• Issue 72 - July 2006

    01 July 2006


    Hi everyone, and welcome to this special birthday edition of The Shanville Monthly!!! Yes, it's hard to believe, but this issue marks the Monthly's SIXTH birthday!! How it's grown!!! If you have a look in the Archive (see the link in the top right of this page) you can re-live that first, rough entry, written 6 long years ago, along with the 71 that have followed. My books have come a long way since summer 2000 -- if you have lots of time on your hands, you can read through all 72 issues to follow the progress so far, the highs and lows, the successes and failures, the sorrows and joys, etc. But before you embark on such a heady, time-consuming spree, might I suggest you finish catching up with all the latest news first, by scrolling down???? There's chart success to report ... updates on the tour schedule for the second half of the year ... awards ... signed books ... audio CDs ... a sneaky competition ... and more!!


    On its first full week of sale, "Slawter" -- book 3 of "The Demonata" -- rose to the Number 2 postion in the Bestselling Children's Books chart in the UK!!! It stayed in the #2 spot the next week, and was hogging the #5 slot at the end of the month. It was also, by a large margin, the #1 bestselling Children's Hardback in the UK for the past three weeks!!! As well as that success, the paperback edition of "Demon Thief", released at the same time as "Slawter", entered the chart at #12, rose to #7 in the second week, and was still holding onto the #7 spot in its third week on sale at the end of the month!!!! In Ireland, as in the UK, "Slawter" rose to the #2 position on the Bestselling Children's chart also.

    This is the first time I've had two books in the UK top 10 (heck -- the top 7!!!!) chart at the same time, and I think it shows how much of a momentum the new series has picked up. I've been astonished by the numbers of fans turning up at the events I've done in Ireland and the UK over the last couple of years. The legions of Shansters are multiplying rapidly!! I've seen that happening during my travels on the road, and now everyone can see it reflected in the charts. It's an exciting time for me -- and, I hope for you lot too!!!!

    For anyone who's missed it, "Slawter", is on sale in book stores across the UK and Ireland NOW!!!! You should be able to find it in a book shop near you, or else you can buy it from Amazon UK by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007229550/shanville Similarly, you should also be able to find the paperback of "Demon Thief" in your local shop, or else through Amazon UK at : http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007193238/shanville/

    "Lord Loss" has won the Redbridge Teenage Award!!! You can read all about it here: http://www.redbridge.gov.uk/learning/rcba.cfm It might not be one of the bigger, better known awards, but as it's the first real award in six and a half years that I've won in the UK (having won a similarly "local" prize in Wyoming, USA a couple of years ago for "Cirque Du Freak"), I don't care!!!! I'm off to celebrate being now able to add "prize winning author" to "bestselling author" on my CV!!!!!!

    In a surprisingly awardtastic month, "Lord Loss" was also one of two runner-up books ("Checkmate" by Malorie Blackman was the other) in the Lancashire Children's Book of the Year Award. The winner was "Raven's Gate" by Anthony Horowitz -- a gross miscarriage of justice, in my opinion, and I'm sure Mr Horowitz would agree!!!! :-) You can learn more about the award here: http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries/services/children/cboty/cboty2006/cboy2006.asp

    Being a horror writer (or at least being regarded as a horror writer), I don't get nominated for many awards, and almost never win any. That's something everyone working in the horror field learns to live with, so it's no big deal -- I'd much rather take big book sales over prestigious awards any day!!!! Having said that, it's always nice when somebody acknowledges the hard work I've put into a book, so I was delighted to be recognised in this way, particularly by the Redbridge crew! What made the awards even more satisfying was that they were voted for by children and teenagers, not by adults.

    The Cartoon Network, in conjunction with my UK publishers, HarperCollins, have put together an incredibly cool microsite to celebrate the release of "Slawter" in the UK!!! It features information about the books and characters ... there's a neat little game called Demon Dodge ... and if you're under 16 years of age and live in the UK, you can enter a competition where the first prize is a vist to your school by ME!! There are runner-up prizes of signed books and posters, which are pretty great too!!! To access the site, click on the following link:


    As I said above, the competition is only open to fans under the age of 16, living in the UK -- but you can still take the test and enjoy the rest of the site, no matter where you live. The microsite has been running all throughout June, but it won't run for very much longer -- so get over there ASAP!!!

    Fans living in London, take note -- I popped into Waterstones Picadilly on Monday June 19th and signed LOADS of copies of my books, everything from the latest, "Slawter", right the way back to "Cirque Du Freak" -- so if you're in London and looking for a signed Darren Shan book over the next few weeks, you know where to head!!!! If you're fast (and rich!) you might even be able to pick up a complete signed set of "The Saga" there ...

    UK - AUDIO CDs

    The audio CDs of "Demon Thief" and "Slawter", narrated by Rupert Degas, are on sale in the UK and Ireland NOW!!! I really can't recommend these highly enough -- they're lovingly produced and brilliantly narrated. I consider them a must for either fans of my books or fans of audio books. Look for them in your local book store (or ask the people working there to order them in for you if you can't see them on the shelves). Or else you can order them through the internet from Amazon UK. You can get "Demon Thief" here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007229771/shanville/ and "Slawter" here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/000722978X/026-8140752-9574053?v=glance&n=266239/shanville


    "Slawter", book 3 of "The Demonata", will go on sale in Taiwan in July. My Taiwanese fans are some of the best in the world -- I received lots of birthday greetings from them, via my Taiwanese publisher's message forum, ahead of my birthday!! I hope the book will be as warmly greeted there as it has been in Ireland and the UK. You can check out the seriously cool cover for the book on Secret Shanville by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html


    I'm doubly delighted this month to be able to announce that Lithuania has become the 31st country where you'll be able to buy my books!!! The publishing company, Alma Littera, have bought the first two books in "The Saga of Darren Shan". And, hot on the heels of Lithuania, the rights to "The Saga" have also been bought for translation by Tiritamm publishers in Estonia!!! Estonia thus becomes the 32nd country where my books have been translated -- yipes, I'm taking over the world!!!!!


