• Issue 67 - February 2006

    01 February 2006


    Howdy all -- and a very Happy New Year to all of my Chinese readers!! I hope the year of the Dog proves a profitable, happy and healthy time for you!!!! There's lots to report this month. I reveal what I'll be getting up to on World Book Day (and there are some VERY funny stories behind that -- you'll need to go to my Blog and scroll down through the various entries to find out the full story!!). A great new guide of reviews of books for teenagers has been released, and it features five entries written by yours truly -- more info below. "Demon Thief" hit a couple of charts in the UK, and one American reviewer included no less than THREE of my books in her 2005 top 10 books list!!! There's more cool stuff to be found in Secret Shanville, new covers, updated details of my touring plans for the year -- and a competition!!!! So, what are you doing, dawdling up here at the top of the page?!? Get scrolling, quick!!!!!!!


    After a certain amount of World Book Day kerfuffle (see my Blog for the full story) I can now confirm that I will be doing a school event at Borders in Islington, London, on World Book Day, Thursday March 2nd. I am also going to be doing an event in Ennis in Ireland the week before, but the details haven't been finalised yet -- I'll send out an e-mail to everybody once I know. There's also quite a lot of media interest -- I'm very close to finalising an appearance on a major Irish TV programme, and there might be other TV/radio/newspaper/magazine interviews and features in the UK and Ireland around the start of March, and especially March 2nd, the date for World Book Day. I'll add updates to the NEWS forum on my Message Board as and when they come in.

    Although World Book Day isn't celebrated in every country around the world, I've decided to do a special live Shanville event that night, which all of you will be able to participate in!!! Basically, at 9.00pm UK time, on Thursday, March 2nd, I will be conducting a LIVE chat room OR message board event, in which you'll be able to interact with me and ask me all the questions you want!!! I'll stay online for at least an hour, and reveal as much as I can in the time possible!! I haven't yet decided whether to go with a chat room or message board for the event. The message board would be neater, certainly, but the chat room might be more fun! What do you lot think?!? Let me know your thoughts on the Chit Chat messageboard, or by e-mail ... give me your opinions ... hit me with the pros and cons of both options ... and once I've taken your feedback on board and mulled it over a bit more and decided, I'll let you know my final decision, and provide full details of the URL for the event, in the March issue of the Shanville Monthly!

    I did a live event like this once before, several years ago, when my web site was young and I had far fewer Shansters than now. I've been meaning to do it again for ages, but never quite got round to it. I'm interested to see how it goes now that I have thousands of interested web fans instead of a few hundred!!! Could be great -- or it could be pure chaos!!! We'll find out next month ...


    In the UK and Ireland, the "Ultimate Teen Book Guide" has just been published. A follow-up to a book for 8-12 year olds, this lists over 700 books which have been recommended for older children and teenagers. Each book features a short review. Some are by the editors of the book, but lots are by authors, including the likes of Eoin Colfer, Melvin Burgess, Anthony Horowitz -- and ME!!! I've actually written reviews of SIX books -- but you'll have to buy it, or check it out of your local library, to find out what they are! It's a truly fabulous guide, featuring loads of cool recommendations. Whether you're a seasoned reader, or new to the whole reading experiences, you'll find dozens, if not hundreds of brilliant books in here that you'll never have heard of before!!

    The books also features lots of articles about various genres, as well as many polls of reader's favourites, voted for by teenagers. I'm delighted to say that I feature prominently in many of the polls!!!!

    You should be able to buy the book in most book shops, but if you'd rather buy online, or if you live outside the UK, you can get it from Amazon UK by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0713673303/shanville

    I'm running a little competition to tie in to the release of the book -- scroll down for more info!!!


    "Demon Thief", the second book of "The Demonata", is on sale NOW in both Japan and Taiwan. The book should be available in just about every bookstore in those countries -- so if you live there and haven't bought it already, hot-foot it down to your nearest book shop ASAP!!!! You can also buy the Japanese version through Amazon.co.jp if you prefer (or if you live outside the country), at http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/4092903227/qid=1136116700/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_10_1/503-2914600-7120707 And don't forget, both Japan and Taiwan have their own official Darren Shan web sites, which have both been updated with lots of cool stuff for the release of "Demon Thief". You can access them through the LINKS section on my own site.

