• Issue 147 - October 2012

    01 October 2012



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the October issue of the Shanville Monthly -- which is coming out nearly a week earlier than scheduled! That's because there are sections in this issue that I wanted to share with you guys before Zom-B goes on sale, so it made more sense for me to release it before I started touring with the book on the 26th. Normal service will be resumed next month!!


    The big news this month, of course, is that, as I said above, the first book in the Zom-B series has just been released in the UK and Ireland, and will be appearing on shelves within the next couple of weeks in the USA, Canada, Australia and new Zealand. (Indeed, it might already be in many bookstores, as books often get released ahead of their official publication schedule in those countries.) This is the start of a rapid-fire, 12-book series that will see me attempt to release a brand new book every 3 months! There aren't many authors in my situation who have attempted something like this, so it will be interesting to see how it works out. The books are short, fast, thought-provoking, and (of course) very, VERY gory!!! I'm going to be talking a lot more about the book this month, but before I do, let's start with a note that I've written especially for you guys, in which I have a very special request to make of you...









    The wait is over! The zombies have arrived, Darren Shan style! The first Zom-B book has gone on sale in the UK and Ireland, and will have hit stores in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand by the middle of October. My publishers in the UK, 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, interviews with me, with more to come. Check it out and bookmark it ASAP! http://www.zom-b.co.uk/


    This is my first multi-book series since The Demonata, so I'm sure that while many of you are looking forward to it, you're maybe a bit anxious as well -- "what if Shan blows it and under-delivers this time?!?" Well, I could sit here and tell you how fabulous and thought-provoking I think the books are, but I WOULD say that, wouldn't I?!? Instead, here are some snippets from reviews of Zom-B by reviewers who were sent advance copies of the book, along with links to the complete reviews, so that you can check that I'm not just picking out positive comments from otherwise negative reivews (like sneaky movie companies often do when advertising their films).


    Oodles of Books said: "Zom-B is a deliciously gruesome start to a new series that is quick to get through and entertaining until the end... There are some twists that made my jaw drop (literally) ..." http://www.oodlesofbooks.net/2012/08/review-giveaway-zom-b-by-darren-shan.html


    Writing From The Tub said: "Once again, Shan has hit a home run and proved that he truly is the master of YA horror. I had exceedingly high hopes for Zom-B and I’m pleased to say that Shan completely outdid himself with this one." http://carlybennett.blogspot.ie/2012/09/review-zom-b-darren-shan.html


    Books Of Amber said: "Overall, this is a fantastic book. It's action packed and awesome, although there aren't as many zombies as I would have hoped. But the ending was AMAZING." http://booksofamber.blogspot.ie/2012/09/zom-b-by-darren-shan.html


    BooKa Uhu said: "I was BLOWN AWAY by this novel. I read it as a non-horror fan, and I was determined to give it a fair and balanced review regardless of my dislike of the genre, only to find myself raving and flailing about this book to anyone who would stand still long enough. I did not spot the twists coming (all three of them!) at all and I am desperate to find someone else to talk to about them and generally get excited about the series with. I need an outlet for my newfound admiration of Shan!" http://bookauhu.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/zom-b-by-darren-shan.html


    Kirkus said: "Shan packs in the bites, and he rips out enough entrails for even the most jaded zombie fan; the cliffhanger ending, now expected by his fans, closes on just the right note to leave the audience gnawing for more. A series opener to sink your teeth into." http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/zom-b-darren-shan/1108616376?ean=9780316214407


    Sweet Southern Home said: "I must say, this was a zombie novel done right. Blood and gore are not spared in the narrative, and it’s awesome... 5 stars out of 5." http://sweetsouthernhome.net/2012/09/22/review-zom-b-by-darren-shan/


    And finally, SFX said: "It’s taken Cirque Du Freak author Darren Shan quite a while to hop on the zombie bandwagon, but now that he has he’s whipped the horses pulling it along into a furious gallop, carrying a standard as he goes. Dealing in some decidedly edgy material, Zom-B is a book that’ll make young readers think as well as making them gag." http://www.sfx.co.uk/2012/09/21/zom-b-by-darren-shan-review/


    So, that's what the reviewers are saying. All that's left for you to do now is read your own copy and decide what YOU think! I hope you enjoy it as much as the gang above did!!!






