• Issue 141 - April 2012

    01 April 2012



    Hi, everyone, and welcome to the April issue of the Shanville Monthly!! I had an incredibly busy time in March -- first I flew out to Dubai for a wonderful festival (more news on that below), and then when I got back to London I spent a couple of weeks madly dashing round the place, looking at wedding venues, rings, caterers, etc. If this is what getting married is all about, I think I was better off as I was!!! Nah, only joking, it's a lot of fun in its own unusual way -- but I will be glad to get back home and get some writing done in April! But before that, let's have a round-up of all the latest news and updates from the world of Darren Shan, including updated details of my Brothers To The Death tour of the UK and Ireland -- read carefully, because several new events have been added, but a couple have also been moved!





    Brothers To The Death, the fourth and final book in The Saga of Larten Crepsley, goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on April 26th -- you'll be able to buy it in your local bookshop or book stockist, at Amazon UK by clicking here, or download it onto your Kindle by clicking here. (As far as I'm aware, you can also download it onto any other digital reading device, but I'm a bit woolly when it comes to all of the new technology!)


    In the USA the official publication date is May 15th, but it will probably start popping up in stores across the country towards the end of April. Again, it should be available in any book selling store (if you don't see it on the shelves, ask the staff), or you can order it from Amazon by clicking here, or download it onto your Kindle by clicking here. Or, if you prefer Barnes & Noble you can order it from them by clicking here, or as a Nook Book by clicking here. (Again, I'm pretty sure it's available on all other eReaders too, but don't quote me on that!!)


    In Canada it goes on sale on May 15th, so my Canadian fans will be able to buy it at the same time as fans in the Staes -- hurrah! Look out for it in your local book stores, or order it online through Amazon by clicking here.


    The book also goes on sale in Japan, on April 25th, meaning my Japanese fans will be getting one of my books before anywhere else in the world for the very first time!!


    The release of Brothers to the Death is going to be a bittersweet moment for me. On the one hand I can't wait to share it with you guys, as it brings Mr Crepsley's story full-circle and features some of the most shocking and heart-wrenching twists of the entire series. But on the other hand, its release marks the end of my journey with the orange-haired grouch, and I'll be sad to finally let him go for ever. I started the new series more than five years ago (I began work on it on January 7th, 2007), but of course I first made Mr Crepsley's acquaintance way back in May 1997, when I wrote the first draft of Cirque Du Freak. That means he's been a part of my life for 15 years. We've come through an awful lot together, rising from obscurity (where I could barely afford to buy paper to print out the first draft) to a point where his and my name are recognised in more countries around the world than I can count. I've loved exploring his character over the course of the books, finding out more about him, hopefully learning to be a better person by writing about him. In a way I feel like he's helped me grow and mature, the way he helped Darren in the books. It will be strange to leave him behind, but as Mr C himself would no doubt state, life is all about what comes next, not what has gone before. There's no honour in standing your ground and trying to make the world stop at a certain point. Life must always be about moving forward, dealing with the good times and bad times, enjoying the happy memories, remembering the sad moments that we have had to endure, but always moving on. We are defined by how we approach the challenges in our life. Larten Crepsley was more challenged than most, but he always kept moving, learning and growing, and despite the gloomy, grisly air that permeates this book, I see it as a story of one man's triumph, dealing with and ultimately overcoming all of the blows that he is forced to take. I hope his story comes to mean as much to you when you read it as it did to me as I was writing it.





    I was absolutely delighted to find out that I have been Ireland’s most borrowed Irish author in libraries nationwide for a third year in a row!! I’ve always loved libraries, and have done many memorable events with them over the years. Irish librarians have been hugely supportive of me, particularly in my early years of touring, when they were cheerfully booking me in for events when their counterparts in other countries were holding off, nervously waiting to see if there was going to be a backlash from parents about such gory, grisly books!! Being the most borrowed Irish author for three years running is a huge honour for me — there’s nothing as sweet as a home victory!! Long may our happy relationship continue — as long all the libraries aren’t shut by swingeing government cutbacks!! To find out more about what made the list, click here: http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0302/libraries.html




