• Issue 76 - November 2006

    01 November 2006


    Welcome to the November issue of the Shanville Monthly! I had a busy but hugely enjoyable October. I was on the road for most of the month, promoting "Bec" in the UK and Ireland. You can read a bit more about that below, and a lot more about it if you check out my Blog. It was tiring, as all tours of this nature are, but meeting fans is, for me, the best thing about this job, so I got a great kick out of it too!!! I wasn't able to do much else during October, but lots of things have been happening in the world of Darren Shan, and you can read all about them below. There's news of the release of "Slawter" in America ... I list the date of my upcoming tour of the States ... you can read all about how my vampire books made a welcome return to the New York Times Top 10 ... there's a special Christmas competition ... and a whole lot more!!! But let's start with an update of that book I've been so busy promoting recently ...


    "Bec", the fourth book of "The Demonata", went on sale in the UK and Ireland in October, and I did a huge tour to promote it. I went to some new places, like Northern Ireland, Reading and Bluewater, and some more familiar places, like Picadilly, Stourbridge and Limerick. It was an action-packed tour, involving a lot of travel, lots of readings and answering questions, and signing multitudes of books!! I think I met more fans and signed more books on this tour than on any other!! Many thanks to everyone who came along and made it such a special month for me -- I know many of you travelled far, and went to great efforts, to make it to my events, and I truly do appreciate each and every one of you! My thanks also go out to all the booksellers, teachers and librarians who helped set up the events. And special thanks to all the HarperCollins crew, especially Geraldine, Mary, Emma and Catherine, without whom the tour would have been literally impossible!!!! There are too many highlights from the tour to list here, but if you go to my Blog you can read back over the month's entries and get a clearer picture of where I went and what I got up to. The link is: http://darrenshan.blogdrive.com/

    "Bec" has been selling like hot cakes, and had gone to a second printing within the first week of release!!! Because so many high-profile books and annuals are released in October, it hasn't climbed as high up the charts as "Slawter" did, but it's performed admirably against some VERY strong competition (not least the last Lemony Snicket book, the new Terry Pratchett, and the latest "Tracey Beaker"!!!) It's highest position was #9 on the overall chart, but that included annuals (which I don't think it should, but hey-ho!!). In terms of actual books, it got to the #4 position, and after a month is still riding high at #6. In Ireland the book is currently #2 on the children's chart, held off the top spot only by that dratted Snicket book!!!

    If you live in the UK and Ireland, you should be able to find "Bec" on the book shelves of a shop near you -- if you can't, raise holy hell and demand the shop orders it immediately!! Alternatively, if you prefer buying over the internet, it'salso available for sale on Amazon UK. The link is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007231318/shanville


    "Slawter", the third book of "The Demonata", is on sale in America NOW!!!! "Slawter" was a huge hit in the UK and Ireland, where lots of fans have claimed it's my best book yet -- or at least the best book in "The Demonata" so far!!! Do I agree with them? Well, who am I to argue with the REAL Darren Shan experts?!? "Slawter" should be in your local book shop -- if you don't see it on the shelves, please ask the people there to order it for you. If you'd rather buy online, you can get it from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Demonata-Slawter-Book/dp/0316013870/sr=1-1/qid=1160484544/ref=sr_1_1/102-0765732-3512124?ie=UTF8&s=books or from Barnes & Noble here: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780316013871&itm=1

    I also think "Slawter" goes on sale this month in Hungary and the Netherlands -- so I hope all my fans over there also enjoy their little trip to the most demonic film site around!!!!


    There are still some copies of the special edition of "Bec" left, but they're selling fast, and with Christmas almost upon us, I think the remainder will probably be snapped up soon -- so if you want to buy one, my advice is to act NOW or maybe live to regret a lost opportunity!!! You can only buy the special edition through the HarperCollins web site. The link is:


    There are only 666 copies of the special edition, each signed and numbered in strong black ink by ME! Each book comes in a hard, protective box (known in the trade as a slipcase), which has been decorated with artwork from the front cover of the book. Each customer can buy a maximum of 3 copies. They cost just £20, which is only £7 more than the regular edition!!! (Though you will have to pay post & packaging on top of that.) I think, at that price, they're a sheer bargain! Once they sell out, no more will be made available. Unfortunately, because of legal reasons, the special edition is only available to fans living in the UK or Ireland. I know this might seem unfair to fans living elsewhere in the world, but there's nothing I can do about that -- international laws mean that book sellers are limited to where they can sell copies of their books.

