• Issue 152 - March 2013

    01 March 2013



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the March issue of the Shanville Monthly -- the final issue I'll ever release as a free man!! Yes, on March 30th, I take that long, grim march down the marriage aisle, and my bachelor days will be done and dusted!!! But let's not dwell on such matters, not when there's a new Darren Shan book to celebrate! This is the month when Zom-B City goes on sale and things start to heat up considerably in B Smith's world -- you can find more info about that below. I'm also delighted to reveal the winner of the Zom-B City Official Trailer competition. I have interior art from Zom-B City and Hagurosan to share with you. The UK and USA covers for Zom-B Angels. All the latest tour news, including details on a live online streamed event which anyone in the world take join, and more!!!





    There was a great response to my UK publisher's recent competition inviting fans to design the official web trailer for Zom-B City. My publishers whittled it down to a shortlist of several entries, and I then chose the winner and the runners-up. I’m delighted with the four trailers, and I hope you guys are too! Thanks to everyone who entered, and my consolations if you were not among the winners, but take some comfort from the fact that the standard was VERY high!! http://pages.simonandschuster.co.uk/zom-b/trailerwinners


    You can also read a very nice article about the winner, Christian Nickson, on This Is Wiltshire, by CLICKING HERE.





    The third book in my Zom-B series is called Zom-B City, and it goes on sale in the UK and USA in March!!! Actually, the official release date in the States is early April, but it should start appearing in most bookstores from the middle of March. This is when the action opens out, after the confined settings of the first two books, and we begin to get a clearer picture of what has actually happened to the world in the wake of the zombie attacks. I don't think I'm giving too much away when I reveal that things are in a pretty bleak state!! It's a city overrun by zombies, but some humans are still at large on the streets. Can B find a place among them? Or is it a case of having jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire?!?


    Zom-B City goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on March 14th. The official release date in the USA is April 9th, but as I said above, it will probably start popping up on bookshelves in most places from mid-March onwards. As far as I'm aware it will also go on sale around the same time in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


    Zom-B City should be on sale everywhere books are sold. In the UK/Ireland, you can either buy it from your local bookseller, or order it online (or download it) from one of the chains recommended in the Zom-B CIty One-Stop Shop, by CLICKING HERE.


    In the USA, if you prefer to buy online, I would suggest Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can also download it onto your eReader through either of those sites -- Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook Book.





    Like I did last month, I'm giving you a sneak peek at some of Warren Pleece's early roughs for the interior art for Zom-B City. In their own way, I think these are just as cool as the final art -- I always love seeing an artist's work-in-progress. Enjoy!!!!








    Last month I revealed that title of the fourth Zom-B book is going to be ZOM-B ANGELS. The book is due to be released in the UK on June 20th, and in the USA around the same time. (Again, I assume it will be released in Canada, Australia and New Zealand on a similar date.) A week or so after I revealed the title, my British and American publishers unveiled their covers, and here they are, the UK cover on top, USA just beneath...




    As usual, both covers have been drawn by series regular Cliff Nielsen, but but he has designed different versions based on the specifications of ther two publishers, giving it a VERY different look and feel. One of the added pleasures of this series for me is checking out Cliff's covers and seeing how they differ -- they make for fascinating comparison! There has already been a lot of speculation from fans about which cover works best, with most seeming to favour the American cover in this instance. As always, I'm going to maintain a neutral stance -- every cover is equal in my eyes!!!!  :-)


    The UK and USA covers for Zom-B Angels were first revealed by my publishers on my Facebook and Twitter pages -- indeed, a lot of the information in the Shanville Monthly not appears initially on those pages. If you are not already following me, I suggest you start, by CLICKING HERE for the official Darren Shan Facebook page, and/or CLICKING HERE for my official Twitter account. You will always find the latest Darren Shan news and updates first on Facebook and Twitter, along with personal posts by me. I've also been known to occasionally retweet or reply to a comment too!!






    As I revealed last month, I am releasing a short book on May 15th called Hagurosan. Adapted from a short story I wrote way back in 2002, this is a sweet tale about mountain spirits, inspired by something that really happened to me in Japan. Publishers Barrington Stoke have done a beautiful job with the story, adding lots of incredibly detailed interior artwork by Zack McLaughlin, one of which you can see above. You can check out the rest of the interior art over on Zack's site, by CLICKING HERE.


    At the moment the book is only scheduled to go on sale in the UK and Ireland. The release date, like I said, is May 15th. I'm not sure if it will be as widely available as my other books, but your local bookseller should be able to order a copy for you if you ask them. Or else you can pre-order it through Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE.





    The good news for my UK and Ireland fans, who have not yet started reading Zom-B, is that the paperback of the first book is due to be released on March 14th, at the same time as Zom-B City in hardback. This means, if you start now, and stick to buying the paperbacks, you will have a new book to look forward to every 3 months, and will never be more than 6 months behind the hardback release schedule. You should be able to buy Zom-B in paperback in pretty much any bookshop, but if you would rather order online, you can do so through Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE.


