• Issue 210 - January 2018

    01 January 2018



    Hi everyone, and welcome to 2018 and the January issue of the Shanville Monthly. It's the start of a whole new year, and one I'm looking forward to. I had a quiet 2017 -- the first year since 1999 that I didn't release a book -- and while it was nice to kick back a bit, I'm hoping for a busier 2018! I'm at work on a few different projects. First up will probably (almost certainly) be my next Darren Dash books for adults -- I'm aiming to release that by the middle of the year. And I'm also hoping to release the first book of my new Darren Shan YA series within the next twelve months, though that's by no means guaranteed at this stage -- we'll have to wait and see how negotiations with publishers go... In the meantime, here's all the latest Shan/Dash news and updates to keep you ticking over!






    Do we have any Cold Feet fans in the house?!? For those not in the know, Cold Feet is a very successful British comedy/drama TV show that ran for several seasons back in the late 90s and early 00s, and which was revived last year. One of the characters sets up her own publishing house in the latest season -- and have a close look at the books on her shelves. Spot any familiar spines?!? Thanks to eagle-eyed Cheryl for clocking this and bringing it to my attention. And those of you who watch the show but missed its Shantastic element -- pay more attention next time!!!!





    I haven't given many interviews as Darren Shan over the past twelve months, since I haven't had any new books out, but I'm still giving the occasional interview as Darren Dash (the name I use for my adult books) and a brand new lengthy one with me went live over on Fiona Mcvie's Author Interviews blog late in 2017. I'm in Darren Dash mode, so I focus primarily on my books for adults, but really I talk more about my writing process and my growth as a writer, so it's appropriate for any age fan. I also offer up some tips and advice, and I even list a few of my favourites foods and bands! If you want to check it out and learn a lot more about me (and my work for older readers), CLICK HERE.






    If you started 2018 by promising yourself to read more books, and haven't yet worked your way through my entire back catalogue, I figured I should help you find the best bargains possible, so here's a reminder 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 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







    In the spirit of the previous post, but for my older fans -- if you're interested in checking out my books for adults, I started releasing them under the name of Darren Dash 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 


    If you want some handy direct buying links for the books, I recently came across a site called Booklinker, which allows authors to create a single, convenient link to Amazon stores worldwide, that takes readers to their local Amazon store when they click on it. i.e. if you live in America, you're taken to the American store when you click the link; if you live in the UK, you're taken to the UK store; if you live in Japan, the Japanese store... and so on. I've created links for all three of my Darren Dash books for adult readers -- see below. The links link to the paperback page for each book, but they're also all available as low-priced ebooks -- the links for those will be on each page. (And you don't need a Kindle reader to buy and read the ebooks -- you can download a free Kindle app to your PC, Mac, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc, and use that to buy and read any book that is on sale on Amazon.) It's never been easier to order up a Darren Dash book than it is right now...


    An Other Place: http://mybook.to/anotherplace






    Those of you who have read my last Darren Shan book for adults, Lady Of The Shades, will know why this article caught my eye. Spontaneous Human Combustion played a very important part in Lady Of The Shades, and I did a lot of research into it. While I'm not saying it's a verified, genuine phenomenon, there ARE plenty of cases like this one where the regular explanations for death-by-fire fall short, and it's an interesting area to me, which is why I incorporated it into the book. Oh, and if you want to find out what I did with my spontaneous human combustion theories, Lady Of The Shades is still available either as a paperback or ebook through stores like Amazon UK, and you can also get the British edition of the book through other Amazon stores worldwide if you do a bit of searching. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lady-Shades-Darren-Shan-ebook/dp/B007ZXK154/







    My final appearance of 2017 was in Trinity College in Dublin, where I gave a talk to some students, organised by the Trinity Literary Society. I was also granted honorary patronage of the Society, which was a nice additional extra! Here are a couple of photos from the night, including one of me reading out from my first ever published book (for adults), Procession Of The Dead -- as far as I can recall, this was the first time I ever read from the book at an event.





    This link popped up in my Facebook timeline recently. It's an old article that I wrote back in 2010, when I was on tour in the States. To be honest, I'd completely forgotten about this, but it's a weirdly amusing little article (well, *I* find it amusing, but I do have a very twisted sense of humour!) about how easy it would be for a successful author to have a parallel career as... a serial killer!!! 






    I often get asked to read books that have not yet been published, usually by first-time or relatively unknown authors, but sometimes by more established writers too. I almost always have to refuse -- I don't read a huge number of books in any given year, and I prefer to read for pleasure, books that I've bought because I like the author's other work or that have been recommended to me. Reading time is precious, and I don't want to risk wasting it on a book that I have no personal interest in. So I usually say a polite but firm "no" when approached.


    But occasionally I break with protocol and take a chance. I did that recently with a book called Saviours Day, by a writer who goes by the name of Lewis Kinmond. The book sounded interesting -- three teenage boys in modern-day London have to try to protect a time-traveling baby Jesus from demons -- but the real thing that swung me was that the author (under a different name) had written some episodes of a TV show called Baby Jake, which I watched a lot with Dante when he was younger. Baby Jake was a fun, trippy show that had made me smile a lot, so I thought I'd return the favour and give the book a go, figuring that if I didn't like it, I could always skim-read.


    Shansters -- I did NOT skim-read!! The book is a great, fast-paced read, a cool mix of hair-raising action and rib-tickling, tongue-in-cheek humour. It's also emotionally moving at times. It reminded me of Skullduggery Pleasant, or indeed my own Demonata series, but without being derivative of either. Highly recommended -- I even gave it a quote, which has been used on the cover, and I almost never do that.


    Astonishingly, the UK publishers in their "wisdom" passed on the opportunity of publishing this. (Just as they all passed on the chance of publishing Cirque Du Freak when it was offered to them 20 years ago, before one brave, visionary editor at HarperCollins decided to take a gamble on it.) The downside of that is that it's probably not going to reach as many readers as it should do. The upside is that if you buy it on Kindle, you can get it at a far better price than you would have otherwise!


    Saviours Day is available through Amazon stores worldwide, either as a paperback or ebook. The link below should take you directly to your local Amazon store. I hope you take a chance on the book -- I think you'll be pleasantly surprised if you do.







    I recently rooted up a couple of old Zom-B trailers released by my UK publishers, Simon & Schuster. They've been knocking around on YouTube for quite a while, and I've linked to them in the past, but that was a good few years ago and many of you might have missed them first time round, so here they are again.


    First up is the official for the first Zom-B book, made by the Simon & Schuster team. I think they did a brilliant job with this -- they were going for a movie-quality trailer, and in my opinion they succeeded. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtNEo9dH9R4&t=1s


    Next is the official trailer for the third book in the series, Zom-B City. But this wasn't made by Simon & Schuster -- it was made by a fan called Christian Nickson. S&S ran a competition, inviting fans to make trailers for Zom-B City, with the winning short film to become the official trailer for the book. We had lots of really cool entries, but Christian's was the one we ended up picking, and I think you'll see why when you watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N70emIxQrPo






    A fan called Hannah drew this to my attention a while back -- a chess set in a ring!! It's been billed as the smallest chess set in the world, and I well believe it might be. It would be the perfect present for Lord Loss, except, of course, he'd probably want another couple of them, and then he might ask you to stick around to play a few games with him, and... well... anyone who's read my Demonata books will know how that is likely to end up!!!! *gulp*





    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



    IT'S A WRAP!


    And that's it for January. I had a lazy December on the writing and editing front, so I'll be throwing myself back into action now to make up for lost time -- there'll be no rest for me in January! I'll be back at the start of February with another roundup of all the 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.