• Issue 122 - September 2010

    01 September 2010


    Hi everyone, and welcome to the September issue of the Shanville Monthly!! It's a big month for me. The main event, of course, is the release in the UK and USA of Birth of a Killer, the first of the four books about Mr Crepsley and his life before he met Darren. It's been six years since my last vampire book was published in the UK. While my Demonata series went down a treat, I know that a lot of you have a special spot in your hearts for Larten, Seba, Vancha, Gavner and the rest of the Vampire Mountain gang, so it's nice to be able to spend some more time with them! To support the release of the book, I am touring in the UK and Ireland at the end of September and through the first week of October. Then, in mid-November, I will be coming to the USA. You can find info about both those tours below (although I don't have very detailed info about the American tour yet). You can also finally check out the ultra cool covers for Birth of Killer. I've added extensive Writing Tips to my site (something I've been working on for 3 or 4 years). And there's more!! But let's crack straight on with the orange-haired gent you've all been waiting for...


    Although October is officially the month when Birth Of A Killer goes on sale, its actual release date is September 30th -- so you guys have less than a month to wait -- hurrah!!! For anyone who doesn't yet know, Birth is the first of the four book series about Larten Crepsley and his life before he met Darren Shan. It's an epic adventure series in every sense -- it covers 200 years, crosses continents all around the world, features a huge cast of characters, and more plot lines than you could shake a stake at!!! Over its course we will get to see how Larten first entered the world of vampires, how he rose through the ranks, and why he chose to walk away from the clan when he did. We'll meet characters old and new. We'll find out about the women Larten loved, the friends who were close to him, the troubled path he found himself on for much of his time.


    Birth Of A Killer goes on sale in the UK and USA at the same time, which I'm delighted about. I know lots of me American fans were frustrated at having to wait for my books to come out in the states months or in some cases years after they appeared in the UK. But now you need wait no longer! In fact, sometimes my books start appearing on shelves in certain parts of the USA a bit earlier than scheduled, so you might even come across a copy before it's available in the UK!!! Birth should be available in all good books stores from September 30th, but if you would rather order online, you can buy the UK edition from Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE. And you can buy the American edition from Amazon by CLICKING HERE.



    Ahead of the release of Birth Of A Killer in the UK and USA on September 30th, I’m delighted to officialy unveil the covers from both countries, along with covers of sketches and early artist drafts, to give you an insight into how the cover developed and was fine-tuned. You can find both sets in the Covers section of the site, along with covers from every other country where a Darren Shan book has ever been officially released. If you want to jump straight to the UK and Ireland covers, click here, and if you want to jump straight to have a look at the American covers, click here. My book notes about the writing of Birth Of A Killer will follow shortly, before the end of September.



    In the UK, my publishers, HarperCollins, produced proof copies of “Birth of a Killer”, the first of the Mr Crepsley books, to send out to booksellers, reviewers, librarians, etc ahead of the book’s release late in September. I thought you might like to see some of the feedback which we’ve had from a few of the sellers in various Waterstones stores after they’d read the book, so here we go…

    “Absolutely super! Creepy, exciting and utterly gripping, this is the first Darren Shan I have read. The first of many I think!” Charlotte Bruce - Aberdeen Union Bridge

    “This book made me feel disappointed in myself for never having read any of the Saga of Darren Shan, something that I must rectify at the first available opportunity!” Chris Felton - Hanley Tontines

    “A brilliant prequel to the fabulous Saga of Darren Shan. The author now reveals to us the story of the vampire Larten Crepsley. This is the hard and painful early life of a child who struggled to survive in the brutal streets where he was born. Then one day a catalyst changes eveything and makes him what he later becomes. Scary, dark and a compelling read.” Roz Radmore - Wakefield

    “In the bestselling and utterly addictive Saga of Darren Shan series we met the vampire Larten Crepsley. Now we return to Shan’s vampire world, back to the beginning to tell the story of Larten and how he entered this death/life. Right from the beginning this is even more gripping than the original series, with Larten’s character and poverty stricken background making him immensely likeable. Plus, we finally find out why he has orange hair! I highly recommend this book to any Darren Shan fans, and to anyone who would enjoy a more realistic vampire yarn. I can’t wait to see how this four part series develops!” Laura Sneddon - St. Andrews


    There have also been some early, positive reviews from various book sites in the UK, Ireland and USA. To access them, CLICK HERE.


    Are you excited about it yet?!? 



    After years of promises, I have finally added a lengthy manual of advice for young and aspriing writers to my site. This lists a lot of practical advice for budding authors, as well as reports of various problems/issues which I have encountered during my time in the buisness. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers a lot of ground, and I’ve arranged it as helpfully as I could. This answers most of the questions that I have ever been asked, and should prove useful to any young writer, regardless of which level they are at. It won't address ALL of your problems and queries -- no book ever could -- but at the very least it should serve as a handy guide and a reminder that writing isn't easy even for an established professionl. Go, peruse, enjoy!! CLICK HERE..


    I was interviewed by the Scottish Book Trust after my event and signing session in Edinburgh in August. You can see what I had to say by clicking here.


    Also, I uploaded a short video to YouTube about the completion of the new site after I'd added my Writing Tips. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE.