    And for those of you in the UK who prefer to download your books, you might like to note that the first Zom-B book is now available on Kindle for the bargain price of just £2.99!!! You can order it by CLICKING HERE.


    In the USA the first Zom-B book is similarly discounted on Kindle, and will set you back just $4.31!!! If you don't have it already, check it out by CLICKING HERE.


    I'm not sure when the Zom-B books will start coming out in paperback in the USA -- we'll have to wait and see what my publishers decide.





    When I was on tour in Scotland in January, I did an online event that was open to fans all across the UK, for the fabulous Authors Live site -- it's atill available to view by CLICKING HERE. One school, McLaren High School, decided to incorporate it into their general curriculum in an extremely imaginative way. I think this is a great example of how teachers can make school a much more fun and rewarding place if they're prepared to think outside the box and get a bit inventive. To read more about it, and maybe spark off a few ideas of your own if you're a teacher or student, CLICK HERE.


    I know Big Goverment has spent much of its educational time in recent decades trying to make school-life as regimented and anti-individual as it can, but this is proof that there's hope yet for us -- we don't HAVE to surrender to a system that is more interested in ticking boxes than it is in nurturing children's minds. If we fight/ignore close-minded beauracracy, and push ourselves that extra little soul-enriching bit, the power CAN still be ours...


    #1 IN AUSTIN!!


    I was delighted to see Zom-B Underground hit the #1 spot on the Austin Children’s Bestsellers chart following my events there while on tour in February. They have great taste in Texas!!! http://www.statesman.com/news/entertainment/books-literature/best-sellers/nWFdc/




    You can check out a light-hearted interview with me over on the fab NOVL web site by CLICKING HERE


    And you can read a report about one of my school events, in Coppell, in Texas by CLICKING HERE

    Plus here's an article about an event I did in Limerick near the end of Febraury, with winners of a short story competition from 11 different schools in the region. CLICK HERE




    UK and Ireland fans - my first two Zom-B books were released as audio books on January 28th, to download only. You are able to download them from the AudioGo site by CLICKING HERE.


    The books will be made available on audio CD a bit later in the year (April 1st and May 6th respectively), with more to  follow. Zawe Ashton, best known for her role as Vod on hit Channel 4 TV show Fresh Meat, is the voice of B Smith. You can follow Zawe on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/zaweashton


    American fans —  Zom-B is also available in audio format in the USA, read by EMMA GALVIN. You can have a listen to a sample chapter and buy it here: http://www.theaudiobookstore.com/darren-shan/zom-b-unabridged_b009k8tr5c.aspx Or, if you’d rather buy it through Amazon, you can do so here: http://www.amazon.com/Zom-B/dp/B009RFFIRO?tag=vglnk-c24-20





    The Saga Of Darren Shan was adapted into a manga in Japan several years ago, and has been translated and published in lots of countries around the world since then. The UK schedule hit a snag (it's a long story) and stalled at volume 7. Everything has now been sorted out, and the remaining volumes are finally going to be released in the UK and Ireland. Volume 8: Allies of the Night, hit shelves in the UK and Ireland in December, and Volume 9: Killers of the Dawn and Volume 10: The Lake Of Souls went on sale in January. The rest will be released as follows:


    Volume 11: Lord of the Shadows goes on sale THIS MONTH on March 28th 2013.


    Volume 12: Sons Of Destiny goes on sale on June 6th 2013.


    The manga won't be widely available, but your local bookseller should be able to order in copies for you if you ask for them. Or you can order by clicking on the Amazon UK links above.


    American fans -- all 12 volumes are on sale already in the States. As in the UK, they aren't as widely available as my books, so if you don't see them on the shelves of your local bookseller, either ask the staff to order them for you, or you can get them on Amazon. This is the link to Volume One, and you can find the rest from there.





    After a quick January UK tour, mostly in Scotland, to support the release of Zom-B Underground, I headed Stateside for my first full USA tour in more than 2 years. I started in Seattle, swung by Dallas, Houston and Austin areas, then back out to the West Coast to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The school events all went well, and although I had a few public events that fell on the smaller side (I always get a few of those on my USA tours), the majority of them were very well attended, and lots of fun for me as well as the fans. And what fans they were!!! Most of those who turned up were local, of course, but in some cases they had driven for hours, or even flown across the country to see me! They all listened attentively, asked good questions, and waited in line patiently. And they bought lots of books too, which is always a bonus!!!


    Thanks to everyone who played host to one of the events or signings, from booksellers to librarians and teachers. Thanks as well to the booksellers who came to all of the school and out-of-store public events, to make sure books were available for anyone who wished to buy there. Special thanks to my literary escorts who got me to every event on time and in good shape. And extra special thanks to Hallie Patterson, my LittleBrown publicist, for putting it all together in the first place, and creating order out of chaos -- I know how difficult it is to organise an American tour, particularly if your author is from another country, and it's not a job I'd undertake for all the chocolate in the world!!!  :-)  Well done, Hallie, and I hope we get to do it all again one day!!!!


