• Issue 86 - September 2007

    01 September 2007


    Welcome to the September edition of the Shanville Monthly!!! Although Blood Beast isn't officially released in the UK and Ireland until October 1st, it will go on sale a couple of days early at the Bath Festival, and a day early at Waterstones Bournemouth, so a lot of this month's news centres around its impending release!! I'm VERY excited about book 6 -- after the fifth book ended on a huge cliffhanger, I know lots of fans have been chomping at the bit to find out what happens next, and the air of secrecy around the book has stoked things up to fever pitch!!!! My publishers, HarperCollins, are running a truly fabulous competition to tie in with the Bath Festival. There's early news of an exciting promotional campaign which will be going live later this month. There are new interviews and covers. My books have been spotted on a teenager's shelf in a TV show! There's a full run-down of my October Book 6 tour of the UK -- check to see if I'm coming to a town near YOU!!! And, as always in the Shanville Monthly, there's more!!!!!!! So forget about the return to school and homework, and instead check into my world and relax for a while .....


    Oh boy -- this is a good one!!! As many of you probably know already, I will be revealing the title and cover of Book 6 of "The Demonata" for the first time ever at my event at the BATH FESTIVAL on Saturday, September 29th at 10.00a.m.. It's going to be a special day for everyone who comes, but my publishers, HarperCollins, are going to make it EXTRA special for ten lucky people! We're running a competition this month, and each of the ten winners will be invited to come and see me before the event in Bath, where they will receive a free, signed copy of Book 6 -- as well as two free front-row tickets for my event!!! (The winners can each bring one guest, 16 years or younger, to both the pre-event meeting and the event itself.) So you'll get to chat with me in a very intimate setting before the show ... you'll get to watch me in action from the best seats in the house ... and you'll get a free signed book as well -- what more could you ask for?!? And if you win but can't make it to Bath (you'll have to make and pay for your own travel arrangements, I'm afraid), you'll still receive a signed copy of the book, so feel free to enter even if you don't think you'll be able to come! The competition is only open to fans in the UK and Ireland. To find out more and enter, you'll need to go to Secret Shanville by clicking on this link:



    My UK publishers, HarperCollins, have some exciting promotional plans for Book 6 of "The Demonata", and are going to run a pre-launch campaign from Sept. 14th up to the release on October 1st. The different elements of the campaign will be as follows:

    - Book Trailer: After the success of the Blood Beast trailer, they’ve decided to create another book trailer for D6, and this one will hopefully feature the vocal talents of the superb Rupert Degas!!!

    - The Blood Beast Challenge site (http://www.darrenshanchallenge.com) will be re-designed and themed around D6. HarperCollins will be running a competition for fans to design their own versions of the cover and title of D6. They'll have two prizes for this -- one will be "Darren's Favourite" (chosen by me) and the other will be "Fan Favourite" (fans can actuallly view & vote for their favourite covers.)

    - People can also opt- in to receive the cover as a mobile wallpaper on the day of release.

    Does that excite you?!? It certainly excites ME!!!! I'll be sending out an email to all my registered UK and Irish fans in the middle of September, confirming more details about the campaign -- so if you haven't registered with me yet, head on over to Secret Shanville ASAP at http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html and join the most Shanstastic club in the world!!! As long-term members already know, I NEVER share any of your information with other companies (not even my publishers) and I don't send any spam!!



    As I revealed last month, Blood Beast has been shortlisted for the first ever UK Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award!!!! This is a huge honour -- there are only 4 books on the shortlist, and the other 3 are all women -- Holly Black ("Spiderwick Chronicles"), Jacqueline Wilson and J K Rowling. The award is voted for entirely by fans, so I suspect Miss Rowling will walk away with it by a LONG mile!! But it's amazing to even be nominated for such a high-profile award! This is the most prestigious award I've ever been shortlisted for, and even if I don't win, I'm delighted to have made the final four. You can find out all about the awards, which also include movies, bands, songs, video games, etc, by clicking on the following link. It also provides details on how to vote, so I hope you lot give me your backing -- we're outweighed vastly by the armies of Potterites, but if we have to go down, we can at least go down fighting ... or, rather, voting!!!!!!!!