    Zom-B is now on sale in bookshops all across the UK and Ireland. While I never push my fans towards one particular store or chain over another (although I normally recommend Amazon if you wish to buy my books online, as I'm a loyal customer of theirs and am passing on the recommendation based on my positive experiences with them over a very long period of time), some bookselling chains are giving away freebies with their own-branded copy of the book, or running exclusive competitions for their customers. So, if that's going to be a factor in where you choose to buy your copy of Zom-B, then you might want to think about the following before you purchase. In no particular order...


    Waterstones are running a Bloodstained Ticket competition. The winners of this will be invited to come to a Zom-B Feast with me early in the new year, where a small group of us will have lunch together in a central London location and discuss all things undead! Entrants must be under 18 years of age, but each winner must bring an adult as a guardian, so older Shansters can get in on the action too -- you just need to find a kid to enter the comp! Entry closes at the end of October. Only open to fans in the UK and Ireland. To enter the competition, CLICK HERE.


    WHSmith are offering a giveaway of a Zom-B set of postcards (there are three postcards in the set).


    Sainsburys are offering a giveaway of a Zom-B Undergound postcard print (Zom-B Underground is the second book in the series, and the postcard will be based on its cover).


    Tesco are running a competition in which one winner will get a character named after him or her in the fourth Zom-B book. There's a possibilty that the character might pop up in later books too, but I can't guarantee that -- it depends on whether or not they survive book 4!!!! This is a VERY rare chance to have your name included in one of my books. I have only done this twice before, and on those occasions it was an auction, where the winning bidders had to go as high as £2000!!! There is no age limit. Only open to fans in the UK and Ireland. Entry closes at the end of October. To enter, CLICK HERE.


    Easons in Ireland are offering a giveaway of an A2 sized Zom-B poster featuring a replica of my signature and a message which I wrote especially for the poster.


    In Asda, Zom-B will be their Teenage Book Of The Month. While they're not giving anything away with their editions of the book, that will mean that it will be VERY keenly priced all the way through October!


    I have also signed lots of copies of the book for independent book stores, so if you can't make it to any of my events or signings (see below), you still might be able to get hold of a signed copy in your local indie store.


    As far as I'm aware, all of the competitions are also valid in Ireland as well as the UK -- but I might be wrong about that, so if in doubt, please check in-store before purchasing.


    To make things easier for those of you who want to do your shopping online, my publishers, Simon & Schuster, have created a one-stop Zom-B shop, where you can find a list of the major chains, with links to click straight through and buy the book. http://pages.simonandschuster.co.uk/zom-b/order


    Fans in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- I don't know of any special editions or giveaway that are being planned in your territories, but that's not to say there won't be any. If I find out, I'll let you all know. But, regardless of giveaways and competitions, the book by itself is a marvellous monster, and it will definitely be on sale all across your country by the middle of October at the latest -- so watch out for it!!





    As I'm sure just about all of you know, the second book in my zombie series is called Zom-B Underground. I'll be talking a bit more about that one over the coming three months (it goes on sale in January 2013), but for now, feast your eyes on the American cover for it:



    Yes, it's as vicious and action-packed as the cover indicates! After a more or less traditional zombie-ish opening to the series (a group of humans are trapped by a group of zombies and have to run and fight for their lives), Book 1 ended on a huge cliffhanger, and Zom-B Underground is when things start to twist off into uncharted territories, as I set out to reinvent just about everything we think we know about zombies and how a zombie story should work. The third book continues to move things forward in unexpected directions. It is due to be released in March 2013 (a bit earlier than originally planned, so that I can tour with it before I head off on my honeymoon -- see, I think about you guys even when I'm getting married!!). But I will be revealing the title, as well as the UK cover for it, at the end of this month, on Halloween! Something to look forward to before you head out trick-or-treating for the night!!!






