• Issue 130 - May 2011

    02 May 2011



    My Granny, Mary Barry, nee Griffin, sadly passed away on April 29th. She was an amazing woman who had led a long and happy life -- she was just one day short of her 80th birthday when she died. She had been in poor health for quite some time, so it didn't come as a surprise, but obviously we had hoped to have her around for a bit longer than we did -- in the end she slipped away quite quickly. The only upside to that was that she enjoyed a good quality of life all the way to the end -- even on the day of her death, she managed to get out of bed for a few minutes. I was very close to my Grannny. She was like a second mother to me. She was also the last of my grandparents to pass. I'll miss her dreadfully for the rest of my life, but at the same time I know I'm lucky to have had her in my life for as long as I did, and I feel blessed that I was graced with such a loving, funny, intelligent, warm grandmother. Even in death may she be tirumphant!!!!




    Hi everyone, and welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly. As I noted above, this is a sad time for me, but my Granny was completely unafraid of death and a firm believer in life going on as normal once you lost someone you loved -- it's where I get much of my matter-of-fact approach to death from. She wouldn't have wanted any of her family to sit around moping -- she'd be much happier for us to celebrate her life rather than brood about her passing. So, even though I'm going to be hurting inside for a long time to come, I'm going ahead with my May tour of the UK and Ireland, and I'll be thinking of her with every book that I sign and dedicating it to her honour. I wouldn't be where I am today without the support and guidance of my Granny, so it seems like a fitting way to pay homage to her. Because she died the day before my tour was due to start, we had to cancel the first half of the tour on short notice. My sincere apologies to anyone who turned up at any of my Irish event and was disappointed not to find me there -- but the good news is that you shouldn't have too long to wait for your next opportunity to meet me, as Im planning to re-schedule all of my Irish events for later in May, most of them just after the UK leg of my tour. You can find out more about the re-jigged tour dates below -- but please note that I am awaiting confirmation of the refreshed Irish dates -- because of the bank holiday, it will be Tuesday, May 3rd at the earliest before I can confirm the new dates. Please check this issue of the Monthly again, closer to the time of the Irish leg, before travelling to see me.


    Right -- back to normal business!! May is a busy month for me, with the release of Ocean of Blood in the UK, Ireland and USA. The book has been attracting very positive early feedback from fans and reviewers, which is always a pleasant sign! You can read more about the release of my latest book (the 29th of mine to see print in the UK!) in the next entry, and there's plenty more news to report on too, from an incredible online competition being run by my British publishers, to details of an Irish TV show which I'll be appearing on, to new covers and interviews and more! So let's have no more gloominess -- time to push on -- Granny Barry would expect nothing less of us!!!!




    Ocean of Blood, the second book in The Saga of Larten Crepsley, went on sale in the UK & Ireland and the USA on April 28th. And it goes on sale in Canada on May 17th. The second of the four Mr Crepsley books, this is one of the darkest books I’ve ever written, as Larten Crepsley’s life takes a grim turn at a very unfortunate time. The ending left ME shivering, and I hope it will do the same for fans too. If you thought you knew all there was to know about the character of Larten Crepsley, you thought wrong. In Ocean of Blood you will see a side of him you probably never even imagined, and it might just shake you to your core...


    Early response to the book from fans has been incredibly positive -- many are hailing it as my finest book to date -- so hurry and buy a copy ASAP to find out what the others are raving about!! The book should be available in all good book stores, but you can also order it online if you prefer, either from Amazon UK if you live in the UK or Ireland by CLICKING HERE, or from Amazon USA if you live in the States by CLICKING HERE, or from Amazon Canada by CLICKING HERE. The book is also available as an eBook. To buy it from Kindle if you live in the UK, CLICK HERE. If you live in the USA and want to buy it from Kindle, CLICK HERE.


    My UK publishers, HarperCollins, have published a cool little video teaser trailer for Ocean Of Blood, to whet your appetitie ahead of the book’s release. You can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nHvgVug8Gk If you like it, please share it with your friends and help spread the word!! If you don’t like it, keep quiet!!!!!!


    Also, I have added my book notes for Ocean Of Blood to my site. If you want to check them out early, before the book is released, CLICK HERE. I have been careful not to include any major spoilers, although if you’re someone who likes to know as little about a book as possible before they start reading, then you might want to wait until the book has come out, as my notes do hint at quite a lot of the plot lines. Book 2 is when Larten’s story REALLY starts to hot up, and I think the concluding chapters are some of my darkest and finest work to date!!!




    In the UK and Ireland, the paperback edition of Birth Of A Killer has gone on sale to tie in with the release of Ocean of Blood in hardback. I really like how they have tweaked the cover for the paperback version -- it's the same image that appeared on the hardback, but it looks very different now:

    I think I prefer this one!! The book should be available in bookstores everywhere, or you can buy it online from Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE.


