• Issue 97 - August 2008

    01 August 2008

    Welcome to the August issue of the Shanville Monthly, everyone, and a belated Happy Birthday to ... the Shanville Monthly!!!! Yes, last month marked the 8th birthday of the one and only official Darren Shan newsletter, but due to a technical glitch, I missed it! It wasn't that I forgot, but I got my numbers mixed up! I realised, when I came to write this month's newsletter, that I'd accidentally repeated an issue number last October -- i.e. the September issue was Issue 86, but I also published the October issue as Issue 86!!!!! Whoops!! I've gone back and corrected the issue numbers for all the entries since then, so everything's fine now, but it does mean we all missed out on the 8th birthday celebrations. Oh well, we'll just have to do something doubly special next year when the SM hits number 9!!!!!

    I've been busy editing over the summer, moving close to my final drafts of the last few Demonata books, and lining up a few different follow-up projects. (I can't say much about them at the moment, but there's LOTS of exciting material to come from me over the next 4 or 5 years at least!!!) I've also been working with my publicists in the UK and America to put together the details of my upcoming tours in September, October and November. You can find the itinerary for the UK and Ireland in this issue of the Shanville Monthly (there are still lots of venues to be confirmed, but most of it's in place). You'll also find out the cities and states that I'll be visiting when I tour the USA in the latter half of October, and this is your chance to pitch to my publicist to try and be included in the tour -- but you'll have to be swift, so don't hesitate!!! As well as all that, there's the first photo from the set of the Cirque Du Freak film to oooh and aaah over, news that my adult book has been sold to America, and, to kick us off, a piece of truly exciting, faint-inducing news -- in fact, I'd even go so far as to call it the biggest piece of news to appear here since I announced a while back that the film had got the go-ahead!!!!!

    MANGA, MANGA, U.S.A.!!!

    Oh, you guys are gonna SO like this one!!! As many of you probably already know, there is a manga adaptation of The Saga of Darren Shan in Japan. They started publishing the story last year, and are currently up to Book 10. The manga has been a huge hit in Japan. The artist, Takahiro Arai, is a young guy, and this is his first major project. I helped choose him from a shortlist of very talented, and some very experienced, manga artists. Although the work of everyone on the shortlist was of a very high standard, Takahiro's gift for storytelling stood out -- all the artists did page roughs for the first few chapters of Cirque Du Freak, but although there were all working from the same material, his version moved much more fluidly and excitingly than any of the others. There was a vitality to his work which appealed greatly to me, and even though it was in Japanese, I could follow the work with ease. The publishers had final say on the choice of artist, but I was absolutely delighted when they opted for Takahiro. I've been following his adaptation of the series ever since, and I've been blown away by it. While remaining faithful to the books for the most part, he brings his own vision to the series and makes it something original and fresh at the same time. This doesn't feel like a needless re-telling of the story, but a vivid re-imagining of it. His skills have developed over the course of the series, and as cool as the early graphic novels are, the later entries are even better!! My only regret since the series started has been that I was unable to read the text, since it was all in Japanese. I could follow the story, but I almost never had an idea of what characters were saying in any individual panel. But that's all about to change, because ...

    *big drum roll*

    ... the manga has been bought for translation into English and publication in the U.S.A.!!!! HURRAH!!!!!!

    I am SO psyched about this!! I've always been a big comics fan, so I'm delighted that my work is going to appear in that format. But what's even better is that, having seen most of the series already in its Japanese form, I KNOW it's going to be brilliant!!! A writer can never control an adaptation of his work, so if you sell the rights of your books to a comic or film company, there's always a period of uncertainty where you can't help but wonder, "Is it going to suck?!?" In this instance, I've no need to be nervous. The manga is a triumph, and I have total confidence that it will have as big an impact on you guys as it has had on me and hundreds of thousands of Japanese fans. You can find out a bit more about the American adaptation, and the plans my publishers have, by clicking on the following two links:


    About.Com: Manga

    As you'll see from those two articles, the rights have been bought by Yen Press, and they're planning to bring the first volume out in summer 2009, with subsequent volumes to follow hot on its heels (I think they plan to bring them out at a rate of one every two or three months). Once they decide on an exact publication schedule, I'll publish the info here (the dates might change, depending on what happens with the movie and when it's released in the States). I'm not sure exactly how involved I'll be in the translation process -- I might just leave the translator to work by him- or herself, or I might help tweak the translation into final shape, depending on how keen my publishers are to involve me, and also on whether or not it's actually possible for me to make the time to get closely involved (as always, my priority will remain focused on my books and ensuring they get published on time, and to the highest standard I can maintain).

