• Issue 109 - August 2009

    01 August 2009


    Welcome to the August issue of the Shanville Monthly -- and do I have a lot of BIG news for you this month!!!!! First up, Universal announced both a new release date AND a new title for the Cirque Du Freak movie -- and it's good news for the more impatient fans among you!! For those of you who like my books aimed at older readers, you'll be interested to note that the author known as D B Shan is no more -- he has been replaced by the more familiarly named Darren Shan!! I'm able to reveal that there is going to be an ultra special limited edition of Hell's Heroes in the UK and Ireland, with a Demon-skin effect cover -- they're so exclusive that you won't be able to buy any of them, but Waterstones are offering 10 copies as prizes in what is probably the most mouth-watering Darren Shan competition that there has ever been!!! You can find the tour schedule for my October -- or SHOCKtober as we're calling it -- tour of the UK and Ireland. And there's more, people, MORE!!!! But enough -- it's time to quit teasing and start breezing!!! Let's crack on with the little slice of movie news that some of you have been waiting nearly ten years for...


    Midway through July, Universal announced that they were changing the title of the Darren Shan movie to The Vampire's Assistant -- they want to make it clear to people who know nothing about the books that this is a vampire movie. But they will be including the title of Cirque Du Freak on the posters and in the trailer, and possibly in the finished movie too -- currently, on the Universal web site, the title is showing as Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant.

    Universal also announced that they are bringing forward the release of the movie. They will now be releasing the movie in the USA on October 23rd, 2009, just ahead of Halloween -- hurrah!!!!! They have not yet confirmed when the movie will be released in other countries -- they have shown me a release schedule, but it is still open to change, so I don't want to post it here until more of the dates have been confirmed. What I can say is that they are considering releasing the film in the UK at the same time as in the USA, on October 23rd. But I must stress that this has NOT yet been 100% confirmed, so don't go raising your hopes too high!!! Hopefully I'll be in a position to confirm more about global release dates next month, so make sure you check back!!!!

    Obviously I'm very excited about this news, as it means we'll all get to see the film a bit sooner than anticipated!! I still haven't seen the film (if all goes according to plan, I'll get to have a sneak peek at it this month), so like the rest of you, I'm waiting to find out how the story has turned out!! What I DO know is that it is going to be VERY different to the books. As I've kept stressing since the books were first signed up to be filmed, the movie uses them as a base to go off in its own direction. This is NOT a faithful adaptation of the books, but a movie whose structure is loosely inspired by the books. I'm hoping it captures the dark, brooding, freakish spirit of the novels, but that's the most that it will do. Characters have been dropped or altered beyond recognition... new characters (such as Rebecca, who will play Darren's love interest) have been added... plot-lines have been axed or merged. If it works, it will work on its own terms, not as a companion piece to the books, but as a wholely separate entity. You need to approach it with an open mind, ready for a completely different type of story. Certain names and plot twists will be familiar, but if you go in expecting a loyal, faithful treatment, you're going to get a huge shock!!!! As Bones might have said to Captain Spock if they were fans of the book -- "It's Cirque Du Freak, Jim, but not as we know it!!!!!!!"


    Now that the release date of the movie has been brought forward, we can expect a flurry of posters, trailers and shots from the set to emerge over the course of August and September. I'll try to keep everyone in the loop via my BLOG and MESSAGE BOARD, and of course every month in the Shanville Monthly updates -- as soon as a poster is released, or a trailer, or anything else, I'll post the news ASAP. In the meantime, lots of pictures from the set popped up during July, so here they are, for your viewing pleasure!!

    First, LOADS of photos have been posted to a thread on my message board. They include incredibly cool shots of some of the actors and sets and props -- you can find Mr Crepsley's tent and coffin among them!! CLICK HERE.

    Secondly, there are some great new photos from the film to be found on a Dutch site, including our first sighting of Gavner Purl, new shots of Darren and Mr Crepsley, as well as Evra and Rebecca (as I keep repeating, Rebecca is NOT a re-named Debbie Hemlock -- she is a completely new character, created by Paul Weitz for the movie). CLICK HERE to access them.

    As you'll notice when you browse to the site, the date given for the release of the film in the Netherlands is November 5th. As I said above, this hasn't been 100% confirmed by Universal yet, but is certainly looking likely. I will supply a confirmed, full list of release dates for the Netherland and different countries once Universal let me know.

    R.I.P. D.B.!!!!!!

    D B Shan is dead - long live Darren Shan!!!!