    For anyone in the UK and Ireland who hasn't yet read it, you can buy Blood Beast in just about any book shop, but if you prefer to buy online, you can also get it through Amazon.co.uk. Just click on the following link -- AMAZON UK - BLOOD BEAST


    The winners of the August Shanville Monthly competition were:

    ADELE LIN, taiwan.
    SAM PEIRCE, uk.

    First prize-winner, David Hitching, won the exclusive t-shirt I'm wearing in the picture above, along with a signed copy of Blood Beast. The four runners-up all won signed copies of Blood Beast. Thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to the winners, and better luck next time to those who weren't so lucky!!!


    We're keeping the title of Book 6 of The Demonata a secret until just before its official launch date. Because Book 5 ended on a HUGE cliffhanger, we wanted to maintain as much mystery as possible about Book 6!!! I'll be making the title known to the general public on Saturday, September 29th, when I appear at the Bath Festival of Children's Literature. I'll reveal the title on my web site shortly after that, but those at the festival will be the first in the world to learn what it is!!!! The Festival features an AMAZING line-up, and I'd recommend it to anyone who can get there -- on the Saturday that I'm appearing, Eoin Colfer, Neil Gaiman and lots of others are there, and EVERY day features a similarly amazing crew of writers!! I imagine tickets will go pretty fast, so if you're interested in going to any of the events, I suggest you head on over to the Festival's web site and book ASAP!!! You can find full details of all the authors and events, and how to book for them, by clicking here:




    You still have a few days left to enter the fantastic Waterstones HAVE YOU GOT THE GUTS FOR DARREN SHAN? competition, but you'll have to be quick -- the closing date is September 5th. All 10 challenges can now be viewed and undertaken, and you can also view the entries of many, MANY fans who have already proved their true worth!!!! If you haven't checked out the competition yet, read on for more info ...

    By clicking on the link at the top or bottom of this section, you will be taken through to a specially created site where you can create your own profile page and take various challenges to prove your 'worth'. There are 10 challenges in all, and they involve holding a spider, acting out your favourite scene from Blood Beast, and more!!! When you complete a challenge, you will have to provide proof by uploading a photo of yourself completing the challenge on your profile page. You can also e-mail a link to your friends so they can see too! (So you can have mini-competitions with your friends to see who completes the most challenges the quickest!!!)

    Every fan who completes five of the challenges will get a certificate "signed" by Darren Shan! (i.e. the signature will be a photocopy). And one lucky competitor will also win an Xbox 360!!!! It's a fun, highly original challenge, and there have already been loads of fantastic entries which you can check out on the site. Don't miss out on the coolest, hippest competition of the summer!!!!! You can find out more about the competition, including full rules and how to submit your entry, either by visiting your local Waterstones shop and picking up a leaflet, or by clicking on the following link :



    There was a lengthy interview with me in The Daily Telegraph in the UK on Saturday August 25th. I highly recommend this one -- it was extremely well written by a man whose love of horror is just as deep-rooted -- maybe even more so -- than mine!! You can check it out online by clicking on the following link: DAILY TELEGRAPH INTERVIEW

    I also found an interesting interview with Brian Helgeland (the writer of the "Cirque Du Freak" movie script) recently. It was published back in April 2007, but this was the first time I'd come across it. There's a bit near the end where he describes how and why he got attached to the film:

    Bullz-Eye: There was a new project of yours I wanted to ask you about, and that is "Cirque du Freak," this Paul Weitz movie you're working on. That's a very curious combination to me.

