• Issue 183 - October 2015

    01 October 2015




    Hi everyone, and welcome to the October issue of the Shanville Monthly. Last month was a time of celebration in the Shan household, as my son Dante turned one year old -- that's him above, in his birthday hat! While being a daddy has cut down on my writing time for much of the last year, he's been a lovely addition, and I've started to adjust in recent months and got back into the writing groove -- and who knows, maybe he'll inspire some ideas a bit further down the line! But as much as I love tghe little dude, I'll have to bid him a fond farewell for a few days, as I'm on tour at the start of this month to tie in with the release of Zom-B Fugitive -- check out the Tour Dates below to find out if Im coming to a venue near YOU. This issue also contains links to the early reviews for Zom-B Fugitive... there are links to a couple of recent interviews, one short and the other absolutely mammoth... I've added new author notes to my site... you can find out which award my books have beem most nominated for over the last decade and a half... and there's lots, lots more!





    I'm on tour this month to tie in with the release of Zom-B Fugitive. Here are the details. 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. 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!


    Thursday 1st October

    10.15am -- school event, Warden Park School, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath.

    Thursday 1st October

    1.45pm -- school event, Shoreham Academy, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.

    Thursday 1st October

    5.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones BRIGHTON, 71-74 North StreetCLICK HERE

    Friday 2nd October

    9.20am -- 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 centreCLICK 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

    9.30am -- school event, St Patricks Gateway Centre, Patrick Street, Waterford.

    Tuesday 6th October

    12.00pm -- school event, St Patricks Gateway Centre, Patrick Street, Waterford.

    Tuesday 6th October

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


    Saturday 24th October

    6.00pm -- PUBLIC event with DEREK LANDY and JAMES DAWSON, Smock Alley Theatre, DUBLINPart of Dept 51 YA Convention, a two day convention, on Friday and Saturday. Tickets can only be purchased for the entire 2 day convention. CLICK HERE


    Monday 9th November 2015

    10.00am -- school event, Our Own English High School, SHARJAH.

    Monday 9th November 2015

    12.00pm -- school event, Australian International School, SHARJAH.

    Tuesday 10th November 2015

    10.00am -- school event, GEMS Millennium School, SHARJAH.

    Wednesday 11th November 2015

    10.00am -- school event, Sharjah English School, SHARJAH.

    Wednesday 11th November 2015

    12.30pm -- school event, American University Of Sharjah, SHARJAH.

    Thursday 12th November 2015

    10.00am -- school event, The Millennium School, DUBAI.

    Thursday 12th November 2015

    7.00pm -- PUBLIC event, "Dare To Be Scared," at the Intellectual Hall, The Expo Centre, SHARJAH. 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 eleventh Zom-B book, Zom-B Fugitive, went on sale in the UK & Ireland,  the USAand Canada last month, and is due to hit Australia and New Zealand in October. Those are the American and British and Canadian covers above, by series regular Cliff Nielsen. The book has picked up some amazing early reviews. For instance, check out this one from So Many Books, So Little Time, which states, "The eleventh instalment in the Zom-B series is possibly the most mind-blowing yet. I felt like my brain had melted by the time I had finished." Or how about this one by Matthew R Bell, who says that, "There are some twists that are complete gold!" If you remain to be convinced, try this one on Writing From The Tub, in which the reviewer admits that she "actually gasped out loud at one of the twists. A must read for any horror fan." Still unsure? Then what about this one from The Bookbag, in which the reviewer reports that, "Just as you think that you've seen it all, in comes Shan with a brand new set of wham! bam! twists and turns and revelations." Go on... buy the book and tell all your friends about it... you know it makes sense!!! :-)


    Zom-B Fugitive should be available through all good high street and online book stores, but if you wish to pre-order, here are some handy links. Amazon UK hardcoverAmazon UK kindleAmazon USA hardcoverAmazon Canada hardcover.





    October, of course, means HALLOWEEN, my favourite holiday!!! To celebrate this year, I am going to be offering the Kindle editions of my two adult Darren Dash books at a special Halloween sale price for a very limited time near the end of the month. I'll be posting more info about this on my Facebook and Twitter pages just ahead of the promotion, so if you don't already follow me, sign up now in order not to miss out! You can find out more about my Darren Dash books by CLICKING HERE, while this is the UK LINK and the USA LINK for The Evil And The Pure ebook, and this is the UK LINK and the USA LINK for the Sunburn ebook. If you don't have a Kindle reader, don't despair -- you can download a FREE Kindle App to your computer, Mac, smart phone, etc, and buy, download and read ebooks using that.





