• Issue 182 - September 2015

    01 September 2015



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the September issue of the Shanville Monthly. The big news this month, of course, is that ZOM-B FUGITIVE GOES ON SALE -- HURRAH!!!! It seems like an age since Zom-B Bride enjoyed its debut, but the new book is finally here, hot as a howling wind out of hell! Expect shocks, death, twists, revelations and more. We're almost at the end of the series (just one more book to go) and as you might expect, things are getting apocalyptic! I'll be hitting the road in September, October and November to tie in with the release of Zom-B Fugitive, so check out the Tour Dates below to find out if Im coming to a venue near YOU... I'm featuring more exclusive interior art for Zom-B Fugitive... a new competition... there's the reveal of the title of the final Zom-B book... and lots more!! So let's not waste any more time with this prologue -- time to get the show on the road!







    The eleventh Zom-B book, Zom-B Fugitive, goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on September 10th, in the USA on September 22nd, and Canada on September 29th. Those are the American and British covers above, by series regular Cliff Nielsen. Below are a couple of roughs for the interior art, by our other series regular, Warren Pleece. In the first, someone is offering B a ride in a boat -- is she about to leave her worries behind and set off on a pleasure cruise down the Thames?!? In the second, an old foe makes an unexpected return and gets the drop on B -- can you tell from the drawing who it might be?!?




    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. Oh, and if you like to buy online and get a good deal, it's probably worth nothing that at the time of writing, you can pre-order the eBook on Kindle for just £4.99 in the UK, while the hardback is almost half price on Amazon in the USA and the eBook is even cheaper... Amazon UK hardcoverAmazon UK kindleAmazon USA hardcoverAmazon Canada hardcover.





    I'm going to be doing a live online chat on the REDDIT site on September 21st, just ahead of the official release date for Zom-B Fugitive in the USA. For two hours I will be online, answering as many of your questions as I can. I will be starting at 4.00pm Eastern Time (9.00pm UK time), although I will actually be creating the post approximately three hours earlier, so you will be able to post your questions a little in advance if you can't be online during the live part. To take part, you will need to joing Reddit (a very quick, easy process) by CLICKING HERE. Then come to THIS PAGE (the Books page) on September 21st, any time between 4.00pm and 6.00pm ET (9.00pm and 11.00pm UK time), look for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) post by TheRealDarrenShan, click on that, ask your questions, and away we go!! I'll answer as quickly and fully as I can. This is the longest online chat that I will have done to date, so hopefully we won't be quite as rushed as usual, so I can be a bit more elaborate with my answers... Please note, although the chat has been set up to tie in with the American release of Zom-B Fugitive, it is open to fans everywhere in the world.





    We've kept it a closely guarded secret, but I'm delighted to finally be able to reveal the title of the 12th and final Zom-B book, and it is going to be called...




    As usual, there's a good reason why I've chosen the title, and it ties in neatly with the story being told, but you'll need to read the book to find out exactly what the title refers to, and why it's so apt. All I'll say for now is, it's not as straightforward as you might expect...






    In the USA, the second volume of the Zom-B Chronicles collection goes on sale on September 22nd, the same day as the release of Zom-B Fugitive. This collects the fourth, fifth and sixth books in the series (Zom-B Angels, Zom-B Baby, and Zom-B Gladiator), and is a brilliant, low-cost way to catch up on the first half of B's story. You should be able to buy or order this in your local bookshop, or else you can get it online -- I'd recommend Amazon, where the paperback is currently on sale for less than $7 -- yep, more than 500 pages of story, for less than $7!!! CLICK HERE for the deal of the year!!





    I'm on tour this autum to tie in with the release of Zom-B Fugitive. I'm also going to be appearing at the Dubai Literary Festival in March 2016, and the USA World Horror Convention in April 2016, and of course there will be a big Irish/UK tour when Zom-B 12 goes on sale next spring. 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, though you usually have to book tickets in advance to be certain of a place. Public signings are open to everyone -- just turn up on the day and take your place in the line. If you plan to come to any of my events or signings, 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!


