• Issue 179 - June 2015

    01 June 2015



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the June issue of the Shanville Monthly. The big scoop this month is a world-exclusive reveal for the American and British Zom-B Fugitive covers! These weren't actually scheduled to be unveiled until July, but I pulled a few strings to get them out a bit earlier for my more impatient fans. I think they're fine additions to the very strong series of covers, so I hope you like them too. There's also a Sunburn update... some stunning City Trilogy covers from Russia...  new interviews... tour updates (including news of an impending trip to the USA!)... and a VERY special competition to mark the tenth anniversary of the release of a landmark Darren Shan book -- see if you can guess what it is before you get to that point in the newsletter!! There's lots more to report on too, but let's kick things off with those creepy new covers...







    The eleventh Zom-B book, Zom-B Fugitive, goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on September 10th, and in the USA and Canada on September 22nd. Those are the American and British covers above, by series regular Cliff Nielsen, exclusively revealed here for the first time -- I hope you enjoy them as much as me. While the same image has been used, the colour scheme is VERY different -- let me know which one you prefer! Zom-B Fugitive should be available through all good high street and online book stores once it goes on sale, but if you wish to pre-order, here are some handy links. Amazon UK hardcover, Amazon UK kindle. Amazon USA hardcover. Amazon Canada hardcover. I'll be talking more about the book over the coming months, as well as revealing some of the rough interior art ahead of its release -- so don't miss the next few issues of the Shanville Monthly!





    Of course, the problem with a long series like Zom-B is that it's very easy by the time of book 11 to forget what happened in the earlier entires. Well, that's where THIS intriguing little site comes into its own!! It's called RECAPTAINS, and its basic raison d'être is to help readers recap what's happened in earlier books of a series, before they start reading the newer entries -- genius!!! I came across it because it features a recap for the first ZOM-B book. I don't recommend reading it if you haven't read the book (well, unless you've picked up book 2 or 3 by mistake, and want to know what went down in book 1 before starting) but for those who are familiar with the series, but in need of a quick refresh, this is the page for you!! CLICK HERE.








    Sunburn, my latest book for adults, published under the Darren Dash pseudonym, went on sale worldwide on May 1st, exclusively through Amazon, and it's been picking up rave reviews from critics and readers. A full-on horror novel in the mode of early Stephen King, set in Bulgaria, it starts slowly but packs one hell of a punch in the second half! Kelly Smith Reviews said: "I cannot go on enough about the book, how great it is and how entertaining. This is an author who knows how to make the readers laugh, cry and scream in terror. To call this a must-read is an understatement!" Crossing Pixies was of the opinion that: "This demonic masterpiece does not fail to disappoint even the biggest of horror fans." While Books, Films & Random Lunacy were of the opinion that it was: "A well-written and disturbing piece of fiction that explores relationships and delves into the deepest corners of the human mind. The plot reads like an international horror movie, enticing the reader with a series of detailed and comedic chapters before exploding into a vision of blood-chilling gore." There are some cool reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads too!


    If you are interested in checking out the new book, you can buy it as a paperback, or download it as an eBook, through any of Amazon's worldwide stores, such as Amazon USAAmazon UKAmazon CanadaAmazon Australia (only as an eBook), Amazon Germany, etc. If you live in a country that doesn't have an Amazon store, then you probably won't be able to download the eBook, but you can order the paperback and have it shipped to you -- just check around to see which store offers you the best price. If you're interested in downloading the eBook, please bear in mind that YOU DO NOT NEED A KINDLE. You can download a FREE KINDLE APP to whatever device you prefer, e.g. Mac, iPad, smartphone, tablet, etc. You can then use that App to buy books from the Kindle store and download them to your device. I've kept the cover price as low as I can with the paperback, and the eBook is on sale for approximately a third the cost of that, so it's pretty good value, even if I say so myself!! :-)


    Sunburn is also part of KDP Select, which means it is available for FREE to those who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, or who borrow the book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.


    To find out more about my latest books for older readers, visit the Darren Dash web site by CLICKING HERE.





    I've written a guest blog for the WAG THE FOX site, in which I talk about my inspiration for SUNBURN and some of the background to the book, including such insightful gems as: "I knew from the beginning that the main storyline was going to be the most basic I had ever worked on, so simple that it could be summed up thus — a naked, sunburnt guy runs into a nightmarish beast in a forest, and the pair fight to the death." It's the most in-depth piece about the book that I have written so far. If you want to read more, please CLICK HERE.








