• Issue 105 - April 2009

    01 April 2009


    Welcome to the April issue of the Shanville Monthly! And it's a jam-packed issue this month -- lots to report on, including news of what I have lined up for when The Demonata finishes... global items about my books and the manga adaptation of The Saga... a bit of film news (but NOT news about the release date, so don't get TOO excited!!)... two competitions where you stand a chance of winning signed copies of my books... and lots more!!! There's also a full rundown on my May Dark Calling tour in the UK (I'll be hitting the southwest of the country and Wales on this tour -- if you live elsewhere, don't worry, I'll be spreading myself far more widely in October with the Hell's Heroes tour!!), as well as info about my Norway tour later in May, AND news about some other events I've already signed up to do later in the year!! Plus there's an account of a couple of very special trips I made to White Hart Lane recently!! So I won't hold you up any longer -- let's crack on immediately with news of those new books...


    Readers of my blog will be aware that I have been working on a number of new books over the last few years, intended to be unleashed when The Demonata finishes. I'm now delighted to be able to announce that an official deal for those books has been struck with HarperCollins in the UK and Ireland, along with a deal for the first 7 manga volumes, making it a 12 book deal in total!!! You can read all about the deal on the BookSeller site by clicking here:


    This deal with take my relationship with Collins up to the middle of 2012, and since I first sold Cirque Du Freak to them in 1997, that will mean they will have been publishing my books (as my primary publishers worldwide, i.e. the first people to see the books and to work with me on the editing process of each title) for 15 years in a row!!! It's great to have that kind of relationship with a publisher. It means I have time to get to know the people there properly, and that they get to fully understand me and my working habits. Continuity is crucial for an author -- distractions can hurt your work -- so it's wonderful having been able to stick with the same publisher for such a long period of time. Long may it continue!!!!

    For those wanting a little more information about the books -- I can't say too much about them now, but I will be announcing full details later this year, probably in the summer. Keep tuned to the Shanville Monthly for updates! There are exciting times ahead of us, folks, and you'll get the exclusive updates here first, as always!!!!


    The manga adaptation of The Saga Of Darren Shan continues to spread!!! I've recently agreed terms with Rightman Publishing Ltd to publish the manga in Traditional Chinese in Hong Kong and Macao, and also with Sharp Point Press to publish the manga in Traditional Chinese in Taiwan. If you live in any of those regions, keep your eyes peeled -- I imagine the first volume will be hitting shops later this year.


    Great news for fans in Spain -- the rights to the first three books of The Saga of Darren Shan have been bought by Mondadori for publication in Castilian!!! Cirque Du Freak was published in Spain several years ago, but unfortunately the publishers never really threw their weight behind it. Now the books are being republished by a different publishing house, and things are looking much more exciting! It's also good news for fans in other countries where Spanish is widely spoken, as I'm sure they'll be able to get hold of the translated editions too.


    Orlando Jones, who plays Alexander Ribs in the Cirque Du Freak movie, gave an interview recently to nj.com. He was mostly talking about his role in a new show, but he also mentioned a bit about the CDF film:

    Q: There's not much normal about your upcoming appearance in Cirque Du Freak, is there?

    A: It's based on the novels by Darren Shan, which are very famous all over the world. Ultimately, it's the story of these kids who unwittingly set into motion war between two groups of vampires. I play one of the characters in a carnival of weird freaks which includes Salma Hayek as the bearded woman, and Ken Watanabe as Mr. Tall. I'm Alexander Ribs and, thanks to the special effects, I'm going to be one weird looking dude.

    You can read the full interview by CLICKING HERE.

    In other movie-related news, lots of photos have been released of the music scoring sessions for the Cirque Du Freak movie. You can check out pics of the 86-strong orchestra, and learn a bit about the process involved in recording the soundtrack for the film. It's fascinating stuff, and gives an interesting insight into just how much work goes into the making of a movie! To access the article, CLICK HERE.

    Still no word from Universal about the release date for the movie. Like I've said before, as soon as they confirm the actual dates, I'll announce the news here.


    HarperCollins recently did a short video interview with me, where I talk a bit about the last couple of books of The Demonata and what I have planned for next year. In the interview, I drop one of my biggest hints yet as to what the 4 book series that I'm working on will be about -- so if you don't already know, this might prove the missing link that you need!!! They've posted the video on YouTube. To check it out, CLICK HERE.

    Regarding that 4 book series... It's been a fairly open secret for the last couple of years. I've discussed it at some of my events, and even read out extracts from it. I'm sure that many of you already know what the books are going to be about. But PLEASE don't openly discuss the subject matter of the books on my message boards until I officially announce the news in August, after my appearance at the Edinburgh Book Festival. That's when I'll be announcing the name of my one-off fantasy book and making my public announcement about the 4 book series. Until then, let's all keep it as secretive as we can-- SSSSHHHHH!!!!!!


    There was an interesting article in The Telegraph on March 16th, focusing on 3 vampire movies which are being released this year, and Cirque Du Freak was one of the films under the spotlight. Highly recommended. To access it, CLICK HERE.