    Friday 25th September

    Time TBC -- school event, ISLE OF MAN, part of the Manx Litfest. CLICK HERE

    Time TBC -- school event, ISLE OF MAN, part of the Manx Litfest. CLICK HERE

    7.15pm -- PUBLIC event, ISLE OF MAN, part of the Manx Litfest. CLICK HERE


    Thursday 1st October

    9.45am -- school event, Warden Park School, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath.

    Thursday 1st October

    pm -- school event, Shoreham Academy, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.

    Thursday 1st October

    5.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones BRIGHTON, 71-74 North Street. CLICK HERE

    Friday 2nd October

    9.30am -- school event, Trafalgar School, Hilsea, Portsmouth.

    Friday 2nd October

    1.10pm -- school event, Hounsdown School, Totton, Southampton.

    Friday 2nd October

    5.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones SOUTHAMPTON, West Quay Shopping centre. CLICK HERE

    Saturday 3rd October

    10.00am -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones BOURNEMOUTH. CLICK HERE

    Saturday 3rd October

    1.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones YEOVIL, 37a Middle Street. 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.

    Sunday 4th October

    10.30am -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones WORCESTER, Unit D, The Shambles. CLICK HERE

    Sunday 4th October

    1.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones COVENTRY, 50-52 Smithford Way.

    Sunday 4th October

    6.15pm -- PUBLIC event, CHELTENHAM Literature Festival. For more info and to book tickets CLICK HERE.

    Tuesday 6th October

    am -- school event, St Patricks Gateway Centre, Patrick Street.

    Tuesday 6th October

    pm -- school event, St Patricks Gateway Centre, Patrick Street.

    Tuesday 6th October

    4.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, The Book Centre, 25 John Robert Square, WATERFORD.

    Saturday 24th October

    6.00pm -- PUBLIC event with another author, DUBLIN. More details TBC.


    Monday 9th to Thursday 12th November 2015

    I'm going to be appearing at the SHARJAH International Book Fair. More details TBC closer the time. CLICK HERE


    March 2016

    I'm going to be appearing at the DUBAI Literary Festival. More details TBC closer the time. 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 following link to a very short video clip was posted by a fan on Twitter last month, to show how they felt when reading Killers Of The Dawn -- I suspect it's a feeling shared by many readers of that book!! Be warned -- Zom-B Fugitive might elicit some similar reactions!!!!! https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/CM5dNcQU8AARUwH.mp4





    There was a brilliant plug for my City Trilogy last month over on the Barnes & Noble blog: CLICK HERE. I was especially delighted that they picked up on the Coen Brothers influence, because the book actually started life when I was watching Barton Fink for the second or third time, and felt inspired to create something equally weird and idiosyncratic. It ended up being VERY different to that movie, but I'm thrilled that some of its vibe obviously shines through, since this reviewer noted it! For those who don't know, my City books are for older readers. I've also released a one-off thriller called Lady Of The Shades under the Darren Shan name, and two more (The Evil And The Pure and Sunburn) under the name of Darren Dash -- see www.darrendashbooks.com to find out more about those. But my adult career all started with The City, a year before Cirque Du Freak was first released, so those books will always bear a special spot within my heart...






    There was a double delight for my fans in Hungary last month, because not only did the first Zom-B book go on sale there -- the second book ALSO went on sale! at the same time! Yes, the first two books in the series have hit stores in Hungary, and are available nationwide NOW! Sorry I didn't give you guys more notice, but I only found out myself the night before the release date -- now that's the sort of surprise I LIKE!! Some of my most passionate fans live in Hungary, and I've always had a brilliant time when I've gone there on your, so I hope you all like Zom-B as much as my other books. And if you do, please spread the word and share the grisly joy!!!


