• Issue 119 - June 2010

    01 June 2010
    Issue 119 - June 2010
    05 June 2010

    My Grandad, John Barry (better known to many as Son Barry) passed away on the afternoon of Sunday, May 23rd. He had been ill for quite some time, and seriously ill for a week prior to his passing, so it came as no surprise, but it was a hard time for me and the rest of my family regardless. Those of you who have followed my blogs over the years will have heard me talk of him before -- he was a larger than life figure and I loved him loads. I think that much of my imagination and work ethic came directly from him -- he was a highly intelligent, honest, hard working man. He was a sports star in his early years -- he won two Junior All-Ireland medals for hurling, and many other medals besides. I didn't inherit much of his sporting grace, but I like to think that I followed after him in many other ways -- for instance, he was an actor in his youth, he wrote a few autobiographical books for his family and friends when he retired, he loved words and doing crossword puzzles (he even did one on his deathbed, just a few days before the end, even though he was only semi-conscious at the time!!), and he learned to use a computer when he was 80!!!!

    Grandad was a huge presence in my life and I'll miss him dreadfully. While on hols in New York, I spotted a rack of crossword puzzles in Barnes & Noble and eagerly leant forward to pick up one of them for Grandad -- then stopped dead when I remembered that he was gone. I think I'm going to be doing that for quite a long time, maybe the rest of my life. Hopefully for the rest of my life -- while it's always sad to lose someone you love, having the memories of them is something you can cherish forever.

    I tweeted and blogged a lot about Grandad in the week leading up to his death and just after, and many of you sent condolences and words of comfort. On his behalf and mine, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you. It meant a lot to me, and I'm sure he would have loved to read the messages of support too if he had been able to get to his computer.

    Finally, to Grandad I'd like to shout with all my love and pride and joy for the life he led and the memories and gifts he left me with, EVEN IN DEATH MAY YOU BE TRIUMPHANT!!!!!

    Now back to normal service...


    Hi everyone, and welcome to the June issue of the Shanville Monthly, the first since the site underwent its re-design!! Sorry this is late going live, but I was away on holiday at the start of June (a few days in New York) and then there were some things on the site which I wished to update before I posted this. Anyway, better late than never, and your patience is appreciated!! Rather than highlight what this month's issue holds in store for you, I'm going to take this opportunity to re-stress that if you want to keep receiving notification emails about future issues of the Shanville Monthly, you MUST re-subscribe, using the links on the new site -- sorry for the inconvenience, but it was impossible to transfer the information across. You can choose to subscribe just to the Shanville Monthly if you only want to hear from me once a month with the new roundup, OR in addition to be notified every time I post a blog or news item -- it's your choice!! You can subscribe either by email or using RSS. You can unsubscribe any time you wish, and as always, I will never share your details with any other interested parties. For the subscription page, CLICK HERE



    My first ever one-off, stand-alone novel, THE THIN EXECUTIONER, went on sale in the UK and Ireland at the end of April. It has been selling well, and the response from fans has been fabulous! I wasn't sure how fans would react to this book, since it's quite different to those which I have published previously, but it seems to be going down a treat with the vast majority of you -- hurrah!!!! It has been popular with critics too, gaining more reviews than any of my books in quite a while. You can check out what reviewers have said so far about it by CLICKING HERE.


    Hell's Heroes, the 10th and final book of The Demonata, went on sale in the USA on May 11th. One of the things I learnt while on tour in the UK and Ireland in May was that Hell's Heroes has probably become the most popular book of the series with fans here!!! I never really find out how fans have responded to my books until I go the road -- I don't get lots of reviews from the media, and although fans send me letters and emails and post on the message board, only a small fraction of my audience contacts me that way. It's only when I tour, and get to meet thousands of fans, that I find out what they REALLY think! Up until this tour the clear fan favourites were Slawter, Lord Loss and Cirque Du Freak, but they have all been blown away by Hell's Heroes, which seemed to stoke the fires of the vast majority of the fans who came along to my events.