    And, just to remind everybody, 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!! It should be in most book shops, and you can also buy it online through Amazon UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007193203/shanville


    The paperback edition of "Lord Loss" was the #1 Children's Bestseller in WHSmith stores across the UK in January!!! I also heard that it was #1 at Tesco stores too!!! Meanwhile, in America, over on The Perch, super Shan-fan Crowgrrl has drawn up her top 10 lists for 2005, and in the books section she's chosen not one ... not two ... but THREE Darren Shan books!!!!! You can check out the full list by clicking here: http://www.crowgrrl.com/reviews/010806perch.htm



    I've added some more items to Secret Shanville this month. First, there's the next "Slawter" update, designed to whet your appetite for the book's UK/Ireland June release!! I've also added the revised, finalised cover of the UK edition of "Slawter", so you can check it out and see how it improves upon the rough version!! Plus I've added scans of the covers of the two volumes of the Japanese edition of "Kids' Night In" -- see last month's S.M. for more details about those. Finally, there was a fascinating review of 3 vampire-related books in The Times on Saturday January 14th. My "Saga of Darren Shan" formed one-third of the novels looked at, the others being "Vampirates" and "Twilight". The reviewer, Amanda Craig, took the opportunity to not only review the books, but to explore the idea of vampirism and how vampire novels have been undergoing a revival and alteration recently. She also interviewed all three authors for their thoughts and opinions. You can read the complete review and interviews at ... you guessed it ... Secret Shanville!!!

    Secret Shanville is password-protected. Click on the link at the top of the above paragraph for details of how to become a Shanster and gain access to the hottest, most up-to-date part of my site!!


    I've added the Hungarian cover of "Lord Loss" to my site, along with a high quality scan of the Japanese cover of "Demon Thief". Plus I've moved the Taiwanese cover of "Demon Thief" out of Secret Shanville and on to the main part of the site, so everyone can see it. You can check out all the demonic covers by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/covers/index.html


    My UK publishers, HarperCollins, have decided to tweak the publishing schedule for the rest of my "Demonata" series slightly. They're leaving the June release date as it is -- so books 3, 5, 7 and 9 come out in June 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 as originally planned. But they've decided to move the December date forward by two months to October, to tap into the Halloween marketplace -- which makes perfect sense to me! So books 4, 6, 8 and 10 will come out in October 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. That has both benefits and deficits for you, the reader. On the plus side, you now only have to wait four months between books 3 and 4, 5 and 6, 7 and 8, and 9 and 10 -- hurrah!!!!! On the down side, you now have to wait eight months between books 4 and 5, 6 and 7, and 8 and 9 -- boo!!!! In my opinion the positives outweigh the negatives, and October's a much better month for me in terms of touring, getting media publicity, etc. So I'm very happy with the change!!!!

    The paperback release schedule has not been changed, so the paperback editions of the books will continue to come out every June and January.


    I've added even more new reviews of "Lord Loss" to my website, from a mixture of British and American publications -- the reviews keep coming, and I haven't had a stinker yet!! 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 few reviews of "Demon Thief" at: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/reviews/demonthief/index.html


    I'm delighted to be able to announce that books 2 and 3 of "The Saga of Darren Shan" have been bought by a publisher in Denmark. The first book was published there several years ago, as "Evil Blood", but the publisher who brought it out never really got behind the book and didn't show any interest in publishing the rest of the series. Now another publishing house has decided to test the waters again and give Danish readers the chance to dip their toes a bit further into the Saga. I'm not sure when they plan to release the books -- watch this space for updates!!


    My Hungarian publishers, Mora, have decided to release an audio CD of "Cirque Du Freak" in the near future!! More info to follow as and when it becomes available ...

    THE 2006 TOURS!


    Saturday February 25th -- 11.00a.m. -- a public signing at the Ennis Bookshop, in County Clare, Ireland.