    If you prefer to buy Zom-B online, you can buy it directly from my publisher, Mora, at a 25% discount: http://www.mora.hu/konyv/zom-b


    And you can buy book 2, again at a 25% discount, here: http://www.mora.hu/konyv/zom-b-2-alvilag





    There's an interesting comment on the Cirque Du Freak movie by its director Paul Weitz in THIS INTERVIEW. It's the first time I've come across him talking about the movie -- as he says, it lost a load of money (primarily, I think, because they overspent on the sets, costumes and effects), and I guess people don't like talking too much about their failures. (I had nothing to do with the making of the film, so it wasn't a failure for me, which is why I've always been happy to talk about it!) I know a lot of you guys hate the film because it was so unfaithful to the books, and I can understand that -- I also would have preferred it if it had stuck more closely to the story of the books. But as I've continually stated, on its own terms I think it's a quirky, interesting little movie that does things very differently to other films of it type. When you hear a director talking about trying to make a version of a German Expressionist film, you know he's not working to formula! I think Cirque's detractors have underplayed just how experimental the film was. It didn't entirely work (largely, I think, because it tried to work in more popular, funny elements too, which clashed with the darker tones) but it TRIED to be much more than the norm, and that's why I like it, flaws and all.








    I always like to share cool fan art, so here's a very striking picture of everyone's favourite orange-haired vampire, posted on Twitter by a fan called Jin. Plus a cool drawing of Grubbs, Kernel and Bec, the three narrators from my Demonata series, by a fan whose online handle is Saucy Morsel! The third image is a fan-created cover for Cirque Du Freak, by a talented Shanster called Steph Bral. And the fourth, of evil Lord Loss, is by Darragh Brennan. For LOTS more fan art, of Mr Crepsley and many of my other characters, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/fanart/ Please note, I haven't updated the fan art pages on my site for quite a while, so if you've sent anything to me over the last few years and are waiting for it to appear on my site, my apologies for the lengthy delay. I keep meaning to get round to it, but other stuff keeps getting in the way. But one day, folks.... one day.





    I don't get spotted by fans very often when I'm out and about, but one Saturday night last month I was out in Limerick, doing a little pub crawl, and it actually happened several times. I didn't mind -- quite the opposite in fact. I'm always happy to chat with my fans and pose for a photo. Usually, when someone recognises me, they'll ask if I'm Darren Shan (it always pays to make sure!) then tell me they like my books. But one guy had a different approach that Saturday. I was at the bar, about to take a couple of drinks through, when the man beside me said, "I thought you'd be drinking ale." When I looked at him uncertainly, he added, "Aren't you the prince of ale?!?" And THAT, dear Shansters, is the way to impress an author and make him really smile!!! (For anyone who doesn't get the reference, check out Hunters Of The Dusk.)






    Doesn't this sound like the coolest beach party ever?!? I'm not sure Mr Crepsley or Mika would approve, but I imagine Vancha and Evanna would have a great time at it!!!! The flyer was spotted by a fan called Natalie who lives in Australia, although the party was in Bali -- they clearly do things with freakishly fabulous style over there!!! I'm always looking for non-book-related mentions of Cirque Du Freak -- the phrase seems to have entered the global consciousness since I coined the phrase all those years ago, and has been used to promote discos, theme park Halloween events, political incompetency, and a whole lot more - so if you ever see anything like this, do please let me know.






    I have scoured the ends of the Earth and finally found the coolest looking pair of shoes on the planet!! OK, in all honesty, that's not a quest I was engaged in, and the photo above just happened to be sent to me by super-Shan-fan Christie Rodgers. But either way, they're still the coolest pair of shoes on the planet! Christie had them especially made, instead of getting a tattoo, though I think she plans to get a tattoo too when she's saved up enough. Personally, I'd prefer these shoes to a tattoo, but maybe that's just because I'm too much of a wimp to let anyone stick a needle in me!!!!






    A fan called Krisztian in Hungary brought the above photo to my attention -- one of my quotes has appeared in a diary there! That's a first for me as far as I'm aware, and quite a nice little first too -- I always enjoy reading short quotes like that in my own weekly diary, and never imagined that a line of mine would pop up in one! The rough English translation is: " Life is one big challenge,and only those people really know what it means to live, who accept the challenge." The actual quote in English appeared in Vampire Mountain, and it was something Mr Crepsley said to Darren: "Life is a challenge, and only those who rise to the challenge truly know what it means to live." (Thanks to Howard Kwok for reminding me where it came from!)






