• Issue 164 - March 2014

    01 March 2014



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the March issue of the Shanville Monthly. It's another exciting month here in Shanville -- Zom-B Mission goes on sale... I reveal the title of book 8 in the series... there are details of my upcoming March events in New York, and my first Canadian events in seven years(!!!) in Toronto and Ottawa (any fans planning to come to my Ottawa event, please note that the date has changed to Thursday March 27th)... I have new covers and exclusive interior art to share with you... there are competitions for fans in Canada and Norway... and more! With so much to share with you, I'm not going to waste any more time here, but instead let's kick things straight off with the revealing of that book 8 title...



    ZOM-B 8


    The title of the 8th book in the Zom-B series is... ZOM-B CLANS. The original working title was Zom-B Klan, but that didn't go down so well with my editors, so I was asked to have another think about it. I came up with Zom-B Clans, partly because it's a play on the word "klan" but also because the book does focus on different clans and how they interact -- I actually think this works better in the overall context of the book than the first title. It's a fast-paced, action-packed entry in the series, that also features one of the most brutal, shocking twists that I think I've ever come up with!!! But you're going to have to wait a while to learn more about that (July, to be more precise, when it goes on sale) because first up you have the following little beauty to deal with...







    Book 7 of my zombie series, Zom-B Mission, goes on sale on March 27th in the UK & Ireland, April 4th in Canada, and April 8th in the USA. It will also go on sale in Australia and New Zealand around the same time. The UK cover has now been revealed (thanks to everyone who participated in that last month) and you can see it above, along with the American cover. I think they're both beautifully eerie covers, each equally effective in its own unique way. I hope you guys like them too! For a little taste of what the book is like, here's the cover blurb from Amazon UK:


    What has happened to the world since the dead took over? Where have the humans gone to hide? Who do the living most have to fear? B Smith is heading for unknown territory...

    Leading a group of humans through London and out into zombie-infested suburbs sounds like suicide - but not for the undead! Even so, the horrors of the journey will be beyond anything B has yet seen ...

    'Do not underestimate the dangers of this mission. Other zombies will not ignore you when they catch the scent of fresh brains. You will almost surely be called upon to fight. The city and countryside are full of angry, bitter people who are trying to execute as many of the undead as they can. They will not distinguish between a revitalised and a revived. Most do not know there is a difference. And most would not care.'


    And here's what they have to say about it on the American Amazon site:


    B Smith and the other Angels are relieved to finally receive their first mission -- to safely escort a group of human survivors from the zombie-infested streets of London to New Kirkham, a barricaded safe haven in the country. But after battling through crowds of undead monsters, B discovers that the survivors of the town don't necessarily represent the best of humanity. And when evil influences make their way to New Kirkham, unearthing demons from B's past, the humans will be forced to choose between being honorable and being safe.

    Darren Shan continues his adventures of a teenage zombie trying to right the wrongs of a flawed human life, exploring the morality and ills of society through the lens of an apocalypse gone wrong -- and a terrifying hell on earth reigning


    You should be able to buy Zom-B Mission in your local bookseller when it comes out -- if you don't see it on the shelves, do please ask a member of staff to locate or order a copy for you. Alternatively you can buy or download it online if you prefer.


    In the UK you can buy the book on Amazon UK (currently at the incredible pre-sale price of just £3.49!!!) or download it in a variety of eFormats including Kindle (where it's currently on pre-sale at just £3.41!!!!).


    In the USA you can buy the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or download it in a variety of eFormats including Kindle and Nook Book. It will also be available in audio format in the USA -- I recommend download it through the Ambling Books site, or you can get it on CD through Amazon.







    As usual, the fabulous Warren Pleece has produced a stunning set of illustrations to grace the insides of Zom-B Mission. Here are a couple of his early rough sketches from the first half of the book -- I always think it's nice to see these, to compare them with the finished product. I'll try to share another couple of roughs with you next month.





    As I revealed exlusively here last month, I'm releasing an extra Zom-B book in March. Called Zom-B Circus, it's not a full-length book -- it will be about half the size of a normal Zom-B book -- and it doesn't focus on B Smith (though she has a small but crucial part to play in it). Instead it focuses on a teacher from B's school who gets caught up in the madness when the zombies attack, and undergoes a most surprising and disturbing transformation. The book will be a stand-alone, though it also links in with B's story in certain ways, featuring appearances by some of the characters we have already met (or will meet soon) in the main series. It also gives us a chance to have another look at Mr Dowling and his merry crew in wild, kill-crazy action, to catch up on what they've been up to while they've been keeping low in the series...


