• Issue 71 - June 2006

    01 June 2006


    Howdy, all!! I've just finished touring, so I'm looking forward to enjoying a long, writing-packed summer! I had a great time on the road in Ireland and the UK -- I covered a LOT of ground, met thousands of fans, signed more books than I can imagine, and had a grand old time!!! I've done longer, harder tours in the UK before, but I think this was the biggest in terms of the number of fans I got to meet. I'm always amazed by how many people make the effort to come and see me at my events, sometimes travelling hours to get there. Touring is hard work, and sometimes, on a long, boring road between cities, I wonder why I do it -- but when I see a packed house or a long line of fans at a signing, it becomes a joy and I remember exactly why I choose to spend so much time out there on tour!!! You can read all about the tour by going to my blog -- http://darrenshan.blogdrive.com/ -- and scrolling back through the May entries. But before that, have a look down through the latest issue of the Monthly for all the news about "Slawter" going on sale in the UK ... making the Top 5 chart in America ... and a whole lot more!!!!


    "Slawter", book 3 of "The Demonata", is on sale in book stores across the UK and Ireland NOW!!!! Grubbs Grady returns as the main narrator in this book, which is set several months after the events of "Lord Loss". It's fun, gory, action-packed stuff, which builds to a demonically delirious finale!!! Early reaction from fans has been extremely positive, so check it out as soon as you can to see if you agree! You can find out more about the book by going to Secret Shanville at http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html and you can buy it from Amazon UK by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007229550/shanville

    The paperback of "Demon Thief" has also gone on sale now in the UK and Ireland. Featuring an ultra cool glow in the dark cover, you should be able to find it in a shop near you, or else you can order it from Amazon UK by clicking here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007193238/shanville Oh, and the paperback of "Lord Loss" has been reissued with a glow in the dark cover too!!! Again, you should be able to find it in a shop near you, or you can order it through Amazon UK (though they might still have copies of the old edition in stock, so I can't guarantee that you'll get a glow in the dark cover if you order through them!!).

    To promote the release of "Slawter" - book 3 of "The Demonata" - my UK/Irish publishers, Harper Collins, along with Waterstones, will be giving away a free pack of Top Trumps-style cards with every purchase of a Darren Shan book in Waterstones. There will be 24 cards in total, featuring characters from the first 4 books in the series, i.e. "Lord Loss", "Demon Thief", "Slawter" and "Bec". There will be 6 characters from each book, one per card. The front of each card will feature part of a "Demonata" cover, while the back will be given over to different characters, and will list "attributes" such as Fighting Skills, Magic Powers, Intelligence, etc. You will be able to use these cards to play a Top Trumps-type game with your friends. Of course, since there are only 24 cards, it will be a fairly short game!! But hopefully, if this is a success, we'll issue more cards later, allowing fans to build up a more comprehensive set. You can read the rules of playing by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/cards/

    The terms of the promotion are simple. For every one of my books that you buy (except "Koyasan") in Waterstones during the promotion, you'll get a pack of 6 random cards from the set. This means you'll need to buy at least 4 of my books to complete the set, although the chances are you'll find duplicate cards, so you'll need to be VERY lucky to collect all 24 cards from just 4 purchases!!! An easier way of completing your set will be to trade with your friends -- if you have friends who don't read my books, or who read them but don't buy them, this will be the ideal time to gently encourage them to dig deep and buy some of my Shantastic books!!!! You'll get a free pack of the cards by buying ANY of my books (except "Koyasan") in Waterstones stores throughout the UK and Ireland -- so you can buy books from "The Saga of Darren Shan" as well as books from "The Demonata".

    If you can't convince your friends to buy my books, or if you fail to trade for all the cards you need -- don't worry!! Once the promotion has finished (I'm not sure how long it will run), we're going to make it possible for fans to complete their collection by acquiring cards through my web site. There will be more information about this later in the year. The promotion will only be available to fans in the UK and Ireland, I'm afraid -- but, who knows, if it's a success, maybe some of my other publishers will run similar promotions later.

    I signed 2,000 -- yes, TWO THOUSAND -- copies of "Slawter" at the HarperCollins offices recently!!! These copies are all being sent to Ottakars stores in the UK, for sale to the general public. They won't cost anything extra. So, if you want a signed copy of "Slawter", without having to pay over the odds, head to your nearest Ottakars store. I can't guarantee that you'll find a signed copy there (they have over 100 stores, so that averages out at less than 20 copies per store, and I'm sure the bigger stores will get more than the smaller ones), but if luck's on your side, you might be going home an extra happy Shanster!! To find out where your nearest branch of Ottakars is, click here: http://www.ottakars.co.uk/Internet/home/welcome.jsp


    My "Cirque Du Freak" series returned to the New York Times Top 10 Children's Bestsellers chart when book 11, "Lord of the Shadows", was released in America in May, and climbed to the Number 5 spot!!! I've been in the Top 10 chart several times before, but this was the highest I've climbed so far, so I was absolutely delighted!! It's really hard for a non-American author to crack the charts over there, so I was over the moon when I saw "CDF" nestled snugly in the top 5!! If you haven't bought "Lord of the Shadows" yet, rush immediately to your nearest book store and buy it NOW!!!! Or if you prefer to order through the internet, you can buy the book through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316156280/ref=pd_sim_b_5/002-0747559-4680006?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155 or through Barnes & Noble at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?z=y&pwb=1&ean=9780316156288

