• Issue 131 - June 2011

    01 June 2011



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the June issue of the Shanville Monthly. First of all, my apologies to any of my Irish fans who missed me on tour in May because of the re-scheduled dates. It probably would have worked better if we had waited until October to do them, but I was keen not to disappoint fans who had bought Ocean Of Blood with a view to having it signed by me. We had great crowds at most of the re-scheduled events, but there were a couple where I don't think word had spread in time. Anyway, I managed to get to everywhere that I had originally planned to visit, with the exception of Dundrum in Dublin -- we just couldn't make that one work. We had hoped to fit it into the schedule in June (I even announced a June date at one point) but ultimately staff at the store requested an October signing instead, so I'll coming there on my next tour when Palace of the Damned is released. More details about that in a later issue of the Shanville Monthly. For now, let's focus on what this month brings, and there's LOTS to get through...





    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 went on sale in Canada on May 17th. It has been selling very well -- in Ireland it hit the Number 1 spot on the Children’s Bestsellers chart, and was Number 1 for THREE WEEKS IN A ROW!!! Many thanks to my army of amazing Irish fans, whose support has never wavered in the slightest over the last eleven and a half years — you guys are out of this world — or else just incredibly bloodthirsty!!!!! In Scotland, Ocean Of Blood got to Number 3 on the overall bestseller chart — that’s including books for adults as well as children!! Hats off to the Tartan Shanster Clan — you guys are brilliant!!!! You can check out the full chart here: http://living.scotsman.com/books/Books-Best-sellers.6767153.jp  And in the UK, Ocean of Blood was the Number 2 bestselling book on the children’s hardback chart for a couple of weeks — sweet!! Nice to see that my legions of British fans haven’t lost their taste for all things gory!!!!


    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.



    In the USA, City of the Snakes, the third book of my City Trilogy for older readers, goes on sale on June 2nd. This is my favourite of the trilogy, and I'm interested to see what my American fans think of it! To whet your appetite, you can check out this cool teaser video for the book: http://vimeo.com/23281861  City of the Snakes should be on sale in book stores around the country from the start of June. If you can't find it on the shelves, please feel free to ask a member of staff to order in a copy for you. Or you can order it online by cliking on either of these links from AMAZON or from BARNES & NOBLE.


    In the UK and Ireland, the second collected Demonata volume goes on sale on June 9th. This collects Slawter and Bec, two of the most popular books in the entire series. The book should be on sale in bookshops everywhere, but if you prefer to order it online from Amazon UK, CLICK HERE.


    In Slovakia, The Vampire Prince goes on sale on June 13th. You can check out the cool Slovakian cover if you CLICK HERE.


    In Taiwan, Birth of a Killer goes on sale on June 24th. Check out the brilliant cover by CLICKING HERE.





    If you are one of my older, more mature readers (e.g. approximately 15 upwards), and would like a taste of City of the Snakes before purchasing, you can read the first chapter of the book on Figment, an online community for writers and readers, by CLICKING HERE. I am also going to be doing an online chat with fans via the Figment site on Wednesday, June 8th, between 5.00pm and 6.00pm EST. You will be able to find more details about that on the Figment site closer to the time by CLICKING HERE. I will also try to post more details via Twitter once I find out.







    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!! 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 your 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. You can send the link to the same people every time you enter if you wish, although it's better if you can target new people, and encourage them to spread on the link to their contacts. Unlike most competitions, where you might want to keep it secret, to improve your chances of winning, this competition NEEDS lots of entrants -- the prizes will only be released as huge numbers of people play. So get clicking and get spreading!! Remember, you can enter dozens or hundreds or even thousands of times every day!!! And every time you donate a drop, you have a chance of winning a prize. Best of luck, Shansters!!!!!




