• Issue 159 - October 2013

    01 October 2013



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the October issue of the Shanville Monthly. Zom-B Baby, the fifth book of my Zom-B series, hit shelves in the UK and Ireland a few days ago, and goes on sale in the USA on October 1st -- it should also be on sale in Canada, Australia and New Zealand around this time. The paperback edition of my latest book for adults, Lady Of The Shades, also goes on sale in October in the UK and Ireland, while new paperback editions of Bec and Slawter went on sale in the UK and Ireland at the tail-end of September -- you can find images of all three covers below. Along with those covers, this issue of the Shanville Monthly features updates about the Saga Of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak aduio books... you can read about my Zom-B Baby tour (I'll still be on the road when this goes live, so you might yet have a chance to catch me in action)... there are THREE(!!!) new competitions... a new interview... and more. So let's get this baby started!!






    Zom-B Baby, having already gone on sale in the UK and Ireland on September 26th, hits book stores in the USA on October 1st. (It will also go on sale in Australia, Canada and New Zealand around the same time.) You should be able to find the book in your local shop, or get the staff there to order a copy for you. But if you prefer to order online, you can do so through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can also download it as an eBook, or in audio format read by Emma Galvin. (UK & Ireland fans who want to order online can get the book at Amazon UK or download as an eBook or in audio format read by Zawe Ashton.)


    I have added my author notes about the book to my web site -- you can check them out by clicking here. I talk about the writing of the book in the notes, treating you guys to some behind-the-scenes insights. I do this for all of my books, sharing as much info about the creative process as I can.






    WHSmith have produced a special, signed, limited edition of Zom-B Baby. You can see the cover above, which is almost the same as the regular cover, but with a very different colour scheme. I spent a couple of days in Glasgow signing all 4,000 (four thousand) copies in advance -- ouch! The special edition will be sold throughout the WHSmith chain, in all parts of the UK (and Ireland, I think) on a first come, first served basis. You won't be able to buy it through the WHSmith web site -- you will need to go into your nearest branch and look for it on the shelves. Apart from the different cover, and the fact that each copy is signed, there is no other difference between this edition and the regular edition.





    Slawter and Bec, Books 3 and 4 of The Demonata, have been released in their brand new-look editions in the UK and Ireland. You can see them below, and you should be able to find them in a good book shop near you NOW -- if not, either ask a member of staff to order them in for you, or order them online through Amazon UK or some other reputable company. They're a fierce couple of beasts! I hope you enjoy the new designs as much as I do. Books 5 and 6 are set to get the revised treatment and go on sale in January, so look out for them. You can find larger scans of the covers, along with earlier drafts of both, by clicking here.







    I told you all last month that my UK publishers, Simon & Schuster, were planning a VERY special reveal for the cover of Zom-B Gladiator -- a pixel cover reveal, where they would create a site for it, and fans would be able to go to the site and reveal a pixel by tweeting or sharing a link. As more and more fans took part, more of the cover would be revealed -- the time it took for the whole cover to be revealed would thus be entirely down to you guys! Unfortunately we've run into some technical difficulties, and we weren't confident of being able to push ahead with this on September 26th as planned. So we've decided to push it back and instead use the pixel cover reveal on Book 7 in January 2014. Sorry about this, but with something this ground-breaking we figured it was best to take our time and get it absolutely right. So we'll be revealing the cover of Zom-B Gladiator in the traditional way, through my Facebook and Twitter pages, sometime over the coming month -- or perhaps we'll wait until Halloween, whcih is the date on which we will also be revealing the title for Book 7. Your patience is appreciated!! :-)





    Although some of my Saga Of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak books were published in audio format in the UK, the series was never completed or made available in other countries. That’s all about to change! I announced last month that Cirque Du Freak was being released in a brand new audio edition on September 1st, in both the UK and USA, and the plan was to record and release the rest of the books in the series as well, in the very near future, starting with Book 2 this month -- now you can find the full planned release schedule below. The narrator is Ralph Lister. I personally chose him to be the voice of “Darren Shan,” so I hope you enjoy his take on the book and its characters as much as I did!


    You can download Cirque Du Freak through the Amazon UK site here or you can buy it on CD here.


    In the USA you can download Cirque Du Freak through the Ambling Books site here or buy it on CD through Amazon here.


    Book 2 is scheduled to be released on October 1st, book 3 on November 1st, books 4 and 5 on December 1st, books 6 and 7 on January 1st 2014, books 8 and 9 on February 1st 2014, books 10 and 11 on march 1st 2014, and book 12 on April 1st 2014.