    I won't know what my American fans think until I tour there later this year (heh heh -- did you guys in the States like the way I just slipped that in without warning?!? Don't worry, there's more about it further down!), but I'm hoping it proves as much of a hit Stateside as it has done in Ireland and the UK. If you like in the USA and haven't bought it yet, pay a swift visit to your local bookstore or library (and ASK if you don't see it on the shelves!!). Or, if you prefer to buy online, you can get the book either through Amazon by CLICKING HERE or through Barnes & Noble by CLICKING HERE. If you don't trust me, and want to check out a few reviews of the book first, you can do that by CLICKING HERE.


    My first book for older readers, Procession of the Dead, came out in the USA on June 4th. You can read this book as a one-off, since it tells a self-contained story, but it is also the first book of a trilogy -- the second, Hell's Horizon, comes out in January 2011. The book should be available in all good book stores, but you can also buy it through Amazon if you prefer, by CLICKING HERE or through Barnes & Noble by CLICKING HERE. Procession has been one of the most reviewed of all my books, picking up a lot of reviews from critics in both the UK and USA, as well as from further afield. If you'd like to find out what reviewers have been saying about it before you buy, CLICK HERE.

    To celebrate the book's release in the States, I’ve recorded a short YouTube introduction to the book for my American fans.You can find it on my official YouTube site by clicking here: http://www.youtube.com/user/DarrenShan I plan to make much more use of video over the coming months and years, so add it to your bookmarks, or subscribe, and keep checking back!


    It's ALIVE!!!!!!! Yes, I'm delighted to be able to announce the arrival of the newborn Darren Shan web site to the world!!! It's been almost ten years since I first lanuched my site. Back then I did it all myself, following the instructions from a "How To Create Your Own Web Site in 24 Hours" book!!! We've come a long way since then, though up until this latest overhaul we still used the basic site-building tools that I used in the beginning, since I was comfortable with that way of doing things and could exert more control over the site by sticking with what I knew. But the world and the web have moved on, and my designer convinced me that it was high-time we junked the old way of doing things and dragged the site kicking and screaming into the 21st century!!!
    The new site is a beast of an entirely different calibre. It might take a bit of getting used to, since it's more complexly structured than the old site, but ultimately it will offer a far smoother browsing experience -- you'll be able to find your way around much easier than you could before, and get from one section of the site to another in quicker time. It will be easier to view fan art, photos, etc. Easier to find out info about the books, and to access my notes. The site will look slicker and work more efficiently, offering more options and links from any idividual page than I had before. Most importantly, it will be more FUN!!!!!

    To start browsing the new site, just go to the regular Darren Shan home page: http://www.darrenshan.com The site is ALMOST finished, but there are still a few tweaks to be ironed out -- we expect to polish off those over the first half of June. The biggest gap at the moment is that Fan Art has not yet been copied over, but rest assured, we are working on this. Also, some links and features are not yet active, and some of the material from the old site has yet to be copied across. So if things don't work quite the way they should, don't worry, just give us a few days and we'll soon have it sorted.

    If you run into any problems with the new site, or can't find a page that you want, we have kept the old site intact, so you can go and browse there as you did before. The new link for the old home page is: http://www.darrenshan.com/oldsite.html All of the old links are accessible from there.

    I was going to talk you guys through some of the new features, but I think it's all pretty straightforward, and you'll learn more quickly by doing a bit of surfing than you will be listening to me!! The only thing I do want to point out is that you DO need to subscribe afresh -- the old members' list is being discontinued. You can choose to subscribe just to the Shanville Monthly if you only want to hear from me once a month with the new roundup, OR in addition to be notified every time I post a blog or news item -- it's your choice!! You can subscribe either by email or using RSS. You can unsubscribe any time you wish, and as always, I will never share your details with any other interested parties. For the subscription page, CLICK HERE

    #1 IN IRELAND!!!

    The Thin Executioner has done well in the charts in the UK and Ireland. In the UK it got as high as #6 -- that might not sound like a high placing, but with all the Twilight books hogging the top spots, as they have done for the last year and more, it's a very respectable placing!! In Ireland, the book entered the charts at #4, rose to #3, then #2, then stayed at #2 for another week -- and then hit the top at #1 -- hurrah!!!! Since it's my home territory, I always get an extra special buzz of pleasure when my books do well in Ireland, and getting to #1 is as good as it gets!! I've said it before about my Irish fans, but it's worth saying again -- you guys are incredible!!!!!!

