• Issue 146 - September 2012

    01 September 2012



    Hi, everyone, and welcome to the September issue of the Shanville Monthly!! Lady of the Shades, my latest book for older readers (it's aimed at adults, but I would say that it's probably suitable, generally speaking, for readers aged 15 and upwards) has just gone on sale, and the first book in the Zom-B series is being released on the 27th -- so as you might imagine, it's a busy month for me!! I have all the latest news and updates about those books below, as well as the third exclusive image from the interior of the first Zom-B book, updated tour details, and more. Let's crack on with the show!!






    My new book for older readers, Lady of the Shades, is now on sale in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland. It's the first new book for adults that I've released in two and a half years, and also my first standalone adult novel. It also packs more twists-per-page than probably any other book I've ever written! On the one hand it's a crime thriller about a horror writer who falls in love with a beautiful femme fatale, but on the other hand it's about a man who is haunted by his past and who starts to wonder if he is descending into a supernatural nightmare.


    To give you a taste of the book, my publishers, Orion, have made the prologue and first chapter exclusively available online. You can read or download the prologue at the following link: http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/books/extracts/lady-of-the-shades-pdf


    And you can read the entire first chapter here: http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2012/08/darren-shan-the-lady-of-the-shades/


    Lady of the Shades should be available in all good book stores, but If you want to pre-order the book on Amazon, you can do so here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-Shades-Darren-Shan/dp/1409143600/shanville Or you can pre-order it on Kindle here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-of-the-Shades-ebook/dp/B007ZXK154/shanville





    There was a very nice article about me and Lady Of The Shades in the Limerick Leader in early August, which also is available online, so if you want some insights into the origins of the novel, click here: http://www.limerickleader.ie/lifestyle/entertainment/new-thriller-by-limerick-s-darren-shan-packs-in-the-twists-and-turns-1-4123701


    I have also written a guest blog for the Gollancz site, talking about what drew me to write the book in the first place. You can read it here: http://www.gollancz.co.uk/2012/08/a-special-guest-post-from-darren-shan/





    Apart from the prologue and first chapter, I'm not going to reveal a huge amount about Lady of the Shades, as I don't want to spoil any of its many surprises and plot twists -- I think this probably packs in more shocks than any of my other books, and I want fans to be able to enjoy each and every one of them!! However, to hopefully intrigue you all a bit, I decided to share a line from the the book every week in the run-up its release, on my Facebook and Twitter pages, and here are the lines that I revealed:

    "Jose Nilson dos Linos was brushing dandruff from his hair when he was executed."


    “Jose Nilson dos Linos’s head exploded in a cone of bone, brain and blood.”


    “There was good money in killing, but if you weren’t careful, it could be the death of you.”


    “I wake abruptly from a troubled sleep to find the dead pressing in tightly around me.”


    “London’s landscape is smudged with the fingerprints of the dead.”


    “Nobody living sees me palm the knife, but the ghosts spot it and press forward, leering, sensing blood.”


    I look around and imagine a burning man stumbling through the market, women screaming, men trying to extinguish the fire, the stench of scorched flesh.”


    "‘Deleena,’ I moan, but before I can say any more, she silences me with another kiss and soon I’m lost."


    "As his head snaps backwards, I drag him to the door, grab the telephone cable, loop it round his throat, take firm hold of the cord with both hands, dig my right knee into the small of his back and pull."


    For another subtle insight into what lies in store for you, Orion have created a super-slick trailer to give you a little taste of the mood of the book. I think it captures the overall spirit of things perfectly! It's less than a minute long, and well worth checking out! To have a look, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy43OZqCvUg&feature=youtu.be





    There are some great Lady of the Shades competition currently running online. First, do you want to win a lunch date, including a Thames cruise and a short, personal tour of London, with the one and only Darren Shan?!? Then click here, for this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime, WHSmith-sponsored competition! http://preview.smartfocusdigital.com/go.asp?/.comps.shades/bORI001 Open until the end of September.


    If you want to be in with a chance of winning a copy of Lady Of The Shades, check out this link: http://twitpic.com/ap6kae Open until September 7th.