    I hope the manga will be released in other countries in the near future, and we're already in discussions (some at a very advanced stage) with publishers in a few different regions. Expect updates on this over the next couple of months.


    A few months back, Waterstones in the UK and Ireland ran a competition where fans were invited to create their own demon, by naming and describing a monster in less than 50 words (see Shanville Monthly June 2008). The winner would have their creation feature in Book 9 of The Demonata, which goes on release in the UK in May 2009. There was a huge response -- they received over 600 entries, which is massive for a "creative competition" like this!!! Waterstones and HarperCollins whittled the entries down to 10 finalists, and then sent them to me to make the final decision. The ten they sent were a disgusting, toe-curling, brutally brilliant bunch of demonic wonders, so it was very hard to choose a winner. But finally I made my choice, and the winning entrant is:


    You'll find out what Tom came up with next May, when the book comes out -- I'll announce on the Shanville Monthly which demon came from the depths of his twisted imagination!! The nine runners-up, in no particular order, are:


    Thanks to everyone who entered, and better luck next time to those who weren't among the winners.


    The first photograph of John C Reilly as Mr Crepsley, Chris Kelly (who is listed on some sites as Chris Massoglia) as Darren Shan, and a bit of the Cirque Du Freak set has been revealed in the movie magazine Empire in the UK (which, coincidentally, is the only movie mag I subscribe to -- coincidence or DesTiny?!?). I think it looks suitably creepy!!! Whatever else happens with the film, I definitely think it's going to be a fascinating movie on a visual level. You can check out the photo by clicking the link below, and there are some interesting comments about it on another couple of sites as well, underneath.





    I'm absolutely delighted to be able to announce that Procession of the Dead -- the book I wrote for adults and released in the UK in March this year under the name of D B Shan -- has been bought by Grand Central Publishing, for publication in the good ole U.S. of A.!!! More details will follow over the coming months, primarily on the web site I use for my adult books (http://www.dbshan.co.uk) but the coolio news for now is that my adult books ARE going to be made available in America, and sooner rather than later!!!


    I've added the Taiwanese cover for Death's Shadow to my site: CLICK HERE

    I've also added the Romanian cover for The Vampire's Assistant: CLICK HERE


    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. There are still tickets available as of August 2nd. 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


    Please note, I have had to CANCEL my intended appearance at Books in the Park in Dublin in September. My apologies to anyone who was planning to come to it to see me. But the good news for fans in Dublin is that later in the month I'll be doing five (yes, FIVE!!!!) public signings in the area!!!!

    I am doing a book tour of Ireland and the UK in late September and early October. This is the itinerary as it currently stands, but it will be widely updated over the next month, so make sure you check back again closer to the time!


    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*

    Thursday 25 a.m./p.m. School events arranged by Waterstones, 44-46 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE. contact the store if you are interested in booking places.
    Thursday 25 4.30pm PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 44-46 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE.

    Friday 26 a.m. School event(s) arranged by Borders, Unit 4 Westend Retail Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. contact the store if you are interested in booking places.
    Friday 26 4.30pm PUBLIC signing at Borders, Unit 4 Westend Retail Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

    Saturday 27 11.00am PUBLIC signing at Easons, 40 Lower O'Connell Street, Dublin.
    Saturday 27 3.00pm PUBLIC signing at Easons, Unit G1 The Pavillion Shopping Center, Swords, Co. Dublin.

    Sunday 28 11.00am PUBLIC signing at Easons, Unit 45/46 Liffey Valley, Clondalkin, Dublin 22.
    Sunday 28 3.00pm PUBLIC signing at Easons, The Square, Tallaght Town Center, Tallaght, Dublin 24.

    Monday 29 11.00am Schools event at Triskell Arts Centre, Cork. For more details or to book places, email: [email protected]
    Monday 29 1.00pm Schools event at Triskell Arts Centre, Cork. For more details or to book places, email: [email protected]
    Monday 29 4.30pm PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, Patrick Street, Cork.

