• Issue 100 - November 2008

    01 November 2008


    Welcome to the 100th issue of the Shanville Monthly!!!!! Hard to believe I've reached such a milestone! It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was making the decision to begin a monthly newsletter. My web site went live in March 2000, but in the early days I would simply send out an email to fans who had registered with me, whenever there was any news to report. As things started to gather momentum, it soon became apparent that I couldn't continue in this fashion, as I'd need to be emailing fans a couple of times a week -- and nobody likes an email pest!!! I decided to start a monthly newsletter, in which I could round up all the latest news, run competition, etc. I was worried in the beginning that I wouldn't be able to sustain it, that there would be times when I had no news at all to report. Well, 100 issues later, I'm pleased to say that has never happened!! Sure, some months are quieter than others on the news front, but there's always something new to report. It's been almost nine years since Cirque Du Freak was first released, but the world of Darren Shan continues to grow and mutate, and I'm delighted to be able to bring you all the hottest news here in the Shanville Monthly, as and when it breaks. We've had loads of world exclusives over the years, from titles of books to news of chart success to the movie announcement, and a whole lot more. Hopefully things will continue to roll forward excitingly and I'll be able to carry on bringing you the news for many years to come. But before we go looking ahead to the next 100 issues, let's tuck into the current crop of news items, starting with ...


    Wolf Island was released in the UK and Ireland last month. It's been selling like hot cakes, and did pretty well in the charts -- it got to #3 on the Children's Hardback Bestsellers chart, #6 on the overall Children's Bestsellers chart, and got as high as #10 on the Amazon Top 100 chart (of all books). As expected, it didn't do as well in the charts as my books do in May/June, because October is a time when lots of high profile books are released, along with a slew of annuals (which are counted by books by those who compile the charts). My October books usually chart lower than my summer releases, but actually sell more copies!!! As I've said before, I'd much rather sell lots in a busy month and chart low than sell weakly in a slow month and chart high, so it's happy times for me!!!!!

    I did a three week tour of Ireland and the UK to promote the release of Wolf Island, and it was a mega, mammoth, incredibly successful tour. It was the busiest I've yet to do, with record numbers of fans turning up all over the place. I'm not going to go into all the facts and figures here -- you can find them in the Tour Archive on Secret Shanville on my web site if you're interested -- but here are some of the key statistics:

    The longest signing was in Cork -- 4 and a half hours!!!

    Second was Norwich -- 4 hours!!!

    The average signing time was 2 and a half hours!!!

    Out of 14 public signings, only 3 were less than 2 hours!!!

    The average audience at school and public events was just under 200!!!

    The total number of people I spoke to at events, and met at signings (not including "extras" at the signings, like parents or friends) was approximately 5,700!!!!!!!

    Phew -- that was some monster!!! Thanks to everyone who turned up to see me and waited so patiently in line. Tours are hard work, but when I see so many of you going out of your way to come, listen and wait for so long, it makes all that hard work seem like nothing! I hope to see many of you again next year!!!!!



    My UK publishers, HarperCollins, launched a fun, intriguing internet campaign in the middle of October to promote Wolf Island, in which you get the opportunity of trying to trick your friends into believing you've been kidnapped by demons!! The catchy title of the campaign is Scare A Mortal Portal!!!! There are also some downloads available, and you can sign up to a special Bebo site created especially for the campaign. To learn more about it, go to http://www.demonfreak.com/


    Death's Shadow, book 7 of The Demonata, is officially released in the USA this month!! It started hitting stores across the country in October, but now it should be EVERYWHERE!!!!! Having said that, sometimes it can be tricky tracking it down in certain shops -- The Demonata isn't always stocked in the same place as my Cirque Du Freak books, which I think is crazy, but hey, what do I know?!? My CDF books are usually in Children's or Young Adult sections, whereas The Demonata are often placed in a Teenage section. So if you're looking for my demon books, but can't see them, have a more thorough search, or else ask a member of staff to help you out -- that's what they're there for!! If you prefer to buy online, you can buy it through either Amazon or Barnes&Noble by clicking on one of the following links:



    I toured around the States in October (it was a VERY busy month for me!!) to promote the release of Death's Shadow. While I didn't get the same sort of huge crowds at my public events that I did in Ireland and the UK, I did lots of big school events. By my reckoning I spoke to about 4,100 students at schools -- yowzahs!!!! -- and an average of approximately 40 people per public event.

    The fans who came to the public events were AWESOME!!!! One drove nine hours to see me!!! Another few drove six hours!!! And I'm talking nine and six hours EACH WAY, i.e. 18 and 12 hours in total!!!!! Others drove an hour, two hours, or more. And a handful FLEW to see me in various states!!! I can't tell you what kind of a buzz I get when a fan actually flies in to see me, or drives for hours to come to an event. Of course I appreciate the effort EVERY fan goes to when they come to an event -- I know there are always lots more things you could be doing. But it's hard not to give an extra tip of the hat to those who've had to go WAY out of their way to come! It's incredible, and I know how lucky I am to have such amazing fans, determined to go to such lengths to show their support for me. It's something I never take for granted or grow dismissive of. I was actually moved close to tears a couple of times -- not that I actually DID cry -- I blinked them away VERY quickly -- it wouldn't do to have fans seeing the Prince Of Teen Horror sobbing in public like a baby!!!!! But even though I rarely showed how moved I was, you'd better believe I WAS moved!! Even with all the gruelling travel, I went to bed each night with a BIG smile on my face!!!