    There was also an article about teen horror writers in the Irish Independent on Saturday March 21, and I was one of the writers discussed in it. You can access the article by CLICKING HERE.



    Faith Hocchalter is a top-notch children's books specialist in Arizona, USA, who helps organise lots of great signings and events -- she helped set up one of mine in the area some years ago. Faith was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. An amazing fundraiser is being held in Tempe, Arizona on April 4th. There will be music, comedy, a raffle, and a panel event with lots of authors -- including a certain Stephenie Meyer!!! There will be an auction of several Stephenie Meyer items at the event (incluing her prom dress!!), and tickets are still available for those who live in the area or who can make it there on the 4th of April. But there will also be online auctions of LOADS of other items, including signed books by a huge variety of very cool authors, one of which will be a signed copy of Demon Thief, along with some extra special signed goodies (e.g. cinema postcards advertising The Saga from several years ago) , by me. This will be open to bidders everywhere in the world. The first auction has just started, adn they will be running for at least five weeks, a different set of gooides up for sale each week. I haven't sent off Demon Thief to the organiser yet, so I guess it will be at least 2 or 3 weeks before that comes up for auction -- but there are plenty of other amazing items to whet your appetite in the meantime, so get on over there ASAP!!!! To learn more about this incredible event and auction:



    There's a really good fan site for my books called Shan Saga Domain which has been going for quite a while and attracted a nice following. The webmistress is running a competition in April, where the winner gets a signed copy of a glow in the dark UK edition of Blood Beast. If you're interested in entering, CLICK HERE. Please note, although I have donated the signed prize, I am otherwise not involved in the running of this competition, so if you have any queries about it, there's no point writing to me!!


    I've added some new reviews to the site, for Death's Shadow, Lord Loss and Sons of Destiny. To access the demon reviews, CLICK HERE. To check out the vampire reviews, CLICK HERE.

    I've also added new covers to both the DEMONS and VAMPIRES sections of my web site. The vampire covers come from Estonia (book 2 of The Saga), Indonesia (the last of the series), Japan (the penultimate manga collection) and Slovakia (where Cirque Du Freak has just come out for the first time). The demon covers come from Italy (Demon Apocalypse), Japan (Wolf Island), Norway (Blood Beast -- one of the creepiest covers I've yet to see on any of my books!!) and Taiwan (Wolf Island).

    To access the vampire covers, CLICK HERE.

    For the demon covers, CLICK HERE.


    On Saturday, March 21st, I had a dream of a day. I went up to White Hart Lane, home of Tottenham Hotspur, the footbal (soccer) team which I support, to see them play Chelsea. I've written a foreword for a book which the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation are bringing out later this year, Tottenham 'Til I Die, which collects stories and reminiscences about the club from fans. It should be a fascinating book, featuring stories from fans about their experiences at Spurs over the decades, and all profits from sales of it are being put back into the local community. They wanted me to help publicise the book, so they invited me to come onto the pitch at half time and do an interview. I've supported Spurs all my life, and dreamt of playing for them when I was a kid, so to finally get down onto the pitch, albeit in a non-playing capacity, was a dream come true. It was quite bizarre, watching the players tromp in through the tunnel, then going out to speak live in front of more than 30,000 people!!! I didn't get nervous ahead of it, or during the interview, but I started to experience a real buzz as I was walking back to my seat (through the Chelsea section of the stadium, which was a bit hair-raising!!) -- DID I REALLY JUST DO THAT?!?!? The real icing on the cake came when we went on to beat Chelsea 1-0. We don't beat them too often normally, although that's changed over the last couple of years -- we seem to be stuffing them regularly now, which is delicious!! I was celebrating far into the night!!

    On the following Tuesday I went to do an event at the club. First, I was taken to the Spurs Lodge, where the players train every week. It was great to see behind the scenes. I got to meet several of the players, including Jermaine Jenas, Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson. I also got to watch the players train for a while, although it wasn't a full training session, since most of the squad was away on international duty.

    After that we went to White Hart Lane and were treated to a very nice lunch. I then did my event. It was my first since my October tours, so I was a little bit rusty, but I settled into my stride quickly and had a great old time. I always enjoy my events a bit more when I haven't done one in a while -- it all feels fresh and exciting again!! After signing for everyone who wanted an autograph, I went to speak to some more kids, part of a group which comes to the stadium once a week for some after-school assistance and tutoring. I hadn't realised how much incredible work Spurs do with the local community up there -- they have all sorts of out-reach programmes running, and are really dedicated to helping make their part of North London a better place for everyone (and not just Spurs fans -- they welcome other fans, even fans of Arsenal, too!!).

