• Issue 95 - June 2008

    01 June 2008


    Juicy June greetings, everyone!!! I've just completed my latest tour, to promote Death's Shadow. I should be feeling jaded, but it was a brilliant tour, so I actually feel pretty fresh! The fact that the book has gone down such a storm -- topping the children's best sellers chart in both countries for three weeks, and earning almost unanimous praise from fans -- certainly helped ward off the tiredness that touring usually results in!! As anyone who was following my blog in May will have seen, I had a great time on this tour -- busier than ever, which is the way I like it!!! You can read all about the chart success of the book below, as well as exciting news of success on the other side of the Atlantic too, where Demon Apocalypse wove its delirious charms in the USA!! You can find a link to the cover of Wolf Island (probably my favourite cover yet!!), there's some intriguing film news, I've added LOADS of new fan art to my site (at last!!!), there's a new Shanville Competition(hurrah!!), and more!!!! So, without any further ado, let's dive right in with that soul-lifting chart news ...


    Death's Shadow, Book 7 of The Demonata, went on sale in the UK and Ireland at the start of May and went straight to the Number One spot on the Children's best sellers chart in both countries in its first week of release!!! It held onto the #1 slot in the UK for 3 weeks in a row, only slipping to the #3 position in the final week of the month (it remained the #1 best selling children's hardback for the entire month). In Ireland the book also remained at #1 for 3 weeks in a row, slipping to the #2 spot in the last week of the month. Chart-wise, this has been my most successful book in the UK to date -- it's amazing to see that, eight and half years after the release of Cirque Du Freak, the fanbase of Shasters is still continuing to grow!!!! Many thanks to all of you who bought the book, recommended it to your friends and turned out to support me on my tour (more about that further down!). You made it an incredible month for me!!!! Here's to even bigger and better things in the years ahead!!!

    If you haven't bought a copy already, you should be able to find a copy of Death's Shadow in your nearest book store, but if you'd rather buy online, you order it from Amazon by clicking on the following link: BUY DEATH'S SHADOW FROM AMAZON UK


    I've added the cover for the UK/Ireland edition of Wolf Island, book 8 of The Demonata, to my web site -- and it's a bloodily brilliant beauty!!!! To check it out, visit Secret Shanville (you'll need to become a Shanster if you haven't joined already) by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html


    I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to announce that The Demonata entered the New York Times Top 10 Children's Series Best Sellers chart at Number 9 during May!!! Although my Cirque Du Freak series charted regularly in the NYT list, this was the first time The Demonata made the chart, with the release there of Demon Apocalypse, book 6 of the series. Making the NYT chart is incredibly difficult, especially the series chart, as series tend to stay in the chart much longer than one-off books on the other chart -- of the top 10 best sellers the week that I made it, only two other series had spent less than 14 weeks on the chart! It's like an exclusive club that's almost impossible to break into -- but The Demonata has done it!!!! Many thanks to all my American fans for their continued support, and for helping to turn some of their friends onto the demonic delights of the series too!! I was already looking forward to my October tour of the States, but now doubly so!!!!!!!

    If you live in the States and haven't yet bought Demon Apocalypse, head for your local book store immediately!! Or if you prefer to buy online, you can get the book through Amazon or Barnes & Noble by clicking on either of the following links:




    There was a brief but nice mention for Cirque Du Freak in a recent, interesting Newsweek article about teen readers. You can access it by clicking here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/136961


    You can watch a lengthy recorded interview with me in D B Shan mode on the Sci-Fi London website, in which I talk (in quite a lot of depth!) about Procession of the Dead (the novel for adults which I released this year in the UK as D B Shan -- see http://www.dbshan.co.uk) and how I came to write it. Although I usually come across quite concisely in most printed interviews, I actually do love to go off on a long, fast-talking spiel when giving free reign, and this captures me in full, sometimes frenetic flow!!! Click here for the link to the video: http://www.sci-fi-london.com/news/article/1210282552/6/d-b-shan-video#


    After years of meaning to, but never quite getting around to it, I have now finally archived my tour dates!! I went back through my records and compiled a list of every event and signing I've ever done. I also added group numbers and signing times where I could find the information. I'm sure there are one or two errors in there, events that were cancelled, or last-minute additions which I forgot to add to my site or diary at the time. But for the most part it's accurate. You can find the tour archive page in Secret Shanville (you'll have to join if you haven't already) by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html

    Meanwhile, my latest tour -- the Death's Shadow tour in the UK and Ireland -- was a huge success. This was my most consistent tour so far in terms of crowds -- I got very large turnouts at virtually every event. In fact, I came to term it my two hour tour, since I was signing for at least two hours at almost every single public event or signing on the tour!!! A few were a bit shorter, and some were even longer (four and a half hours was the longest!!), but two hours plus was the average. I even had long signings at many of the schools I went to too!!! It was hard work, but huge fun, especially since I got to return to my flat in London almost every night -- it makes a big difference when you can sleep in your own bed on tour!! I met loads of amazing fans (some who'd seen me before, others who were meeting me for the first time), booksellers, librarians and teachers, had a warm welcome everywhere I went, gazve lots of readings, signed uncountable thousands of books ... it was brilliant!!!! Many thanks to everyone who played a part in setting up the tour (especially Mary and Geraldine -- stars as always!), and to everyone who turned out to meet me. For those who didn't get a chance to catch me this time round, don't worry, I'll be hitting the road again in October, and this time I'll be venturing further afield from the general London area, and doing a few more Irish events too!! More details will appear here over the coming months ...


