• Issue 77 - December 2006

    01 December 2006


    Welcome to the December issue of the Shanville Monthly! November was a pretty hectic month for me and my books, as you'll see by the size of this newsletter! There's loads of news to report, and updates to my site to tell you about, so I'll save the prattle for the bottom and leave you all to dive straight in. Starting with ...


    After many emails and letters requesting it, I have launched a MySpace account!!! I'm not sure how much it will add to my overall web profile (there's so much info about me on my web site, photos, stories, etc.), but enough of you guys expressed an interest to make me decide to give it a go. I've filled in the profile areas with some info that you can't find on my own site, I've been using the blog facility, I've posted some photos -- oh, and I've been adding friends, of course!!! That seems to be the one bonus feature that makes MySpace so popular -- you can officially "become" a friend of Darren Shan, and have a nice little photo of me in your friends gallery on your own page!! I won't be putting much on the MySpace page that isn't already on my main web site, though I will be changing the song that plays about once a week or so, to give you a taste of the sort of music that turns me on. If you want to check it out and become a MySpace friend of Darren Shan, this is the link to click on:



    *UPDATE* December 16th. I have now closed the offer to buy "Demonata" trading cards. The sale was a great success -- out of 445 packs, 420 packs sold!!! I will be keeping the final 25 packs for my own collection, to save against a rainy day. In total, the sale raised 723 euro for the charity organisation, No Strings Ireland. On their behalf, I'd like to thank everyone who bought packs. I hope you all enjoy them. I'm currently looking into the possibility of establishing some kind of "swap shop" so that those of you missing some cards will have a chance to complete your collection -- there will be more about this in the New Year.

    I made a limited number of packs of the "Demonata" trading cards (which were produced by Waterstones in the UK to promote the release of "Bec" -- http://www.darrenshan.com/monthly/archive/2006/2006-june.html) available to buy in November, with all profits going to a charity called No Strings Ireland. I sent out an email to everyone who had subscribed to Secret Shanville. The response was fantastic. I had 445 packs when I made the announcement -- now only 48 packs remain!!! If you'd like to get your hands on some of the last few remaining packs, you'll need to act super-fast!!! Click on the link below for full details of how to order -- and best of luck!!! (I suspect demand will far outstrip supply, but don't worry -- if you place your order after the cards have sold out, I will refund your money via Paypal.)



    My "Cirque Du Freak" series held onto the #8 position in the New York Times Top 10 Children's Bestselling Series up until the week ending November 19th. That meant it held the #8 spot for five weeks in a row, having already spent four weeks in the top 10 in September and October, to make it nine weeks in total since "Sons of Destiny" went on sale. There's only one word to describe my feelings about that -- SHANtastic!!!!!


    I think there are still a few copies of the special edition of "Bec" left, but with Christmas fast approaching, I doubt they'll last much longer -- so if you want to buy one, I suggest you act NOW or forever do without!!! You can 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.) Once they sell out, no more will be made available.

    Unfortunately, because of legal reasons, the special edition is only available through HarperCollins to fans living in the UK or Ireland. However, copies have appeared for sale on Ebay, so if you live outside the UK/Ireland, but want to buy a special edition of "Bec", and don't mind paying a bit more for it, then check out the following link (which also features loads more of my books, including signed editions, proofs, etc):


    The fantastic audio CD version of "Bec" is on sale in the UK and Ireland NOW. 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/ I've had a listen to the CDs, and I think Lorraine has done a great job of capturing the voice of Bec -- it's also interesting to hear her take on Lord Loss!! Backed by some perfectly eerie music, the CDs ooze demonic class and quality -- I give them my utmost recommendation!!!!!

    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


    As I announced last month, I am coming to America on tour in April 2007. We've received LOADS of requests from stores, schools, libraries etc. My publishers, Little Brown are now processing those requests, looking to coordinate them and come up with a working plan. It won't be possible for me to go everywhere, alas, so we're going to have to disappoint quite a few of you -- but we're going to try to squeeze in as many events as possible!! I'll post more news here as and when I hear back from the good folk at Little Brown. In the meantime, if you're one of the many who tabled a request -- keep your fingers crossed!!!

    The winners of the Shanville Monthly November competition, in the order in which they were drawn, were:

    First prize -- Kelly Kitchens, USA.

    Runner-up prizes --
    Seth Aronsohn, UK.
    Amy Ruark, USA.
    Eric Markson, USA.
    Ben DeWalt, Canada.
    Abi Fittus, UK.
    Emily McGlawn, USA.
    Hannah McKelvie, Scotland.
    Carolyne Lewis, UK.
    Brittnay Marie Ralston, USA.

    There were 406 correct entries in total. Thanks to everyone who entered, and better luck next time to those who didn't win on this occasion!!!


    The Darren Shan Store on Amazon UK is doing great business in the run-up to Christmas! If you want to order any of my books for Christmas presents (or want to drop a hint to those giving presents to you!), click on the following link:



    That reads a bit like a tongue-twister, doesn't it?!? Anyway, "Demon Thief" has made the longlist for the Leicester Teenage Fiction Book Of The Year award for 2007. This award is vited for by teenage readers in Leicester. You can find out more about the process by clicking here: http://teenagefiction.wordpress.com/

    And you can see the full long list by clicking here: http://teenagefiction.wordpress.com/files/2006/11/boy-longlist-2007.doc

    It's always nice to get a nod for an award, so I'll be closely following the progress of "Demon Theif", and will report any fresh developments here.


