• Issue 133 - August 2011

    01 August 2011



    Hi, everyone, and welcome to the August issue of the Shanville Monthly! I'm guessing that many of you are off on holidays this month and having a great old time. I've got to admit, I'm not feeling too summery at the moment, because here in Ireland we've just had our coldest July in 50 years!!! Brrrrrr!!!!! Still, I have ever-bewitching Edinburgh to look forward to this month, as well as a sun holiday afterwards, so I can't moan too much!!! I've also been beavering away at work -- over the last few weeks I prepapred my script for my mega solo event in Edinburgh (see below), edited the final draft of "Brothers to the Death", and am in the middle of my latest edit of what will hopefully be my next-published book for adults. Busy busy!!!





    The Ocean Of Blood Facebook App Competition is halfway there and living on a prayer!! As I write this, they've just passed the 500,000 drops mark, with almost 300 prizes given away, and another 700 to come!! It's been a crazy month on the blood-giving front, and great to see so many of you participating so enthusiastically! To celebrate passing the 500,000 drops point, my UK publishers, HarperCollins, are raffling off 50 signed Palace Of The Damned cover proofs which were designed especially for the competition -- anyone who entered on the way to the 500k point will be entered in the draw for the cover proofs, so keep your fingers crossed!! There are still loads more cool prizes up for grabs, so make sure you keep on entering. Remember, you can enter repeatedly. After every 50 drops, you will need to use the sharing function and alert a few of your online contacts, but that is the only reservation—otherwise you can enter as many times as you like, no matter where in the world you live. Best of luck!!! And remember, the more friends you can get playing, the faster the prizes will be released!! http://apps.facebook.com/oceanofblood/


    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.




    In the UK, the fourth collected volume of The Demonata goes on sale on August 4th. It contains Death's Shadow and Wolf Island. should be on sale in book stores around the country from the start of August. 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 clicking on this link: AMAZON UK


    In the USA, the paperback edition of The Thin Executioner goes on sale on August 3rd. This is my personal favourite out of all the books that I have so far written, and it's also been my most hotly debated and widely reviewed book of recent years -- check out what the critic have to say by CLICKING HERE. If you haven't delved into the head-severing world of Jebel Rum yet, this is the perfect time to give it a try! The book should be available in book shops all across the States, or you can order online by clicking on the following links, either through AMAZON or BARNES & NOBLE.


    Meanwhile, Kindle-owning Shansters in the UK should note tha Cirque Du Freak is on sale until the end of August -- you can get it for just £1.99!!!! Incredibly great value!! If you don’t have it on Kindle already, this is the perfect time to buy. And tell your friends — help spread the freaky joy!!!!!! AMAZON KINDLE UK





    The almost final cover (they're thinking about changing the colour of my name) for the UK and Ireland edition of Palace of the Damned has now been revealed, and it’s the hottest yet in the series, in my opinion!! To check it out, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/covers/design/palace-of-the-damned-uk-ireland/




    I recently gave an interview to the English Association web site, in which I talk about the writing process, ebooks and more. To check it out, click here: http://www.le.ac.uk/engassoc/fellows/SIG/clds.html





    There was another non-books-related use of the term “Cirque Du Freak” in the media recently — this time Down Under, in reference to a theatrical event. There was another non-books-related use of the term “Cirque Du Freak” in the media recently—this time Down Under, in reference to a theatrical event. http://nine-to-five.whereilive.com.au/lifestyle/story/edward-gants-amazing-feats-of-loneliness/





    As I said above, one of the things I've done in the last few weeks is prepare for my solo Edinburgh event. Usually it takes me about half a day to prepare an extract for an event. I'll choose a section that I think will sound good read out loud, edit it down a bit to try to make it work to its maximum as a stand-alone piece, and I'm good to go. Occasionally I've spent a bit longer than that on a piece, for instance when I wrote "The Song of Darren Shan" years ago, which was the plot of some books of The Saga done in rhyme. But even those lengthy poems didn't take more than a day to write -- I'd just very briefly cover three books at a time, covering the rough plots of the books, no need to go into great detail.