    After that I was treated to a special tour of the stadium. Two winners of a competition were allowed to come around with me, Lakeim and Joshua, as well as Joshua's younger brother, Teddy. Also in attendance were my uncle Derek and his son, Pearse, who had invited themselves along!!! It was a thrill to explore the famous old stadium (especially as it's due to be demolished and rebuilt in the near future), to explore the history of the club, see trophies and photos of legendary players, walk around the pitch, sit in the manager's seat, enter the changing room. I felt like a big kid!!!! Our guide, Garth, knew just about everything there was to know about the club, and I learnt all sorts of fascinating nuggets -- including the fact that our arch rivals, Arsenal, always wear a small bit of blue in their kits, to acknowledge the fact that we let them share our ground in the past -- so there's a little bit of Tottenham in every single Arsenal player!!!!!

    It was a great day all round, and although I was exhausted by the end of it, I came away with a BIG smile on my face!! I caught a bus to Tottenham Hale and got the train out to Stansted, as I've often done in the past when catching a flight home after a match. And as my plane took off, carrying me home, I leant back in my seat, smiled tiredly, closed my eyes and dreamt of the Super Spurs...

    You can read an article on the Spurs site about my trip to White Hart Lane by CLICKING HERE. There are also a couple of photos. You can check out even more photos of me at Spurs on my MySpace pictures page -- CLICK HERE.


    Below you can find full details for my UK Dark Calling tour, as well as details for my visit to Norway later in May. School events are for invited schools only. Public events are open to anyone, but usually you need a ticket to enter, so please contact the shope or event managers in advance to ensure a seat if you're interested in coming -- events usually last up to an hour, and I always sign after an event. Public signings are open to anyone who comes along -- and I am always happy to sign as many books of mine as people choose to bring along with them.



    Monday 4 11.00am Public signing at FALMOUTH BOOKSELLER, 21 Church St, Falmouth, TR11 3EG. Tel: 01326 312 873.
    Monday 4 2.00pm Public signing at WATERSTONES TRURO, 11 Boscawen Street, Truro, TR1 2QU. Tel: 01872 225765. E-mail: [email protected]

    Tuesday 5 11.30a. Schools event at Notre Dame School, Plymouth.
    Tuesday 5 6.30pm Public event at WATERSTONES PLYMOUTH , 65-69 New George Street, Plymouth, PL1 1RJ. For tickets, email: [email protected]

    Wednesday 6 11.00am School event at St John Kitto Community College, Pennycross, Plymouth.
    Wednesday 6 4.30pm Public signing at WHS EXETER, 34/35 Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter, EX4 3NJ. Tel: 01392 434677.

    Thursday 7 1.45pm School event at St Joseph’s School, Church Rd, Laverstock, Salisbury.
    Thursday 7 7.30pm Public event at ATHENAEUM THEATRE WARMINSTER, 18-20 High Street, Warminster, BA12 9AE. For tickets, telephone, 10.30am to 1.00pm only: 01985 213891.

    Friday 8 11.15am School event at St Katherine's School, Ham Green, North Somerset.
    Friday 8 4.30pm Public signing at WATERSTONES BATH, 4-5 Milsom Street, Bath, BA1 1DA. Tel: 01225 448 515. E-mail: [email protected]

    Saturday 9 11.00am Public event in NEWPORT at Charles St Community Learning Centre, Charles Street, Newport, South Wales, NP20 1JU. For tickets, telephone: 01633 656656.
    Saturday 9 3.00pm Public signing at BORDERS CARDIFF, The David Morgan Building, 14 The Hayes, Cathays, CF10 1AH. Tel: 029 203 87909. E-mail: [email protected]

    Sunday 10 12.00pm Public signing at BORDERS SWANSEA, Parc Fforestfach, Pontardulais Road, Swansea, SA5 4BA. Tel: 01792 579578.


    Friday 29 12.00pm Schools event at The Cinema. For more info, see: http://www.litteraturfestival.no/ or email [email protected]
    Friday 29 5.00pm Public event (I will be doing a short reading, which will be translated into Norwegian) with a group of Norwegian writers in The Park, arranged by Norwegian Writers For Children (NBU). For more info, see: http://www.nbuforfattere.no/

    Saturday 30 1.00pm

    Public event at The Cinema. For more info, see: http://www.litteraturfestival.no/ or email [email protected]

    On Thursday, July 9th I will be doing an event at the Maritime Hotel in BANTRY at 2.30pm as part of the West Cork Literary Festival. Visit their web site for more info: http://www.westcorkliteraryfestival.ie/

    In August I will be doing an event at the Edinburgh Book Festival -- my 10th year in a row!! More details to follow.

    In October I will be doing some events in Sweden -- my first time there! More details to follow.


    And that's it for April. I have a bit of a relaxing month ahead of me. I'm going to be visiting New York and London, to chill after my recent burst of activity on a new book (you can always keep abreast of everything that I'm working on by reading my BLOG). Then it will be back to work after that -- I'm not sure on what, exactly, but I have several books at different stages of the editing process (as I always have!!), so I'm sure I'll find something to keep me busy until I hit the road in May for the Dark Calling tour!! Those of you who have been following my tour schedule for the last couple of years might have noted that this one is fairly easygoing compared to most of my tours. That's not because I'm getting lazy -- it's because I've got BIG plans for the October tour, and I don't want to burn out before then!!! Anyway, I'll be back here at the start of May, just ahead of my tour, with all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x