    I had a fabulous time in Dubai on tour in March, doing a mix of school events, a big solo event for 500 fans, and a panel event with David Almond, Tim Bowler and Noura Al Noman. You can read a report by a journalist of that panel event by clicking here: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/media/pulling-out-all-the-stops-until-words-flow-1.992683# I also gave quite a lengthy interview to the Gulf News newspaper -- you can read it here: http://gulfnews.com/arts-entertainment/books/darren-shan-on-giving-dubai-fans-a-taste-of-terror-1.991723


    The Dubai Literary Festival is one of my favourite book events. Because they are so generously sponsored by Emirates, they are able to create a communal feeling -- it's almost like being on holiday! They allow every author to bring their partner with them, and lay on cultural events where you get the opportunity to spend time relaxing with other writers. On this trip I spent a lot of time hanging out with the likes of David Almond, Mal Peet, Tim Bowler, Jacqueline Wilson, Andy Stanton and many, many more. I had dinner sitting next to Kate Adie one night, where the talk was all very political and serious. On another few nights I was up drinking until the early hours of the morning and talking nothing but delicious nonsense! It's a good job not all literary festivals are like this one, or I think a lot of authors would be spending most of their time touring, and getting no actual writing done!!!





    Although we're trying not to reveal too much about the plot of Lady of the Shades, my next book for adults which comes out in the UK and Ireland on August 30th, we have released a small plot summary for Amazon and other such sites. So if you want to get a small taste of what the book is about, here it is. And if you want to pre-order the book through Amazon, you can do so by clicking here.


    Ed, an American author on the hunt for a story for his next book, arrives in London looking for inspiration. A stranger in a strange city, he's haunted by a deadly secret that refuses to stay buried, and no matter how hard he tries he cannot escape the manifest sins of his past.

    What Ed wants is answers, what he finds is something he definitely didn't bargain for: the beautiful and untouchable Andeanna Menderes. Andeanna is a woman who is dangerously bound to one of London's most notorious crime lords, and if they are caught together it could mean death for them both.

    Ensnared in an illicit affair that can only be conducted in the shadows, Ed's world is turned upside down as a series of shattering revelations blurs the line between what's real and what's not...





    There was another recent, non-book-related mention of the phrase “Cirque Du Freak” in March. This time it was used as the name for a themed nightclub in Southport. I'm not much of a clubber, but this one sounds like it might be right up my alley!! You can check out a report here: http://www.southportvisiter.co.uk/southport-news/southport-southport-news/2012/03/15/glamorous-freaks-entertain-hundreds-of-guests-at-the-gmodels-cirque-du-freak-night-at-club-koto-101022-30534239/





    And there was yet another mention of "Cirque Du Freak" too last month, this time in the Edmonton Journal, in reference to Dee Sneider's appearance on Celebrity Apprentice. If there are any Twisted Sister fans in the house, you can check it out here: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/movie-guide/Apprentice+revelations/6390575/story.html




    UPDATE -- Fans in Liverpool who were paying attention to last month's issue of the Shanville Monthly will have noted that I was due to do an event and signing in the city on Saturday, May 5th. As you'll notice in the following updated schedule, those two events have now been moved to Saturday, May 12th. The reason for this is the FA Cup Final, which takes place on the 5th. Since Everton and Liverpool are playing each other in the semi-final, it means that one of the teams will definitely be in the Final, and we decided that might prove something of an obstacle on the day -- lots of my fans in the city will either be heading down to London to watch the match at Wembley, or watching it on TV. When we spoke with the organisers of the event and signing, they were concerned too, so in order to avoid a clash of interests, we have moved the event and signing back by a week. Sorry for the inconvenience!!



    Almost all of the details have now been finalised for my UK and Ireland tour to promote Brothers to the Death. There are still a few dates which have yet to be confirmed, so make sure you check back next month for the absolute full and final list. 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 contact the organiser in advance to make sure that you will be able to get a ticket. Please note, I am always happy to sign as many of my books as fans wish to bring along from home or buy on the day.