    As I said above, I've added the cover for the Taiwanese edition of "Slawter" to Secret Shanville -- and it's a hot little number!!! Plus, I've added the cover for the American mass-market paperback edition of "Killers of the Dawn" -- and I think it's my favourite American cover to date -- extremely eerie!!!!!! I've also added a recent interview with me that appeared in Scottish newspaper, The Herald, on June 10th. And I've updated the Names section, letting you know how to pronounce all of the names in "Slawter"! I'll also be starting my book notes about "Bec" later in the month, revealing its origins and giving fans more of an idea of what it's about. Plus, I'm running a competition there this month, for the first time ever. Hah!!! I slipped that one in slyly, didn't I?!? I bet a lot of fans will miss it as they scroll down just a little too quickly for their own good!!!! Those of you with keener eyes can click on the following link to be in with a chance of winning some super-cool Darren Shan prizes!!! http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html

    THE 2006 TOURS

    AUGUST -- Ireland/UK
    Saturday 12th -- 2.00p.m. -- public event at Kilkenny Arts Festival. You'll be able to access the full programme from July 5th, and book tickets, by going to the festival's web site at http://www.kilkennyarts.ie/ or phoning 056 775 2175
    Monday 14th, 4.30p.m. -- public event at Edinburgh Book Festival. You can book tickets online by clicking on the WHAT'S ON link at http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/ or by phone: 0044(0)8453735888. Tickets are selling fast (almost 200 in the first 2 weeks!) so my advice is to book ASAP!!!!

    OCTOBER -- Ireland/UK
    I am currently in the process of setting up a book tour of Ireland and the UK in October, to promote the release of "Bec", book 4 of "The Demonata". Everything is still to be confirmed, but at present it looks like I'll be going to (among other places) Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Wexford, Dublin, Donegal, Derry and Belfast in Ireland, and Essex, Cheltenham, Ilkley, Birmingham, London and more in the UK. Plans are still very much in the early stages, so don't take any of the above as gospel!!! I hope to have a more concrete schedule in place by the time of the next Shanville Monthly, or if not then, certainly by the start of September. Watch this space ....


    Good news for my Canadian fans -- my UK publishers, HarperCollins, have acquired the rights to publish "Lord Loss" and "Demon Thief" in Canada!! They'll export the UK editions, which means the books should be available widely in shops in Canada SOON!!!


    Following last month's tentative report, I'm delighted to be able to confirm that there will be an official Darren Shan celebration day in Boston in July!! I received the following e-mail from a fan in Boston, called Mykey Cope, who contacted the library about their Darren Shan event, and this is how they responded:

    The Young Adults Department at the Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, is hosting a Darren Shan program on Wednesday, July 12, 2-4pm. It will be a gathering for teens to discuss the author's books, read passages, and answer trivia questions. Mr. Shan will not be at the event. The Young Adults Room is located on the Mezzanine Level, which is between the first and second floors, of the Central Library. When you enter from 700 Boylston Street, you proceed through the lobby; there is a set of stairs on the right-hand side of the main hall next to the information desk. There are also elevators past the information desk. There is a floor plan of the Central Library at http://www.bpl.org/guides/plan.htm If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

    And I later received this e-mail from a member of staff (Betsy) at the library:

    I would like to verify that, indeed, the Young Adults Dept is hosting a Shanster Day, July 12, 2-4. This is just a casual get-together of fans of your books, led by Justin, a teen patron here in Boston.

    It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun!! Sadly, I can't be there myself, but I'll certainly be there in spirit!!! If you live in the Boston area, you should definitely try to get along (maybe even dress up as a character from my book if you really want to get into the party mode!!) -- and, if you do go, please let me know what it was like!!!!


    After a T-shirt from my October 2004 Sons Of Destiny tour sold on Ebay for £56 (over $100) several weeks ago, a second T-shirt from that tour sold in June for almost £44 -- over $79!!!! Not as much as the first, but a lot more than I thought it would go for! If any of the rest of you have similar Darren Shan promotional items, hold onto them and keep them in good condition -- they could be worth big money one day!!!!!


    And that's it for July! I'm going to be cracking on with editing and writing this month, so while the rest of you are out soaking up the sun on your summer holidays, spare a thought for poor old Shan, slaving away over his computer in the depths of sodden Limerick!!!! I'll be back in August for the latest round of updates. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x

    p.s. for those keeping score, it's my birthday too this month, on the 2nd!!! I'll be 34 -- cripes, I'm getting old!!!!! I'll be 40 in just another six short years!!! Where did my youth go?!?!? *SIGH* Oh well, no use moping about it. I guess we just have to ignore the creeping hands of time as best we can. I still feel young inside, and that's what really counts ... isn't it?!?!? Anyway, thanks to everyone who sent me cards and/or e-mails wishing me Happy Birthday -- they were all greatly appreciated.