    Easons in Ireland are running an exciting Zom-B Feast competition for Irish fans, around the release of Zom-B Baby, in which five fans have the chance to win a lunch date with… ME!!! It will be held in Dublin early in 2014, and as well as getting to have an intimate lunch event with me, the winners will also get a signed book and a limited edition Zom-B T-shirt! You have to be 18 years or under to enter, BUT every winner gets to bring one other person with them, so if you are older than 18, my advice is to get a younger sibling, relative or friend to enter and bring YOU with them if they win!!! :-) Closing date is October 31st. For full rules, and to enter, CLICK HERE.






    Simon & Schuster, my UK publishers, are running a competition where you can win the zombie baby featured in the photo above. I LOVE these little guys!! We had some at the trade launch for Zom-B last year, and I even brought one along to my wedding in March, and had him sitting on a throne during the reception! It's only open to fans in the UK and Ireland, and you have to be 18 years old or younger -- sorry!! To enter, go to the official Zom-B UK site by clicking here.





    In the UK, the good folk at the newspaper The Independent published an interview with me on September 28th. You can read the full article by CLICKING HERE. They also published a shorter version of the interview elsewhere online, with an amusing headline that suggested I was on a one-man crusade to force children's publishers to include more sex in their books!! To check that out, CLICK HERE. The articles feature a couple of photos of me taken in one of the places mentioned and illustrated in Zom-B Baby -- see if you can work out where it was!!!





    To tie in with the release of Zom-B Baby, I wrote a blog for Easons in Irelandnd, talking about what scares me most at this point in time! You'll have to read the blog to find out, but I'll give you a clue -- it starts with a "B"!!!! To see if you guessed right, click here.





    My most recent book for adults, Lady of the Shades, will be going on sale in the UK and Ireland on October 10th in paperback format. My publishers for the book, Orion, have created a brand new cover for the paperback version, which I absolutely love -- while I thought the cover for the hardback was very stylish, I feel that this cover is more reflective of the novel's contents -- I hope you guys like it too! (You can find a larger version of the cover, along with an unused alternative cover, here.) Lady of the Shades was very warmly received by critics and fans last year when it first went on sale, and hopefully the paperback edition will help word spread and bring it to new readers who have not yet sampled its twisted, twist-filled delights. Of all my books, I think this one packs the most shocking and surprising plot turns per page!


    Publishing industry standard, The Bookseller, posted a rave review of the paperback edition a couple of months ago. Here's what they had to say about it:


    The hardback made this look like a zombie caper novel, as his teen books are, and I almost gave it to my reader in that area, but something made me keep it for myself. The sticker helped: "3 million people can't be wrong. Isn't it time you tried Darren Shan?" Three million and I'd never heard of him -- but then I'm not a teen reader. He wrote Cirque Du Freak, Zom-B and plenty of others. This is his first adult crime. Thankfully, the paperback jacket is more sophisticated, for it is a cracking read. A fast, compulsive, eerie nove with supernatural undertones, some really unexpected twists and great characters. It's a gangster/hitman/love story thriller: very special.


    Now that's the sort of review every writer dreams of! If you want to see what all the fuss is about, look out for Lady of the Shades in your local bookshop from October 10th (do ask them to order it in for you if you cannot find it on the shelves -- bearing in mind that it will probably be in a different part of the store to my children's books). Or you can order it online through Amazon UK by clicking here. The book is also still available in hardback if you would prefer it in that format, or if you don't want to wait you can download it onto your Kindle right now by clicking here.


    There was also a really cool recent review for the book on the Arty Crafty Starry Skies site, for those of you who might need even more convincing that my adult books are worth a try!!


    I will be making an exciting announcement about my next book for adults in the November issue of the Shanville Monthly -- all that I can say for now is that I've come to a crossroads on the adult front and have decided to take things in a very new and unexpected direction...





    I drew the winners for the Shanville Monthly September competition a few weeks back, each of whom won a signed set of the first four Zom-B books. And they were:


    UK & Ireland comp:
    Jordan Parker, Gawcott.
    Jaynal Miah, London.
    Matthew Holmes, Workington.


    USA & Canada comp:
    Jean Washington, Alabama.
    Brian Waterwall, Los Angeles.
    Drake Amendola, New York.


    Rest Of World comp:
    Ivana van der Heiden, the Netherlands.
    Mahala Fergusen, Australia.
    Karim Shehimi, Lebanon.


    Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone else who entered — better luck next time! There were 367 correct, eligible entries in total.




    I'm back on the road in September and October, to support the release of Zom-B Baby in the UK and Ireland. All of the events have now been confirmed. 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 space will be limited. School events are for invited schools only. I am always happy to sign as many of my books as fans choose to bring to events or signings.


    Thursday 26th September

    11.00am -- schools event, Glor Theatre, Ennis. Arranged by County Clare Libraries.

    1.45pm -- schools event, Limerick Libraries, The Granary, Limerick.