    While the three images above look like posters for a very cool crime movie, they are actually the RUSSIAN covers for the three books in my CITY trilogy -- Procession Of The Dead, Hell's Horizon and City Of The Snakes. The first two books go on sale in Russia this month, with the third book set to be published in July. The cover for the third book, by the way, is still in development, which is why it doesn't look quite as polished as the others -- I'll add the final image once it's been sent to me.


    My City books for older readers are on sale in many countries around the world, including the UK and USA. You should be able to order copies through your local bookseller, or else online through a site like Amazon. To find out if they're available in YOUR country, CLICK HERE.







    If YOU would like to come meet Darren Shan like the fans in the photos above, then please note that I'm doing some SCHOOL and PUBLIC EVENTS in the UK in the summer, and then again in September/October around the release of Zom-B Fugitive (that tou is still int he very early planning stages) -- do please come if you can, to hear me read from my books, answer questions and sign your copies of my books. Here are the details as they currently stand. School events are only for invited school groups (although individuals can sometimes get in too, if they contact the school/library in advance). Public events are open to anyone who wants to come along, though you usually have to acquire tickets in advance to be certain of a place. If you plan to come to any of my events, please note that I never impose any limits on the number of my books that I will sign, so feel free to bring your whole collection from home or buy loads of them on the day!


    By the way, I sometimes get asked why I strangle my fans (like Katie and Max in the first two photos) at signings and events. Well, there are a few reasons. The first couple are practical -- sometimes the flash on a camera is very bright, and I found a long time ago that if I strangled and squinted, I didn't get blinded! And my hand can get a bit cramped at a long signing -- ahead of strangling, I flex my fingers, which looks very menacing to the approaching "victim" but is actually my way of keeping my digits supple!!! The third reason? Well, I quickly discovered that my fans LOVE being strangled by me, and hey, the customer is always right!!! Mind you, sometimes the fans prefer to do the strangling, like Adam in the third photo -- thankfully I can take as good as I give!!!!!


    Wednesday 15th July

    2.30pm -- SCHOOLS event, NORWICH FLY Festival, Norwich, UK. If you are a teacher, librarian or student in the Norwich area, and wish to book tickets, CLICK HERE


    Friday, Saturday, Sunday -- 17th, 18th, 19th July

    PUBLIC event and signing on ONE of the dates listed above, at YALC, the Young Adult Literary Convention, part of the LONDON Film And Comic Con. I will be appearing at this festival on ONE of the three days, but the exact date has yet to be confirmed. An update is expect in mid-June, and I will add the information to this page at that point. http://www.childrenslaureate.org.uk/yalc/


    Thursday 27th August

    9.00am to 3.00pm -- SCHOOLS outreach events, EDINBURGH Book Festival, Scotland. I am going to be visiting some schools/libraries in the Fife district. If you are a teacher or school librarian interested in booking a visit, CLICK HERE. (If you are a student, show this to your teacher or librarian, and try to sweet-talk them into following it up!)


    Friday 28th August

    1.30pm -- SCHOOLS event, EDINBURGH Book Festival, Scotland. This is an event in the main Book Festival tent, for school groups. If you are a teacher or school librarian interested in bringing students to see me at the Festival, CLICK HERE. (If you are a student, show this to your teacher or librarian, and try to sweet-talk them into bringing you!)


    Saturday 29th  August

    3.45pm -- PUBLIC event, EDINBURGH Book Festival, Scotland. For more info and to book tickets CLICK HERE


    Saturday 3rd  October

    6.30pm -- PUBLIC event with CHARLIE HIGSON, Bath Children's Literature Festival. For more info and to book tickets CLICK HERE.


    28th April to May 1st 2016

    I'm going to be a guest of honor at the World Horror Convention, PROVO, UTAH, USA. More details TBC closer the time. http://www.whc2016.org/home.html





    The manga edition of Lord Of The Shadows, the eleventh volume of The Saga Of Darren Shan, goes on sale in Finland on June 6th. Cover to follow when I am sent my copies.






    If you're a student or teacher or school librarian living in the Norwich area in the UK, and you would like to FLY with Darren Shan, then you should look into getting tickets to come see me when I visit the city in July. I'll be doing a SCHOOLS event for the FLY festival, talking about my books, answering questions, signing books, and strangling (see above)!! Booking is now open, and there's good news -- I was originally going to be in a venue that could hold 280 people, but tickets sold out within the first couple of days, so they've moved me to a bigger venue that holds nearly 500!! Click on THIS LINK to find out more about when I'm performing and how to book to come see me -- I THINK tickets are still available, though I'd act swiftly if I was you! You can also read a bit more about the festival in this Eastern Daily Press article.