    I always like to give you guys the heads-up when my books are on sale, and there are two great deals relating to my earlier work which I've highlighted before, but are worth another mention, since they offer such amazing good value. First, if you want to pick up all 22 books from my first two series, The Saga Of Darren Shan and The Demonata, you can buy them as a single collection from Lowplex, for just £34.99!! It's a quick, cheap way to pick up about half of my published work, ideal if you want the books for yourself or are thinking of giving them to someone as a present. CLICK HERE Second, if you're only interested in vampires, you can get the whole Saga Of Darren Shan series through The Book People UK for just £14.99!! CLICK HERE This actually works out a little bit cheaper than the Lowplex deal, but they don't offer The Demonata as a set, which means you'd have to order that through Lowplex if you wanted it. Both companies ship worldwide, and although it's obviously not going to be cheap to have that many books posted if you live outside the UK, the rates are competitive, and given the low cost of the books, the overall price is still remarkably low. It's worth comparing the shipping prices on both sites before purchasing, just in case there's a significant difference.






    I went to a friend's wedding last month, where I was snapped (along with Mrs Shan) in a most unusual appearance, as you can see in the attached photo!!! The lady getting married was called Liz, who the character (and cover star) in Zom-B Mission was named after. Liz used to complain a lot, because lots of characters in my books were named after friends who never read my books -- whereas she read them all, yet was never mentioned! To remedy the situation, I named a character in Sunburn (my latest Darren Dash book) after her, but the character was only ever mentioned in the story, never actually appeared, which was a fun in-joke. But then I relented and decided she needed a proper appearance, which is why I put her into Zom-B Mission and pushed to have her on the cover too -- consider it an early wedding present, Mrs Marney!!!!





    I enjoyed THIS sweet review of The Thin Executioner which was recently published on Wevrul's Book Blog. Of course, I like ANY positive review for my books! But as I've often stated, The Thin Executioner is my personal favourite out of all my books, so I get an extra buzz of pleasure when it has the sort of reaction that I hoped it would provoke when I wrote it. 





    I drew the winners for the August Shanville Monthly competition, and the eight lucky Shansters who each received signed copies of The City trilogy are, in the order drawn:


    Christines Stanley, UK.
    Elizabeth Eade, Canada.
    Caitlyn Ahrens, USA.
    Anders Ugland Engen, Norway.
    Talina Boyer, USA.
    James Williams, UK.
    Charlie-Ann Bates, UK.
    Shannon Tighe, UK.


    There were 295 entries in total. Thanks to everyone who entered, congratulations to the winners, and better luck next time to everyone else.






    To tie in with the release of Zom-B Fugitive, the eleventh book in the series, I'm offering eleven prizes in this month's competition, so you've an even better chance of winning than normal. First prize will be a set of the first three audio books in the series -- these are the UK audio editions of Zom-B, Zom-B Underground and Zom-B City, which are very rare, because the publisher went bankrupt and had to stop making them! Second, third and fourth prize will a hardcover copy of Zom-B Bride, either an American or Canadian edition. Fifth, sixth, seventh and eight prize will be a hardcover copy of Zom-B Family, either an American or Canadian edition. Ninth prize will be a paperback copy of Zom-B Bride, UK edition. Tenth and eleventh prize will be a paperback copy of Zom-B Family, UK edition. All of the prizes will be signed by me. Read the entry guidelines below, answer the question... and good luck!!


    1) Answer this question: "What is the title of the twelfth, final Zom-B book?" (Hint -- the title was revealed earlier in this newsletter, so scroll up!!!)


    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, Sunday, September 13th, 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 Monday, September 13th, 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.





    And that's it for September. Although this is an exciting month for you guys, with the release of Zom-B Fugitive to look forward to, last month was a momentous one for me. On August 4th I started the first draft of what will hopefully be the second book of my new, post-Zom-B series. This is the first new book I've worked on since Dante came along last year -- I've pretty much been on paternity leave since then, even though I've been doing plenty of editing, as well as working on the Koyasan musical. (Even in my so-called down time, I manage to be busier than most "active" writers!) I can't say anything more about the new books at the moment, or even when you can expect to see the first one in print (I'm holding back until I have more of a clue where I'm going with the story) but rest easy in the knowledge, folks, that I'm back in the saddle -- woo-hoo!!!!  I'll be back here at the start of October with all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x



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