    THIS is a different beast entirely!! I've had it in the back of my mind for a few years now that I wanted to do something epic to celebrate my original Saga at a live event. It's been nearly 12 years since "Cirque Du Freak" was first released, 8 years since "Sons of Destiny" rounded it off. While I'm always more interested in looking forwards rather than backwards in my career, I felt that enough time had passed to warrant a big live party for the Saga, a way for me and the fans in attendance to look back and remember the good old times when I was just starting out and telling the snowballing story of a young boy who crossed paths with a vampire at a freak show. I guess, more than anything else, I wanted to create a memorial to The Saga, if only to draw a complete line under it.


    While I toyed with the idea of a 12 hours event (!!!!) I ultimately decided that would be asking a bit too much of my fans -- and of myself!! So I came up with a 2 hours event instead, 10 minutes per book, enough time to cover all the main points of the Saga and tell it in a way that would work dramatically on its own terms, but which wouldn't test people's patience (and bums!) TOO much! But squeezing the storylines of 12 books into a 2 hours event is FAR from straightforward. First I had to skim-read the books, one at a time, making notes of what happened in each. And then I had to write up a script for each book, re-telling the story and trying to make it work in its new form -- I don't want this to be a dry re-telling of the Saga, I want it to ROCK!!!! In total, I spent more than two weeks working on it!!!


    If the event goes well, I might repeat it occasionally at other venues further down the line, though give its extended running time, I don't think I'll be doing it too frequently. But, equally, this mightl be a one-time-only event, if I find it too draining, or if it doesn't go down as well as I'm hoping it will. So miss it at your peril!!! I can't guarantee that it will be the most exciting, thrilling, involving event that I've ever done (though I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be), but it certainly be the one I've done the most amount of prep work for!!!!!!! To book tickets, see below.





    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.


    20th August, Saturday, 1.30pm -- Edinburgh Book Festival -- panel event with Barry Hutchison and Alexander Gordon Smith. http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/darren-shan-barry-hutchison-alexander-gordon-smith-talk-horror


    21st August, Sunday, 10.30am -- Edinburgh Book Festival -- solo event. This is an EXTRA special two hour event in which I will cover all 12 books of The Saga Of Darren Shan to celebrate my 12th year at the festival!! CLICK HERE for more details. http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/darren-shan-1


    4th September, Sunday, 3.00pm -- public event at the Mountains To Sea festival, Dun Laoighre, Ireland. http://www.mountainstosea.ie/





    My publicists and I are in the process of finalising the details of my September/October tour of the UK and Ireland, to promote Palace of the Damned. Below you can find a list of the signings and events which have so far been confirmed. I hope to fill in the blanks by the time of the next issue of the Shanville Monthly. 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.


    29th September, Thursday

    am -- two schools events, Library Theatre, Central Library, Birmingham.

    7.00pm -- public event, Waterstones Worcester, Unit D, The Shambles, Worcester, WR1 2QJ.

    30th September, Friday

    am -- schools event, Bath.

    7.00pm -- public event with Charlie Higson, Guildhall, Bath. http://www.bathkidslitfest.org.uk/

    1st October, Saturday

    11.00am -- public signing, Waterstones Bluewater, West Village, Greenhithe, Bluewater, DA9 9SE.

    2nd October, Sunday

    10.30am -- public signing, Waterstones Newport, Isle of Wight, 118 High Street, PO30 1TP.

    3.00pm -- public event, Portsmouth, Highlight Comedy Club, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, PO1 3TW.

    3rd October, Monday

    10.00am -- schools event, Bay House School, Gomer Lane, Alverstock, Gosport, Hampshire.

    4.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Southampton, West Quay Shopping Centre, Western Esplanade, Southampton, SO15 1QE.

    4th October, Tuesday

    am -- schools event, Salisbury area, arranged by Well Wisher Books.

    pm -- public signing, details To Be Confirmed, but hoping to do this in Exeter.

    5th October, Wednesday

    am -- schools event, Exeter area.

    pm -- public event, Waterstones Plymouth, 1 Charles Street (Drake Circus), Plymouth, PL1 1EA.