    Also now on sale in the UK and Ireland is the first collected volume of The Demonata, containing Lord Loss and Demon Thief. I wrote about the new, collected volumes in last month's issue of the Shanville Monthly, so go check that one out if you want to learn more about them and their release dates. The first volume should now be available in bookshops everywhere in the UK and Ireland. Or if you want to buy it through Amazon, CLICK HERE.





    To tie in with the release of Ocean Of Blood, my UK publishers, HarperCollins, have launched a VERY exciting game, open to fans everywhere in the world, where they’re trying to collect a million drops of blood to fill an online, virtual OCEAN OF BLOOD!! Basically, through an app on their Facebook site, you can very simply enter the competition by clicking a button to donate a virtual drop of blood. As soon as you do that, you have the chance to win an immediate prize—there are lots of cool instant prizes, such as iPod Nanos, iTunes vouchers, signed copies of Ocean Of Blood, and more!! Every entrant is also entered into a draw to be held at the end of the competition, where the main prize is an iPad 2 with all of my eBooks on it, as well as a unique signed cover!!


    This is a viral competition, the aim being for fans to spread the word to their friends, family members and associates, to get as many people entering the game as possible. Therefore, you can enter as many times as you like, but only if you virally spread the game every time, either by sending links to your Facebook contacts, your Twitter contacts, or to email addresses. It’s simple and straightforward, fun to play, with LOADS of great prizes up for grabs—so what are you waiting for?!? Click on the following link and get gaming—and may the luck of the vampires be with you!!!!!




    Please note, this game is being run by HarperCollins—if you have any queries about it, you should contact them via the links on their Facebook page.






    I will be appearing on the Irish RTE television show, Elev8, on Wednesday, May 11th—the show starts at 4.30pm. If you live in Ireland, don’t miss it!! http://www.rte.ie/trte/elev8/





    I have added the UK artist’s working drafts of Palace of the Damned, the third Mr Crepsley book, to my site. If you want to chart the evolution of the cover, you can check it out by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/covers/country/united-kingdom/ Or, for higher res versions, you can check out the artist’s own site here: http://davidwyatt.posterous.com/palace-of-the-damned The final cover image will be added later in the year, once it has been completed. This is probably my favourite UK cover in the series to date—I hope you like it as much as I do!!





    I recently gave an interview to German website, Zauberspiegel, in which I chatted about a variety of my books. You can check out the English verison by CLICKING HERE.


    I also gave an interview to Adventures In Children’s Publishing, in which I talked about some of the practicalities of being a writer. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE.





    Many congratulations to literacy teacher Debi Clark, who was recently named My Favorite Teacher in a Barnes & Noble contest in Jonesboro, USA. The reason I spotted this was because of the book she mentions when talking about getting her students interested in reading. You can find out what it is, and learn more about Debi and the award, by CLICKING HERE.


    Congratulations are also due to Elijah Barnett, who was Student Of The Week in the Arizona Daily Star. Like Debi, Elijah has excellent taste in books, as you’ll find out if you read the online article by CLICKING HERE. Isn’t it a wonderful world where students and teachers alike are united by their bloodthirsty love of all things Shan?!?





    I had a wonderful time on holiday in Australia in April -- and I also had a wonderful time at the three events I did there! I did my first event in Melbourne on the day of my arrival. There was a very good turnout, which was very nice for someone arriving fresh from a 20-plus hour flight! I read out a couple of extracts, answered lots of questions and signed lots of books. The fans were SO enthusiastic -- an amazing bunch! One had even flown in from Alice Springs just to meet me!! Later in the hols I did another event, this time in Sydney. Again, we had a positive turnout, and the fans were uber-keen. One girl had flown from Brisbane, via Melbourne, to come to it!! I rounded off my visit with a signing in Adelaide, where I was busy penning my name in books for nearly an hour and a half. Thanks to everyone who turned up and made the events so memorable for me. Hopefully I'll get to return to Australia in the not-too-distant future and do even more events and signings...




    23rd May -- IMPORTANT UPDATE -- due to a death in the family, I had to POSTPONE the Irish section of my tour. Please find details for the RESCHEDULED Irish events below. We have managed to fit most of the events into May slots, except for Dundrum, which will now take place in October during my tour for Palace of the Damned-- exact date To Be Confirmed in a later issue of the Shanville Monthly.