    2010 TOUR NEWS

    I am pleased to announce that I wil be appearing at the Edinburgh Book Festival again, for my 11th year in a row, in August!! I can't confirm the date or time of that yet -- the programme will be launched on their web site on June 21st. You'll be able to find out more then by CLICKING HERE.

    In October I will be touring in the UK (and maybe Ireland) again, to promote the release of the first book about Mr Crepsley, Birth Of A Killer. I can't confirm any dates at this time, as we haven't started working on the tour yet, but stay tuned over the summer for updates. If you're a teacher, librarian or bookseller and you're interested in inquiring and finding out more about how to invite me to YOUR area, visit the Contact page on my site: http://www.darrenshan.com/contact/

    Then, in November, I will be coming to the USA again on tour!! It will have been more than a couple of years since my last American tour (October 2008), so hopefully my fans Stateside will be chomping at the bit!! I can't confirm details yet, as we're still working on putting the tour together, but I can say that it finishes in Florida on or around November 22nd. I will be posting details here later in the summer, giving teachers, librarians and booksellers in the States the chance to contact my publisher and make a pitch for me.

    Click here for all upcoming events information. This list will be updated whenever an event is confirmed.


    I have added a couple of new interviews with me to the site, and I have also updated it with several 2009 interviews (I'd never copied over the links from the Shanville Monthly). You can check them out by CLICKING HERE.


    To celebrate the launch of the new web site, as well as the release of my latest batch of books in the UK and Ireland, I'm running TWO very exciting competitions this month, one open to fans in the UK and Ireland, the other for fans in the Rest of the World. This is what is up for grabs.

    UK and Ireland -- the winner will receive an exclusive T-shirt which I wore on my recent tour to promote The Thin Executioner -- it has the cover of The Thin Executioner on it, the date of the tour underneath, and I will personally sign it in silver. I only created two of these T-shirts to wear on tour. 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 paperback UK edition of Hell's Heroes, and a signed copy of the hardback USA edition of Procession of the Dead, my first book for older readers.

    REST OF THE WORLD -- the winner will receive a signed The Vampire's Assistant mirror. These were created by Universal to promote the release of the movie, and I don't think too many of them are out there on the open market -- and this is the first one I have ever signed!!! (I hope the ink doesn't rub off!!!) It's quite small and has a magnet at the back, so it can be stuck to a metallic surface, e.g. a fridge door. I will also send the winner a signed copy of the paperback UK edition of Hell's Heroes, and a signed copy of the hardback USA edition of Procession of the Dead, my first book for older readers.

    Here are the entry links, along with the full terms and conditions. Make sure you read the General Terms BEFORE you submit your entry!!!!!


    1) If you live in the UK or Ireland, answer this question: "How many T-Shirts did I create for the Thin Executioner tour?"

    2)Send your entry to: [email protected]


    1) If you live in any country other than the UK or Ireland, answer this question: "What is the name of my first book for older readers?"

    2)Send your entry to: [email protected]


    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, June 20th, 2010.

    (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, June 21st, 2010. 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 July 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.


    Just to remind you, I started posting on Twitter a couple of months ago, and have been updating it most days. It's been particularly useful when I've been away from home, on tour and on holidays, when I haven't had time to do a lengthy blog. My account is @darrenshan, and I've been tweeting very regularly, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day, depending on what's going on in my life. If you want to follow me on Twitter, drop on by to: http://twitter.com/darrenshan

    Please note, I don't follow many people on Twitter, or respond to most queries (there just isn't time), but I DO read all of the comments, and appreciate the feedback.


    And that's it for June!! I'll be working hard throughout this coming month, both on the web site and on my books, before taking a little break to celebrate my 38th birthday around the week of July 2nd. But don't worry -- I don't plan to let my birthday celebrations get in the way of the Shanville Monthly, and hopefully I'll be updating this page on July 1st with all the latest news and updates! Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x