• Issue 203 - June 2017

    01 June 2017



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the June issue of the Shanville Monthly. I have an intriguingly mixed bag of items to bring you this month, reports on everything from tiny libraries to finger bones to a spider-inspired birthday cake to TV show Eggheads -- you can't say this is an issue lacking in variety!!! Let;s kick things off with that TV show "apperance"...






    Eggheads is a TV quiz show in the UK, where a team of 5 contestants go up against 5 "eggheads," professional quizzers whose breadth of general knowledge is frightening. There are always three possible answers to each question asked. On one of the shows last month, one of the questions was "What is the name of the main vampire in the Twilight series?" Three answers popped up, and one of them was... me!!


    On Twitter, after posting a screenshot of the answers, I heard from Beth, the Egghead who was answering the question in this clip. She admitted that she hadn't heard of me before, but will look out for my books now that they're on her radar!


    p.s. Thanks to Matthew for tracking down the photo from the show for me!





    The Edinburgh Book Festival lineup will be announced in the middle of June, but the Schools Programme has already been announced, and seats are filling up fast -- I've already heard from two schools on Twitter who are bringing pupils to my event. That event takes place on Monday, August 28th, and if you're a Scottish teacher or student, you can find out more about it and apply for tickets by CLICKING HERE


    I can't yet announce when my public event at the Edinburgh Festival is going to be, but it doesn't take a genius to work out that it's going to be around the same sort of time as my school event, so if you're planning to come see me, you should think about keeping that final weekend in August clear...





    There was a cool new review for Zom-B Fugitive, the 11th and penultimate book in my Zom-B series, over on The Fireside Table recently, and it doesn't contain TOO many spoilers!  CLICK HERE


    My Zom-B books are being rebranded in cool, new-look paperback editions in the UK. The first ten books have already been released, with the last two due to hit bookshops in July and October. I recently added the covers for all 12 books to my website, along with the cover for the short, additional 13th book, Zom-B Circus, which is only available as an ebook. You can check them all out by CLICKING HERE






    A fan called Josh posted the above photo and the following message over on my Facebook page last month: "Saw this picture of Jackie Earle Haley earlier and thought that if a Cirque Du Freak movie ever gets made a little more true to the source material, that this guy is a dead ringer for Larten Crepsley." I thought it was a good shout, so I shared it, and it became one of my most-viewed posts of the month. Nice to see that ol' scar face hasn't lost his appeal with the Shansters after all these years...





    I was recently asked by Gryffindor Books if I would give them an interview. Although I'm not doing much promotion-wise at the moment since I'm between series, it was a quiet day and I agreed to answer their questions. So, if you'd like to know who my favourite fictional characters are, whether I prefer physical books or ebooks, and if there are any more movies or TV shows in the pipeline, CLICK HERE





    Fans are often interested to find out what books I like to read, and what I've been reading recently that I would recommend. If you're one of those, the good news is that I've kept a list of every book I've read since the 28th of July 1987 (plus some graphic novels, although I didn't keep as exact a document of those) and I've duplicated that list on Goodreads. So, if you want to see what I've ploughed through over the last 30 years, and what mark I awarded each book, CLICK HERE


    I also have a Goodreads Author Page, and although I'm not especially active over there, you can find out some info about me, read answers to questions that I've been asked, and even ask a question of your own if you wish -- though I can't guarantee a prompt response, as I often forget about that feature for months at a time!!  CLICK HERE






    A fan of my books for adults, called Timothy, had to redesign a book cover for an art project, and chose to have a go at Procession Of The Dead, the first book of my City Trilogy for older readers. I think he did an amazing job -- this looks as good as many of the professionally designed covers that my publishers have produced for my books over the years!!

