• Issue 214 - May 2018

    01 May 2018



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly. The big news this month is that I can finally announce the title and release date of my next published novel -- it's not a Darren Shan book, unfortunately, but one of my Darren Dash books for older readers, but hey, I'd like to think that any new work from me is a reason to celebrate! This will be the 50th book that I have published (if you're having trouble recalling all of the previous 49, have a look at the Books section of www.darrenshan.com) so I'm hoping it meets with a favourable reception, although of course there's no guarantee of that -- ultimately, you guys will decide its fate. Anyway, you can read all about the new book below, along with all the other latest Darren Shan/Dash news and updates.





    I'm working hard on getting my next Darren Shan book ready to see the light of day, but there's still no publication date for that one -- BUT in the meantime look what's coming your way on June 21st if you're one of my older readers...



    Midsummer's Bottom is one of my Darren Dash books for adults, but it's much lighter than any other adult novel that I've published -- one might even call it a Comedy! Can a Master Of Horror DO Comedy successfully?!? Time to find out! This will be the 50th book that I have published, and I'm quite pleased that such a publishing milestone will be marked with a major departure from what I'm known for -- whether it finds favour with my readers or not, I certainly can't be accused of sitting on my laurels and just churning out the same old types of books that I know I can do well... :-)


    Midsummer's Bottom will be on sale as a paperback or eBook across all Amazon stores worldwide. Click on the following link to be directed to the eBook in YOUR local store (the paperback link will follow closer to the time of publication): http://getbook.at/midsummersebook


    You can also find an entry for Midsummer's Bottom on Goodreads over here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39929208-midsummer-s-bottom


    If you're a reviewer, and you don't want to wait until June to see what I've cooked up, then make sure you don't miss the post just below this one...





    As I stated above, my new Darren Dash book for older readers, Midsummer's Bottom, will be going on sale on June 21st. I am currently submitting advance eCopies to reviewers, in the hope of getting some positive advance reviews if they like it. If any of you are bloggers who write book reviews, or if you write for a book review site or publication, or even if you just publish lots of reviews on a site like Amazon or Goodreads... if you fall into any of the above categories, and would be interested in being sent an advance copy of the eBook (in Mobi format unless otherwise requested) then drop me a line using the Contact form on my Darren Dash web site: http://www.darrendashbooks.com/


    I can't guarantee that I can send an advance copy to everyone who contacts me, but please include info about where you would normally post a review, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. If the luck of the fairies if with you, you could be one of a select few who get to read it before the rest of the world!


    Midsummer's Bottom is a light-hearted fantastical Comedy, in the spirit of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. (Only much easier for a modern audience to follow!) If you want to find out a bit more about it, to determine if it's a story you might be interested in, check out its Amazon summary here: http://getbook.at/midsummersebook






    As I said above, my next Darren Dash book for adults, Midsummer's Bottom, goes on sale on June 21st. Ahead of that, I've decided to put the eBook of my weird science-fiction novel An Other Place 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.) The sale will start at 08.00 PST in the USA and 08.00 Summer Time in the UK, on Wednesday 16th June, and end at 23.59 in both time zones on Tuesday 22nd June.


    You'll be able to buy An Other Place through Amazon USA or Amazon UK by clicking here: http://mybook.to/anotherplaceebook


    I wasn't sure what sort of a reception An Other Place would meet with -- it's a very strange book -- but it turned out to be one of my most warmly received novels to date, as you can see from these few snippets of reviews:


    "This is, by far, the best book of 2016, possibly the best book of this decade. 5/5 -- brilliant. Just brilliant.” Kelly Smith Reviews.


    "An Other Place sees an imaginative writer at the top of his craft. It brings to mind The Twilight Zone, yet even Rod Serling himself would have struggled to come up with an alternate world so completely off-the-wall and yet oddly meaningful as Dash has here. 9/10 stars." Starburst.


    "Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, and Brett Easton Ellis may have written some weird stuff, but An Other Place tops all of it, both in terms of re-readability and overall scope." Dread Central.


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





    Tying in neatly (and coincidentally) with the An Other Place sale, there was a tremendous new review for An Other Place over on a site called Wicked Shorts recently. Reviews like this are what authors dream of -- and the reviewer, A.K., also posted the review on Amazon, which was a double bonus, as positive Amazon reviews also help books pop up more on the Amazon search engines, and convince other readers to take a chance on a new book. I always appreciate it when fans take the time to review one of my books, so many thanks, A.K. -- you're a good 'un!!! Here are some snippets from the review:


    "This book was the epitome of exquisite weirdness. I loved it, and hoovered it down in less than a day. Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.


    "Truth be told, once this book hooked me, the words breezed by in a blur and all I saw was a ‘movie’ playing in my head. And boy was it a good movie!


    "I will probably never forget this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys strange and bizarre tales. I wouldn't exactly call it horror, but then again what happens in it is definitely horrifying.


    "Bravo, Dash, you changed my world with this one."


