• Issue 89 - December 2007

    01 December 2007


    click on card for xmas greeting from darren shan

    Welcome to the December edition of the Shanville Monthly!!! And what a Christmas issue it is!! I've some news snippets to offer up this month which will beat any number of presents under your tree on Christmas Day!!! First, there's some incredibly exciting news about the long-in-the-pipeline Cirque Du Freak movie. After a lengthy spell in development, it finally looks to be moving forward, with filming scheduled to start in New Orleans next February!! Some actors have already been cast, and they're provoking plenty of debate on my message boards!!! Personally I'm delighted with the choices so far, and very excited by the thought that appears to have gone into the selection process -- these guys really seem to be coming at the books from a sharp, imaginative, dare I say freakish angle!! A lot of book adaptations fail because the people turning them into movies don't truly understand the books, and therefore aren't equipped to capture the mood, the atmosphere that makes them special. Every movie-maker must make changes when adapting a work. It doesn't really matter if they cut characters or storyline or change things around -- that's par for the course. But the really good film folk never lose track of what made the books work, and they hold on to the vibe of the piece. That seems to be happening here, so I'm looking forward optimistically!!!!

    I'm also announcing the title of Book 7 of The Demonata this month, as well as details of a slight change to the UK publication schedule which I'm sure will come as great news to my more impatient fans!!! As if that's not enough, I've added my Demon Apocalypse notes to the site at last, along with loads of new covers, interviews, photos and reviews. And I've even thrown in probably my most wide-ranging competition ever!!!!! It's Christmas, O loyal and bloodthirsty ones, done up a freakish, blood-red treat, as only Darren Shan knows how!!!!!!


    It's been a long time coming, but I'm delighted to be able to announce that the Cirque Du Freak movie is due to begin filming in February 2008!!! This is the official announcement from Universal, the company making the film:

    “Cirque du Freak” by Darren Shan – Movie Announcement

    The “Cirque du Freak” series of bestselling children’s novels by Irish author Darren Shan has been acquired by Universal Pictures and will be adapted for a motion picture of the same name. The film is due to begin shooting in February 2008 in New Orleans under the direction of Paul Weitz (About A Boy, In Good Company), and will star John C. Reilly (Gangs of New York, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) as Larten Crepsley; Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia) as Steve Leonard; and newcomer Chris J Kelly as Darren Shan. Weitz is adapting some of the storylines from the novels for the screen. He and Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men) will produce for their production companies, Depth of Field and The Donner's Company.

    There's not much more for me to add, except -- whoopee!!!! There's no telling how the film will turn out, but I think it's in very safe, capable hands, and I'm really excited about the cast so far. I've seen Josh Hutcherson in a number of films (most recently R.V. with Robin Williams), and I've been a BIG John C Reilly fan since I saw him in Boogie Nights -- he never seems to put in anything but an excellent performance. I know some fans are perturbed, since they've only seen him in the recent comedy films that he's been in, but those with more knowledge of his work will know that he's done all sorts of movies -- dramatic, serious and scary.

    No release date has yet been set for the movie, so ignore any online rumours you might come across. As soon as I know anything more about that, and about other cast members, I'll include the info in the Shanville Monthly -- I plan to keep fans regularly updated over the next few months. You can also look up Cirque Du Freak on http://www.imdb.com -- that's where you'll be able to find details about the crew. Plus, I've created a Message Board especially for it, where fans can chat about the cast, crew, and anything else thay have a mind to. You can find it here: FILM FORUM

    I know a lot of you have been dreaming of a Cirque Du Freak movie for a number of years -- I've received emails and letters about it virtually every day since the first book was published back in January 2000! Now, at last, the dream is poised to become a reality. I hope you're all as psyched about the news as I am!!!


    I know I made you all wait until publication to reveal the title of Book 6 of The Demonata, but I'm delighted to be able to reveal the title of Book 7 a lot earlier. In fact, several months earlier. In fact ... NOW!!!!! Yes folks, there's no need to wait on tenter hooks any longer, as I can reveal that the title for Book 7 of The Demonata is ...