    The plan in the UK and Ireland is to sell Zom-B Circus as an eBook for £0.99 -- we're hoping to have that ready to go on sale in the UK and Ireland at the same time as the seventh book in the series, Zom-B Mission, on March 27th, but there's a chance we might not be able to make the deadline, so it might be some time in April before it goes live -- I'll confirm the exact date next month.


    3/3/14 -- UPDATE -- Zom-B Circus has now popped up on the Amazon UK site as a pre-order, and the release date is listed as April 17th, so it looks as if that's the date we're tied into. If you want to be certain of getting it as soon as it goes on sale electronically, you can pre-order it by CLICKING HERE.


    Zom-B Circus is also going to be produced in a physical format, i.e. as an actual book, but only as a giveaway -- it's due to be given away free with the magazine SFX in the UK & Ireland, in issue 248, which goes on sale on April 30th. SFX has a circulation of about 30,000 copies, so it will be quite a large print run, but I'd still recommend you reserve your copy of the magazine in advance, before copies of the book start popping up for inflated prices on eBay!!!


    Zom-B Circus is also going to be given away for free through Easons stores in Ireland -- this will be at the same time as Zom-B Mission, which is going to be Easons' Childrens Book Of The Month in April. You will be given a copy of Zom-B Circus free at the counter when you buy a copy of Zom-B Mission. To the best of my knowledge this is going to be the case in every Easons store in Ireland, so please make sure you ask about the offer, and if they don't have a copy of Zom-B Circus in stock, hold onto your receipt and follow it up by contacting the main Easons online store.


    Zom-B Circus is also going to be made available to readers in America, exclusively as an ebook, but not until later in the year -- I'll have an update about that in a later issue of the Shanville Monthly when it all gets confirmed.







    It's going to be a Shantastic few months in the world of leading sci-fi magazine SFX!! As well as the Zom-B Circus giveaway in issue 248 (see above) they're running a short story-writing competition in issue 246, on sale March 5th, in which one of the judges is going to be... me!!! One of my rules over the last fifteen years has been to never read unpublished fiction -- in fact, I don't normally read a lot of published fiction either, since I just don't have enough time. However, I've agreed to make a rare (it might even prove to be a one-off) exception, and will read the final shortlist, before chipping in to help choose an overall winner. If you've ever wanted me to read one of your stories, this might very well be your only opportunity to make it happen!!


    There will be more about the competition in issue 247 (on sale April 2nd), along with an ad for Zom-B Mission. Then the Zom-B Circus giveaway in issue 248. The winner of the short story competiton will be announced in issue 250, on sale June 25th -- and the winning short story will also be included! And then there'll be an ad for the eighth Zom-B book (I'll be revealing the title of that very shortly) in issue 251.


    So -- do you need any MORE reasons to subscribe to maybe the coolest sci-fi magazine on the planet?!? http://www.sfx.co.uk/







    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! The first nine books in the series have been released in brand new audio editions in USA (some of the earlier books are also available in the UK), and Book 10, The Lake Of Souls, and Book 11, Lord Of The Shadows, are due to be released on March 1st, with the last to soon follow -- see below. The narrator is Ralph Lister. Those are the super-cool covers above. If you click on them, you will be able to listen to free samples of the books, and download them if you wish to buy them.


    You can download Cirque Du Freak through the Amazon UK site here or you can buy it on CD here. You will find links for the other available books on that page.


    In the USA you can download Cirque Du Freak through the Ambling Books site here or buy it on CD through Amazon here. You will find links for all of the other books on those pages.


    Book 12 will be released in the USA on April 1st 2014.


    My Zom-B books are also available in audio format -- look or ask for them in your local bookstore, or else search for them online. I was very pleased to see the first book shortlisted as one of Audiobook Heaven's favourite audio books of the year! To see the full list, CLICK HERE.






    I’m very pleased to see that Birth Of A Killer is now on sale in Turkey — it came as a nice surprise as I wasn’t aware that my Turkish publishers had finished publishing The Saga Of Darren Shan! I love the creepy cover for it too! If you live in Turkey and would like to buy a copy, you can do so by clicking here.






    In Norway, The Saga Of Darren Shan has been re-released in four collected volumes, under the title of Skrekkens Sirkus. Each volume contains three books in the series. You can find the rest of the covers by clicking here.






    Hoo-yah!! Here’s the very different but very cool Taiwanese cover for Zom-B City, which went on sale in Taiwan on February 17th. I see the broken, fiery skateboard as a symbol of the downfall of modern civilization, which is a main theme of the book. But what do YOU see?!?