    You can read the full review over on Wicked Shorts by CLICKING HERE






    We live in a world where prices almost always go up and never down -- but I'm here to reverse the trend! Midsummer's Bottom is a moderately big book -- just over 450 pages in paperback -- which means it's quite expensive to produce a physical copy. I don't like setting my prices too high, so I fiddled with my numbers as much as I could until I came up with a price that wouldn't fleece readers, but which would also return me just enough profit to (hopfully!) cover most of the costs involved in publishing and promoting a novel. At the same time, I had a look at the prices of my other Darren Dash novels, and decided to shave some money off of those as well, to bring them in line with the price of the new book. That means that the prices of all three of my Darren Dash paperbacks have come down across all territories, by $2 in the USA, £2 in the UK, and €2 in Europe. (In fact, The Evil And The Pure has come down by £3 in the UK and €3 in Europe!) So, if you're interested in buying one of my Darren Dash books in paperback, there's never been a better time to pick them up. (The eBooks are always priced low, at just $2.99, £1.99 or €2.99.) You can find direct buying links on the Darren Dash website: www.darrendashbooks.com






    I'm doing almost no public or school events this year, as I'm focusing on writing and being a Daddy, and taking some time off from touring after seventeen very happy but very exhausting years on the road. I did, however, make an exception to do an event in a local school in Mungret in Limerick last month. The reason I said yes to this school, when I've said no to everyone else this year, is because it was part of the Robert Dunbar memorial libraries project. Basically, schools in Ireland get to apply for an award of €1,500 in books plus a couple of author visits, and four schools each year are chosen. Robert was a passionate and very active advocate for children's books and libraries. I met him a few times over the years, so I felt I couldn't refuse when I was approached -- or his ghost might have haunted me!!  I've attached a photo of me in action on the day, for what will probably be my only school talk of the year. Now roll on August for what will probably be my only 2018 public appearances -- although I can't say anything more about those just yet, until the Edinburgh Book Festival programme is finalised and released...





    A fan called James has started an online petition to try to get the Cirque Du Freak manga adapted into an anime. I don't know if online petitions of this kind ever get noticed by the powers that be or result in a production breakthrough -- but hey, it can't hurt to try!! If you'd like to lend your support by signing the petition, CLICK HERE






    There was a fresh review for the first of my Zom-B books last month, on a site called Cubicle Escapee. You'll have to CLICK HERE to read the full review (it's not very long), but I can tell you that it starts with a line that would put a smile on any author's face -- "I FREAKING loved this book."


    For an INCREDIBLE deal on the UK paperback editions of the entire series (all 12 books for less than £20!!!!) visit Lowplex by CLICKING HERE.


    They also sell my other series at amazing knockdown prices. Shipping is very reasonable in the UK. They also ship worldwide, and while the rates can rise sharply, depending on which country you live in, it still usually works out at an overall bargain. For example, shipping to Australia (which I'm guessing must be the most expensive rate of any country from the UK) is just under £30, and while that's more expensive than the cost of the books, the total price comes in at just under £50, which works out at just over £4 per book.


    By the way, in case any of my more cynical readers are wondering, I don't have shares in Lowplex, or any connection to the company -- I just like to see my fans being able to nab a Darren Shan bargain when it's on offer!






    A fan called LaToya wrote to me a few weeks ago to say that the Cirque Du Freak film is now streaming on Netflix in the USA for those who are interested in checking it out...


    I know lots of fans think that the CDF film is rubbish, and nowhere near as good as my books. While I respect those opinions and am sad that it wasn’t faithful to the novels, on its own terms I think it’s a pretty cool little movie. Too light for its own good, but quirky. If you've read the books, you'll notice all the things that have been changed and that are missing, and probably will bear it a grudge because of that. But if you've never read Cirque Du Freak, it can serve as a fun and easy introduction to my world of vampires and circus freaks -- it introduced a lot of new readers to my books, people who hadn't been aware of my work until they saw the film and felt compelled to investigate further, so even if just for that reason alone, I'd feel indebted to it. (But like I said above, I honestly did enjoy it on its own terms.)





    Speaking of the movie... there was a post about my Cirque Du Freak books (and the film) over on Reddit recently that generated a lot of responses. If you want to check out what people had to say, and maybe even chip in with your own tuppence worth, CLICK HERE






    An eagle-eyed fan called Meredith was watching the TV programme Extreme Homes recently, and spotted a familiar book in the hands of one of the family members... I guess it's a fitting match in its way -- a journal about an extreme journey for a show about extreme homes!!





    The April Shanville Monthly competition was a truly global affair -- the five winners came from five different countries all across the world! In the order drawn, they were...


     Djill Cobbaert, Belgium.

    Nika Opitzova, Czech Republic.

    Christina Templeton, New Zealand.

    Eveliina Viljanen, Finland.

    Lexi Lane, USA.


    Thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to the winners, and better luck next time to everyone else. Look out for another competition soon!






    A fan of my books called Troy plays in a band that goes under the name of Luna Mortem. I met Tory in Utah a couple of years ago when I went there for the World Horror Convention, and he told me they'd written a song inspired by my book, Lord Loss. They've finally got around to putting it online, and you can check it out by CLICKING HERE -- they've also added the lyrics to the page, for your convenience. Let them know if you like it.



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for May. Now that I've wrapped up most of the work on Midsummer's Bottom (except for the promotional side of things, of course, which is no small matter) I can turn my attention to my next Darren Shan book for a YA audience, and hopefully I'll be in a position to make an announcement about that later this year, if everything goes well. Will it feature giant wooden spiders like in the photo above? Er... no, I'm afraid not! But, hey, maybe I can find a way to work one into one of the later books in the series... :-) I'll be back at the start of June with another roundup of all the Shan and Dash-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.