    And you can also win a copy of the book through a competition on the fabulous Crime Fiction site: http://www.crimefictionlover.com/2012/08/win-lady-of-the-shades-by-darren-shan/ Open until September 3rd





    This cool review of Lady Of The Shades also features a concise, comprehensive plot summary which gives you a nice overview of the story without spoiling any of the twists. Check it out! http://www.crimefictionlover.com/2012/08/lady-of-shades/

    I hope that stirred your interest and that you try the book for yourself. It should be available in book stores all across the UK and Ireland, but if you prefer, you can order it through Amazon UK (either as a hardback or kindle book) here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-Shades-Darren-Shan/dp/1409143600/shanville





    After Lady of the Shades, my next book to be released will be Zom-B near the end of September in the UK and mid-October in the USA. This is the start of a 12 book series for teenagers, all about zombies, and the books will be released at the rate of one every three months. Each Zom-B book is going to feature interior art by the fabulous Warren Pleece, about 15 drawings per book, highlighting some of the scenes from the stories. I shared two of the images with you over the last couple of months, now here's the third and last before publication.



    This one makes my mouth water! Imagine if you were a teacher to these little monsters!!!! Sweet dreams, Shansters!





    As you can see from the above drawing, Warren Pleece is a highly talented artist -- I was delighted when we were able to snag him for Zom-B. Advocate Art, the agency that represents Warren, recently announced the news that he was illustrating all of the Zom-B books. They featured a couple of the drawings on the page, which I have already included in the last couple of issues of the Shanville Monthly, but you can also link through to their home page for Warren, to check out lots more of his fabulous work. http://blog.advocate-art.com/index.php/archives/11973





    Proof copies of the first Zom-B book were sent to booksellers and reviewers in advance of the book's release. I featured the first review that I had come across in last month's issue. Here are a few more;


    A Reader Of Fictions: "As promised, there is horror galore. The zombies are creepy, with bones spurting from everywhere and the ease with which they can infect. Ugh. There's plenty of brain-chewing to keep the zombie-enthusiasts pleased. Most disgusting and horrifying scene for me was most definitely B's dream about zombie babies on an airplane. Glad to know I'm not the only one terrified by babies. *shudders*" Full review here: http://readeroffictions.blogspot.it/2012/08/zom-b-darren-shan.html?spref=fb


    The Bookbag: "If you are a follower of Mr Shan, you will know he has spent almost a book setting a scene for a reason and, even if issue-based stories bore the pants off you, you will know it'll be worth it for what comes next. It'll be cruel and doom-laden, gory and exciting, and it'll take you to entirely unexpected places. I'd bet my Kindle on it. So if you are coming fresh to this author, and want more schlock, stick with it. It'll be worth it." Full review here: http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=Zom-B_by_Darren_Shan


    The Book Zone: "I loved it, from beginning to end, and I guarantee that it is going to be massively popular with Shan fans around the world, and will also gain him a whole legion of new devotees... Zom-B has its gory moments, but it is much, much more than your average splatter-fest... Naturally, given that this is the first book in a series of twelve, and Darren wants to keep his readers hungry for brains more, it ends on a massive cliffhanger..." http://bookzone4boys.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/review-zom-b-by-darren-shan.html


    I hope those fab reviews have got you all panting for more!! Don’t forget, the book goes on sale on September 27th in the UK and Ireland — the official release date in the USA is mid-October, but it will probably be available in most States around the same time as the release in the UK. It should be available in book stores everywhere, but if you would rather pre-order it online, you can do so through Amazon UK here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Zom-B-Darren-Shan/dp/085707752X/shanville  or Amazon USA here: http://www.amazon.com/Zom-B-Darren-Shan/dp/031621440X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1343760530&sr=1-1&keywords=zom-b  It is also available in eBook format through both sites.





    My publishers, Simon & Schuster, have put together a very cool Zom-B microsite and it is now live… or undead!! It features a spine-tingling trailer for the book, exclusive downloads, with more to come. Check it out and bookmark it ASAP! http://www.zom-b.co.uk/





    If you live in the UK and have a problem with your eyesight and prefer to listen to my books, then you’ll be pleased to know that RNIB have added more titles from the Demonata series to their Talking Books Library. You can find out more about the RNIB Library and my books in braille, giant print and accessible Talking Books here: http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsightloss/readingwriting/rnibnationallibrary/booksforchildren/Pages/books_for_children.aspx


    The following of my books are currently available: The Vampire Blood Trilogy and The Vampire Rites Trilogy are available in braille, giant print and as RNIB Talking Books. The Vampire War Trilogy and The Vampire Destiny Trilogy are available in braille and giant print. Lord Loss is available in giant print and the first five books of The Demonata are available as RNIB Talking Books.