    When I started to re-release my adult novels last year in the UK, I decided to release them under the name of D B Shan, since I wanted to make it clear that they were not for younger readers. At the time, my publishers, HarperCollins, argued strongly to keep the Darren Shan name. They made some very persuasive arguments, but I stuck to my guns and thus my first two adult books came out under the D B Shan moniker. Last month, my American publishers, LittleBrown, asked if I would consider using the name of Darren Shan for when Procession of the Dead is released in the States next year. At first I was going to reject the proposal out of hand - but then I realised that there were putting forth the exact same arguments that HarperCollins had!!! Now, when one person contradicts you and lists their reasons why, you can choose to ignore their advice and forge ahead as you are. But when another person contradicts you, independently of the first party, and makes the exact same argument… well, that's usually time to pause and re-assess the situation!!

    Basically, to cut a long story short, I've decided to stop publishing my adult books under the name of D B Shan, and will instead be releasing all titles in future as Darren Shan. I'm not sure what publishers in other countries will do, but I suspect they will fall into line with the UK and USA, and that all titles from me in future will come out under the Darren Shan name. We will take great care to make clear on the adult books that they are intended for older readers. One of the advantages of having just one name is that I will now be able to have a single web site, and it will be easier for me to collate all the news and information about the books, so that fans can more easily keep abreast of all the Shan goings-on. I'll be maintaining the D B Shan site for the next few months at least, but later this year or early in 2010 I'll be merging it with my http://www.darrenshan.com site, and from then on that will be my one and only official web site, covering both my books for adults and children, and anything else that I might come up with in the years to come.

    Because of the decision to change my adult books name from D B Shan to Darren Shan, there has been a slight tweak to the publication schedule for the paperback editions in the UK. The paperback of Hell's Horizon, which was due to be released this September, has now been pushed back to March 2010, when it will be released at the same time as the Trade Paperback edition of City of the Snakes - both will be released under the name of Darren Shan. Also at that time, a new paperback edition of Procession of the Dead will be released, again under the name of Darren Shan. Finally, the paperback edition of City of the Snakes will now be released in August 2010, instead of October 2010, so as to avoid clashing with my children's book that month. In America, the plan is still to release Procession of the Dead on June 1st, 2010, and the second book of the series, Hell’s Horizon, on January 1st, 2011 -- the only difference now being that they will both be released under the name of Darren Shan.


    "What the hell," you're probably asking yourself right now as you stare at the grisly image above, "is THAT?!?"

    Well, the answer, my bloodthirsty friend, is that it's the front and back covers of the special limited "demon skin" edition of Hell's Heroes which my UK publishers, HarperCollin, and Waterstones are releasing to celebrate the conclusion of The Demonata!! Only 50 (yes -- fifty!!!) of these are being published. Each book will feature an unbelievably cool, demon-skin effect cover, and each will be numbered 1 to 50, and signed by Darren Shan. Unlike most special edition books, these will NOT be made available for sale to the general public -- they truly will be the most collectable, hard to find editions of a Darren Shan book EVER!!!! In fact, this kind of redefines what a limited special edition of a book actually means!!!! "So, if they're not for sale," I hear you cry, "how the hell can we get hold of a copy?!?" Well, here's how it's going to work:

    5 copies are being given to Darren Shan (YES, baby!!!!).

    34 copies are being given as gifts to individuals chosen by Waterstones.

    1 copy will be auctioned on eBay in october, with all proceeds going to a charity of Darren Shan's choice (there will be more info about this in a later edition of the Shanville Monthly).

    And 10 copies (this is the bit YOU have been waiting for!!) will be given away as prizes in a competition being run by Waterstones!!

    In brief, the competition runs from August 6th to midnight September 16th. It is open to anyone living in the UK and Ireland (sorry, everyone else, but I don't make the rules this time round!!). Only one entry per household. To enter, you will have to name your favourite demon from my series, and in 50 words or less say why you like them so much. A panel of Waterstones and Harper Collins judges will choose the 10 winners. In addition to winning a copy of the special edition of the book, the winners will all be invited to come to my signing at Waterstones Bluewater on Saturday October 10th at 10.10a.m. (by now you should be picking up on the TEN vibe of this competition!!!). If you're able to come to Bluewater (you'll have to make your own way there -- transport and accomodation costs are not part of the prize), you'll get to meet me just ahead of the signing, to be personally presented with the book by me, and to have your photo taken -- if you can't come, the book will be posted to you.

    You can find a full set of the rules and terms and conditions by CLICKING HERE.