    Brian Helgeland: Yeah! I've been involved for a couple of years on it. My youngest son, it's his favorite series of books, at the time, anyway. He's a big reader, and he was always going on about it. And I didn't pay much attention, and then I was just visiting at the offices of the Donners, Laura and Dick Donner. (Note: you might know Dick Donner as Richard Donner, director of "Superman" and the "Lethal Weapon" movies.) And the books were on someone's desk over there, and I said, "Are you guys involved with this?" And they said, "Yes, we're the producers if they make a movie of it." And I got home and said to my son, "They're going to make 'Cirque du Freak.'" And he was all excited and said I had to write it if I could, so I called and said I'd be interested in doing it, and Paul is going to direct it. I'm not sure if it's his next movie or not, though. I don't know how immediate it's going to be in production or anything like that.

    BE: IMDB has it dated as 2008, and he has nothing ahead of it in terms of directing.

    BH: Ah. But yeah, it's basically my son's favorite set of books.

    Now, before anyone gets too excited about that release date -- as far as I'm aware, despite what IMDB or any other online site might say, no date for the movie has yet been set. It's still early in pre-production -- a script has been written, a director (Paul Weitz) has been assigned, and various producers and a casting director are attached to the project. And that, to the best of my knowledge, is ALL -- no actors have been cast, sets aren't being built, no release date has been set. My advice is to disregard any and all online rumours from third-party sources. As soon as there's any genuine, official, REAL news to report, you'll be able to read about it here. In the meantime, if you want to read the full interview with Brian Helgeland (which is mostly about an earlier movie of Brian's called Payback), click here: BRIAN HELGELAND INTERVIEW



    I should have posted this in June or July, but with all my touring, it slipped my mind -- whoops!!!! In July 2007, an anthology of original short stories called Midnight Feast was released in the UK. (A longer version of the book, called Kids' Night In 2, was released in Australia and New Zealand in 2005.) For each book sold, £1 will be donated to the charities War Child (http://www.warchild.org.uk) and No Strings (http://www.nostrings.org.uk/).

    This is a sequel to the bestselling Kids' Night In which was released in 2003. It features stories by the likes of Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer, Meg Cabot, Louise Rennison, Garth Nix -- and ME!!! I actually used a couple of Sam Grest short stories from the Vampires Extras section of this site, but i re-wrote them slightly. The reason I used the Sam stories, instead of writing a new story, was partly because I didn't have time to do a new one, but also because I liked the idea of giving the Sam stories a wider lease of life. You should be able to find the book in a bookshop near you, or else you can order online from Amazon UK by clicking here:



    I'm very pleased to be able to announce that I'm the Limerick Person Of The Month for August!!! The awards are run by local newspaper, The Limerick Leader, and sponsored by Southern Advertising and the Clarion hotel. They pick a local person every month -- sometimes a sports person, or a successful business person, or someone who's done a very good charitable deed, and so on. Then, at the end of the year, they pick a person of the year from the 12 month winners. I was Person Of The Month once before, way back in 2000, when I was a fresh young author and my books were first making waves. This second award came entirely out of the blue, so it was a nice surprise!! I've lived in Limerick for 29 years, so although this might be a minor award in the grander scheme of things, it means a lot to me personally. My local fans have always been incredibly supportive of me, even in the early days, which is why I try to do signings and events regularly here. To get a public acknowledgment like this makes me feel well-chuffed!!!


    At the Edinburgh Book Festival, on August 15th, I took part in a debate with Mark Walden (who writes the H.I.V.E. books -- they're LOTS of fun!!) in which we discussed which is "better" -- heroes or villains. Mark argued the case for villains, while I made a stand for heroes. We both made an opening statement, then the audience got involved. Although much of the debate revolved around expected heroes and villains, like Superman, Batman, Lex Luthor and the Daleks, I tried to come at the subject from a different angle in my opening statement, to get people thinking about heroes in a fresh light. It seemed to work -- at the end of the debate, everyone voted for whether heroes or villains were best, and heroes just shaded it!!!!! Click on the following link if you'd like to read the speech that I gave: WE COULD BE HEROES


    I've added lots of new covers to my site this month. First, in the Vampires section, I've added covers from Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Indonesia, Italy and Thailand. The Brazilian, Czech and Italian covers feature brand new artwork, so they're especially worth checking out. To view all of the covers, click on this link: VAMPIRE COVERS