    MARCH -- UK

    Thursday 2nd -- morning school event at Borders, Islington, London. Contact store for further details if you're interested in coming: http://www.bordersstores.com/stores/store_pg.jsp?storeID=505

    MAY -- UK

    Friday 19th -- all day -- school events and public signing at The Children's Bookshop, Pinner, 1 Red Lion Parade, Pinner Middlesex HA5 3JD. Tel: 020 8866 9116.
    Saturday 20th -- time TBC -- public event at Kingston Reading Festival, Kingston, London.
    Sunday 21st -- 5.30-6.30pm -- public event at Brighton Festival, Main Hall, Old Market, Hove, Brighton. http://www.brighton-festival.org.uk/
    Monday 22nd -- 1.30-3.00pm -- school event arranged by Sonia Benster's Children's Bookshop, Huddersfield.
    Monday 22nd -- 6.00-8.00pm -- public book group event at Sonia Benster's Children's Bookshop, Huddersfield.
    Tuesday 23rd -- 10.30-11.30a.m. -- school event (and maybe a public signing) at Waterstones, 93 Albion Street, Leeds.
    Wednesday 24th -- all day -- Scottish Book Trust tour, details to be confirmed.
    Thursday 25th -- all day -- Scottish Book Trust tour, details to be confirmed.
    Friday 26th -- all day -- Scottish Book Trust tour, details to be confirmed.
    Wednesday 31st -- time TBC -- Hay Festival, Hay-On-Wye, Wales. http://www.hayfestival.com/2005/faq.asp

    I will be adding a few more events around this time -- further updates to follow in later issues of the Shanville Monthly.

    AUGUST -- UK

    Edinburgh Book Festival -- dates and times to be confirmed.


    As I said above, the "Ultimate Teen Book Guide" has just been released in the UK, and among the reviews of 700+ books in it are reviews of SIX BOOKS written by ME. To tie in with the release of the book, I'm offering a signed copy of the UK edition of "The Destiny Trilogy", which collects books 10, 11 and 12 of "The Saga of Darren Shan", to SIX lucky winners!!! And the contest is open to fans all over the world!! To be in with a chance of winning a copy, you'll first have to get your hands on a copy of the "Ultimate Teen Book Guide" -- if you can't find it in a shop near you, or if you live outside the UK, you can order one from Amazon UK by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0713673303/shanville Then, to enter, you have to do the following:

    1) Answer this question: "What six books did I review in the Ultimate Teen Book Guide?!? It's a trickier question than normal, I know, but I wanted to set a real challenge this time -- the winners will truly earn their prize on this occasion!!!

    2) Send your entry to: [email protected]

    (3) 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 body of the e-mail, as well as the answer -- and don't forget to add the name of your country!!!! This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win!

    (4) Closing date is midnight, Greenwich Mean Time, Sunday, February 26th, 2006.

    (5) This competition is open to everybody, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations!!

    (6) 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.

    (7) The draw for the winners will be made on Monday, February 27th. It will be a completely random draw, made by Darren Shan personally (I use an online number generator to pick the winners). I will notify the winners by e-mail, and will post their names (but not their addresses) on the Shanville Message Board and in the March issue of the Shanville Monthly. I will try to send the prizes to the winners before the end of the month.

    (8) 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.

    (10) My decision will be final -- no arguing with the referee!!!!!


    And that's it for February! I've been busy editing recently (you can keep up with my day-to-day editing duties on my Blog). I plan to do a bit more of that, then hopefully launch into the first draft of Book 9 of "The Demonata" -- yup, I'm THAT far ahead!!! But, because of the way I work, I'll be editing all of those books up until a few months before they're released -- so apart from the first 2, none of the rest are truly finished yet! I won't be doing too many public events over the next few months, as I want to spend some time actually writing, but as you can see above, I'll be back on the road in May, and I'll probably be doing more touring round the UK and Ireland in October, when Book 4 of "The Demonata" comes out. I'll be back here just before World Book Day with the March issue of the Shanville Monthly. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x