    Tuesday 30 a.m./p.m. Schools events at O'Mahony's Bookstore, O'Connell Street, Limerick. For more details, or to book places, email: [email protected]
    Tuesday 30 4.00pm PUBLIC signing at O'Mahony's Bookstore, O'Connell Street, Limerick. http://www.omahonys.ie/



    Wednesday 1 a.m./p.m. School events in Milton Keynes.
    Wednesday 1 6.30pm PUBLIC event at Waterstones, Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes. You will need a ticket to get into this event. For more details, contact Sara Dokham by phoning 01908395384.

    Friday 3 11.20am School event in Holt, Norfolk.
    Friday 3 2.00pm School event at Taverham High School, Norwich.
    Friday 3 6.30pm School event at Sprowston High School, Norwich. Although this is an after-school event for children of the school, it MIGHT be possible for others to get tickets to it as well. If interested, contact Marilyn Brocklehurst for more details by phoning 01263 761402.

    Saturday 4 10.00am PUBLIC signing at Borders, 146 LR Merchant's Hall, Chapelfield, Norwich, NR2 1SH.
    Saturday 4 3.00pm PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 36 Butter Market, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1DW.

    Sunday 5 11.00a.m. PUBLIC signing at Foyles, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London SE1 8XX. This is my local book store in London!! This is also the first ever public signing that I have done in central London! (I've done events, but never a straightforward signing session!) Come along to the buzzing, family-friendly Southbank with your parents and make a day of it! http://www.foyles.co.uk/index.asp?
    Sunday 5 4.00pm PUBLIC event at Stratford Circus, Theatre Square, Stratford, E15 1BX. Arranged by Newham Bookshop -- please contact the bookshop for more details. http://newhambooks.co.uk/

    Monday 6 4.00pm Tea with winners of Leeds City Libraries competition winners.
    Monday 6 6.30pm PUBLIC event at Leeds Art Gallery. For more details contact Debbie Moody by email: [email protected]

    Tuesday 7 9.00am School event in Dudley, West Midlands.
    Tuesday 7 1.45pm School event in Halesowen, West Midlands.
    Tuesday 7 7.00pm PUBLIC event in West Midlands.

    Wednesday 8 9.55am School event in Brownhills, Walsall.
    Wednesday 8 5.00pm PUBLIC signing at Borders, Manchester Fort, Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester M8 8EP.

    Thursday 9 9.30am School event at Worsbrough, Barnsley.
    Thursday 9 1.15pm School event at Fir Vale, Sheffield.
    Thursday 9 p.m. PUBLIC signing in Sheffield.

    Friday 10 a.m. School event in Doncaster.
    Friday 10 1.00pm Schools event at Doncaster Civic Theatre. For more details or to book places, contact Lyn Cooper on email: [email protected]
    Friday 10 5.00p.m. PUBLIC signing, possibly in Pudsey, near Leeds -- venue TBC.

    Saturday 11 11.00am PUBLIC signing in Oxford -- venue TBC.
    Saturday 11 4.00pm PUBLIC event at Cheltenham Literature Festival. http://cheltenhamfestivals.com/whats_on/literature_festival.html

    Sunday 12 2.00pm PUBLIC event at Ilkley Literature Festival. http://www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk/user/index.php


    I am coming to the USA on tour in late October and early November 2008. I don't have finalised event and venue dates yet, but I will be visiting the following areas:


    Monday 20 a.m. School events arranged by Red Balloon book shop, Minneapolis/St. Paul.
    Monday 20 7.00 p.m. PUBLIC event/signing at Red Balloon Book shop, 891 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105. http://www.redballoonbookshop.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp

    Tuesday 21 a.m. School events arranged by Wild Rumpus book shop, MN55410. http://www.wildrumpusbooks.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp

    Wednesday 22 a.m. School events in Kansas City, KS.
    Wednesday 22 p.m. PUBLIC event/signing at a library in Kansas City, KS.

    Thursday 23 a.m. School event in Dallas, TX
    Thursday 23 p.m. PUBLIC event at Barnes & Noble, Dallas, TX.

    Friday 24 a.m. School events in Austin, TX, arranged by BookPeople book shop, 603 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78703. http://www.bookpeople.com/index.php
    Friday 24 p.m. PUBLIC event/signing at a Haunted House, arranged by BookPeople book shop, 603 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78703. http://www.bookpeople.com/index.php

    Saturday 25 p.m. PUBLIC event/signing at a Haunted House, arranged by Books & Books book shop, Miami, FL. http://www.booksandbooks.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp

    Monday 27 a.m. School events arranged by Octavia book shop, 513 Octavia Street (corner of Laurel), New Orleans, LA 70115. http://www.octaviabooks.com/index.php
    Monday 27 p.m. PUBLIC event/signing at Octavia book shop, 513 Octavia Street (corner of Laurel), New Orleans, LA 70115. http://www.octaviabooks.com/index.php

    Tuesday 28 p.m. PUBLIC event/signing in Phoenix, AZ.