    I'm coming back to the Edinburgh Book Festival for the 16th year in a row in August -- hurrah!! I'll be doing a public event, as usual, but this year I'm also doing some school events to tie in with my visit there. I'm going to be doing Outreach events on Thursday August 27th, i.e. going to visit some schools. And I'm doing a big schools event in Charlotte Square (the Book Festival centre) on Friday August 28th, for groups who can travel to it. If you're a teacher or librarian in Scotland who wants to find out more about these events, and if you're interested in registering to either bring a group of children to the Book Festival to see me (or other authors), or maybe have me (or other authors) come visit your school, CLICK HERE.





    1) Sometimes I get blindsided by an interviewer in a nasty way -- for instance, I once did a radio interview, in which the previously very nice interviewer accused me of using my Zom-B books to promote white supremacism. (!!!!) But there are also times when I get blindsided in an unexpectedly sweet way. There's a lengthy, in-depth interview with me over on the Cinemarks site, which I highly recommend in and of its own right. But the interviewer added a postscript after I'd finished answering the questions, and when I read it, a BIG smile swept across my face. If you want to know what set me smiling, CLICK HERE and read on.


    2) I often get asked about where the names of my characters come from. In truth, it varies. Sometimes I'll take a word and play around with it. Other times I'll look through a movie guide book for an odd name that will fit. Or I'll use the name of a friend or family member or (yes!) fan. Or something will just pop into my head. But there ARE occasions when a name will come from somewhere else, and one of those appears in my latest book for adults, SUNBURN -- the enigmatically monikered Martini Martinez!! I was asked about this in a recent interview for DARK READERS, and you can read my answer, along with lots more, by CLICKING HERE. Trust me -- you'll never be able to guess its genesis in advance!!


    3) I recently gave a short interview to a reporter for a school magazine for Lemont High School, and it has now appeared on their online site called Tom-Tom. If you're interested in checking it out, it won't take up much of your time, and you can find it by CLICKING HERE.


    4) What on earth inspired me to write a horror novel in which the main character spends half the book completely naked and sunburnt to the bone?!? You can find some of my answers to this question, and others, in a short interview on the fabulous Kelly Smith Reviews site, which also includes a heartening five star review of SUNBURN, which is now on sale worldwide via Amazon stores everywhere, as either a paperback or eBook download. CLICK HERE.






    Brothers To The Death, the fourth and final book in The Saga Of Larten Crepsley, WENT on sale in TURKEY LAST month. You can find out more about it by CLICKING HERE. That's the cover above -- I must say, I love the approach they've taken with it!





    Blimey -- I'm being used to promote Ireland to French tourists in a site called Vivre En Irlande!!! Come for the Giant's Causeway and the Guinness -- stay for Darren Shan!!!! To find out more, CLICK HERE. This is also probably a good time to remind my French fans that the third Zom-B book, Zom-B City, went on sale in France last month, so go hunt it down if you want to find out what London would be like if it was overrun with the living dead!!






    A month or so ago, I received an email from a diehard romantic Dutch guy called Rob. He wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Emmy, in an unusual way, and he asked for MY help. This was what he wrote:


    "The idea, which I have at the moment, is using a book, because she loves reading. I am thinking of making a special book, which contains the ring (I still have to find that, but working on its ‘box’ is a beginning) in a special compartment within the pages. Yes, I do realize that I have to commit a sin and create a hole in the pages of the book to do this, but she is special enough to me to do that. Yet even that is not special enough for me. I could take any kind of book, but to make it more special, I want it to be a book of one of her favorite writers. But to personalize it even more, I was hoping for a special message by the author himself helping me proposing to her. And, as you probably already guessed, is why I came to you with this. I know her favorite trilogy of yours is ‘The City trilogy’, so I was hoping to make it with one of those books."


    Well, being a diehard romantic myself, as I'm sure is very obvious to you all from the types of books I write (!!!!), how could I say no?!? I sent Rob a copy of Ayuamarca, which was the original title for my first novel for adults, nowadays better known as Procession Of The Dead. I included a short message to Emmy in it, and left the rest to Rob. He popped the question at the weekend. And Emmy's answer? Well, the ring in the photo should provide a fairly clear clue...


