• Issue 106 - May 2009

    01 May 2009


    Welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly! The big news this month, of course, is the release in the UK and Ireland of Dark Calling, and the release in the USA of Wolf Island. My demon series is drawing to a close (the last book comes out in the UK in October, in America in April/May 2010), the stakes are rising and so is the body count!!! Anyone expecting me to ease up on the shocks and gore at this stage will be sorely disappointed!!!!! As well as the new books, there's a very important movie update (not the best news in the world ever, it has to be said -- we won't be seeing it quite as soon as we wished!!), a full, revised tour itinerary for my upcoming UK tour, and more. But let's start off with the news you've all been waiting for...



    For fans in the UK and Ireland, the waiting is over -- DARK CALLING, book 9 of The Demonata, is on sale NOW!!! At last you can find out exactly what happened to Kernel when we last left him on the ship of zombies in Death's Shadow. It's a twisting, dark, unexpected entry, which explains a lot of the secrets of the series and sets us up for a stunning final book -- don't miss it!!! Early response has been extremely positive, with readers embracing the strange middle section of the book (and it really IS unlike anything else you've ever encountered in my books to date!!!), and revelling in the chaotic, bleak finale. If you're looking for a happy, cheering little tale to put a warm smile on your face -- Dark Calling is NOT the book for you!!!! If, on the other hand, you want to expand your mind and venture into some of the darkest recesses of the human soul -- roll on up!!!!

    Dark Calling is available in every good book shop in the UK and Ireland, and probably many of the not-so-good shops too!! It has already made a big impression on the Amazon UK charts, where it has nestled nicely within the Top 10 bestsellers chart for the last few days of April. My last two summer books got to the #1 spot on the UK and Ireland children's chart, but this year, with the Twilight series clogging the top of the charts, I'm not sure if we can repeat that fabulous achievement -- but let's give it a damn good shot!!!! You should be easily able to find copies of Dark Calling in your local shop if you want to buy it there, or else you can buy it through Amazon UK by CLICKING ON THS LINK.

    I put a lot of time, thought and (viciously twisted) love into Dark Calling, so I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!!!


    As I always do when I release a new book, I have added my notes for Dark Calling to my web site, explaining where the ideas for the book originated, and describing some of the creative process. It's a revealing look into the genesis of the book -- BUT you should not read the notes until you have read the book, as they contain SPOILERS!!!! With that in mind, you can access the notes and get an exclusive sneak peek inside my head by CLICKING HERE.


    There was a freak accident at the printing stage with Dark Calling, which resulted in an unfortunate typo in the very last line. Where the book should have ended, some of the text from the advert for book 10 was accidentally copied and pasted onto the final line!!! Most authors would have just had to live with the mistake, but because HarperCollins are the best publishers in the country, they looked hard for a solution. If we'd caught the error earlier, they would have been happy to pulp the entire first printing, but if we'd done that this close to publication, it would have meant having to push the book's release date back -- which would have meant there would have been no copies of the book available on my upcoming tour!!! So we've come up with a compromise. We've kept 30,000 hardback copies of the book and are going to insert a small slip of paper into each copy, explaining what the last chapter should have looked like, and also giving the correct release date for book 10 (it was mistakenly listed as October 2010, but of course it's actually October 2009). The rest of the first print hardback copies are being destroyed and we'll be printing up a second edition immediately, so that shops shouldn't run out of stock. This means that Dark Calling is going to have one of the smallest first print runs of any of my more recent books, so copies with the error are going to be relatively rare and probably quite hard to track down in years to come!!

    In Ireland and in airports, where my books are released in a large paperback version in most stores, first editions are going to be even rarer. The paperbacks were shipped to Ireland and airport stores earlier than scheduled, and actually started popping up in some shops halfway through April. Since I'm not touring in Ireland for Dark Calling, HarperCollins are recalling the entire first printing of the trade paperback edition, and every book will be pulped and replaced with a second printing -- EXCEPT, of course, for those which have already been sold!!! I'm not sure how many copies have been passed on to the public, but I'm guessing it's not very many, so my advice is to hold on tight to your copy if you managed to get one before they were recalled -- I suspect it's going to be probably my most collectible book ever!!!!!

    For those of you who wound up with a copy of Dark Calling that has an error but NOT the correction slip of paper, the last word of the book should have been Vienna! There then should have been a gap, and then an advert for book 10, which should have read: Don't miss the Earth-shattering conclusion, coming October 2009.

    Sorry for the confusion!!!


    The paperback edition of Wolf Island is now available in the UK and Ireland. It should be on sale in a book shop near you, or if you prefer to buy online, you can get it from Amazon UK by visiting the Darren Shan Demons Shop by CLICKING HERE.


    Wolf Island, the 8th book of The Demonata, is now on sale in the USA -- hurrah!! If you want to see what the howlingly cool cover looks like, CLICK HERE. You should be able to pick up Wolf Island in any good book shop -- but my Demonata books are often stacked in a separate section of the store in the States, so if you don't see it on the shelves, do please ask an assistant to help you find it!!! Or you can buy it online if you prefer.

    To buy Wolf Island from Amazon, CLICK HERE.

    To buy Wolf Island from Barnes & Noble, CLICK HERE.

    Or, if you want to buy it as a Kindle ebook, CLICK HERE.


    My UK publishers, HarperCollins, are running a COOL competition on the Demon Freak Bebo web site which they host. You can win a prosthetic demon head which was used in an online ad which they ran for their Scare A Mortal Portal web campaign last year (where you got the chance to try and convince your friends that you had been kidnapped by demons!!). It really is an amazing, one-off prize -- I wish I could enter the competition myself, but obviously I can't as that would be against the rules!!! If you want to find out more about it, and enter, then CLICK HERE. The closing date for the competition is May 31st. Good luck!!