    If you'd like to learn more about the books for adults that I've released under the name of Darren Shan, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/book


    These days I release my books for older readers under the name of Darren Dash. To find out more about them, click here: http://www.darrendashbooks.com/





    A fan called Jamie shared a to-read list with me that was created by the librarians in Idaho Falls Public Library in the USA, to try and encourage readers to read fifty books in fifty weeks, across a variety of genres. I often tell wannabe writers that it's important to read widely, to expose your mind to ideas from lots of different places, so I think this is a brilliant and fun challenge. Jamie tells me it's hugely popular -- people from all across America get involved. If you'd like to have a go at it yourself, just print off the list, head to your nearest library or bookseller, and off you go!! Or, if you'd like to register with the staff at Idaho Falls and do it that way, click here: http://www.ifpl.org/extreme-book-nerd/ They also run one for children: http://www.ifpl.org/extreme-book-nerd-kids/





    "If you had super magical powers, a great kidnapping team or an awesome conference panel organiser, which authors would you bring together?"


    That's a question that was asked recently by a writer over on bookwOrmtales. To find out which authors she chose to bring together in her dream event (clue -- one of them is me!!) and why, and which of their characters she would also like to include, CLICK HERE





    The main actress in this short film, When In Rome, made by students for their A Levels is called Millie, and she's a big Shanster -- she even won one of the competitions that I run quite regularly over on the Shanville Monthly. Millie hopes to study film at university, and her dream is to make a film of The Demonata one day -- so let's keep our fingers crossed for her!!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnK6mnONx6o&feature=youtu.be






    In my Zom-B books, the zombies have fingerbones and toebones -- the bones in the digits extend and burst out through the flesh at the ends, forming dagger-like protrusions, all the better to slice skulls open with! A fan called Rosie Jayne decided to create her own fingerbone, to see what it would look like, and I think she did an amazing job -- frighteningly realistic!!





    There was a nice post recently over on Reddit about my Demonata books, by a fan who returned to them years after having read them as a child, and who was very pleased by the re-read. There were lots of responses from other fans too, which was nice -- while I don't have a favourite series out of the ones I've created, The Demonata is the one I'm proudest of, as it was the most difficult to pull together, and the one that stretched my imagination and writing skills the furthest. If you'd like to have a look and maybe even post a comment of your own, CLICK HERE





    I came across an article about Little Free Libraries recently, and I love what these people are doing with their books! Such a great idea. Maybe I should set one up outside my house, with foreign editions of my novels, in case visiting fans from overseas ever pass by -- unlikely, since the road I live on is a dead-end, but you never know...  CLICK HERE






    A very sweet fan called Ibrahim decided to make a cake for his sister Tubah last month, and designed it to reflect her love for one of her favourite books. No prizes for guessing what that book might be!!!! Happy Birthday, Tubah -- I hope the cake tasted as great as it looked!!!





    I think my Japanese books were on sale at a reduced price on iTunes Japan recently, for 500 yen instead of 720. That offer now seems to have expired, but if you are one of my fans living in Japan, and would like to buy my books through iTunes, here's a link to the first one, and there are links on that page to the others. CLICK HERE





    The May Shanville Monthly competition, to tie in with the 20th anniversary of when I had the idea for Cirque Du Freak, generated a lot of interest, leading to more entries than I've had for any recent competition. (Although, even then, we're talking less than 400, so the odds of winning weren't exactly on the National Lottery scale!) In the end there could only be three winners, and in the random draw that I conducted a few minutes ago, they turned out to be:


    1 - Shir Wen Sun, Australia.

    2 - Andrew Wyatt, England.

    3 - Zachary Andrews, USA.


    Thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to the winners, and better luck next time to the rest of you.  I'll be running another competition on the Shanville Monthly in the near future, so make sure you check in at or near the start of each month, to ensure you don't miss out. 



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for June. We had some rare good weather in Ireland last month, so Mrs Shan and I decided to take Dante to our local beach for the first time. An hour's drive away, it's called Ballybunion, and it's a truly glorious beach -- if you get the sunshine! It was a perfect day when we were there, clear blue skies, without being TOO hot, and a splendid time was had by all, as you can see in the photo above -- by the way, Dante HASN'T got rabies -- that's ice cream he's dribbling down his chin! I'll be squeezing in some more beach time this month, when we go on our summer holiday to Lanzarote, so if you happen to be in hols in the Playa Blanca region in the middle third of the month, keep your eye out for me -- I'll be the guy eyeing the sun dubiously and muttering under his breath, "This just isn't right -- what would the vampire Princes say?!?!?!?" I'll be back next month with all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x



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