    Next up, in the Demons part of my site, I've added the German covers for Book 3, Slawter, and Book 4, Bec, of The Demonata. Slawter went on sale in Germany in August, and Bec will go on sale there at the start of October. These two covers are SERIOUSLY creepy and highly recommended!!! Click here for them: GERMAN DEMON COVERS

    I've also added the cover for the American version of Blood Beast, which goes on sale in the States in October. (The official release date is November, but my books normally appear in most stores a month early in America.) It's a dark, menacing cover -- perfect!!! You'll have to go to Secret Shanville to find the cover, by clicking here: SECRET SHANVILLE

    Finally, I've also added the cover for Midnight Feast, an anthology by different authors released in the UK in July, featuring a couple of short stories by me. You can find the cover by clicking on this link: MIDNIGHT FEAST COVER


    I received the following email from sharp-eyed fan Paul Horsman, in Doncaster:

    Just thought I'd e-mail to let you know I spotted two of your books (the Vampire Blood & Vampire Destiny trilogies) last night on the ITV comedy drama Little Devil, starring Robson Green. It was about 3/4 of the way through the final programme when the young boy was reading his mum's letter ... and there on the kitchen bookshelf behind him standing out from the rather bland spines of the other books were 2 Vampire Trilogies!!

    I've been waiting years for my books to crop up in a TV show!! I'm just sorry I missed it -- I might have to check it out on DVD!!! For those who want to know a bit more about the show, click here: LITTLE DEVIL INFO


    I performed two events in Edinburgh this year. The first was a fun duet with Mark Walden, author of the H.I.V.E. books. We talked about Heroes and Villains, challenging the audience to decide which they prefer -- dashing good heroes or evil-hearted villains! This was very different to my usual kind of event, and I enjoyed it immensely! Then I did a solo event in which I read a world-exclusive extract from Book 6 of The Demonata (but I didn't reveal its name!!), PLUS a world-exclusive reading from a book that I'm not going to be releasing for at least 2 or 3 years! It's part of the new, four-book series I worked on earlier this year, and it created a HUGE stir when I read it -- especially the last couple of lines!!! I'm going to be reading the extract at some of my events in October, and probably next year as well, so I'm not going to say here what it was about, in order not to spoil the surprise for others!! I'd also ask those who saw me in Edinburgh to keep it secret for the time being.

    This was my 8th year in a row at the Edinburgh Festival! I had a fantastiic time, as I always do, and managed to get to lots of other events and shows while I was there. For a more detailing breakdown, go to my Blog and scroll down and back to the mid-August entries. Here's the link: DARREN SHAN'S BLOG

    BOOK 6 U.K. TOUR

    I'm undertaking a ten day tour of the UK in late September/early October, to promote the release of Book 6 of The Demonata. It's a nice mix of public events, school events, and signing sessions. If you can come along to any of them, please do -- I always love to meet my fans!! And do feel free to bring as many of my books to be signed as you wish -- time permitting, I never mind signing as many books as fans bring along!!!!

    Saturday 29th September
    10.00a.m. PUBLIC event at the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature. http://www.bathkidslitfest.co.uk/

    Sunday 30th September 12.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, Unit 1, West Mall, Castlepoint, Bournemouth BH8 9UY. phone: 01202 548566.

    Monday 1st October


    School event at Woodlands Community High School, Southampton.

    Monday 1st October 1.00- 2.00p.m PUBLIC signing at Waterstones West Quay Shopping Centre, Southampton SO15 1QE. phone: 023 80232118.

    Monday 1st October 4.00p.m. PUBLIC event at Waterstones, The Brooks, Winchester SO23 8QY. enquiries to John Cook: [email protected] or phone: 01962 866206.

    Tuesday 2nd October 09.15a.m. School event at Toynbee School, Ampfield, Winchester. Arranged by Waterstones Winchester.