    6th October, Thursday

    am -- schools event, Plymouth area.

    4.00pm -- public signing, Falmouth Bookseller, 21 Church Street, Falmouth, TR11 3EG.

    7th October, Friday

    4.30pm -- public signing, Easons, The Pavilions Shopping Centre, Swords, Co Dublin.

    8th October, Saturday

    11.00am -- public signing, Easons, Dundrum Shopping Centre, Dublin 14.

    3.00pm -- public signing, Easons, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Clondalkin, Dublin 22.

    9th October, Sunday

    1.00pm -- public signing, The Book Centre, 10 High Street, Kilkenny.

    3.00pm -- public signing, The Book Centre, 25 John Roberts Square, Waterford.





    The very exctiing news for anyone who entered the July Shanville Monthly Great Globl Giveaway competition before the cut-off date is that EVERYONE is a winner!! Yes, I was able to find a prize for every entrant for all of the countries — except Japan, since surprisingly nobody entered for that one!! Everyone will be getting at least one signed book — some fans will be getting a couple or even several!!! Since I have to process so many prizes (close to 100 in total) I won’t be contacting winners by email to let them know that they’ve won, or listing their names here. Suffice to say that if you entered and your entry was safely received, then you’re a winner!!! I’m currently in the process of signing, packaging, addressing and shipping all of the prizes, but it’s going to take me quite a while (probably a week or two, I imagine), so please be patient!!!





    When my books are published, my publishers always send me free copies of them. I've built up a massive collection of Darren Shan books over the years, from countries all around the world. I always keep a few of each book for myself, but in many cases I have extra copies. These were stacked away haphazardly in my old house, then in storage for a year while I was living elsewhere, but when I moved back in, I had a chance to go through them and sort them out. Which means that I am now in a position to start GIVING THEM AWAY FOR FREE as competition prizes!!! Most months, for the next few months, I am going to run a competition for readers in different countries. The number of prizes will vary for each country depending on how many books I have to give away. I won't announce the number of books up for offer for any given country in advance -- all I will say is that I have a LOT of books to give away, so I'm going to be trying to issue as many prizes as possible each time! You don't get a choice of book as a prize -- basically, I'll see what I have available, and issue prizes accordingly. And, of course, I will SIGN every book before I send it out!!


    This month, I am giving away books for fans in Canada, China (not Taiwan -- I will run a separate giveaway for Taiwan at a later date), Indonesia and Turkey. Also, since I had no entries from Japan last month, I am going to include Japan again this month -- but I am going to open it up, so if you are Japanese (or even if you can just speak or read Japanese) and living in another country, you can enter for Japan -- just put Japan down as the country in your entry heading. If you live in one of the applicable countries, read the following terms, then send in your entry and keep your fingers crossed!




    1) This competition is only open to fans who live in Canada, China (not Taiwan), Indonesia or Turkey, or who wish to be considered for Japan. (You cannot enter if 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 the NAME OF YOUR COUNTRY and YOUR NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail (for example, if I was entering, I would put Ireland -- Darren Shan). And make sure you INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS in the body of the e-mail. This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win! Also, if you are 15 years old or older, and would like to be considered for one of my adult books, please note this in your entry.


    4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Tuesday, August 9th, 2011.


    5) The draw for the winners will be made on Wednesday, August 10th, 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 winners by e-mail, and might post their names on the Shanville Message Board and in the September 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 an email, along with YOUR NAME and the NAME OF YOUR COUNTRY in the SUBJECT BOX, and your full name and address in the text, to this email address: [email protected]




    And that's it for August!!  I cant wait to hit Edinburgh -- it will be my 12th year in a row appearing at the Book Festival!!! Then I'm off on hols for a while, before returning in time for my September event in Dun Laoighre. Then I'll hopefully get some writing done, then it will be the tour for the new book, then more writing!!! Assuming I have a good internet connection on the island where I'm going, I'll see you all back here at the start of September with all the latest news and updates -- if not, it might be a few days later!! Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x


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