    You can buy all of the American editions of my books (hardbacks, trade paperbacks, mass market paperbacks, and box sets)through Amazon and B&N. To find out what's available, and to click on links for them, visit the Shanville SHOP at: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/shop/usshop.html


    "Demon Thief" - the second book in "The Demonata" series - is on sale NOW in America. You should be able to find it in a book shop near you -- if you can't see it on the shelves, ask them to order it in for you!! Or you can get it through Barnes & Noble and Amazon online. You can order it through Barnes & Noble by clicking here: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?z=y&pwb=1&ean=9780316012379 And you can order it through Amazon by clicking here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316012378/ref=pd_sim_b_2/104-1537766-2745522?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155


    In the UK, the first three books in "The Saga of Darren Shan" are now available in braille through the National Library for the Blind (N.L.B.). The N.L.B. make books accessible to visually impaired people, by printing them in braille and large type. They provide a fabulous service, and are run on an entirely charitable basis, relying on public donations. You can learn more about them by clicking here: http://www.nlb-online.org/


    What links "The Belgariad" by David Eddings, and "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson, to Darren Shan?!? Click on the following link for Secret Shanville to find out!!! http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html

    THE 2006 TOURS

    AUGUST -- Ireland/UK
    Saturday 12th -- 5.00p.m. -- public event at Kilkenny Arts Festival. http://www.kilkennyarts.ie/
    Edinburgh Book Festival -- public event -- date and time to be confirmed. http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/


    I've added several new covers to the Vampires part of my site, including covers from America, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Italy and Korea. Click here to check them out: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/index.html


    I've updated the SHOPS on my web site, including all the latest Amazon and Barnes & Noble links. There are shops for both the UK and USA on each site. People who live in other countries can order from either shop -- as long as they're prepared to pay the hefty shipping fees!!!

    The Vampires shop is here: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/shop/usshop.html

    The Demons shop is here: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/shop/index.html


    I received the following e-mail from a fan in Boston, MA, USA recently:

    To celebrate your elaborate and eloquently written books, we have decided to have a Darren Shan celebration day in honor of your works. We will be having quizzes, prizes, book reviews and opinions of your books from the participating patrons. I for one can say that I am a huge fan of your work and have read the entire Darren Shan Saga and the first two books of Demonata over the course of four days! Your books have inspired me to make this an event worthwhile and make sure I could make it fun, entertaining, and most of all informative. We are including... Quizzes ... Prizes... Passage Reading ... and more!! The event will be at: Boston Public Central Library, Wednesday July 12 2006, 2:00pm-5:00 pm.

    I have no way of verifying this, so if anyone in Boston is interested in going, my advice would be to check with the library first, to make sure the event is actually going ahead!! And if anybody in the library reads this, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know if this is on the level or not.


    I've given quite a lot of interviews recently, on TV, radio and in newspapers, and several are now available for you to peruse. First, you can listen to a radio interview that I did with Soil Carmel, for RTE, by clicking here: http://www.rte.ie/2fm/tyradio/1090644.html You'll need Realplayer to listen to it -- you can download a free version of RealPlayer by clicking here: http://uk.real.com/player/?&lang=en&loc=gb&src=ZG.uk.home.realplayer_rm_split.760.realplayer_rm_split The programme is nearly an hour long. The interview with me comes shortly after the 40 minute mark (you can fast forward to it on the Realplayer menu) and runs for just under 3 minutes. Alternatively, you can read a transcript of the show by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/facts/interviews.html

    You can read another interview with me on the Library Loft web site at http://www.libraryloft.org/author.asp?author=36

    In Ireland, I was interviewed by the Irish Independent newspaper. It appeared in the Tuesday May 30th issue. You can check out the online version on their website here: http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=45&si=1622317&issue_id=14113 You need to register with the Irish Independent to access the article, but registration is FREE and only takes about a minute, and it's worth doing as the piece is very nicely written.

    The most recent interview I gave was at the Hay-On-Wye festival, for the Newsround web site. You can read a bit about my event at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_5030000/newsid_5037300/5037314.stm And you can read the interview they did with me here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_5030000/newsid_5037800/5037860.stm

    Finally, I've added a couple of new reviews of "Demon Thief" to my site at the following link: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/reviews/demonthief/index.html


    A T-shirt from my October 2004 Sons Of Destiny tour sold on Ebay for £56 -- over $100!!!! As I said in the Shanville Monthly these T-shirts are incredibly rare, so I think even at that price, the winner got a bargain!! If any of the rest of you have any similar Darren Shan items, my advice is to hold onto them and keep them in good condition -- they could be worth money!!!!!

    Another T-shirt has been put up for sale on Ebay this month (no doubt sparked by the success of the previous auction!). It ends on June 4th. I suspect this one will go for less than the first, so this might be your chance to pick up a rare Shan bargain!! I have nothing to do with the auction -- I'm just letting you folks know, because I think some of you will be keen to bid! The auction can be found by clicking here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7035368846&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1 Best of luck if you decide to go for it!!!


    And that's it for June! As I said at the start of this issue, I'll be spending the summer at home, writing. Summers are a good time for a children's writer to work -- since most kids are on school holidays, there are no touring distractions! If we get some good weather in Limerick, I'll hopefully get to go swimming in a local lake (Dromore -- one of my favourite spots in the world), and might even spend the odd day or two on the beach in Ballybunion. But, for the most part, I'll be hunched over my keyboard, hard at work, making sure I stay well ahead of my publication schedule!! I hope you all have a fabulous, sunny June. I'll be seeing you back here at the start of July (it's my 34th birthday on the 2nd!!! I'm getting old!!!!). Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x