    The audio CD of "Bec" will be available for sale in the UK and Ireland on November 20th. (It should have been on sale in early October, but they ran into some technical difficulties, as often happens with audio CDs.) Although Rupert Degas did a brilliant job on the first 3 books of "The Demonata", we decided to go with a female narrator for "Bec", since the main character is a girl. The actress we went for is called Lorraine Pilkington. She's been in a lot of films and TV shows -- you can check out her profile on IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0683455/ Rupert will hopefully be back to narrate book 5, "Blood Beast", next year.

    You might be able to find the audio CD of "Bec" in your local book shop, but if you can't, or if you prefer to order over the internet, you can get it from Amazon by clicking here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bec-Complete-Unabridged-Demonata-S/dp/0007229798/shanville


    Great news for Stateside fans -- I am coming to America on tour in April 2007 -- hurrah!!!!! As I've done on previous visits to the States, I'll be trying to cover as much ground and cram in as many events as possible, from West Coast to East and many stops between!! My publicist at Little Brown has started putting the tour details together and is accepting invitations from interested teachers, librarians and booksellers. If you're interested in trying to set up a signing/book store event/school visit for me, then click on the following link:

    APRIL 2007 TOUR

    Read through the guidelines VERY carefully and set to work as soon as you can -- the closing date for proposals is the end of November 2006.

    I did a hugely enjoyable interview for the BBC radio show, Big Toe, on the last day of my "Bec" tour. Presenter Natalie Barrass promised a truly unique, one-of-a-kind interview -- and she was right!! I think I maybe enjoyed this interview more than any other I've ever done!!! To check it out, click on the following link, go to the Tuesday show, and use the forward button to go to the 50 minute mark (which is when the interview with me begins), but be quick -- it will only be online until Tuesday November 7th!!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/bigtoe/whatson


    I've created a Darren Shan Store on Amazon UK, to make it easier for fans to find my books there, and to shop for other items too -- which should prove useful in the run-up to Christmas!! You can check it out here:


    If anyone has any feedback or ideas on how to improve the store, I'd love to hear them!! You can post your comments in the Questions forum, or send me an email through the Contact page on http://www.darrenshan.com


    I've added the revised cover for the American edition of "Bec" to Secret Shanville -- and it's radically different to the first version!!!! I've also added the covers for the German editions of "Lord Loss" and "Demon Thief". To check them all out (and become a Secret Shanster if you haven't already), click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html


    In America, "Sons of Destiny", the final book in my "Cirque Du Freak" series, went on sale in September. It spent a healthy 4 weeks in the New York Times Top 10 Children's Bestsellers Chart, peaking at #8. Then it slipped out of the top 10 -- only to return in October!!! It's been at the #8 spot on the chart for the last 3 weeks, making it 7 weeks in total -- so far!!! I guess maybe Halloween had a little something to do with its revival -- after all, what better book to read at that spooky time of year than one of mine?!? If you live in the States and haven't bought the book already, you should be able to find it in your local book shop -- if you don't see it on the shelves, you can always ask the people there to order it for you. Alternatively, you can order it online from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316156299/ref=pd_sim_b_1/102-4045036-7476946?ie=UTF8 or from Barnes & Noble at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?z=y&pwb=1&ean=9780316156295


    There will be a short interview with me in a special "spooky" edition of Reading Aloud, a book programme which appears on the Teachers' Televison channel in the UK. It's scheduled to air on 21st November (it's programme 4 of the third series), but when I checked on their web site, it didn't have the programme listed, so maybe the exact air-date has still to be decided. When it's made available, you will be able to access the programme via the web site, by clicking here: http://www.teachers.tv

    I'll provide more info, and a direct link, once it becomes available. If you live in the UK and want to watch the show on TV, it's available on Sky Guide on channel 592, Telewest on 240, NTL on 803, KIT on 70, or HomeChoice on 845.


    I've added several new reviews of "Demon Thief", all from American reviewers, to my web site -- and they've all pretty much been very pleasingly positive!!! You can check the rave reviews out here: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/reviews/demonthief/index.html


    Yes, little ones, you read right -- Christmas comes early in the world of Darren Shan!!! I was going to run a competition next month, to celebrate the fast-approaching yuletide, but then I thought about how hectic the postal system gets in December and I decided it would make things easier for everyone if I ran it now -- that should mean that the winners receive their prizes well in time for the big day!!! There are all sorts of prizes up for grabs, including an EXCLUSIVE (and I use that word in its strictest sense -- this is a true one-off!!) Darren Shan Tour T-shirt!!!! To read the rules and enter, click on the following link (and become a Shanster, if you haven't already -- only registered Shansters can enter the competition): http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html


    And that's it for November! Winter has set in here in Ireland -- long, dark chilly nights have fast become the norm! I plan to huddle down over my computer soon and do some writing to while away the gloomy wet months. I'll be back in December to bring you all the latest news and wish you a merry Christmas. Until then, be careful on those dark roads in the evenings!!! All the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x