• Issue 209 - December 2017

    01 December 2017




    Hi everyone, and welcome to the December issue of the Shanville Monthly. We're in the countdown to Christmas and there's no escaping it. (Well, unless you live in or go for a holiday to a country where it isn't celebrated!) I've always had a soft spot for Christmastime -- I like gathering with my close family, having some tasty grub, playing some quiz games, and having the odd mug of ale or two. I also enjoy putting together a Shan-quality Christmas card every year. It gets harder and harder to come up with new ideas for the card every year, so this time round we enlisted the help of one of Madam Octa's relatives to bring something fresh to the table. If you're an arachnophobe, you should look away now! Oh -- wait -- the photo came before the warning -- so -- too late!!! On with the sho-ho-ho-how!!






    It's that time of year again, when I dust off my old SHANTA CLAUS story! If that doesn't make sense to you... I've written several tie-in stories to my books over the years, which can be found in the EXTRAS part of my web site. But one of those stories only appears online for a week or so every year, around Christmas time. It's a quirky, not-to-be-taken-too-seriously story set around the time of Tunnels Of Blood, but which includes crossover elements to almost all of my other books -- this will be the only place in the world of Darren Shan where you can find vampires, demons, zombies and more, all appearing in the same story together! I usually tweak and update it slightly, so it changes (to a small extent) every time round. I'll be posting a direct link to the story when it goes online at some point in the week leading up to Christmas, on Twitter and Facebook, or else just keep checking on the EXTRAS page. If you miss it, you'll have to wait twelve months before it goes live again!


    As an added bonus, this year I'm going to be adding another seasonal piece to my site, again just for a week or so around Christmas time. It's an updated, Shanified version of the old classic, Twas The Night Before Christmas. Double trouble, coming your way, very, VERY soon!!!






    Christmas is almost upon us, and I figure some of you might be thinking of adding some of my books to your shipping list, either as presents for other people, or for yourself. So, to help you find the best bargains possible (because I'm kind to my fans that way!), I thought this would be a good time to remind you all of some amazing deals on my books which you can find on the Lowplex site in the UK. Lowplex have complete sets of my series at amazingly low prices, such as...


    *All twelve of the Zom-B paperbacks, for less than £20! CLICK HERE


    *All twelve books in The Saga Of Darren Shan for less than £22! CLICK HERE


    *All ten Demonata books for less than £17.50! CLICK HERE


    *All four The Saga Of Larten Crepsley books for less than £11! CLICK HERE


    The books are on sale all year round. The prices fluctuate slightly, so you might pay a pound or two more or less, but they never seem to change by much. Shipping is extra, but Lowplex keep their shipping rates very competetive, and they also ship worldwide. Of course, there's no really cheap way to ship lots of books from the UK to a foreign country, but the books are so cheap that even with the cost of shipping factored in, they usually come in at a very pleasing total price, no matter where in the world you might live. Happy shopping, people! (p.s. I've have a quick look, and these sets also seem to be on sale on Amazon in the USA. The prices are higher, but shipping is included in the cost. My advice, if you live in the States and are interested in buying one or more of these sets, is to compare final prices on both sites and go with whichever one works out the cheapest.)


    On the ebook front, there are some really good deals as well, for fans in the UK. 


    You can get the first five Demonata ebooks in one convenient ebook package for just £10.49! CLICK HERE


    And, luckily for those of you who can't bear to only read half of an epic story, you can get the last five Demonata ebooks in an equally convenient package for just a slight bit more: £12.49! CLICK HERE


    The four Saga Of Larten Crepsley ebooks have also been nicely bundled together, and will only set you back a very nicely priced £7.99! CLICK HERE







    If you're one of my older fans -- or looking to buy a book for an older relative or friend -- you might be interested in adding one or more of my Darren Dash books to your Christmas shopping list. I started releasing my books for adults under a different name a few years ago. Three of them are available so far, as either paperbacks (prices vary, depending on the size of the book) or low-cost ebooks (each ebook is just $2.99 in the USA, £1.99 in the UK, €2.99 in Europe, and a similar price in all other Amazon stores). They're available through Amazon stores all around the world. You can find out more about them on www.darrendashbooks.com where there are also some handy buying links for the UK and USA stores.