    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’m delighted to announce that Birth Of A Killer has been shortlisted for the Independent Booksellers Week Award 2011. It’s one of twelve books which have been shortlisted for the final prize. The shortlist was chosen by staff in independent book stores across the UK, but the winner will be voted on by their customers — an intriguing process!!! I’m chuffed to have been shortlisted for such a cool prize — I’ve been a big supporter of indies over the years, and they’ve been great to me too! I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed, but there are some real heavy-hitters on the shortlist, so I won’t be holding my breath!!! You can check out the full shortlist by CLICKING HERE. And if any of you end up voting for the winner in your local independent book store, remember to vote for Shan — OR ELSE!!!!!






    Here’s a VERY cool competition open to readers in Ireland. It offers winners the chance to have their letter to an author read out on radio—and I’m one of the participating authors!! For full details, here’s what the organisers have to say about it on their Festival Poster...


    How would YOU like to write one of these authors a fan letter and have your letter read out live on the radio by the writer themselves? Sounds too good to be true? Then read on!


    Our Dear Author… competition kicks off on 9th May. Young book fans will be encouraged to write an open letter to their favourite author appearing at the Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival in Dún Laoghaire in September. The top three letters will be read out on the radio by the young reader’s favourite author and published on the Mountains to Sea Festival website. The winners will also receive a very special set of books, personally dedicated and signed by their chosen author.


    Here’s what you have to do: Write an open letter to one of the authors listed below, who will all be appearing at the Mountains to Sea Festival this September. Tell them why you love their books, who your favourite character is and what makes you laugh/ cry/ squeal the most! Don’t forget to tell them why YOU are their Number One Fan as well, along with anything else you think they would like to hear!


    Your letter should be no longer than 200 words and must be posted (not emailed) to arrive at the address below by Friday 24th June at the latest. The competition is open to all young people resident in the Republic of Ireland aged 15 or under. Please include your name, address, age, and contact phone number with your entry. The writers of the three best letters will be notified by 31st July.

    Post to: Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival, c/o Oonagh Brennan, Culture and Marketing, Libraries, Fifth Floor, 2 Harbour Square, Crofton Road, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin.


    Authors appearing at the Mountains to Sea Festival include: Eoin Colfer, Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff, Roddy Doyle, Darren Shan, Judi Curtin, Cathy Cassidy, Derek Landy, Sarah Webb. Please write your letter to one of these listed authors – letters to other authors will not be accepted as entries.


    For full terms and conditions please see the Mountains to Sea website – http://www.mountainstosea.ie





    I was recently interviewed for Inis magazine, a children’s books magazine in Ireland. The reporter asked some very interesting questions, so I’d highly recommend the piece. It also touches on the new series on which I’m currently working — though, as elsewhere, I’ve been deliberately vague about the subject matter!! Anyway, if you want to check it out, CLICK HERE.





    You can read a fascinating interview with Catherine Casalino, the artist who designed the American cover for Procession of the Dead, in which she discusses her work on the cover and how it took shape. Strongly recommended! To read it, CLICK HERE.





    For anyone looking to get a signed copy of Ocean of Blood, please note that I signed LOTS of copies of Ocean of Blood while on tour, along with plenty of copies of my other books too. (Especially in Limerick and Cork, where I signed pretty much my entire backlist of books!!) I often sign stock for a shop after my signing ends, so many of the stores from my tour might still have signed copies on sale—if you’re interested, have a look at my schedule from the May issue of the Shanville Monthly and get in touch with any of the stores to make enquiries. I’m sure that some of the stores would be happy to post out books if you can’t collect in person.