    I will be touring in Ireland and the UK in May to promote the release of Ocean of Blood, the second of the Mr Crepsley books. The tour will take place in two sections, the first coming at the start of the month, with a few extra dates added at the end of May. Here are all the details that we currently have to hand. More info will be added where appropriate over the coming couple of months. A public signing is open to anyone who wants to come. A schools event is for invited schools only. A public event is open to anyone who wishes to attend, but tickets normally need to be reserved in advance -- you should always contact the organiser in advance to make sure that you will be able to get a ticket. More details are available in the individual listings on the EVENTS part of my site. I am always happy to sign as many of my books as fans wish to bring along or buy on the day.


    30th April, Saturday -- POSTPONED UNTIL 14th MAY -- SEE BELOW

    public signing, O'Mahony's Tralee, Castle Street, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

    public signing, The Crescent Bookshop, Crescent Shopping Centre, Dooradoyle, Limerick.

    1st May, Sunday -- POSTPONED UNTIL 15th MAY -- SEE BELOW

    public signing, Waterstones Cork, 69 Patrick Street, Cork.

    2nd May, Monday -- POSTPONED UNTIL 18th MAY -- SEE BELOW

    public signing, Easons Newbridge, Unit 19/20 White Water Shopping Centre, Newbridge, County Kildare.


    public signing, Easons Dundrum, 12-14 Dundrum Town, Dublin 16.

    3rd May, Tuesday -- POSTPONED UNTIL 19th MAY -- SEE BELOW

    public signing, Waterstones Belfast, 44-46 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE.

    4th May, Wednesday

    11.50am -- multi-schools events, Stratford High School,  Stratford-Upon-Avon. Part of the Stratford-Upon-Avon Literary Festival.

    4.30pm -- public signing, WH Smith Welwyn Garden City, 30 Howards centre, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6HA.

    5th May, Thursday

    10.30am -- multi-schools event, Norwich.

    6.00pm -- public event in Jarrolds Department Store, 1-11 London Street, Norwich NR2 1JF.

    6th May, Friday

    10.00am -- multi-schools event, Copleston High School, Ipswich.

    3.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Ipswich, 15-19 Buttermarket, Iswich IP1 1BQ.

    6.00pm -- public event, Shire Hall, High Street, Chelmsford, arranged by Just Imagine book shop, New London Road, Chelmsford. For tickets, phone 01245 267748 or book online at justimaginestorycentre.co.uk

    7th May, Saturday

    10.30am -- public event, Attlee Room, Haileybury College, Hertford Heath, Hetrford SG13 7NU, arranged by Books @ Hoddesdon, 79 High Street, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire EN11 8TL - phone 01992 442290 or email [email protected] for tickets.

    8th May, Sunday

    11.00am -- public signing at Waterstones Bromley, 100 The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1DJ.


    10.00am -- public signing, O'Mahony's Tralee, Castle Street, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

    3.00pm -- public signing, The Crescent Bookshop, Crescent Shopping Centre, Dooradoyle, Limerick.


    12.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Cork, 69 Patrick Street, Cork.

    18th May, Wednesday -- CONFIRMED

    2.30pm -- public signing, Easons Newbridge, Unit 19/20 White Water Shopping Centre, Newbridge, County Kildare.

    19th May, Thursday -- CONFIRMED

    2.00pm -- schools event, Waterstones Belfast, 44-46 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE.

    4.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Belfast, 44-46 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE.

    29th May, Sunday

    6.00pm -- public signing at Waterstones Cardiff, 2A The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1WB.

    30th May, Monday

    11.00am -- public signing, Waterstones Swansea, The Old Carlton Cinema, 17 Oxford Street, Swansea SA1 3AG.

    4.00pm -- public event with Charlie Higson, Hay-On-Wye Literary Festival.

    31st May, Tuesday

    10.30am -- multi-schools event, Liberty Hall, Eden Quay, Dublin 1. Part of the Dublin Writers Festival. Any teachers interested in bringing groups of students should email [email protected]

    pm -- event with Fighting Words, Dublin.




    I will also be doing the following events in the UK and Ireland between the end of the May tour and my next major tour in October.


    26th June, Sunday -- 10.30am -- public event at the Ayot Festival, Ayot Green. http://www.greenfestivals.co.uk/


    August -- Edinburgh Book Festival -- details and dates to follow. http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/


    4th September, Sunday -- public event at the Mountains To Sea festival, Dun Laoighre. http://www.mountainstosea.ie/




    And that's it for May!! I'm looking forward to hopefully meeting lots of you on the road during my travels this month, and to signing LOADS of copies of Ocean Of Blood, along with plenty of copies of my backlist too -- bear in mind that I'm always happy to sign as many of my books as fans bring along to my events, so don't be shy about bringing your entire collection along if you so wish! Once again, apologies to my Irish fans for the postponed events, especially those of you who maybe travelled a long way to get to them. I hope that you will all be able to come to the re-scheduled events. I'll be back here again at the start of June for a summery issue of the 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.