    Tuesday 2nd October 11.00a.m. I will be signing stock at Waterstones, 10-11 The Swan Centre, Eastleigh, SO50 5SF. You probably won't be able to come and meet me at the store, but if you want to buy books in advance and leave them to be signed and personalised by me, talk to the people in the store.

    Tuesday 2nd October 3.00p.m. I will be signing stock at Waterstones, Commercial Road, Portsmouth. You probably won't be able to come and meet me at the store, but if you want to buy books in advance and leave them to be signed and personalised by me, talk to the people in the store.

    Tuesday 2nd October 6.30-7.30p.m. PUBLIC event at The Hayling Island Community Centre, Hayling Park, Hayling Island. Tickets available through: The Hayling Island Bookshop, 34 Mengham Road, Hayling Island, Hampshire, PO11 9BL. phone: 023 9246 6620.

    Wednesday 3rd October 10.30a.m. School event at Worthing High School, West Sussex.

    Wednesday 3rd October 4.00-5.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 28 Montague Street, Worthing, BN11 3HA. phone: 01903 234148.

    Thursday 4th October 10.00a.m. School event at Ryton Comprehensive, Tyne and Wear. Arranged by Borders, Unit 7 Team Valley Retail Park, Gateshead NE11 OBD.

    Thursday 4th October 1.00p.m. School event at Cramlington Community High School, Northumberland. Arranged by WH Smith Metro Centre.

    Thursday 4th October 4.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at WH Smith, 57-59 Cameron Walk, Metro Centre, Gateshead, Tyne on Wear, NE11 9YT. phone: 0191 4932266.

    Friday 5th October 10.00a.m. Schools event at Kendal Leisure Centre, Burton Rd, Kendal, LA9 7HX. Arranged by Waterstones, 7 Westmoreland Centre, Kendal LA9 4LR. phone: Tel: 01539 741771. Although this is for schools, since it is a public venue, individuals will be able to come too -- please contact Waterstones for tickets if interested.

    Friday 5th October 6.30p.m. PUBLIC event in County Hall, Preston. Arranged by Borders Books, Deepdale Shopping Park, Blackpool Rd, Preston, Lancashire PR1 6AF. phone: 01772 703 856 or email: [email protected]

    Saturday 6th October 10.00a.m. PUBLIC informal signing at Borders, 95-96 Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NP. I'm here to sign stock for the shop, but if you come along, I'll happily sign for you while I'm there.

    Saturday 6th October 11.30a.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 61-62 Bishopgate Walk, The Riding Centre (shopping centre), Wakefield WF1 1YB.

    Saturday 6th October 3.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 93-97 Albion Street, Leeds.

    Sunday 7th October 12.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at WH Smith Arndale Centre, Manchester, M4 3AD.

    Sunday 7th October various I will be signing stock at the following stores:

    Borders Manchester Fort.

    Waterstones Deansgate.

    Waterstones Trafford Centre.
    You probably won't be able to come and meet me at those stores, but if you want to buy books in advance and leave them to be signed and personalised by me, talk to the people in the stores.

    Monday 8th October 10.30a.m. School event at St Peter’s Memorial Hall, St Olavs, York.

    Monday 8th October 4.00-5.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 28-29 High Ousegate, York YO1 8RX. phone: 01904 628 740.

    Friday 12th October 10.30a.m. School event in St Michael's School, Bermondsey, London.


    And that's it for September! I'll be doing a lot of editing this month, of various Demonata books, trying to knock them into shape! I'm also going to the All Ireland hurling final at the start of the month (Limerick have reach the final for the first time in 11 years!), and I've a massive Tottenham Hotspur versus Arsenal game in the middle of September -- so it could a month of delightful highs or depressing lows for me!!!! I know most of you will be heading back to school, which is never a cheerful thought, but at least you've got a book from me to look forward to a little bit later in the year -- hurrah!!! (Book 6 comes out in the UK and Ireland in October, of course, and Book 5 comes out in the States around the same time.) I'll be back at the start of the Witching Month (lovely October!) to try and set you up nicely for the run-in to Halloween. Until then, take care and try not to get caught reading my books in class!! All my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x