    Wednesday 29 a.m. School events arranged by Phoenix Book Company, Phoenix, AZ. http://www.phoenixbookcompany.com/
    Wednesday 29 p.m. PUBLIC event/signing at Changing Hands book shop, 6428 S McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283. http://www.changinghands.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp

    Thursday 30 a.m. School event arranged by The Bookies book shop, Denver, CO. http://www.netnewsdesk.com/thebookies/
    Thursday 30 p.m. PUBLIC event/signing at The Tattered Cover book shop, Denver, CO. http://www.tatteredcover.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp

    Friday 31 a.m. School events arranged by The Bookies book shop, Denver, CO. http://www.netnewsdesk.com/thebookies/



    Saturday 1 2.00pm PUBLIC event/signing at Barnes & Noble, Lone Tree, CO.

    Week commencing October 20th -- Minneapolis/St Paul, MN; Kansas City, MO; Austin, TX; Miami, FL.

    Week commencing October 27th -- Denver, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA.

    Many book stores, libraries and schools have already been confirmed but it is still possible to pitch for inclusion on the tour -- but you'll need to be fast, focused and crystal-clear in what you can offer! First, if you're a student, there's no point contacting my publisher directly -- all offers MUST come through a teacher, librarian or bookseller. So, if you live in one of the areas mentioned above, and you want to try and arrange a Darren Shan event, the first step is to ask your teacher/librarian/local bookseller if they're interested in having me visit. If they are, they should read through the guidelines listed below, then contact my publicist, Rachel Wasdyke, by email:

    [email protected]

    Applicants should put DARREN SHAN TOUR in the subject box of their email, and tell Rachel a bit about themselves. e.g. if one of your teachers or librarian responds, they should include the approximate number of students in the school, where they would hold the event, how many students would be able to attend the event, whether it is possible or not to sell books there. If a bookseller is contacting Rachel, they should state if they want to hold the event in their store or in a local school, how big their store or the school is, the number of people they can cater for, etc. I like to do BIG events wherever possible, ideally to a minimum of 100 people, preferably to 200 or 300. The bigger a crowd your teacher, librarian or bookseller can promise, the better your chance of capturing Rachel's interest!!!

    If you can offer a "joint" event, you'll REALLY increase your chances of snagging me! For instance, if your bookseller, librarian or teacher can arrange for students from a few different schools to come to their store, library or school at the same time, or if they can hire a venue like a local community hall, their chance of being included will increase dramatically!!!!

    As I said above, speed is of the essence! Most of the tour will be set in stone by the end of August. If you haven't approached Rachel by that time, your chances of being included will be very slender. Of course, if you can't contact her before September (e.g. if you're on holiday and don't go back to school until September), then there's no harm in giving it a shot then -- just don't hold your hopes up too high!!!

    Finally, on this tour I'm mostly going to places I either haven't been to before, or didn't visit on my last tour. My publishers are trying to spread me around, so that fans in as many places as possible have a chance to meet me. This means I won't be able to visit some of my favourite spots (no Napa Valley!! no Chicago!!! no New York!!!), but worry not, O loyal and noble Shansters -- I hope to return and visit some of my favourite haunts in the not too distant future!! But if you live in a State not mentioned above, but still want to "pitch" for me, then do feel free to go ahead and give it a go. There's a SLIGHT possibility that I might be able to extend my tour by a few days, and visit another town or two, if there's a strong enough demand. But even if I can't, there's no harm in dropping Rachel a line, as she can keep your details on file and bear your request in mind when it comes time to organise the NEXT Darren Shan tour of the States!!!


    And that's it for August! I plan to do some more editing before and after my trip to the Edinburgh Festival -- I'll be staying there for a few days after my event, to sample the various delights of the city, as I do almost every year when the Festival is on. August is also the month when the Premier League kicks back into action, so I'll hopefully be squeezing in one or two matches as well! Plus, near the end of the month, I'm heading over to Italy for a short summer holiday -- sweet!!!! I'll post the September issue of the Shanville Monthly a few days early, before I go on hols. Until then, enjoy the rest of the summer, and all my bloody best!!!! Darren Shan x x x