• Issue 96 - July 2008

    01 July 2008


    Welcome to the July issue of the Shanville Monthly, everyone!!! Sorry it's a bit late, but I was away from home on Tuesday, then my internet wasn't working, and today (Wednesday July 2nd) was my birthday, so I was on a bit of a go-slow!!!! Anyway, better late than never! I was at home for most of June, busy working on a number of books. I spend about 2 or 3 years working on any single book, but I juggle several books around at the same time, which is how I bring them out so quickly! In June I edited the last few books of The Demonata, as well as the next few books which I plan to bring out when the series finished in 2009. Those of you interested in my day-to-day routines can follow my progress on my Blog. Even though I sometimes don't reveal the title of what I'm working on, or even what it's about, I chart my ups and downs most days on the Blog, talking about the tricks of the trade. I often get asked for advice about writing, but apart from the basics ("Write lots. Keep practising. Never give up."), it's hard to summarise. I think you can learn a lot more by reading a writer's blog than you can by just asking them for tips. It's sort of like the difference between someone telling you what a soccer game is like, and watching a soccer game. Of course you can't actually SEE me when I'm writing, but the blog gives you a pretty good idea of what I get up to, and how I go about it. My Blog's not a straightforward A to Z of How To Write, but for those prepared to slog through it and scroll back through older entries, you can piece together pretty much all that I do when I'm working on a book. Anyway, that's just for the budding writers out there! For the rest of you, let's crack on with the latest news. There's not much to report this month, which is a good thing, I think -- summers should be a time for brief period indoors, hunched over computers, and more time spent outdoors, soaking up the sun!! Not that I've seen much of that in Ireland so far this year!!!!


    After topping the charts in the UK and Ireland for most of May, Death's Shadow, Book 7 of The Demonata, slipped in both, then came back with a vengeance later in June -- in the UK it returned to the #2 position on the Children's best sellers chart, and in Ireland it went all the way back to the #1 spot!!!! The support from you guys has been incredible! I haven't received any official figures yet, but it won't surprise me if this is my biggest-selling release to date (at least in terms of a book's first-run sales -- Cirque Du Freak is my overall best-selling book by a long way, since it's been selling well for over eight and a half years!!). It's certainly been my most successful in the UK charts. 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


    The winners of the Shanville Monthly June 2008 competitions were:

    UK & Ireland -- Nathan Coote, Hertfordshire.

    Rest of World -- Susanne Gornig, Hannover, Germany.

    Susanne sent me a picture of her young son in the signed T-shirt which I sent to them -- I think you'll agree that it's the most freakily cute photo ever!!

    Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone else who entered -- better luck next time!!!


    Principal filming on the Cirque Du Freak movie finished in June. The film-makers have now moved onto the post-production part, which involves doing all the special effects, editing, adding a soundtrack, etc. etc. Its a long, laborious process, especially on a big-budget, effects-heavy film like this, so it will probably take them quite a few more months to complete. A release date still hasn't been officially announced (I'll let you all know as soon as it is), but it's looking like the film will probably be released in Europe in the early part of 2009. It might be released in the States even earlier, although they could also decide to release it at the same time as Europe, or later -- there's no way of telling!! As for the rest of the world... who knows?!? I'm sure there will be a lot of speculation on IMDB and other movie sites over the coming months, but my advice is to believe nothing that you read, until you read about it HERE. Once Universal give me official dates, I'll make them available to you guys ASAP.


    My publishers in the UK, HarperCollins, are working on new covers for all 12 of The Saga of Darren Shan books. The last time we changed the covers here was when book 6, The Vampire Prince, was released in early 2002. While I liked the Phase 2 covers, I think that, after 6 years, they can well do with a revamp. I've seen some early artist's drafts, and I LOVE the new direction they're taking with the books -- I think they'll look much cooler than they do at the moment!! I'm expecting the new-style covers to catch the eyes of lots of potential new fans! There's still a lot of work to do on them, and it will probably be quite a few months before the new books start coming out (it might even be next year). But I know some of you are completists, and you like to have matching covers for all the books in a series, and a few of you might not have yet bought all of the books in the Saga. If so, you've been served fair warning -- if you want to get all the covers in the current style, you'll need to do so over the next few months, because once the new-look covers come out, I think the old ones will becomes very hard to find, very swiftly. On the other hand, if you haven't bought any of the Saga yet and are toying with the idea of starting to collect them, you might want to wait for the new covers -- that way you won't end up with half of one set and half of another!!!


    After adding lots of new fan art last month, I turned to the Covers part of my site in June and added LOADS of new covers to my site. First, in the Demons section, there are new covers from Hungary, Italy, and the Netherlands. Click here to check them out: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/covers/index.html

    In the Vampires section, there are covers from Brazil, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Sweden and Turkey. Click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/index.html

    Finally, in the Secret Shanville part of my site, I've added early artist's drafts of the UK edition of Wolf Island, as well as a working artist's draft of the American edition of Death's Shadow!!! Click here to explore further (you'll need to join Secret Shanville if you haven't already) : http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html


    My event at the Edinburgh Book Festival this year will take place on Monday August 11th at 4.30pm. I will be in the RBS Main Theatre. This will be my 9th year in a row at the Festival, and while I haven't finalised the extracts I'm going to be reading out, I usually try and provide at least one or two exclusives every year in Edinburgh, and I don't think this year will be any different...

    You can book tickets through the Festival online, by phone or post -- click here for more info: http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/

    If you want to check out the full programme (this also has the information about how to book tickets) click here: http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/pdf/2008_book_festival.pdf


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


    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 planning stages, so please don't contact me about it yet. I will post more information, including contact details for my publisher, in the August issue of the Shanville Monthly.


    I'd just like to send my very best wishes to my good friend, Maiko Enomoto, who got married late in June and is currently on honeymoon. I didn't manage to get to her wedding in Japan, but I was there in spirit! I hope you'll all join me in wishing Maiko and her husband Satoshi many happy years together, and may the luck of the vampires be with them all the time!!!!


    And that's it for July! I'm going to be carrying on with the editing over the summer, and I hope to do the first draft of at least one more book as well, so it'll be a busy enough time for me! But I'm fitting in a week in London too, which will be packed full of parties, concerts and trips to the theatre, so it's not ALL work and no play!! I'll be back here in August with all the latest updates. Until then, all my bloody best!!!! Darren Shan x x x