    As you can tell from the cheery title, this is a lighthearted departure, in which Lord Loss discovers his more sensitive side and puts aside his differences with the Disiples; they all go off on a picnic; and end up thwarting a gang of smugglers and adopting a dog called Woofie. Yeah, right!!!!! No, rest assured book 7 is a frantic, blood-drenched romp of a book, with all sorts of mean, nasty, vicious villains on the loose! Books 5 and 6 served to bring together all the various story-lines and characters of the first 4 books. Now the main story kicks in and we begin to see just how high the stakes really are, and just how difficult it's going to be for ANY of the characters to walk out alive at the end of this series. Things were bad before. but they're about to get worse. A HELL of a lot worse ...


    And the good news about Book 7 doesn't stop there!!! As long-time fans in the UK and Ireland know, the release dates for the series so far have been June and October. That has now been adjusted slightly, which I'm very pleased about, since I felt 8 months was a very long wait, and 4 months was too short!!! Book 7 will now be released in May 2008 -- one month earlier than planned, so you have one month less to wait for it!!! Book 8 will be released as previously planned, in October 2008. Then Books 9 and 10 will come out in May 2009 and October 2009 respectively.

    There's also good news for those of you who prefer to buy the paperback versions too. Book 5 comes out in paperback in January 2008 as planned, then book 6 in May 2008. But Book 7 will be published in October 2008 instead of January 2009, meaning THREE of the books will be published in paperback in 2008 -- hurrah!! After that, Book 8 comes out in May 2009, Book 9 in October 2009, and Book 10 in May 2010.


    The web site Play.com still has some signed copies of Demon Apocalypse for sale on their web site -- and it actually costs less than the unsigned edition!!! These are genuine, validated signatures -- I signed the books exclusively for Play at the start of my tour at the beginning of October. They were actually the very first books that I signed during the tour!!! Stocks are limited, so if you want to get hold of a signed copy of Demon Apocalypse, my advice is to act swiftly!!!! You can find it by clicking here: BUY A SIGNED COPY OF DEMON APOCALYPSE


    I've finally added my notes for Demon Apocalypse to my site, in which I talk about the creation of the book and how it helped me figure out the overall shape of the series. Book 6 is one of the most crucial of the series, and I hope the notes help shed some light on how everything came together and began to make sense. I would warn readers, these notes contain MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS!!!!! I very seriously recommend you NOT to read the notes UNTIL you have read book 6. If you ignore my advice, you'll spoil quite a few of the book's plot twists for yourself. For those who HAVE read Book 6, click on the following link to find the notes about it, and about all of my other Demonata books too: DEMONATA BOOK NOTES


    Dave Fanning is one of Ireland's longest-standing and (if you're an indie fan) best DJs. I listened to him all the time in my mid-to-late teens, and still count myself as a fan. I was recently asked to go on his show and talk about one of my all-time favourite albums, and select a few tracks from it. I picked "Trompe Le Monde" by The Pixies. The interview was broadcast on Halloween, and, with the songs, it runs for over 22 minutes.You can hear the full interview (and four great tracks by The Pixies) by clicking on this link: DAVE FANNING INTERVIEW


    I've added the German covers for Blood Beast and Demon Apocalypse to my web site (many thanks, Gyuszi, for supplying me with them!!!). Since they won't be published until 2008, I've added the images to Secret Shanville. Click here for them: GERMAN COVERS

    I've also added the Hungarian cover for Blood Beast to my site. Click here for it: HUNGARY BLOOD BEAST


    I've added LOTS of new interviews to my web site, including a selection of reports about the film news which was announced mid-November. You can find them (along with loads of other interviews with me) by clicking here: NEW INTERVIEWS


    I've added several new reviews of Blood Beast to my site, along with the first couple of reviews of Demon Apocalypse, and some new reviews of Slawter and Bec too. To check them all out, click on the ink here: NEW REVIEWS


    I've added a new folder of photos to my site, from a holiday I went on to Florida in October and November. You can check them out (along with lots of others) by clicking here: NEW PHOTOS


    It's shameless, self-promoting plug time!!!!! Christmas is a special, loving, peaceful time of year, blah blah blah, but we all know that the real reason it exists is so that people can buy lots of copies of my books, either for themselves or as presents!! So make sure you stock up on lots of Shan titles this yuletide, or I'll sic a reindeer-shaped demon on you!!!!!