    Before I do my events in Waterford on October 6th (see Tour section above), I'm swinging by the TV3 studios in Dublin on Monday October 5th  to appear on the live 7 O'Clock Show, where I'll be chatting about my books and hopefully sampling some nice, freshly cooked food. I was on this show several months ago, promoting Zom-B Bride, and it was lots of fun, so I was delighted when they invited me back. If it's the same format as before, I should be on the couch for the duration of the show, so make sure you stick around for the full hour, as there's no telling when I might pop up! http://www.tv3.ie/shows/SevenOClockShow





    I did a live online chat on the REDDIT site last month, and it was seriously frantic! I was scheduled to answer questions for 2 hours, but I ended up being online for almost another 45 minutes, then spent the better part of two hours on it the next day as well! There were literally hundreds of questions, about Zom-B, my vampire books, The Demonata, and more. You can check out the whole AMA by CLICKING HERE if interested, but be warned, if you want to read the whole thing, you'll need to set aside a substantial chunk of your day!!! 


    Also, to tie in with the release of Zom-B Fugitive in the USA last month, I did a short interview with Adventures In YA Publishing, which you can read by CLICKING HERE. Enjoy!





    I've added author notes for Zom-B Fugitive to my web site, and at the same time I also added notes for Zom-B Bride, when I realised to my horror that I'd forgotten to write them up earlier in the year! (You guys are too polite -- someone should have told me!) I do this for every book that I release, taking the opportunity to talk about the writing process, where the ideas came from, how I put things together, if I named a character after a real person. They're not essential reading, but I think they'll give you a different insight into the books in many instances, so if you want to learn a bit more about what goes in inside my mind when I'm writing, you can find links to my Author Notes for every single Darren Shan book by clicking on this link: http://www.darrenshan.com/books





    "When I was little, my mother used to tell me to “put that book down, be a normal kid and waste your day In front of the TV or something.” Never do that to a child. Reading is an amazing thing, a thing that a lot of people take for granted. Books can change people, make them a better person-save a life. Books fuel the imagination and just because your child may be a “nerd” or a little bit different doesn’t mean theres anything wrong. Embrace the reading, embrace the passion and the hope and the love, and even the tears that books can bring."


    The above lines are a quote from a recent article about the importance of reading, from a lady called Jessica who found comfort in reading during a difficult time of her life. With Jessica, my books were the shining beacons during her dark days, but I think the article can apply to any book that people love. It's about how fiction is more than mere escapism, how it can help us find ourselves, and new friends, and a place in this big scary world. I highly recommend that you read it by CLICKING HERE





    According to the site Babelio, I have more female than male followers on Twitter -- CLICK HERE To be honest, that's not a big surprise to me. While my publishers like to market me as a writer for boys (and I DO appeal to a lot of boys, I know, especially reluctant boy readers, so I'm happy with the tag) I've long known that I have a huge following among the fairer sex as well, based on fan mail, emails, Facebook and Twitter followers, and the fans that I meet at signings and events. It's not something polite society likes to acknowledge, so I'd better whisper this next bit, but... GIRLS LOVE HORROR TOO!!!!! 





    I've written a guest post for the FOYLES website in the UK, in which I talk about the creation of my Zom-B books and my writing process. It has the lovely title header of: "Morbid is my middle name!" I strongly recommend checking it out for some insights into how I went about writing these books, and why the last couple have been such a relief to get to... CLICK HERE.





    Readers in Wyoming have excellent taste in books! What am I judging that on? Well, the Soaring Eagle award, an award given annually to books nominated and voted on by children in grades seven through twelve in Wyoming, sponsored by the Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Reading Council. It's been running since 1989, and has handed out its top prize to the likes of Stephen King, J K Rowling, John Green and many more. I was honoured with the first prize for Cirque Du Freak back in 2004, and I was a runner-up the next couple of years. I haven't featured in the top 3 books in more recent times, but I've still enjoyed a few nominations, for the likes of Lord Loss and Zom-B -- this is the prize that my books have been shortlisted for the most, anywhere in the world!!! If you want to check out their list of every nominee and winner since inception, you can do so by CLICKING HERE -- if nothing else, it will provide you with titles of LOADS of cool books that you might not have heard about before! To see what other awards my books have won and been nominated for over the years, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/extras/feature/awards





    Nice to see Cirque Du Freak feature on this list of vampire books. I've read 9 of the others -- if it was a list for films, it would be a LOT more! See how many YOU have sunk your fangs into, and maybe pick up some recommendations for your next read at the same time!!