    My latest book for older readers, Lady of the Shades, went on sale at the end of August in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland. It's been getting amazing feedback from fans, as well as from critics (the Times in the UK called it "gripping from first page to last.") -- the twists seem to have caught just about everyone by surprise! I've retweeted messages from fans over on my Twitter page, while you can find the reviews from critics by CLICKING HERE


    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 many good book stores, but If you want to 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 order it on Kindle here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-of-the-Shades-ebook/dp/B007ZXK154/shanville





    The paperback edition of Brothers To The Death went 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 should 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




    My American publishers, LittleBrown, have produced a special e-book called Darren Shan: First Bites. It collects together the first book of each of my series to date. So you get Cirque Du Freak: A Living Nightmare, Birth of a Killer, and Lord Loss, all wrapped up (digitally speaking) in one neat little package. It also features a sneak preview of my first Zom-B book. It's intended mainly for readers who are new to my work, a way of giving them a taste of what lies in store if they commit to one of my series, but the completists among you might be interested too. If you like in the USA, you can order it through Amazon Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/Darren-Shan-First-Bites-ebook/dp/B008O9LEXQ If you don't live in the States... immigrate!!!  :-)





    I have been giving (and will continue to give) lots of interviews in the run-up to the release of Zom-B. I will let you guys know about these as and when they become available. I'll provide a round-up of them in next month's issue of the Shanville Monthly, but if you want to be among the first to find out what I have to say about Zom-B (and lots of other stuff too), follow me on Twitter or Facebook for day-by-day updates. I'll also be posting links to new reviews, tour updates, and a whole lot more.


    In the meantime, if you want to read an extensive, probing interview with me that appeared on the ACHUKA site (as well as one of my earliest interviews ever, from many years ago) then CLICK HERE.


    There is also a lengthy interview with me on the We Love This Book site, which I would recommend. CLICK HERE.


    I was also interviewed, along with several other writers, for a piece in the Sunday Independant in Ireland, about Irish authors who write for adults as well as children. You can find it if you CLICK HERE.




    I embarked on a major tour of the UK and Ireland on September 27th, which runs through to October 7th (with an extra, home-based Halloween signing coming later), to support the release of the first Zom-B book. You can find the tour details below. 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

    11.15am -- 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 -- schools event, Fir Vale School, Sheffield.

    1.30pm -- 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 -- schools event, St Augustine School, Billington, Clitheroe.

    1.00pm -- 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

    09.30am -- schools event, Archbishop Blanch School, Liverpool.

    4.30pm -- public signing, Easons Belfast, 20 Donegall Place, Town Centre, Belfast, BT1 3BA. (I will try to start signing at 4.00pm, so please come early if you can.)

    5th October, Friday

    2.45pm -- school event, Weskey College, Dublin.

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

    6th October, Saturday

    11.00am -- public signing, Easons Newbridge. (I will try to start signing before 11.00, so my advice would be to get there a bit earlier if you can.)

    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 October. I'm sure I'm going to have a wonderful time on the road this month -- I've been waiting for a long time to tour with Zom-B, as the books feature lots of ultra-gory scenes that are going to be a huge amount of fun to read out live! I'm sure my hand will be ready to fall off by the time I've finished signings thousands of copies of the book (as well as my other books too -- I'm always happy to sign my backlist at events), but that's all part of the fun. Most of all, though, I'm looking forward to hearing what you guys think of Zom-B -- it's had an incredible reaction from critics and book reviewers, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my army of Shansters will love it too. If you do, please introduce the book to as many of your friends and acquaintances as you can -- this is the start of a whole new venure for me, and we need to get the word out as quickly as we can, to as many people as we can. Just be careful not to give either of the massive twists away!!!! I'll be back here at the start of November 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 (very rarely updated!) YouTube page.