    There was an article in the Irish Times in early February, in which I talked about my local city, Limerick. It’s a nice enough little piece, but it was a “converted interview,” i.e. I was interviewed, and then the interviewer wrote it up to make it look as if I had written it myself. Nothing wrong with that, really, (though if she’d made me aware of that, I would have offered to write it up myself) EXCEPT she transcribed it in places rather than crafted our chat into a properly structured interview, so it doesn't read particularly smoothly in places. Also, when it first went live, she got the name of my village wrong!!! I live in Pallaskenry, not Pallasgreen!! If there are any budding interviewers out there, my first piece of advice would be — get your facts straight! Especially if you decide to get creative and not report an interview AS an interview. Grrr!!!!! But, having said that, the interviewer had the mistake corrected as soon as I informed her about it, Donkey Ford’s IS fish-and-chips Mecca!! So all’s well that ends well! CLICK HERE.







    I revealed last month that I had released a new book for adult readers, under a different name. I'll be honest -- I had no idea what sort of a reaction this would receive, since it's very different to any of the other books that I have published. But so far it's been going down a storm with readers, as you'll see from the reader reviews that have been posted on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. (They're all genuine reviews -- I haven't posted any fake reviews or hired friends or family members to do so on my behalf.) If you'd like to check it out, you'll need to click on the link above or below this paragraph, which takes you a forwarding page, where you'll have to confirm your date of birth ir order to proceed. The book is only available as a ebook at the moment, and there are no plans to release it in a physical format any time in the near future.









    “Start spreading the news!” I’m doing a panel event with three other writers in New York on Thursday March 20th, at 5pm, at Books Of Wonder, on 18 West 18th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. I’m not sure if you need tickets or if you can just turn up on the day - please contact the store for advice before travelling. http://www.booksofwonder.com/event.php?id=174


    This might very well be my only USA event of 2014. Since it’s a panel event, I obviously won’t have very much time to talk about my books, but I’ll be happy to answer questions afterwards, and of course I’ll be more than happy to sign as many of my books as every fan wishes to get signed. If you can make it, do please come along -- I'd love to see you!!





    I’m pleased to be one of the first authors confirmed for YALC in London in July. This will be a Convention, organised by Malorie Blackman, focusing on Young Adult Literature, and it will be part of the London Film And Comic Covention — which means, for the first and probably only time in my life, I will be sharing a billing with the likes of Stan Lee!! It runs on Saturday and Sunday, July 12th and 13th — I’m scheduled to appear on the 12th (subject to final confirmation), and at some point there’s going to be an extra exciting announcement about the event that I’ll be taking part in, so keep your eyes peeled!! For more about the YALC, see this page: http://readingzone.com/index.php?zone=sz&page=fullnews&id=1926 And for the ComicCon page, visit here: http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/





    I was delighted to recently be invited back to Hungary on tour. It's been a good few years since my last visit, so it will be nice to catch up with some old fans and hopefully meet lots of the new Shansters who have sprung up there since I was last in town! The planning is still in its very early stages -- all I can reveal for now is that I'll be coming in mid-June. Stay tuned for more details.





    On Saturday February 1st, I had lunch in TGI Fridays on Fleet Street in Dublin, Ireland, with winners of a Zom-B Feast competition. The lucky winners came from near and far, some travelling for several hours to attend. We all had a lot of fun, and not TOO much blood was shed!!! You can check out some photos on the Darren Shan Official Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.





    I received this very sweet email recently from a fan called Zak:

    "Dear Darren, for years i have read your books, those that are for the young adult and also for Adults. I have always been flabbergasted by your prose and awsome quick style of writing, and ability even in such a short Novel you can create such grand and believable characters and bring so much more to the plate than just guts and gore. Your ability to allow children to flourish in these dark worlds, full of death, decay and still have moral issues there on the forefront.

    "The other week i was in my local Waterstones (heaven) i was rifling through the horror section, purchasing my own copy of ZOM-B Gladiator, and i caught a mother pulling at her son's sleeve, sneering and jeering at her son to pick something decent and proper, which made me bite down on my tongue in anger a bit, the audacity i thought... but some parents, you know...?(would not blame them if it was Twilight, aha! unfair i know)  Many a time i piped up and had to say "Well Actually..."