    Oh, and by the way, there's going to be a short addenda to my USA tour! One of my signings in the San Francisco region had to be cancelled, because of the SuperBowl, so we are trying to rearrange that for early April, when I will be back in the city on personal business -- the start of my honeymoon!!! I'm also setting up a few events in the Napa area around the same time. More details on those in the next issue of the Shanville Monthly, when it's all been confirmed.





    On Tuesday 19th March I will be doing a live online streamed event, accessible to fans everywhere in the world. It starts at 2.00pm UK time. You are able to submit questions in advance, and I will do my best to answer as many of them as I can, as will as give some readings from my books. You can find out more, and sign up for the event, here: http://www.darrenshanlive.com/


    You can also read a bit more about it in The Bookseller: http://www.thebookseller.com/news/darren-shan-be-live-streamed.html


    Don’t miss this chance to be part of my Zom-B tour, and catch me at my gory-ous, glorious best!!!!





    I'm back on the road in March, to support the release of Zom-B City in the UK and Ireland. Here are all the details. A public signing is open to everyone. A public event is also open to everyone, but you should check with the venue in advance in case you need to pre-book tickets, as spaces will be limited. School events are for invited schools only.


    Friday 15th March

    4.00pm -- public signing, Crescent Bookshop, Crescent Shopping Centre, Dooradoyle, Co Limerick.

    Saturday 16th March

    11.00am -- public signing, Easons Galway, 33 Shop Street, Galway.

    2.00pm -- public signing, Easons Athlone, Unit 23, Athlone Town Centre, Athlone, Co Westmeath.

    Sunday 17th March

    12.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Bluewater, Bluewater Centre, Greenhithe DA9 9SE.

    Monday 18th March

    10.10am -- schools event, Great BaddowHigh School, Chelmsford.

    1.50pm -- schools event, Philip Morant School, Colchester.

    4.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Colchester, 12-13 High Street, Colchester.

    Tuesday 19th March

    10.20am -- schools event, Kemnal School, Orpington.

    2.00pm -- live, online, streamed event, open to schools and individuals all across the world! You can watch me do a live event with a group, and also pre-submit questions of your own that you would like me to answer. http://www.darrenshanlive.com/

    5.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Bromley, 100 The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley.

    Wednesday 20th March

    10.00am -- schools event, Mayfield School, Portsmouth, arranged by Hayling Island Bookshop.

    1.45pm -- schools event, Hamble Community Sports College, Hamble, Southampton.

    6.30pm -- public event, Wildern School Hall, Wildern Lane, Hedge End,  Southampton. SO30 4EJ. Arranged by Waterstones Southampton.

    Thursday 21st March

    10.00am -- schools event, Worthing High School, Worthing.

    1.15pm -- schools event, St Robert Woodard Academy, West Sussex.

    4.30pm -- public signing, The Book Nook, First Avenue, Hove, BN3 2FJ.

    Friday 22nd March

    9.30am -- schools event, Shoreham Academy, Shoreham-by-Sea.

    5.00pm -- public event, Crawley Library. Tickets (free) available through Crawley Library or Waterstones Crawley. http://wordfestcrawley.org/

    Saturday 23rd March

    11.00am -- public signing, Heffers bookshop, 20 Trinity Street, Cambridge.





    Following my marriage at the end of March, I am heading to Central America on my honeymoon, but I will be stopping off in San Francisco for a few days en route. I'm taking that opportunity to work in a few events in the following places:

    Friday, April 5th

    10:30 a.m. -- schools event, Adele Harrison Middle School, Sonoma, CA.

    1:30 p.m. -- schools event, Redwood Middle School, Napa, CA.

    3:30 p.m. -- public event, Silverado Middle School, Napa, CA.





    One of the reasons I'm not doing more Irish events on my March tour is that I'm going to do a few public events over the course of the summer, so fans will have a chance to see more of me then! First, on Sunday 26th May I will be appearing at the Dublin Writers Festival. I will be returning to the Listowel Writers' Week on either Saturday June 1st or Sunday June 2nd. Then on Wednesday 10th July I will be heading to Bantry to do an event at the West Cork Writers Festival at 2.30pm.


    Back over in the UK, I will be appearing at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, on Sunday June 16th at 1.30pm. Later that week, from June 20th to 23rd, I'll be going on a short mini-tour to promote the release of Zom-B Angels, which will take in a return to a few places in Wales, as well as maybe a couple of events on the English side of the Welsh border. And in August, of course, I'll be heading to Edinburgh for my 14th Festival appearance in a row, before embarking on a full-on tour (at this moment I honestly have no idea where) in late September and early October when the 5th Zom-B book is released. (I almost gave away the title when I was typing that -- but then remembered that it's still a secret!!)


    There will be more details about all of the above events in upcoming issues of the Shanville Monthly, so make sure you keep checking back!




    And that's it for March -- and for my bachelorhood!!! As I said above, I'm getting married to Lady Bas of the Busty Wilds at the end of the month, to see what life as a husband is like. If I find it's not to my fancy, no worries, I'll feed her to the zombies!!!!   :-)   But as much as things change on the home front, life should go on as usual here, and I'll be back at the start of April, just before I head off on honeymoon, with the next edition of the Shanville Monthly. 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.