    Seriously, if you ARE looking to get any of my books this Christmas, you should be able to find copies in your nearest book store, but in case you can't, or prefer buying online, or want to check first to find out names of my books and how many are on sale, you can visit the SHOPS on my web site, which list all the various editions (hardbacks, paperbacks and audio CDs) of my books which are available in the UK or USA. I have two different shops, one for my vampire books, one for my demon books. The links for each are below:

    Click here for: UK DEMONATA SHOP Click here for: USA DEMONATA SHOP
    Click here for: UK SAGA OF DARREN SHAN SHOP Click here for: USA CIRQUE DU FREAK SHOP


    I've cleaned up the Darren Shan Message Board, merging the forums for The Demonata to make it easier for fans to chat about the books. Since Blood Beast is now available in all English language countries, I've grouped the first five books of the series together, so you will need to read Blood Beast in order to access the forum. I know this might be a bit of a nuisance for those of you who have not yet read the fifth book -- but, looking on the bright side, I think it gives you an extra little incentive to crack on and read it as soon as possible!! You can visit the Message Board by clicking here: MESSAGE BOARD


    Although I won't be touring properly until April and May (when I travel to Hungary for a few days, then launch into my UK tour for Death's Shadow), I'm doing a one-off event at a London school in January. I'll be at St Michaels School in Bermondsey, London on Thursday January 17th. This was supposed to be part of my October 2007 tour, but had to be cancelled at the last minute, so I'm delighted to be able to go there now -- better late than never!!


    You better be good ... you better not cry ... or Shanta Claus will rip you open and feed your guts to his reindeer!!!!! Yes, folks, it's that time of year again, when Shanta rises reluctantly and heads off for his meeting with some of the characters from the world of Darren Shan! This is my personal favourite out of all the short stories that I've written over the years -- but since it's a Christmas tale, I only put it up on my site at Christmas time!! I usually edit it a bit from year to year, to keep it fresh. I haven't decided for certain how I'll tweak it this time round, but I wouldn't be surprised if we see a cameo from one or two charcters from The Demonata ...

    I'll be putting the story online a week or so before Christmas at THIS LINK, but there's nothing much there at the moment!! You can check back closer to Christmas, but I'll also be sending out a link to everyone who is on my Secret Shanville list -- so if you haven't joined the Shanster club yet, this is the ideal time to do so!!!! CLICK HERE TO BECOME A SHANSTER then sit back and wait for Shanta to drop down your computer's virtual chimney later in the month .....


    Let's end the year on a nice competitive high!! I'm running probably the biggest competition I've ever run on Shanville, with more prizes up for grabs than ever before!!! I recently noticed that I had extra copies of certain books from certain countries, and rather than shove them away in a cupboard somewhere, I decided to sign them all and offer them up as prizes. The competition will only be open to people in the countries which I have books for, but there are thirteen countries in total (and Hong Kong!), so that covers most of the globe!!!! Fans in the following countries will be eligible for entry: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Thailand, UK and Ireland, U.S.A. You need to click on the following link for Secret Shanville (and become a Shanster if you haven't joined already) to enter the competition. You can also find out the full list of prizes and the rules and guidelines there. CLICK HERE TO ENTER COMPETITION


    And that's it for December -- and, indeed, 2007 -- not a bad little year!!! I'll be sending out an email to all my registered Shansters a week or so before Christmas with a link to the Shanta Claus story. I'll also take that opportunity to wish you all a merry Christmas and give you any film updates that might crop up over the coming weeks. I'll be back in the New Year with the first 2008 issue of the Shanville Monthly. In the meantime, be extra good this month, enjoy your Christmas break, and try not to OD on turkey!!!!! All my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x