    As I write this (November 3rd) Universal Studios have not yet decided when they are going to release the movie of Cirque Du Freak in America, or indeed anywhere else in the world (despite anything you might read on IMDB or other sites). They had talked about releasing a Cirque Du Freak trailer with the Twilight movie when it hits cinemas in the middle of November, and I told this to fans while on tour in the USA. At the time I said it wasn't 100% guaranteed, and now it looks like the trailer actually won't come out this month. Sorry for getting your hopes up!!! The movie business is a strange, twisted, complex place, where plans can change in the blink of an eye!!! I always try to bring you guys the latest news, but sometimes that news can change a bit further down the road!

    By the way, I met a couple of people in New Orleans who worked on the movie when it was being filmed there. Both said it was an amazing-looking set, and that they had a brilliant time making it. So far, everything I've heard from people who were involved with the film has been incredibly positive. Let's hope that's a good sign for the movie!!!!


    I had a good chuckle at an article by Anthony Horowitz which appeared in The Sunday Times in the UK on November 2nd. As those who've read Wolf Island know, there's a character in it named Antoine Horwitzer, who is based to a certain extent upon Anthony Horowitz -- I'm good friends with Anthony, and as I've done with lots of my friends and relatives over the years, I thought it would be fun to include him as a character in one of my books. Anthony mentioned this in a piece he was writing for the paper, and acted in a deliciously outraged manner (at least, I HOPE he was only acting!!!!), swearing revenge on me by killing me off in one of his stories next year!!!! I can't wait -- I don't think there's anything more enjoyable than seeing yourself torn to pieces as a character in somebody else's story!!!!!!! In the meantime, while we're all waiting to see how Anthony sets about finishing me off (I hope he'll be able to come up with as gruesome a finale for me as I did for him, though given what I put his character through in the novel, I'm not sure that will be possible!!!), you can check out his piece by CLICKING HERE.


    I gave some interviews while touring in October, and a few articles appeared about me too.

    First up, you can listen to a lengthy interview with me, conducted by the Yorkshire Post, by CLICKING HERE

    Then you can read a new interview with me on The Literary Consultants web site by clicking here: LITERATI INTERVIEW

    Next, there was a nice article about me in the UK, in the October 1st issue of the Irish Post newspaper. You can access it online by clicking here: Irish Post Link

    And finally there's a short article about a visit I paid to a school in Halesowen during my Wolf Island tour. It's not very long, but there's a nice photo of me with a couple of the kids, so you can check out what I look like when I'm in full touring mode!!! CLICK HERE


    If you weren't able to come to one of my signings in the UK or Ireland on the Wolf Island tour, but want to get hold of a signed copy of the book, you can order one from Goldsboro books by clicking here: SIGNED WOLF ISLAND As far as I'm aware, they ship globally to most countries.


    To celebrate the 100th issue of the Shanville Monthly, I'm going to run THREE competitions this month, one for fans in the UK and Ireland, one for fans in the USA, and one for fans in the Rest of the World. This is what is up for grabs in each of the competitions.

    UK and Ireland -- the winner will receive a T-shirt which I wore on my recent tour to promote the 8th book in my demon series -- it has the Wolf Island cover on it, 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 brown. I will keeping one for myself, so the winner will receive a true one-of-a-kind prize which nobody else in the world can ever have!!!! I will also send the winner a signed copy of the book of Wolf Island.

    USA -- 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, 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 brown. I will keeping one for myself, so the winner will receive a true one-of-a-kind prize which nobody else in the world can ever have!!!! I will also send the winner a signed copy of the book of Death's Shadow.

    REST OF THE WORLD -- the winner will receive a Destiny Tour T-shirt which my British publisher created for me when I toured with Sons Of Destiny in 2004. I haven't worn the T-shirt -- it's a Medium size, so it doesn't fit me!!! But I will sign it. This isn't a one-off -- I think the publisher created a few dozen of the T-shirts, maybe even 100 or a few more -- but it is extremely rare, especially in countries outside the UK!!! I will also send the winner a signed copy of the UK edition of Wolf Island.

    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 8 of The Demonata?"

    2)Send your entry to: xxxxxxx


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

    2)Send your entry to: xxxxxxxxxx


    1) If you live anywhere else in the world other than the UK, Ireland or USA, answer this question: "How many issues of the Shanville Monthly have there been?"

    2) Send your entry to: xxxxxxxxxx


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

    (4) Put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail. I will not 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, November 16th, 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, November 17th. 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 December 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!!!!!


    And that's it for November! While I enjoyed my time on the road over the last 6 weeks, I'm looking forward to getting home, having a rest, then getting lots of writing done!! I'll be back here at the start of December for the Christmas issue of the Shanville Monthly. Until then, all my bloody best!!!! Darren Shan x x x