    In the UK and Ireland, the Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant movie will debut on Sky Movies Premiere on Friday, September 17th. For more information and show times, click here.


    Meanwhile, in the USA, the Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant movie will debut on Cinemax on Saturday, September 18th. For more information, click here.


    2010 TOUR NEWS

    for Full Details about indvidual events, including contact info, click here

    In October I will be touring in the UK and Ireland again, to promote the release of the first book about Mr Crepsley, Birth Of A Killer. Every event of the tour will also be listed on the Events page of my site, where you will in some instances be able to find out more information, such as website or contact details. Please note, I'm always happy to sign as many books as fans choose to bring along, so yes, if you're happy to drag your entire collection along with you, I'm happy to sign them all!!! If I'm doing a talk, it usually lasts about an hour, and I then sign for as long as it takes to deal with everyone who has come.

    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 full details yet, as we're still working on putting the tour together, but at the moment it looks like I will be doing a mixture of school and public events in the following areas: New Jersey, NYC, Philadelphia, DC, Georgia, Miami, Orlando. We're going to try to squeeze in one or two other places as well, if we can. I know that means I'm not going to get very far west this time -- hopefully I can rectify that situation on my next tour. More news and more specific details and dates to follow in the October issue of the Shanville Monthly...



    30th September, Thursday

    11.30am - Multi Schools Event, Castlebar Library, County Mayo, Ireland.

    4.00pm - Public Signing - Easons, 33 Shop Street, Galway, Ireland.

    1st October, Friday

    10.15am -  Multi Schools Event, Glor Arts Centre, Ennis, County Clare, Ireland.

    4.00pm - Public Signing - Ennis Bookshop, 13 Abbey Street, Ennis, County Clare, Ireland.

    2ND October, Saturday

    11.30am - Fan Event - Windsor Festival, Windsor. For web site, CLICK HERE.

    4.00pm - Public Signing - WHSmith Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, London NW4 3FB.

    3rd October, Sunday

    12.00pm - Public Signing - Waterstones, Aberdeen, 3-7 Union Bridge, Aberdeen AB11 6BG, Scotland.

    4th October, Monday

    10.30am - Multi Schools Event, North Inch Community Campus Theatre, Perth & Kinross, Scotland.

    4.00pm - Public Signing - Waterstones Perth, St John'sCentre, Perth PH1 5UX, Scotland.

    5th October, Tuesday

    10.00am - Multi Schools Event, The Magnum Leisure Centre, The Harbour, Irvine KA12 8PP, Scotland.

    4.00pm - Public Signing - Waterstones, 38a The Plaza, East Kilbride G74 1LW, Scotland.

    6th October, Wednesday

    1.45pm - Multi Schools Event at Cockermouth School.

    6.30pm - Public Fan Event - Eco-Centre, Cockermouth.

    7th October, Thursday

    1.00pm - Multi-schools event, Carr Hill, Kirkham, Lancashire.

    6.00pm - Public Fan Event - Millfield High School, Thornton, Preston.

    8th October, Friday

    1.45pm - Schools Event with Bolton Libraries, Central Library Lecture Theatre, Le Mans Crescent, Bolton.

    7.00pm - Public Fan Event - Victoria Hall, Knowsley Street, Bolton.

    9th October, Saturday

    2.30pm - Public Fan Event, Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham Festival. For wen site, CLICK HERE.

    10th October, Sunday

    11.00am - Public Signing, Waterstones, 4-5 Milsom Street, Bath BA1 1DA.

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


    In August I appeared at the Edinburgh Book Festival for the 11th year in a row, and had a brilliant time as always! You can read a review of my event in Edinburgh, by a fan who was there on the day, by clicking here. .


    The kids of Kilmarnock Academy in Scotland have freakishly fabulous taste in books—Cirque Du Freak was the most popular book in the school over the last academic year! You can find the full list by clicking here.




    As I noted a few months ago, the phrase “Cirque Du Freak” has been popping up in a variety of places recently—it seems to be entering the language as a common saying, which is very intriguing!! The latest mention was in The Belfast Telegraph, where it was used in relation to a show by Joker Tattoo studio. You can find it by clicking here and scrolling down to the relevant article.




    I've added quite a few new reviews to the site over the last month or so, for The Thin Executioner, Procession of the Dead, City of the Snakes, and more. To check them out, CLICK HERE.




    And that's it for September!! I'm hard at work on a new book early this month (I can't say anything more about it at the moment, I'm afraid), and I plan to do my final draft of Ocean of Blood, the second Mr Crepsley book, as well -- although I'll have one moe stab at that at the proof stage later in the year too. Then I'm off for a short holiday. And then it's the start of the tour! I'm ultra-excited about the release of Birth of a Killer --  I wrote the first draft way back in January 2007, so I've been waiting to unleash this on the world for almost 4 years!! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did -- and the good news if you do is that the next three are even hotter!! The first one sets the stage -- the real action kicks in in book two!!! Anyway, I'll be back here at the end of September, just before I head out on tour, to issue the October Shanville Monthly. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x


    Follow Darren Shan on MySpace and Twitter and on his Blog. He also has a YouTube page.