• Issue 213 - April 2018

    01 April 2018



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the April issue of the Shanville Monthly. It's been two years since the release of the final Zom-B book in April 2016. At the time, I would never have thought that there would be this long a gap between the end of that series and the start of my new series, but alas, events have conspired against me. I'll be returning shortly to do more work on the first book of that new series, and hopefully things will start to move forward on the publication front later this year. In the meantime, I'm well into the final draft of my next book -- one of my Darren Dash books for adult readers -- and it's looking good for its planned release in the middle of this year. I've also given a rare recent interview... there was a short TV piece about the effect of my books on a young boy in Ireland... there's an upcoming sale on my second Darren Dash book... and I'm running the first 2018 Shanville Monthly competition, to tie in with the two year anniversary of the end of Zom-B. You can read about all of those topics below, along with a whole lot more. Enjoy!






    I've almost finished work on my next Darren Dash book for adults, and although it's running a bit tighter than I would have liked (in retrospect I should have started the final push towards publication a few months earlier than I did -- but hey ho, it's all a learning curve!) I still plan to officially release it on June 21st for the reason that most of the action in the book takes place in the run-up to Midsummer's Day. To hopefully hook in a few new readers before then, I've decided to put the eBook of Sunburn, my second Darren Dash book, on sale for a week this month. It usually retails for $2.99 in the USA and £1.99 in the UK, but during the sale I'll be reducing the price to $0.99 and £0.99 respectively. (I would have liked to extend the sale across the other Amazon stores, but alas, Kindle does not allow this.) I haven't yet set a start date for the sale, so you can either keep checking on Amazon, or follow me on my Darren Dash Facebook or Twitter account to be updated when the sale goes live. I also plan to run a sale for An Other Place in May, so those of you who like to grab a bargain might want to hold off buying that one for a while...


    Sunburn : http://mybook.to/sunburnebook "A violent culmination of love, friendships, hilarity, thrill, horror and sex… Isn't that what we all want from a good book?! Sunburn literally had me completely HOOKED. A brilliant and thrilling read." Chase That Horizon.


    To find out more about my Darren Dash books for older readers, visit www.darrendashbooks.com





    I'm not giving many interviews at the moment, as I'm in between books, but I couldn't say no when The Horror Club sent a few questions flying my way. I talk about everything from Cirque Du Freak to my upcoming Darren Dash book (I reveal more about the plot than I have done anywhere else to date), the differences between writing for adults and teenagers, and whether there are any movie, TV or theatrical adaptations of my books in the works. Don't miss this one!! CLICK HERE.






    There was a lovely new review for Zom-B Goddess over on Goodreads recently, posted by a fan called Chappy. He managed to give a good account of the book and why it excited him, without giving away any spoilers -- not an easy feat when you're reviewing the final book of a 12 book series!! CLICK HERE to read Nathan's review in full. Zom-B Goddess is in print and on sale in the USA and UK in a variety of formats, as are the other 11 books in the series -- ask your local bookseller, or search for them online. There's also a short, "secret" 13th book, Zom-B Circus, available only as an eBook download for those who can seek it out...





    A boy called Nathan, who wasn't very keen on change, took a chance on one of my books when urged to give it a try by a teacher, and found it a life-changing experience. There was a short journalistic piece about it on the RTE news2day television show on Friday 23rd March, just a few minutes at the start, and it's really nice and definitely worth a look if you can access it -- I was able to watch it on the RTE player in the UK, so hopefully it will be available in other countries too. It also proves that i really do reply to handwritten letters! CLICK HERE to watch the show.






    A teacher called Mrs Ingram tasked her Year 9 students with devising an advert targeted at would-be vampire's assistants. They came up with a cool, imaginative ad, that shows just how much educational fun you can have with a book if you teach it in school, as long as you're willing to look beyond the norm. Teachers like Mrs Ingram are carefully crafting the imaginations of the next generations, and I most heartily salute them!





    I was pleased to see my work mentioned in a World Book Day article about characters with disabilities. The main message that I hope comes through clearly in my books is that we can overcome any obstacle that we have to face in life, whether that's an obstacle that someone has set in our way, or an obstacle that resides within our own form. Nothing can hold us back if we have the will to press on. To read the article, CLICK HERE.