    Some of you might have read on the internet (e.g. on the Fangoria or Shock Till You Drop sites) that Universal announced last month that the Cirque Du Freak movie is now not scheduled to be released in the USA until January 15th, 2010. I know this will be disappointing for many of you, as I know you're all as eager as I am to see it. But these sorts of delays happen all the time in the movie business. In fact, they sometimes happen with books too -- my first book, Cirque Du Freak, was originally meant to be released in the UK in autumn 1998, but didn't actually come out until January 2000!!!! We'll just have to be patient and wait.

    As for when the movie will be released in other countries -- I don't know. There has been no word from Universal about this yet. They might release it in other territories before they release it in America, or they might release it in the States first and other countries later. As soon as I find out any more news about any of this, I'll post it here ASAP!


    I've added lots of photos from my tour of Hungary in April 2008 (hey, better late than never!!) to my MySpace page -- I find it quicker and easier to upload photos to MySpace than to my own web site, so that is where I'll be posting new photos from this point on. To check them out, CLICK HERE.


    I've added some new covers to my site, and you are NOT going to want to miss these demonic babies!!! First up, in Secret Shanville, I've added the hot-off-the-press UK cover for Hell's Heroes, Book 10 -- the final book -- of The Demonata series!! It's a menacing, merciless masterpiece!! I've also added the first draft of the cover, so that you can see how it evolved.

    Also on Secret Shanville, I've added the first two drafts of the American cover for Dark Calling. This cover still has not been finalised, so it's a work in progress and changes might be made before it gets published, but you can see where it's at right now.

    Plus, again on Secret Shanville, I've also added the cover for the first Cirque Du Freak manga adaptation.

    To check out all of the above, you will need to click on the following link (and become a registered Shanster if you haven't already joined): CLICK HERE.

    In addition to all that, I've also added two of the earlier drafts for the American cover of Wolf Island, which detail how it changed and evolved along the way to publication. To check them out, CLICK HERE.


    This email came in to me last week:

    My daughter Georgia (11) is a massive fan and came to see you at a reading/Q&A in Stretford last year (you signed her poster "Georgia's room - keep out or die!"). She was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour and suffered a brain injury whilst undergoing surgery. She now has posterior fossa syndrome which means she has yet to awaken after her surgery. She is sometimes aware of us and gives some simple signs, such as nodding. We stimulate her a lot through physio, reading, music etc. Her class have made her a CD and Watford FC have offered to write. Is there any way you could find time to drop her a note we could read to her? We are trying everything to help. Thanks for anything you can do.

    When I read that, I of course sat down and wrote a letter to Georgia, and sent it along with an audio CD, even though the doctors have said her parents shouldn't read any horror to her until she recovers, as it might upset her. Heh -- how little they know!! Horror is sweet, sweet music to us horror freaks!!!! But even if she has to wait a while to listen in, I'm hoping the CD will help cheer her up a bit further down the line. While chatting with Georgia's Dad by email, I also started thinking that maybe she'd like to hear from other Shansters too, so I checked with her Dad, and he said it would be fine for you guys to contact her, assuming you want to. You can either send an email to Georgia (her parents will be filtering them, to make sure nobody sends any nasty emails through) using this email address: [email protected] Or you can send her a letter at this address: Georgia Ormrod, Ward C2, Addenbrookes Hospital, Hill Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QQ, UK. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you, even if it's just a quick line to say Get Well Soon, so if you have the time and the inclination, I'd appreciate it mightily if you sent her your best wishes -- us Shansters need to look out for one another!!!!

    I posted the above info on my blog before I included it here, and a few days later I heard from Georgia's Dad. He's already received lots of emails from those of you who read about Georgia in my blog, and asked me to thank you all on her behalf. Hopefully Georgia will be up and about soon, and her Dad is sure she'll want to respond to everyone who wrote to her -- though obviously she's going to have a lot of things to deal with as she fights to get better, so it might be a while. Anyway, the emails and letters ARE getting through, and are hugely appreciated -- so, on behalf of Georgia and her family, I'd like to thank everyone who's helped cheer them up a bit in this very difficult time. I don't care what anyone says -- you're a good old bunch underneath it all!!!!!


    I will be appearing on BBC Radio Devon on the morning of Tuesday May 5th, on their Countywide Breakfast show, to chat about my books ahead of my events there later in the day. I'm due at the station at 07.15, so I imagine I'll be going on air shortly after that time. If you live in the area and are up and about at that early hour, make sure you listen in!! Alternatively, you can listen to it later on the station's web site by clicking here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/local_radio/


    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 May. I'm off on tour at the start of the month -- it will be nice to hit the road again, especially as I'll be visiting places that I either have never been to, or haven't visited in a number of years. I do try to cover the British eyes as evenly as possible, but it isn't possible to hit every spot on every tour, and sometimes certain areas go neglected for a few years!! Anyway, if you live in the SouthWest or Wales, and are able to get to one of my events or signings, do please come along -- I always love it when I get a big crowd, and ultimately my tours are only as successful as YOU guys make them!! If you don't live near the places where I'm going, don't worry -- I'll be touring again in October, and probably visiting even more of the country on that occasion!! But at the moment I'm focusing solely on this tour, and signing many, many copies of Dark Calling and all of my other books (as I said above, I'm always happy to sign books that fans bring from home, and I don't place any limit on how many I'll sign). I'll be back here at the start of June to report on the tour and present you with all the latest news. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x