    One store which definitely has signed copies of Ocean of Blood for sale, and which ships worldwide, is Goldsboro Books in London — I didn’t do any events there, but I popped into the shop, as I do most times when a new book of mine is released, to sign lots of the latest book for them. Their website is: http://www.goldsborobooks.com/




    For a bit of fun, take the Guardian’s Monsters And Giants quiz which appeared on the online edition of the newspaper on May 4th—one of the questions is of the freakishly fiendish kind!! http://www.guardian.co.uk/childrens-books-site/quiz/2011/may/04/monster-giants-book-quiz





    Despite the complications with my May tour (having to re-schedule the Irish dates when my grandmother died) I had a great time on the road last month. I met LOADS of incredibly enthusiastic fans, many of whom had travelled great distances and lined up for hours to come to my signings and events. I had fun at the events, where I got to read out an extract from the new book -- I particularly enjoyed my event with Charlie Higson in Hay, where we each read out a bit of the other writer's work -- I read out an extract from The Enemy, while Charlie read out chapter two of Lord Loss!! As grisly and gruesome a double bill as you're every likely to find in children's literature!!!


    The average signing time on the tour was over 2 hours, although in Cork it was more than double that -- I was there for 4 hours 30 minutes!!! While Bromley, Limerick and Swansea all came in around the 3 hours mark!! Thanks, as always, to everyone who turned up -- both my fans, and the Mums and Dads and other relatives or teachers and librarians who helped them get there. To everyone connected with the schools and libraries and book stores who hosted my events. And most of all to the brilliant HarperCollins team of Geraldine, Mary, Sam and Tiffany, who put it all together and made sure I was always where I was meant to be! This was an especially difficult one for them, because of the last-minute changes to the tour, and the performed remarkably!!!


    You can read an excellently written report by a journalist of one of my events from my recent UK tour. This gives a very accurate reflection of what my events are like and the sort of things I cover in an average night on the road with my fans. It also contains one of my favourite quotes of the tour, from the writer’s son about me — “He’s weird - but weird in a good way!!!!” http://hubpages.com/hub/meeting-author-darren-shan





    I will be doing the following events in the UK and Ireland over the course of the summer, before 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/





    When I toured the UK and Ireland in May, I created two T-shirts to wear while on tour, featuring the cover of Ocean of Blood. I will be keeping one of these for my collection, but I am giving the other T-shirt away as a competition prize, along with a copy of Ocean of Blood -- and I will be signing both the T-shirt and book!! This is a true one-of-a-kind prize which nobody else in the world can ever have!!!! To enter, answer the following question -- but make sure you read the General Terms BEFORE you submit your entry!!!!! For fans elsewhere in the world, who might be disappointed that they can't enter -- worry not!! Next month I will be starting the Darren Shan Great Global Giveaway, in which I'm going to be offering more prizes than ever before, to fans in different countries all around the globe!! There will be more about that in the next issue of the Shanville Monthly.



    How many T-Shirts did I create for the UK & Ireland Ocean of Blood tour?




    1) This competition is only open to fans who live in the UK or Ireland. It is open to everybody in the UK and Ireland, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations.


    2) You can only enter ONCE, and there can only be one entry per household. If you try to enter more than once, ALL of your entries will be disqualified.


    3) 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. This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win!


    4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Sunday, June 12th, 2011.


    5) The draw for the winner will be made on Monday, June 13th, 2011, or on a date not long after that. It will be a completely random draw, made by Darren Shan personally (I use an online number generator to pick the winner). I will try to notify the winner by e-mail, and will post their name on the Shanville Message Board and in the July issue of the Shanville Monthly.


    6) 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.


    7) My decision will be final.


    8) To enter, send your answer, along with your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX, and your full address in the text, to this email address: [email protected]




    And that's it for June!! I plan to do lots of writing this month. I've been away from home for most of April and May and I'm itching to get back to tapping away wildly on my computer!! I also hope to get through the mountain of fan mail which has built up over the last couple of months -- sorry for the delay, Shansters!!! Thanks again to everyone who came to see me on tour -- I hope to see a few more of you at the Ayots Festival on the 26th!! I'll be back here early in July for the 11th birthday issue of the Shanville Monthly -- to celebrate, I'll be launching the first leg of the Darren Shan Great Global Giveaway -- don't miss it!!!! Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x


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