• Issue 139 - February 2012

    01 February 2012



    Hi, everyone, and welcome to the February issue of the Shanville Monthly!! After a typically quiet January issue, things have started to pick up and I have plenty of news to report this month. So let's crack straight on with it!!



    TOP 10s


    I was pleased to see that not one, but two of my books made it onto the Bookster Top 10 reads of 2011 list!! You can check out the whole of the top 10, and read lots of reviews of other cool books, by clicking here: http://booksterreviews-cliona.blogspot.com/2012/01/top-ten-books-of-2011.html
    I was also pleased to see the UK cover for Palace of the Damned listed as one of the Top 10 covers of 2011 on the Empire Of Books site. I thought it was an amazing cover — though I think the cover for book 4, Brothers To The Death, is even stronger, so hopefully we’ll see that listed high up next year!! http://www.empire-of-books.com/2011/12/empire-of-books-top-10-covers-of-2011.html





    As I reported in last month’s issue of the Shanville Monthly, ex-Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin has released a new album, and one of the songs is called “Cirque Du Freak.” There’s a review of the album on Alt Sounds, and they cite CDF as one of the strongest songs on the album! You can also listen to the song via the review. It’s pretty clear from the lyrics that the song was almost definitely NOT inspired by my books, but I think it’s still a pretty cool place for the phrase to crop up!!! http://hangout.altsounds.com/reviews/142352-dario-mollo-tony-martin-cage-album.html




    You can now check out the finalised cover for the UK edition of Brothers of the Death, with my name, the strapline, etc. This is one of my favourite covers for any of my books ever!! Don’t forget, it goes on sale in the UK and USA on April 26th, when we’ll finally get to see how Mr Crepsley wound up wondering the world with the Cirque Du Freak when Darren first met him… http://www.empire-of-books.com/2012/01/news-brothers-to-death-gets-final.html





    Check out this fun article about vampires and their foes — it lists lots of different creatures which they’ve had to fight in various films and books over the years. There’s a mention of my books in it, which I was pleased to see — the vampaneze were pleased too, which is good news for the compilers of the list!! :-) http://io9.com/5877408/the-weirdest-creatures-that-vampires-have-gone-to-war-against



    Librarians in Nottinghamshire have revealed the most popular children’s books — and their teen readers show that they have SHANtastic taste!! http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/alfreton/most_popular_children_s_books_in_nottinghamshire_is_revealed_1_4160260#.Txq-F-frGc0.twitter



    Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, it was nice to be noted as a “notable author” in this article from a Westland library about books for teens and their more far-reaching appeal. While most of my audience do indeed fall between the ages of 11 and 18, I have fans of all ages — the youngest I’ve met in person was 6, while the oldest have been in their 80s!! I’ve been noticing more and more 20-somethings coming along on my recent tours, as lots of teenagers who have grown up with my books have kept on reading them — they come for the thrills, they stay for the darkness!!!! http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20120122/NEWS24/201220446



    I will be hitting the road again in Ireland and the UK at the end of April and early May, to promote the release of Brothers To The Death, the final Mr Crepsley book. Since it's the last in the series, I'll be doing a slightly longer tour than usual, to give as many of you as possible the chance to come along and catch me in action and have your books signed. We're still working on the structure of the tour -- I hope to be able to include most of the event details in next month's issue of the Shanville Monthly -- but as things stand we plan to start out with a couple of days in Ireland, a few local events around the Limerick region (since it's always nice to start out on home turf!) and a big Dublin schools event. I'll then be heading to the UK where I'll be doing a lot of schools events, public events and signings -- probably more events than signings, since I'm keen to sign off in style and everyone has lots more fun at an event!! If all goes as we hope, among other places we'll be taking in Staines, London, Leicester, Kettering, Lincoln, Hull, York, Newcastle, Carlisle, Lancaster, Wigan, Stockport, St Helen's, Liverpool, Shrewsbury. As I said, we're still working on it, so that list is neither exhaustive nor all-inclusive -- we'll probably add a few places to the tour, and might have to lose one or two from the list when we start getting down to the nitty gritty -- a lot depends on availability of venues, if stores have other commitments, etc. But that's the rough plan as it stands -- I'll hopefully have much more detailed info about it next month, so make sure you check back!



    Looking a bit further ahead, I can finally reveal that the title for the first book in my Zom-B series is… Zom-B!!! Yep, we’re keeping it simple for the first one!! It did have an initial working title of Zom-B School, but both my British and American editors argued against that, as they didn’t feel it was dynamic enough — and having considered their arguments, I had to agree. Subsequent books will each feature a two word title, the first word of which will always be Zom-B. Don’t forget, the first Zom-B book goes on the sale in the UK and USA on September 27th this year — after the final Mr Crepsley book, Brothers to the Death, at the end of April.
    It's a still a long way off to the publication, so I won't be revealing too much about the series until much closer the release date (and after the final Mr Crepsley book has been luanched upon the world), but my new UK publishers, Simon & Schuster, have already added a short synopsis of the book to Amazon, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to share at least that much with you! So here's the little teaser from Amazon, to whet your appetites!
    Zom-B is a radical new series about a zombie apocalypse, told in the first person by one of its victims. The series combines classic Shan action with a fiendishly twisting plot and hard-hitting and thought-provoking moral questions dealing with racism, abuse of power and more. This is challenging material, which will captivate existing Shan fans and bring in many new ones. As Darren says, "It's a big, sprawling, vicious tale...a grisly piece of escapism, and a barbed look at the world in which we live. Each book in the series is short, fast-paced and bloody. A high body-count is guaranteed!"


    And that's it for February!! I'm currently hard at work, editing what will hopefully be my next adult book after Lady of the Shades, and putting the finishing touches to the second and third Zom-B books. I'm also hoping to start a first draft of a brand new book this month, which I'm very excited but also quite nervous about! As usual, you can keep up with my day-to-day writing activities (along with all my other activities!) on my Twitter account, so make sure you sign up to follow me if you haven't already. I'll be back here at the start of March with all the latest updates, tours news, etc. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x


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