    In the UK, there's a new interview with me in issue 131 of a horror magazine called "Shivers", which goes on sale soon. If your local store doesn't stock it, or if you live elsewhere in the world, you can order it through the magazine's web site by clicking on the following link: http://www.visimag.com/shivers/index.htm


    In the UK, my publishers, HarperCollins, have produced a special hardback edition of "Cirque Du Freak", which is only available for sale to schools, for use as a classroom text or to lend out in libraries. If you think your teacher or school librarian might be interested (or if you ARE a teacher or librarian!), click on the following link for more info and to order:



    Whoah boy!! Have I got a load of new covers for you this month!!! First of all, the biggest, baddest cover out of the bag is ... "Blood Beast"!!!! Yes, I'm delighted to be able to unleash the UK/Ireland cover for "Blood Beast" onto the world -- as well as the first working draft of it, which differs slightly but importantly!!! The storyline of Books 5 and 6 of "The Demonata" is one of my personal favourites out of all my books, and it's a pleasure to see the first half of the epic story arc packaged in such a gruesomely stylish cover! You can check out the grisly offering by going to Secret Shanville (you'll have to join the "club" if you aren't already a member), by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html

    As well as the world's first "Blood Beast" cover, I have plenty more from around the world which I've added over the last 30 or so days. First, I've added the Dutch and Hungarian covers of "Slawter" to my web site (images proivded courtesy of on-the-ball Gyuszi!!). You can find them by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/covers/index.html

    Plus, I've added the first 3 covers for the Vietnamese editions of my vampire books to my site, as well as the Czech Republic cover for "Trials of Death". You can check them out here: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/index.html


    I've added loads of new reviews of "Sons of Destiny" to my web site. It's a sad fact that, with most series, you get lots of reviews for the early books, but not so many for the later books. Seems to me like it should be the other way round, but that's life!!! Anyway, I'm delighted that reviews of the end of "The Saga" are finally surfacing, and I've added all those that I've recently discovered and collected. You can check them out here: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/reviews/12/indx-12sons.html

    I've also added several new reviews of the first 3 books of "The Demonata" to my site. Some are short pieces, but others are longer and quite interesting to read. You can check them out by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/reviews/index.html

    Finally, I've added a new interview/profile to the INTERVIEWS part of my site (in the FACTS section). It's from The Limerick Post, and you can find it here: http://www.darrenshan.com/facts/interviews.html

    Because Christmas is upon us, and because I'm so warm-hearted, and because you're such great fans and deserve it, I'm going to be doling out a few treats on my web site this month, in the shape of some exclusive Shanville EXTRAS!!

    First up, I've added a short article called "Guyifesto" to Secret Shanville. I wrote this a couple of years ago, for a book called "Guys Write for Guys Read", and this is the first time it has ever been made available online to a wider audience. It's not like most of my other stuff -- I wanted to do something a bit funnier and cruder! You can find it by clicking on the following link and becoming a Shanster if you aren't already: http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html

    Next up will be that infamous Christmas treat which I make available here for a short period every year -- SHANTA CLAUS!!!! This is easily the most popular of all the short stories that are available on my site. I make slight adjustments to it every year, so even if you've read it before, have another glance, just for fun! I'll be posting the story a few days before Christmas Day (December 25th) and remvoing it for another year shortly before the New Year. So miss it at your peril!!! The link where it will appear is: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/extras/extras/09-shanta2.html

    Finally, a few days before turkeys all over the world go to meet their maker, I'll be sending out a link to a special Christmas postcard which will only be accessible to those fans who have become Shansters and joined Secret Shanville. So, if you haven't joined the online Darren Shan club already, do so immediately!!! It's free, it's easy to join, I don't pass your details onto anybody else, and I don't bother you with too many emails (one a month when the Shanville Monthly is updated, and maybe 5 or 6 more spread out over the course of the year, but only when I think it's something important). Secret Shansters hear all the latest news before anybody else, are eligible to enter exclusive competitions, and are sometimes made special offers like with the "Demonata" cards in November. To become one of the growing team of Shansters across the world, click here:



    And that's it for December! I hope you're all looking forward to Christmas, and that Shanta is good to you all! I'm not expecting too many presents in my own Christmas stocking, but who knows, maybe I'll be surprised this year!!!! :-) I'm not a HUGE fan of Christmas -- I think it's only really exciting if you're a child, or have young children of your own -- but it's a nice time of year and it will be fun to overeat and drink a bit too much with people I love and care for. But don't worry -- I won't be abandoning you lot!! I doubt if I'll be able to come online on Christmas Day itself, but I'll be monitoring emails, updating my blog and checking my MySpace page regularly in the run-up to the 25th and afterwards. So if Santa doesn't bring you exactly what you wished for, or if you have a row with your parents or siblings (all too common at Christmas, alas), or if you're just feeling a bit glum at the thought of the death of the year ... the Shanster will be here for you!!!!!!! So, look after yoursef, stay in touch, and I'll see you all back here next year, for the start of the 2007 Shanville Monthly batch!!! Until then, watch out for low-flying sleighs this Christmas!!!!! All the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x