    4.30pm -- public signing, O'Mahony's Bookshop, O'Connell Street, Limerick. http://www.omahonys.ie/catalog/zomb-baby-p-374592.html?l=be

    Friday 27th September

    11.00am -- schools event, Cork Libraries, Central Library, Grand Parade, Cork.

    2.00pm -- schools event, Cork Libraries, Central Library, Grand Parade, Cork.

    4.00pm -- public signing, Easons, 113/115 Patrick Street, Cork.

    Saturday 28th September

    10.00am -- public signing, The Book Centre, 25 John Roberts Square, Waterford.

    2.00pm -- public signing, Easons Dundrum.

    Sunday 29th September

    1.00pm -- public signing, WHSmith Arndale Centre, Manchester.

    Monday 30th September

    9.00am -- schools event, Wellington School, Altrincham.

    1.00pm -- schools event, Altrincham Grammar School For Boys, Altrincham.

    6.30pm -- public event, Wakefield Lit Fest, The Orangery, Back Lane, Wakefield. http://www.wakefieldlitfest.org.uk/events/12-darren-shan

    Tuesday 1st October

    9.30am -- schools event, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield.

    1.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Doncaster, 27 Frenchgate Centre, Doncaster.

    6.00pm -- public event, Waterstones Sheffield, 24-26 Orchard Square, Sheffield. click here for ticket info

    Wednesday 2nd October

    9.50am -- schools event, Ellis Guilford School, Nottingham.

    1.00pm -- schools event, Hamilton Community College, Leicester.

    4.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Coventry, 50-52 Smithford Way, Coventry.

    Thursday 3rd October

    10.45am -- schools event, Slough & Eton Business And Enterprise School.

    1.30pm -- schools event, Charters School, Windsor.

    Friday 4th October

    10.00am -- schools event, St Georges School, Windsor.

    1.30pm -- schools event, Barnados High Close School, Wokingham.

    4.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Reading, United Reform Building, 89a Broad Street, Reading.

    Saturday 5th October

    11.00am -- public signing, Waterstones Oxford, William Baker House, Broad Street, Oxford.

    4.30pm -- public event, Cheltenham Book Festival, Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham. click here for ticket info


    Saturday 26th October

    4.30pm -- public event, Guildford Book Festival, Electric Theatre, Guildford. http://www.guildfordbookfestival.co.uk/index.php?page=Darren-Shan

    Monday 28th October

    2.30pm -- public event, Bram Stoker Festival, Werburgh's Church, Werburgh Street, Dublin. This will be different to my normal events -- I will be focusing on my admiration for Bram Stoker and Dracula, and talking about that book more so than my own work. http://www.bramstokerfestival.com/category/category1/


    Friday 8th November

    11.30am -- schools event, YouthReach, Limerick.




    To celebrate the release of Zom-B Baby in the USA and other territories, along with the paperback releases of some of my other books, I'm running a competition this month where you have a chance to win one of five sets of signed copies of the final four books of the Saga Of Darren Shan manga!! (OK, OK, I know there's no logical connection between the prizes and the reasons for running the comp, but I had these sitting around and I thought they'd make cool prizes -- so sue me!!!) Yes, signed copies of the UK manga editions of Killers Of The Dawn, The Lake Of Souls, Lord Of The Shadows and Sons Of Destiny could be YOURS!!! There are five prizes in total up for grabs, and the competition is open to fans everywhere in the world.


    1) Answer this question: "What was the name of the last book in the Saga Of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak series?"


    2) Send your entry to: [email protected]


    3) Put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail -- I will not accept your entry if you don't. And make sure you INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS in the body of the e-mail, as well as the answer. This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win.


    (4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Sunday, October 13th, 2013.


    (5) This competition is open to everybody, everywhere in the world, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations.


    (6) You can only enter the competition ONCE. If you try to enter more than once, ALL of your entries will be disqualified.


    (7) Only one entry per household -- if you send in more than one entry, ALL of your entries will be rejected. If more than one person in a house wants to enter, you'll need to make a joint entry.


    (8) The draw for the winners will be made on or after Monday, October 14th, 2013. It will be a completely random draw, made by Darren Shan personally (I use an online number generator to pick the winners). I will try to notify the winners by e-mail, and will post their names on the Shanville Message Board, in the November issue of the Shanville Monthly, and possibly on Twitter and Facebook too.


    (9) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company. I'll keep your details on my PC, then delete the info once the competition ends.


    (10) My decision will be final.





    And that's it for October. I'll be midway through my tour when this hits the web, and hopefully I'll be having a great time -- I usually do, especially when lots of you turn up at my signings and events! If you're able to make it to any of the dates, do please come along -- without you guys, it's all kind of pointless! And bring along some friends as well if you can!!! 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.