easily answered question like this one!!!! In the end there were 95 entrants in the American section and 136 in the Rest of the World -- so the odds of winning were actually pretty good!!! Thanks to everyone who DID enter -- and better luck next time if you weren't one of the winners!!!

    2005 - A SUMMARY

    2005 was a year of global travel for me!! I covered more of the globe than ever before, met untold thousands of fans, and generally had a ball!!! It started in January with a trip to Japan (my third). I did a couple of sold-out events in Tokyo and Osaka, explored Koyasan, Kumano and Nagoya, where I did an event in an all-girl's school! It was lovely to mix work with a bit of sightseeing, and to visit parts of the country where I hadn't been before. In February I broke the news that Universal had bought the rights to "The Saga of Darren Shan" and that Brian Helgeland would be writing the script -- VERY exciting news, which led to a flurry of interviews and press mentions, and not a day passed throughout the rest of the year when I didn't receive some sort of query about it, either by post or e-mail!!! In other news, sales of my books in America topped ONE MILLION copies this month, and I filmed a short piece at the London Dungeons with one of the Junior Mastermind finalists who had chosen my books for her specialist subject!!!

    March was a quiet month, but I headed for Taiwan at the end of it, where I went on tour in April, one of my busiest months of the year!! First, I had a brilliant time in Taiwan, doing events in Taipei and Taichung -- on the back of those, my latest book, "Sons of Destiny", got to #1 on the general fiction chart, knocking "The Da Vinci Code" off the top spot!!! I'd planned to do some sightseeing after that, but I was so busy elsewhere, I didn't have time to fit it in! Went to the Netherlands next (after a raucous stag party the night before in Brussels!), then Ireland, then Hungary, where I was literally besieged by hordes of fans!!!!

    In May "Killers of the Dawn" went on sale in America and got to #6 on the New York Times Children's Bestsellers chart! "Sons of Destiny" got to #1 in Hungary. Russia bought the first few books of "The Saga of Darren Shan". In June "Lord Loss" went on sale in the UK and Ireland, Japan and Taiwan. It was my first hardback book in the UK, and it sold much better than anticipated, notching up over 60,000 sales by the end of the year! In Ireland, it was the #1 bestselling children's book for five weeks in a row!!! I also re-launched Shanville this month, giving it a completely new design and structure.

    In July I returned from a holiday to Florida and the Shanville Monthly celebrated its 5th birthday -- hurrah!!! Vietnam and Sweden bought the rights to "The Saga of Darren Shan", becoming the 29th and 30th countries to publish my books! "Lord Loss" got to #1 in Taiwan! And I started my BLOG!!! In August, art-loving nun Sister Wendy revealed she's also a big fan of "Lord Loss"!!!! I found I enjoyed keeping a Blog and threw my full weight behind it. And I made my annual pilgrimage to the Edinburgh Book Festival -- this was the sixth year in a row that I was there!!!

    Book 10, "The Lake of Souls", hit America in September and got to #7 on the New York Times Children's Bestsellers chart. I announced the news that I was writing a short novel for World Book Day, to be released in March 2006. "Lord Loss" quickly followed on the heels of "Lake of Souls" in the States in October, and that was also the month that I went there for a three weeks long tour, stretching from the West coast to the East. In the UK, "Cirque Du Freak" was given a hardback releases -- nearly 6 years after it first saw print in paperback!! An audio CD reading of "Lord Loss" by Rupert Degas was also released in the UK this month -- similar CDs of the first three "Saga of Darren Shan" books followed before the end of the year.

    The touring continued into November. I finished up in America on the 9th, got home in time to celebrate my Grandad's 80th birthday, had a short break, then undertook a tour of the UK -- the "Thief in the Night" tour, so called since most of my events took place after dark had fallen!! The tour carried over into December, moving from the UK to Ireland, finishing up with a "home" signing in Limerick on December 10th. I just had time to reveal the name of the third "Demonata" book (it's "Slawter", in case you missed it!!), then it was straight into the Christmas preparations, before winding up the year on a theatrical binge in London!

    On the writing front I wrote two new first drafts in 2005 -- books 7 and 8 of "The Demonata". I also did a LOAD of editing, working tirelessly on the first six books, re-writing and editing and gradually knocking them into shape. There's still a lot to be done, but I've taken the series forward a LONG way since this time last year, and feel pretty confident of finishing it on time, and in some high degree of demonically delirious style!!!!!!


    And that's it for January! As usual, there's no telling what the year ahead holds in store. At the moment I'm not booked to do any global touring, but from past experience I know that situation could change VERY quickly!! I haven't made any New Year's resolutions, but two of my aims are to lose the weight I've undoubtedly put on over Christmas, and to write the first drafts of books 9 and 10 of "The Demonata" in 2006. If I can achieve that (particularly the second aim!!) I'll be a highly pleased little horror meister this time next year!!!! Whatever the year brings, you'll be able to follow me on an almost daily basis on my Blog, and catch all the BIG news here on the Shanville Monthly at or near the start of each month. I hope to see some of you on my British tour later in January -- and I'll see the rest of you back here at the beginning of February! Until then, all the bloody New Year's best, Darren Shan x x x