    Now I'm just waiting for my invite to the wedding!!! :-)






    I highly recommend this captivating, moving article by new writer Taran Mathuru, in The Guardian, in which he talks about how reading and writing helped him overcome bullying and racism. It's an uplifting piece that shows how the art of storytelling can help us triumph over those who try to put us down. CLICK HERE to read more and also to find out how it ties in with me.



    HOW HIGH?!?


    I was quite surprised when a fan recently informed me that I was one of the entries on a site called Celebrity Height Info!!! I checked it out, and lo and behold, it was true! They also have some other facts about me, which are mostly accurate. So, if you've ever had sleepless nights, where you lay in bed and just weren't able to nod off because you kept thinking, "What height IS the Master Of YA Horror?!?" then this is your chance to find out and banish those insomniac demons once and for all!!! CLICK HERE.


    A few days after that, my attention was also drawn to my presence on a Celebrity Birthdays site: CLICK HERE. That will come in handy if I ever forget!!!







    June 6th marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of LORD LOSS in the UK and Ireland -- and it came out in Japan around the same time too. (It didn't hit the USA until later, as they had not yet finished releasing the Cirque Du Freak books.) Hard to believe it's been that long -- the years have flown by! I often get asked what my favourite series is, and the truth is I don't have one -- I love them equally, for different reasons. But The Demonata is the series I'm proudest of, as it's the one where I stretched myself the furthest, somehow fashioning order out of chaos, bringing together three different narrators from three different time periods and casually explaining how life, the universe and everything kicked off in the process!!! And it all started here, ten years ago this month. Of all the readings that I've given from various books over the years, chapter 2 of Lord Loss is still my favourite scene to read out at events, and one that I still do quite regularly -- I performed it in Wicklow most recently, when I did an event there last month. So, unlike many of my other books, Lord Loss is never far from my thoughts. To celebrate its demonic first decade of existence, I'm running a competiiton, with ten signed copies of the first UK hardback edition -- that's right, ten of the original print run of the copies that went on sale on June 6th, 2005!!! I've been holding these little babies back for a special occasion, and this seems as good a time to give them away as any!! To be in with a chance of winning one of them, read the entry guidelines below, answer the simple question... and good luck!!


    1) Answer this question: "How many years ago was Lord Loss first released in the UK?"


    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. Please also include your age, although this is not mandatory.


    (4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Wednesday, June 10th, 2015.


    (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 Thursday, June 11th, 2015. 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 in the Shanville Monthly, and on Facebook too.


    (9) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company.


    (10) My decision will be final.





    Just when I thought I'd saw everything... For something truly different, check out THIS VIDEO CLIP of a fan opening a box of my books that he had shipped from The Book People in the UK. Doesn't sound that interesting, does it? But trust me, this is strangely sweet and funny. Oh, but before he opens the box of my books, he opens a box with a different book in it -- feel free to skim past that if you wish! The set of books, by the way, came, as I said, from The Book People in the UK, who sell all 12 books in The Saga Of Darren Shan for the incredibly low price of £14.99!!!! (Sometimes it can be even less!) And they ship just about anywhere in the world (as evidenced in the video clip) at very reasonable rates. And they have other books of mind at great rates too. So, if you're interested in nabbing a Shantastic bargain, CLICK HERE.






    America -- are you ready for the Return Of The Shan?!? For my fans in the USA who are sad because they only rarely get a chance to come see me at an event (because I don't live in the States and don't tour there very often), it's time to start getting excited, as I'm delighted to announce that I will be attending the World Horror Convention in PROVO, UTAH near the end of April 2016 as a guest. Of course I'm aware that many of my fans live in other States and won't be able to make it, but if you have the means of travel, you now know were to find me!! CLICK HERE to find out more.







    And that's it for June. Mrs Shan and I took Dante on his first sun holiday last month, to Tenerife, and that's a nice sunny pic of the two Shan boys on the beach above, along with one of a darker moment during the holiday, when we ran into Lord Loss and Dante had to fight for his life on the chess boards -- but that's a story for another time!!! I'm working on a few different projects over the course of the summer, and though I can't say much about them, take it from me that although I certainly plan to make the most of any good weather that comes Ireland's way over the next few months, I'm going to be a (relatively) busy boy over the next few months -- and not just busy changing Dante's nappy and driving him around!!!! I'll be back here at the start of July with all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x



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