    26th April, Thursday

    11.30am -- schools event, Belltable Theatre, Limerick. http://belltable.ticketsolve.com/shows/126524808/events

    7.00pm -- public event, Belltable Theatre, Limerick.  http://belltable.ticketsolve.com/shows/126524808/events

    27th April, Friday

    10.30am -- schools event, National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin.

    12.30pm -- school event, Castleknock College, Dublin.

    7.00pm -- public event, Waterstones Staines, 77 High Street, Staines TW18 4PQ.

    28th April, Saturday

    11.00am -- public signing, Waterstones Finchley Road, O2 Centre, Finchley Road, London NW3 6LU.

    3.00pm -- public signing, Muswell Hill Children's Bookshop, 29 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London N10 3HP.

    29th April, Sunday

    2.00pm -- public event, Stratford Circus, Theatre Square, London E15 1BX. http://www.stratford-circus.com/events/literature/darrenshan.htm

    30th April, Monday

    1.00pm -- school event, Beaumont Leys School, Leicester.

    6.30pm -- public event, Waterstones Lincoln, 297a High Street, Lincoln LN2 1AF.

    1st May, Tuesday

    9.30am -- school event, Hull Collegiate School.

    12.25pm -- school event, Kelvin Hall School, Hull.

    6.30pm -- public event, Waterstones York, 28-29 High Ousegate, York YO1 8RX.

    2nd May, Wednesday

    10.00am -- Conyers Secondary School, Cleveland TS15 9ET .

    3.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Newcastle, Emerson Chambers, Blackett Street, Newcastle NE1 7JF. Please note, I will have to leave at 4.45pm.

    7.00pm -- public event, Waterstones Carlisle, 66-68 Scotch Street, Carlisle CA3 8PN.

    3rd May, Thursday

    09.15am -- school event, LSA Technology and Performing Arts College, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire.

    12.30pm -- school event, Kirkham Grammar School, Preston, Lancashire.

    6.00pm -- public event, Waterstones Wigan, 6 Grand Arcade, Wigan WN1 1BH.

    4th May, Friday

    11.30am -- school event, Stockport Grammar School, Cheshire.

    2.30pm -- school event, East Manchester Academy.

    5th May, Saturday

    11.00am -- public signing, Waterstones Wolverhampton, 13-15 Victoria Street, Wolverhampton WV1 3NP.

    3.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Birmingham, 128 New Street, Birmingham B2 4DB

    6th May, Sunday

    12.00pm -- public signing, WHSmith Hanley, 213 The Potteries Shopping Centre, Market Square, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1PS.

    3.00pm -- public signing, WHSmith Derby, 5 London Road, Derby, DE1 2NS.

    7th May, Monday (bank holiday)

    12.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Chester, 14 Eastgate Row, Chester, CH1 1LF.

    2.00pm -- public signing, WHSmith Wrexham, 56-58 Hope Street, Wrexham, LL11 1BE.

    5.30pm -- public event, Ashton Theatre, Shrewsbury School, SY3 7BA. Part of Shrewsbury Book Fest: http://www.shrewsburybookfest.co.uk/

    8th May, Tuesday

    12.15pm -- school event, Bridgnorth Endowed School, Shropshire.

    6.00pm -- public event, St Andrews Church/The Kettering Arts Centre, Lindsey Street, Kettering NN16 8RG. Arranged by Waterstones Kettering, 72-76 High Street, NN16 8SY -- contact staff in store for tickets.

    12th May, Saturday

    11.00am -- public event, Central Library St Helens. Bookselling by Pritchards. For free tickets, phone: 01744 677446, or email: [email protected]

    3.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Liverpool One, 12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL.




    And that's it for April!! I'm going to be busy writing for most of the month (I'm working on the first draft of a new book for adults), before heading out on tour on the 26th. I'm looking forward to getting back on the road -- it seems like an age since my last tour in October! I'm hoping that lots of you turn out to help me wave goodbye to Larten Crepsley, to give him the send-off that I think he is due. But then, as soon as we're done with that, it will be time to look ahead to the launch of Zom-B, which is quickly creeping up on us! There's no standing still in the world of Darren Shan!!! I'll be back at the start of May with all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x


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