    I've recently been adding author notes for all of my books to my Facebook page. I normally post 1 or 2 of them a week. I started with my first published book (Ayuamarca, which was later re-released as Procession Of The Dead) and I'm working my way up chronologically through all 49 that have so far been published-- as this month kicks off, I've just started with The Demonata and I also added notes for Koyasan to the page towards the end of November. There are lots of fascinating insights into how I got the ideas for the books, how I went about writing them, the difficulties I had with publishers and editors, what sort of a reception they met with, who many of the characters were named after, etc. The notes have been meeting with a warm reception, attracting lots of views and visits each time I add a new set to the site, so don't miss out, or your best friends might end up knowing more about my books than you do!






    A fan called Natalja wrote to me recently on Twitter to wish me a happy anniversary for my book, The Thin Executioner. I wasn't sure what she was talking about until I saw the photo she'd attached, of the final page of the American edition of the book, where I listed the dates that I'd started work on and then finished the book. As you can see in the copied photo, I did my last bit of editing on 19th November eight years ago.


    It's strange -- in my head, it had been far more than 8 years since the publication of The Thin Executioner. I guess I place it further in the past because I started work on it long before it ever saw print -- way back in Februrary 2002, when the world was still recovering from the shocking assault on America on 9/11 the year before, and I was wondering how I could write a book in response, both to what the misguided extremists had done, and how many in the west had (in my opinion) misguidedly responded. I wanted to write about how it's important not to sink to the level of the most base and violent of people, how we have to strive to be better than those who wish to harm us and reduce us to their bestial, vicious state. I wanted to write a book of hope, that shows how everyone can change, how nobody is tied to their path in life, that we should all make up our own minds about the big issue in life no matter what we've been taught to believe. But I wanted it to be a fun, exciting, scary read too. I didn't want to preach -- I wanted to righteously rock and roll!


    As I've often stated, The Thin Executioner is my favourite out of all the books I've so far written. If all of the copies of my books were to be pulped, and I could only keep one of them, this is the one I would keep. I always get a special kick when fans share my high opinion of the book. I mean, I love it when a reader likes ANY of my books, but I especially love it when they like THIS one! :-) So, I hope you'll all join me in wishing the book a happy anniversary! And many thanks to Natalja for reminding me about it.





    Here's a link to a cool little fan-made trailer for Cirque Du Freak. It was filmed by a student for her film studies project, and I think she did a neat job of creating a short, intriguing trailer. If you think you can do better, get filming and share your efforts with me, and they might feature here in a future post! https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=35&v=rQEvO9NjY-8






    Here's a link to a very cool, very long review of my vampire series by a Shanster of long-standing called Bea, explaining how she fell in love with my books, which in turn led her to fall in love with the entire horror genre -- and now she and a colleague put together podcasts about horror. Worth checking out, though you'll need to set aside a good chunk of time if you want to listen to the entire podcast! CLICK HERE






    I don't do many podcasts (I'm not sure why -- I just don't get approached to do them very often), but I was recently interviewed by 9th Story Podcast, to talk about my recollections of what it was like to be a first-time novelist, and how reality compared to what I had imagined getting published might be like. It's a podcast aimed primarily at up-and-coming writers, but I think it will be of interest to any of my fans as well. I'm on at the start, for about 35 minutes, so go make yourself a nice cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate, and settle down for a lengthy listen. http://podcast.9thstory.com/s6e08/





    364 of you entered the November Shanville Monthly competition, to try and win an ultra rare, signed, publication day set of the UK paperbacks of my Zom-B series. Entries, as usual, came from all around the world, and the draw was completely random. the four lucky winners, in the order drawn, were...


    Charlie Bates, England.

    Katelyn Zieser, USA.

    Pasha Kulinich, Canada.

    Elizabeth Hofler, USA.


    The luck of the zombies was mostly with those in North America on this occasion -- maybe that was because of all the moral zombies shuffling around the White House at the moment!







    A fan called Tyler was reading through an old Batman comic from 2006 when he discovered an ad for a couple of series by a young and upcoming Master Of Horror!! Thanks, Tyler, I'd forgotten all about this. In fact, I'm not even sure if I was sent any of the magazines that the ads appeared in. I must have a look through my files to double-check...



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for December. Above is what was printed inside our Christmas card this year -- a nice message to leave you with as the year draws towards its end, methinks! I hope you all have a lovely, peaceful, relaxing Christmas and New Year's. Thanks for your continued support over the last twelve months, even though I haven't released any new books during that time. Hopefully we'll see a bit more activity from me in the next twelve months... I'll be back at the start of January to welcome you all into 2018 with a roundup of the latest Shan-related 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.