    We don't get much snow in Limerick, where I live, but in March we got hit with the tail-end of Storm Emma, and were walking in a winter wonderland for a couple of days. Mrs Shan and I had been waiting for three and a half years to build a snowman for our little guy, Dante, so we hurried out and set to work on it. Mrs Shan was adamant that we build a scary snowman, since I write scary books and Dante usually loves scary things. So we built the little monster in the top photo (Mrs Shan got the idea for it online) and took Dante out to see it...


    ...and he went Ape S**t!!!! He started crying and screaming, roaring at us to kick it down! Basically, I think that having seen the short film The Snowman, he must think that ALL snowmen come to life, which is why he was rather concerned about having a child-eating snowman on his back doorstep!!! Eventually he calmed down and saw the funny side of it, but it took a good few hours, plus the building of a NEW, protective snowman (which you can see in the second photo), to settle his nerves.





    This is VERY cool! A fan called Sabrina drew a picture of Vancha March from my vampire books, but recorded a video of it while she was working, and provided a voice-over in which she talked about the character and the process. It's a rare insight into a creative work, well worth a small chunk of your day. To view it from start to finish, CLICK HERE






    Fans of my Zom-B series will know why this story caught my eye! It's a strangely touching tale of a mother who celebrated her son's first birthday with a zombie themed party. While some people reacted angrily to the darkness of the theme, when you read the article, you'll find out how fitting it was, and how this was actually a true celebration of life over death. I've an inkling that little Phoenix might grow up to be a Shanster if he shares his mother's deliciously dark sense of humour. He's certainly starting out on the right path!! CLICK HERE





    Oh, wow!! After seeing THIS ARTICLE, I started to write a post saying that Dark City was a BIG influence on my most recently released Darren Dash book for adults, An Other Place. Lots of other things fed into it as well (in a weird way it was a self-help book -- I was using sci-fi to explore the state of my mind and my relationship with the world around me) but as far as I was concerned, this was definitely one of my major inspirations for where I wanted to go with the story back when I started it 20 or so years ago. (I took a long break between edits, which is why it only came out in December 2016!). But then, as I was writing that post, something niggled away at the back of my mind, and I went to check the actual date that I started work on An Other Place -- and it was February 6th 1998. The film wasn't released in the USA until February 27th 1998, and not in the UK and Ireland (which is when I would have seen it) until late May 1998. So, unless I'd done some time-travelling and wiped it from my thoughts, this couldn't have been an influence on my original draft at all!!! Moral of the tale -- never trust your memories, folks!! http://mybook.to/anotherplace






    We've had to wait a while for the first competition of 2018, but here it is at last!! This month marks the two year anniversary since the end of my Zom-B series in April 2016. (Although the last book, Zom-B Goddess, actually hit shelves in the USA near the end of March that year.) I thought it would be nice to link in with that, and luckily I still had five sets of signed, publication day UK paperback editions of the second half of the series, so I'm offering those up as prizes this month. Just to confirm, that means five lucky winners will each get books 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of my Zom-B series. They're the UK paperback editions, and I signed and dated each book on its day of publication, i.e. the day that it was officially released in the UK. I also wrote Publication Day in each one, just to make it absolutely clear. These are extremely rare, so I think these are very nice prizes, even if I do say so myself!


    1) Answer this question: "How many years ago was the final book in the Zom-B series released?"


    2 Send your entry to: [email protected]


    3) Put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail. 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.


    (4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Monday, April 9th, 2018.


    (5) This competition is open to everybodyeverywhere 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 Tuesday, April 10th, 2018. 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.



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for April. A fan called Ronan decided to go to school dressed up as Mr Crepsley for World Book Day last month, and there's a photo of him above. (Yes, I know the scar is on the wrong side of his face, but you'd be amazed how many people do that when they're dressing up as Mr Crepsley or drawing him!) It's nice to see that my books are still inspiring readers to bring my creations to life in the real world after all these years. I'll be back at the start of May 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.