    To enter the competition (remember, it doesn't start until August 6th, so the link has not been added yet) or pre-order your copy of the normal edition of Hell's Heroes, or to get any of the other 9 books of The Demonata at a serious discount, CLICK HERE.

    To see a larger picture of the special limited edition of Hell's Heroes, click here.


    The second Manga adpatation of my vampire series, The Vampire's Assistant, goes on sale in the USA and UK in August (August 4th in the USA, August 6th in the UK). I think the second manga actually improves on the book in certain way, so make sure you check it out for a thrilling, freakish, howlingly horrific time!!!! You should be able to find it in any store that stocks manga (ask for it if you don't see it on the shelves!), or you can order it online by clicking on any of the following links:

    Amazon - USA *** Barnes & Noble - USA *** Amazon - UK


    The manga revolution continues to spread across the globe unchecked!!! Great news for my Italian and Korean fans -- the rights to The Saga of Darren Shan manga have been bought by publishers in those two countries, and they will begin publishing the series in Italy and Korea later this year. As in other countries, the plan is to release them quite swiftly, a new volume every few months or so Coolio!!!


    I'm delighted to be able to announce that the rights to The Saga of Darren Shan have been bought by Polish publishers WILGA for translation and release in Poland, starting later this year or early next year. Poland becomes the 39th country to officially publish my books, which are now available in 31 different languages all around the world. As my agent always asks me to mention at times like this, that number does not include countries where the English language version or other versions are available as imports -- the total number of countries where copies of my books can be found actually runs to something like 200 or thereabouts!!!!


    I've added LOTS of new covers to my site, in every section where it's possible to fit one!!!

    First up, I've added new vampire covers (of both the books and the Cirque Du Freak manga) from countries as diverse as China, the Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, Turkey and the UK. To access them, CLICK HERE.

    Next, I've added new demon covers from the Netherlands and Norway. The Norwegian covers are probably the most macabre produced in any country so far -- I love the dark, chilling feeling they create!!! To check out the demon covers, CLICK HERE.

    Finally, I've also added a beautiful, sweet cover for Koyasan from Indonesia. You can find it in the EXTRAS part of my site, along with a whole host of covers from other books which feature work of mine, by CLICKING HERE.


    In my sole August event, I will be at this year's Edinburgh Book Festival, performing in the RBS Main Theatre on Tuesday, August 18th, at 10.00. (an early start, I know, but I think it's quite fitting that I start at 10 for my 10th Edinburgh festival in a row!!) I will be reading aloud, chatting and answering questions for an hour, then signing directly afterwards -- as usual, fans are more than welcome to bring as many of my books to get signed as they wish. This will be my 10th year in a row at Edinburgh, which makes me feel quite old and experienced!!!! It was the very first festival I ever attended, so it holds a special place in my heart, which is why I've gone back so often! To mark the occasion, I'm going to be revealing the title of my one-off fantasy book for the first time anywhere in the world!! I'm also going to officially announce what my four-book series is about -- I know many of you know already (indeed, I've read out extracts from it at the last two festivals in Edinburgh!), but this will be when I reveal it to everyone. I'll also read not one, not two, but three world exclusive extracts from unpublished books, which have never been heard anywhere before now!!! If you're interested in coming along and getting a trio of Darren Shan scoops, you can read a bit more about the event on the Book Festival web site, and book tickets, by CLICKING HERE and entering Darren Shan in the search box.

    I am also due to take part in one of the Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series readings on Monday, August 17th, at 5.30pm in the Peppers Theatre. This event is running every day throughout the festival, and each day a different set of writers will each read a short extract from authors in various countries who are facing persecution for what they write about. I will be reading a poem by an African author, and one of the other authors in my session will be Iain Banks. You can get tickets from the Box Office on the day of the event, and they are FREE. If you want to come along to hear me do a very different type of reading, and to support an extremely worthy cause, just nip into the Box Office on the 17th and ask.


    Below you can find details for my tour plans in 2009. School events are for invited schools only. Public events are usually open to anyone, but usually you need a ticket to enter, so please contact the shop 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. Signings are normally scheduled to last an hour, but I always stay to sign for everyone who comes, so they usually last much longer than that -- the average for the last few tours has been 2 and a half hours per signing session!!!!


    Monday 17 5.30pm Public, group reading for Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series at The EDINBURGH Book Festival. For more info, see above!
    Tuesday 18 10.00am Public event at The EDINBURGH Book Festival. For more info, and to book tickets, visit their web site: http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/index.html


    u.k. and ireland


    Thursday 1 10.30a.m School event at Rich Mix Cinema, Bethnal Green Road, London E2.
    Thursday 1 2.00p.m. Hackney Festival -- more info TBC.
    Thursday 1 p.m. Launch party in Central London. Invited guests only.