    "But it's great because a couple of days later that parent came  up to me after i did say to her, "Look, let him read what he wants, and i have been a Shan fan since i was nine, i am now 19 and still continue to read them, that and i am a huge Horror Fan. But do trust me, it is a good read." She caught sight of me clutching lovingly onto one of your books, so i think it went through her mind to let this one go... and any how she came up to me and said, "You know that ZOM-BOM book or other... it has vital issues, such as racism... my son had quite a lot to say after, that and he loves the gory aspects."

    "And that makes me smile and feel it validates you as a strong and very powerful author, and i just wanted to let you know how inspiring and engaging and gripping a read your works are, read like a true horror fan and written like a true auteur of that fashion. Please keep them coming."

    Awwww!!!! I love two things about that -- one, that Zak spoke up in defence of my books, and two, that the mother actually took notice of what he said and decided to let her son give the book a chance. It's proof of what I'm always saying, that word of mouth really CAN make a huge difference to the success or failure of a book. Professional reviews are all well and good, but nothing sells a book to me quite as much as somebody praising it in the flesh to my face. So, many thanks to Zak and everyone else out there who has ever recommended my work to a doubter. You guys are the real ground troops of Team Shan!!!!





    To celebrate my upcoming visit to Canada, as well as the release of the Saga Of Darren Shan collections in Norway, I'm running TWO competitions this month, one for fans who live in Canada, the other for fans who live in Norway -- my apologies to fans who live anywhere else in the world, but don't worry, I'll be running another comp for the rest of you in the very near future!


    CANADA COMPETITION: I have TEN sets of prizes to give away to fans who live in Canada, featuring signed copies of the following -- First prize, all 12 paperback books of The Saga Of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak; Second prize, all 4 books of The Saga of Larten Crepsley, 3 of which are trade paperbacks (i.e. large format) and 1 of which is mass market paperback (i.e. small format); Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Prizes, books 4, 5 and 6 of the Zom-B series, in hardcover; Seventh, Eighth and Ninth prizes, books 1, 2 and 4 of paperback editions of The Saga Of Larten Crepsley; Tenth prize, books 2 and 4 of paperback editions of The Saga Of Larten Crepsley.


    NORWAY COMPETITION:  I have FIVE sets of prizes to give away to fans who live in Norway, featuring signed copies of the following -- First and Second prizes, all 4 volumes of Skrekkens Sirkus, which contain all 12 books in the series; Third, Fourth and Fifth prizes, Lord Loss in paperback, and Birth of a Killer and Ocean Of Blood in hardback.


    1a) To enter the Canada competition, answer this question: "What is the name of the vampire who bloods Darren Shan?"


    1b) To enter the Norway competition, answer this question: "Complete the title of Darren's vampire series in Norway: Skrekkens ------?"


    2a) To enter the Canada competiition, send your entry to: [email protected]


    2b) To enter the Norway competiition, 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, Saturday, March 8th, 2014.


    (5) The Canada competition is open to everybody living in Canada, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations. The Norway competition is open to everybody living in Norway, 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 Sunday, March 9th, 2014. 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 April 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.





    The winners for the February Shanville Monthly competition, who each won a signed copy of Lady Of The Shades, were, in the order drawn:


    Charlotte England, UK.
    Kim Goedegebuure, Netherlands.
    Shahroz-Malik, Dubai.
    Tiffany Yeung, USA.
    Line Kristin Dahlstroen, Norway.
    Shun Yin Choi, UK.
    Heather Lenhart, USA.
    Lilith Reiter, Austria.
    Ian Redington, UK.
    Dylan Pesesky, USA.
    Jennifer Harper, USA.
    Ekaterina Helm, USA.
    Emily Powis, UK.
    Andrew Caswell, USA.
    Michael Levac, Canada.


    There were 241 correct entries in total. Congratulations to the winners, and better luck next time to everyone else! If you want to take part in future Shanville Monthly competitions, I suggest you subscribe in order never to miss an edition.





    My 2014 tour diary is starting to fill up, with lots of events already confirmed for the first half of the year. Here are the details as they currently stand. Normally I'd have more of the dates confirmed by this stage, but the person organising the tour had to leave work early to go and have a baby (many congratulations, Catherine!!) so we're running a bit behind schedule. We'll hopefully firm up events over the next week or two, and I will update this part of the Monthly as and when dates and times are confirmed, so please check back here over the course of March for the latest info. I will also post updated via Twitter and Facebook over the coming month, so it's worth signing up for those if you aren't already following me.