    I drew the winners for the September Shanville Monthly competition, in which I offered signed audio books and books as prizes. There was a real global of spread of winners, and the lucky Shansters whose names came out of the virtual hat, in order drawn, were:


    Lilith Reiter, Austria.
    Ivor Bolton, England.
    Trcia Ann Villanueva, Philippines.
    Conor Powell, England.
    Nicole Sampugnaro, USA.
    Rachel Hobbs, Wales.
    Dorottya Kovacs, Hungary.
    Matt Telnes, Canada.
    Eden Burnham, USA.
    Kara Heady, USA.
    Melody Dixon, USA.


    There were 196 entries in total. Thanks to everyone who took part, and to those who weren't among the winners, don't lose heart -- I'll be running another competition soon, and maybe you'll be luckier next time!!





    According to Klear, a site that tracks Twitter statistics and trends, I'm high, very popular, and very friendly!!!! To find out a bit more about that, and to see a snapshot of some of my most popular tweets from the last few years, click here: http://klear.com/profile/darrenshan And if you don't follow me on Twitter, you might like to, as I often post things there that I don't post here. Just look for @darrenshan and you'll find me.






    Just when you think you've seen everything... Darren Shan TEA!!!! http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/blend.html?blend=92733 This was created by a fan of the books in the USA, so it's VERY unofficial, and I've no idea what it tastes like, and I certainly can't and don't endorse it. (The seller might get into trouble if Universal's lawyers ever find out about this, as they control these merchandising rights.) But it tickled my fancy, so I thought I'd share it with the rest of you. 






    The ranks of tattooed Shansters continue to grow! The latest addition is a lady called Ashley, who opted for my favourite quote from any of my books, which is also the line that most fans go for if they decide to get a textual piece of Darren Shan-inspired body art. What I especially liked about this one was that Ashley emailed me first to check that she was getting the punctuation right -- that's the kind of attention to detail that I love!!!





    Who remembers Vanez Blane?!? Vanez was one of the characters in my vampire books, who didn't believe in letting a minor physical disability get in his way of being a vampire of high standing. While he wasn't one of the major players in the series, he obviously made a good impression on the following Shanster, who included him in an interesting video post about disabled characters in children's and YA books: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4mtQBrphEI


    Some trivia (and SPOILERS!!!!) -- I had actually originally planned to kill off Vanez in The Vampire Prince. But then Arra Sails grew in prominence. She was only meant to be a bit player, basically there to explain why there weren't more female vampires in the clan. But when I started to write her character, she became much more than that. I knew she was going to die in book 6, and since that was now going to have such a big impact on readers, I figured Vanez's death would be lost in the mix -- so I changed my mind and took him in a different direction...





    I have huge respect for reviewers, even the ones who occasionally slate my books. I appreciate the time it takes to read a book, compose your thoughts, and then write up a review. And I've even more respect for those who follow through and review ALL of an author's books, especially if it's a prolific author like me! That's really going above and beyond the call of duty. So full kudos to Matthew R Bell, who has been writing up a storm of reviews of Darren Shan books over the last few months. His latest, which you can read by CLICKING HERE, is for the first book I ever published, Procession Of The Dead, one of my books for adult readers. Being my first published work, it has a special spot in my heart, so I was delighted when Matthew gave it a massive two thumbs up! As I've noted on these pages before, Matthew is a very skilled reviewer -- I really think he should be getting paid by a paper or magazine for work of this quality -- so I highly recommend his site for anyone looking for some great book recommendations (or books to avoid!). Matthew also reviewed another of my books for adults last month, Lady Of The Shades -- to find out what he thought about that one, CLICK HERE.






    And that's it for October. The photo above was posted on Twitter last month by a librarian called Matt Imrie with the mesage: "In the wake of the @Volkswagen revelations may I present horrormeister @darrenshan's latest series!" That made me laugh out loud!! A pity it's not genuine, as I could have used the van to drive around in while on tour this month! I'm actually going to be away from home quite a bit in October -- as well as my tour, I'm going on holiday, for a spot of autumn sunshine (I hope!). But I plan to be back home in plenty of time for Halloween, to greet the scores of Trick Or Treaters who usually descend upon my house! If any of you guys plan to go trick or treating this year, I wish you all the best of luck -- and if you're trying to think of a cool, unusual costume why not consider dressing as a character from ony of my books?!? I'll be back here at the start of November for all the chilly winter 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.