    After far too long a gap (sorry!!) I've finally managed to add loads of new fan art to my site. This is one of my favourite parts of having the site, the chance to see what artistically talented fans make of the characters I spend so much time writing about! I love seeing the demons, freaks, vampires, etc through their eyes. It's not possible to add every piece of art that is sent to me (I'd need to double the size of my site!!!), but I do try to add a large cross-section of what I receive.

    To see Demonata-inspired fan art , click on the following link: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/fanart/index.html

    For Vampires and those who inhabit their dark, freaky world, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/fanart/index.html


    This will probably come too late for most of you (the closing date is midnight, June 2nd), but maybe a few of you will be in time to enter -- if you're swift!!!! Waterstones are offering fans the chance to create a demon of your own, by describing it in 50 words of less -- and the winning contestant will see their demon featured in Book 9 of The Demonata in May 2009!!! This is the first time I've ever let a fan design a creature for one of my books -- and it will very probably be the last!! You'll also get an OBE, and free signed copy of the book, and a chance to come and meet me in person to collect it!!!!! The comp is open to readers in the UK and Ireland, of any age (but you'll need a parent's permission if you're under 18). For more details and the full rules, click here: http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/navigate.do?pPageID=1314 The closing date is midnight, Monday June 2nd -- so act swiftly before the chance passes you by!!!!


    As far as I'm aware, principal filming on the Cirque Du Freak in New Orleans finishes this month. Some journalists were invited on to the set recently, and although they haven't been able to say much about it yet, from what they've let slip, the set is amazing and the characters look incredible too!! The latest big casting news is that Willem Dafoe has joined, and he will be playing the part of Gavner Purl. I'm a big fan of Dafoe from movies like Platoon and Wild At Heart, as well as playing the Green Goblin in a little movie that came out a few years ago by the name of SpiderMan!!!! He's an excellent addition to what is already, in my opinion, a very strong cast. Like the rest of you, I'm going to have to wait to see what the film is like (I haven't been directly involved with it at any stage, so I've no idea what's been going on over in New Orleans), but they're certainly giving themselves a good chance of succeeding with the cast they've put together ...


    It's been a while since I ran a competition, so here's one to celebrate the end of my UK/Ireland Death's Shadow tour -- as well as getting to #1 in both countries for 3 weeks in a row!!! There are actually two competitions, each with a similar prize. The first is open to fans who live in the UK and Ireland, and the winner will receive a T-shirt which I wore on my recent tour to promote the 7th book in my demon series -- it has the Death's Shadow cover on it (see above left), the date of the tour underneath, and I will sign it. I only created two of these T-shirts to wear on tour, one black, one grey -- the winner will receive the grey T-shirt, a true one-of-a-kind prize!!!! The second competition is open to fans living anywhere else in the world (i.e. anywhere except the UK and Ireland). The winner will receive a scary-looking T-shirt (see above right) which I have worn at many events over the years, including my 2003 trip to Japan (where the photo was taken). I will sign it in silver ink. This T-shirt is a genuine piece of Darren Shan touring history!! Here are the entry links, along with the full terms and conditions:


    1) If you live in the UK or Ireland, answer this question: "What is the name of Book 7 of The Demonata?"

    2)Send your entry to: [email protected]


    1) If you live anywhere else in the world other than the UK or Ireland ,answer this question: "In which country was the photo of Darren in his scary-looking T-shirt taken?"

    2) Send your entry to: [email protected]

    3) You can only enter ONE of the competitions, depending on where you live. If you try to enter both, your entries will be disqualified.

    (4) Put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail!!! I won't accept your entry if you don't! And make sure you INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS in the body of the e-mail, as well as the answer -- and don't forget to add the name of your country!!!! This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win!

    (5) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Sunday, June 15th, 2008.

    (6) This competition is open to everybody, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations!!

    (7) Only one entry per household -- if you send in more than one entry, ALL of your entries will be rejected! If more than one person in a house wants to enter, you'll need to make a joint entry.

    (8) The draw for the winners will be made on Monday, June 16th. It will be a completely random draw, made by Darren Shan personally (I use an online number generator to pick the winners). I will try to notify the winners by e-mail, and will post their names on the Shanville Message Board and in the July issue of the Shanville Monthly.

    (9) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company. I'll keep your details on my PC, then delete the info once the competition ends.

    (10) My decision will be final -- so there!!!!!


    I will be doing another major book tour of Ireland and the UK in late September and early October. More details to follow.


    Monday 11 4.30pm PUBLIC event at the Edinburgh Book Festival. This will be my 9th appearance in a row at the Festival! http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/



    Saturday 13 CANCELLED *CANCELLED *PUBLIC event at Books In The Park, Marlay Park, Dublin. *CANCELLED*


    I will be coming to the USA on tour again in late October and early November 2008. The tour is still in its very early planning stages, so please don't contact me about it yet. I will post more information, including contact details for my publisher, sometime within the next few months, giving everyone the chance to "pitch" for a Darren Shan visit. So please keep watching the Shanville Monthly for updates.


    And that's it for June! I hope you all enjoy the start of the summer season (except for those of you who have to sit exams!!). It's going to be a busy summer at the PC for me -- I'm going to be at home for the first time in ages, and I plan to do lots of editing, as well as hopefully polish off first drafts of at least another couple of books! The hard work starts this week, at the start of the month -- if I make good progress, I can allow myself to rest up bit later in the summer, and maybe even work in a few trips to the beach if the weather's good!!! I'll be back here at the start of July with all the latest updates and news. Until then, all my bloody best, and don't forget to slap on lots of sun cream if you're going out in the sun!!!! Darren Shan x x x