    Friday 2 10.40a.m. School event at Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-By-Sea.
    Friday 2 4.00p.m. Public signing at Waterstones Brighton Clock Tower, 71-74 North Street, Brighton BN1 1ZA.
    Friday 2 7.00p.m. Public event at Chichester College, Westgate Fields, Chichester, PO19 1SB. For tickets or more info, contact Waterstones, The Dolphin & Anchor, West Street, Chichester PO19 9HD.

    Saturday 3 10.30a.m. Public signing at Waterstones, 11A Union Galleries, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3XD.
    Saturday 3 4.00p.m. Public event at Central Library, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3HQ. Contact venue for more information and tickets. [email protected]

    Sunday 4 12.00p.m. Public signing at Borders, 34 Coliseum Way, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire Oaks, Cheshire CH65 9HD.

    Monday 5 TBC a.m. School event TBC.
    Monday 5 4.00p.m.

    Public signing at Simply Books, 228 Moss Lane, Bramhall SK7 1BD.
    Monday 5 7.00p.m. Public event at Waterstones, 91 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW. Contact store for more information and tickets.

    Tuesday 6 11.00a.m. School event at Wetherby High School, Hallfield Lane, Wetherby, West Yorkshire.
    Tuesday 6 4.00p.m. Public signing at Waterstones, 17 Newport Crescent, Middlesborough TS1 5UA.

    Wednesday 7 10.30a.m. School event at Dyke House School, Mapleton Road, Hartlepool, Teeside.
    Wednesday 7 4.30p.m. Public signing at WHSmith, Gateshead Metro Centre, Gateshead NE11 9YR.

    Thursday 8 11.00a.m. Public signing at Borders, Unit 7, Gallagher Retail Park, East Dock Street, Dundee DD1 3JS.
    Thursday 8 4.00p.m. Public signing at Waterstones, Unit 1, Thistle Marches, Stirling SK8 2EA.
    Thursday 8 7.00p.m. Public event at Wishaw Library, Kenilworth Avenue, Wishaw ML2 7LP. For more information and tickets, contact Margaret Bell: [email protected]

    Friday 9 10.30a.m. Schools event at Adelaides Auditorium, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4HZ.
    Friday 9 4.00p.m. Public signing at Borders, 98 Buchanan Street, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3HA.

    Saturday 10 10.10a.m. Public signing at Waterstones, Bluewater Shopping Centre, West Village, Greenhithe, Bluewater DA9 9SE.

    Sunday 11 11.00a.m. Public signing at Easons, Unit G1, The Pavilion Shopping Centre, Swords, County Dublin.
    Sunday 11 3.00p.m. Public signing at Easons, Level 3, Unit 12-14 Dundrum Town Centre, Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin 14.

    Monday 12 10.30a.m. Schools events at Ashbourne Library, Killegland Square, Ashbourne, County Meath.
    Monday 12 3.00p.m. Public signing at Waterstones, Scotch Hall, Marsh Road, Drogheda.
    Monday 12 7.00p.m. Public event at Blanchardstown Library, Civic Centre, Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15. Contact library for more information and tickets. [email protected]

    Tuesday 13 10.00a.m. Schools event at Dunamaise Arts Centre, Church Street, Portlaoise, County Laoise.
    Tuesday 13 4.00p.m. Public signing at Easons, 9 O'Connell Street, Limerick City.


    Friday 23 TBC Two school events in LUND, Sweden. Part of the LiteraLund Book Festival. See their web site for more info: http://www.litteralund.se/
    Saturday 24 12.00pm Public event in LUND, Sweden. Part of the LiteraLund Book Festival. See their web site for more info: http://www.litteralund.se/





    Schools event at Swindon Ten Youth Festival Of Literature. http://www.swindontenyfl.net/events.html

    2010 TOURS

    I know it's a long way off, but I've already booked up for a couple of international tours in 2010! In March, I will be visiting Dubai for the first time, and I will also be returning to Hong Kong. Dates, times, and more information to follow in a later edition of the Shanville Monthly.


    And that's it for August!! I've been hard at work over the summer, and that will continue through August, except for a little holiday to Edinburgh and London in the middle of the month. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the summer break, and spare a thought for poor old me, slaving away to keep you all happy in the autumn months!!! I'll be back here at the start of September with the next issue of the always amazing Shanville Monthly!! Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x