    The paperback edition of Brothers To The Death goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on September 27th. So if you haven’t yet read the final book about Larten Crepsley and his rise and fall, this is the time to catch up. The book was one of my best received books ever by critics and fans, so track down a copy to find out what everyone else has been raving about! The book will be on sale in book shops everywhere, or you can order it through Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Saga-Larten-Crepsley-Brothers-Death/dp/0007315961/shanville





    After far too long a gap, I have uploaded LOADS of new fan art to my site! Lots of fab images in almost every section, including the first pieces inspired by The Thin Executioner and Procession of the Dead (in the Various 4 section). Check them out here: http://www.darrenshan.com/fanart/


    I’m notorious for not updating the fan art on my site more regularly. But hopefully this is going to change. I have hired Pablo to help me with the task (I still upload them myself, but he now scans them in, which is the slowest part of the job), so the plan is to update it at least a couple of times a year as we move forward — maybe even more often, depending on how much fan art I receive! If you want to send art to me, you can send physical copies to the address listed on the Contact page of my site. You can also direct me towards your online fan art, via this messageboard, Facebook or Twitter — always let me know if you’re happy for me to reproduce the image on my site.




    I had a great time at the Edinburgh Book Festival -- it was my 13th appearance in a row! I read out three Zom-B extracts, two of them for the first time anywhere, and signed for hours afterwards. You can read a couple of nice reports of the event by clicking on the following links:









    I will be embarking on a major tour of the UK and Ireland in September and October, to support the release of the first Zom-B book. You can find the tour details below -- we are still working on it, and will be adding the final few details over the coming month, so make sure you check back closer the time for the final version. school 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. A public signing is open to anyone who turns up -- there are no limits on numbers. 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 September, Wednesday

    10.00am -- prison event, HMYOI ISIS, Thamesmead.

    27th September, Thursday

    1.00pm -- school event, Old Buckenham High School, Norfolk.

    6.30pm -- public event, Waterstones Norwich, 11/17 Castle Street, NR2 1PB. (I will start signing before the event, at approx 5.30pm, so come early if you can!)

    28th September, Friday

    11.35am -- school event, Dame Alice Owens School, Potters Bar.

    2.00pm -- school event, Lochinver House School, Potters Bar.

    7.00pm -- public event, The Bull Theatre, High Street, Barnet.

    29th September, Saturday

    11.00am -- public signing, Waterstones Bournemouth, Unit 1, West Mall, Castlepoint, Castle Lane West, BH8 9UY.

    2.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Yeovil, 37a Middle Street, BA 20 1LG.

    30th September, Sunday

    11.00am -- public event, Waterstones Taunton, East Street, Taunton.

    3.30pm -- public event, Bath Festival of Children's Literature. http://www.bathkidslitfest.org.uk/darrenshan.aspx

    1st October, Monday

    10.30am -- school event, Nova Hreod College, Swindon.

    6.30pm -- public event, Waterstones Reading, 89a Broad Street, RG1 2AP.

    2nd October, Tuesday

    10.05am -- school event, Fir Vale School, Sheffield.

    1.45pm -- schools event, Fulneck School, Pudsley, Leeds.

    7.00pm -- public event, Ilkley Literature Festival, Kings Hall, Station Road, Ilkley. http://www.ilkleyliteraturefestival.org.uk/

    3rd October, Wednesday

    09.15am -- school event, St Augustines School, Billington, Clitheroe.

    1.30pm -- schools event, Grand Theatre Blackpool. contact [email protected] for more info or tickets.

    7.00pm -- public event, Waterstones Manchester Deansgate, 91 Deansgate, M3 2BW.

    4th October, Thursday

    am -- schools event, Liverpool, details TBC.

    4.30pm -- public signing, Easons Belfast, 20 Donegall Place, Town Centre, Belfast, BT1 3BA.

    5th October, Friday

    2.45pm -- school event, Wesley College, Dundrum.

    5.00pm -- public event, Easons O'Connell Street, Dublin.

    6th October, Saturday

    11.00am -- public signing, Easons Newbridge.

    2.00pm -- public event, Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoighre, County Dublin.

    7th October, Sunday

    12.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Cork, 69 Patrick Street, Cork.

    31st October, Wednesday

    4.30pm -- special Halloween public signing, Easons Limerick.




    And that's it for September. I had a nice, relaxing time in August. I went to see some Olympic events in London, spent some time in Edinburgh, where I saw LOTS of shows, comedians and book events, and caught some sun on a family vacation to Italy. But now it's all work, Work, WORK!! I'm busy editing a couple of the Zom-B books (as I will be a lot of time for the next few years!), and I'll also be doing another edit of what will hopefully be my next book for adults. And then I'll be hitting the road on tour. And I'll probably be giving lots of interviews too, and writing blogs and other bits and pieces, to support the double release of Lady of the Shades and Zom-B. Life can get very complicated when you're as productive as I am -- but I wouldn't have it any other way!!! I'll be back here at the start of October with all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x


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