    Thursday 20th March

    5.00pm -- public panel event with 3 other writers, Books Of Wonder, 18 West 18th, between 5th and 6th Avenues, New York, NY. http://www.booksofwonder.com/event.php?id=174



    Tuesday 25th March

    7.00pm -- public event and signing, North York Public Library, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto. http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/detail.jsp?Entt=RDMEVT159668&R=EVT159668

    Thursday 27th March

    am -- school event, Ottawa.

    12.30pm -- School event, Ottawa Public Library, Carlington branch.

    6.00pm -- public event and signing, Ottawa Public Library, Nepean Centrepointe Branch, Ottawa. http://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/node/18570



    Tuesday 1st April

    9.30am -- school event, Ashcroft High School, Luton.

    1.30pm -- school event, Hazeley School, Milton Keynes.

    4.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Milton Keynes, Unit 72, Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes MK9 3GA.

    Wednesday 2nd April

    10.00am -- school event, New Rickstones Academyn, Witham.

    1.30pm -- school event, Anglo European School, Ingatestone, Essex.

    5.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Chatham, 182 High Street, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4AS.

    Thursday 3rd April

    10.45am -- school event, Lampton School, Hounslow.

    2.10pm -- school event, Chiswick School, Bulrington Lane, Chiswick.

    Friday 4th April

    10.00am -- school event, Steyning Grammar School, .

    1.30pm -- school event, Dorothy Springer School, Brighton.

    Saturday 5th April

    10.30am -- public signing, Waterstones Bury St Edmunds, 36 Buttermarket, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1DW.

    4.00pm -- public event, Cambridge Literary Festival. https://www.adcticketing.com/whats-on/literary/darren-shan.aspx

    Sunday 6th April

    12.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Coventry, 50-52 Smithford Way, Lower Precinct, Coventry, CV1 1DX.



    Monday 7th April

    11.00am -- school event, Waterstones Belfast. Please contact staff in the store if interested in attending.

    2.00pm -- school event, Methodist College, Belfast.

    5.00pm -- public signing, Easons Dundalk, Unit 34, The Marshes Shopping Centre, The Ramparts, Dundalk, Co Louth.

    Tuesday 8th April

    10.30am -- school event, Malahide Community School, Broomfield, Malahide.

    2.15pm -- school event, Salesian College, Maynooth Road, County Kildare.

    5.00pm -- public signing, Easons Maynooth, Unit 16, Manor Mills Shopping Centre, Maynooth, Co Kildare.

    Wednesday 9th April

    10.00am -- school event, Dunamaise Arts Theatre, Portlaiose. Click here to book.

    12.30pm -- school event, Dunamaise Arts Theatre, Portlaiose. Click here to book.

    7.00pm -- public event, Dunamaise Arts Theatre, Portlaiose. Click here to book.

    Thursday 10th April

    10.00am -- school event, Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge. Click here to book.

    12.30pm -- school event, Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge. Click here to book.

    6.00pm -- public event in Easons, 40 Lower O'Connell Street, Dublin.



    Saturday 10th May

    4.00pm -- public event, Brighton Festival. http://brightonfestival.org/event/2347/darren_shan/

    Friday 23rd May

    4.00pm -- public event with Alexander Gordon Smith, Norfolk And Norwich Festival, Norwich. Click here to book.

    Monday 26th May

    2.30pm -- public event, Hay Festival, Hay-On-Wye. Click here for web site.



    Saturday 10th May

    4.00pm -- public event, Brighton Festival. http://brightonfestival.org/event/2347/darren_shan/

    Friday 23rd May

    4.00pm -- public event with Alexander Gordon Smith, Norfolk And Norwich Festival, Norwich. Click here to book.

    Monday 26th May

    2.30pm -- public event, Hay Festival, Hay-On-Wye. Click here for web site.



    Details To Be Confirmed.



    Friday 4th July

    pm -- public event, Hay Festival Kells, County Meath. Click here for web site.


    Saturday 5th July

    am -- public signing, TBC.

    6.00pm -- public event, Manchester Children's Book Festival, Manchester. http://www.mcbf.org.uk/

    Saturday 12th July

    time TBC -- public event, London Film And Comic Con, Earls Court 2, Old Brompton Road, London SW5 9TA. http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/



    public event, Edinburgh Book Festival, date and time TBC.





    And that's it for March. I'm looking forward to my event in New York, and especially to getting back to Canada for the first time in seven years -- if you live in Canada, please do try to come and cheer me on, because it could be quite a while before I'm back again -- it's a long way from Limerick!!! And of course there's the release of Zom-B Mission to look forward to as well -- I'm curious to see what fans make of the new direction in which it starts to take us. I'll be back here at the start of April 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.