• Issue 215 - June 2018

    01 June 2018



    I'm sure you're all sick to death of GDPR notifications by this time, but here's one more to add to the pile! If you received an email with a link to this issue of the Shanville Monthly (or other updates on my site) it's because at some point in the past you subscribed to get updates from me. I don't share your details with any third parties, and do not hold them on any independent device -- everything on the subscription front is done through Google Feedburner, and you can read about their privacy policy by CLICKING HERE. (I might change to a differnt provider in the near future -- if so, you will have the choice to opt in or opt out as you see fit.) If you're happy to continue receiving emails from me, you don't need to do anything, and you will continue to be sent updates whenever a new issue of the Shanville Monthly goes live. If, at any point, you wish to unsubscribe, there will always be an Unsubscribe link in any email notification that you receive from me, and you can simply click on that to have yourself removed from my mailing list.





    Now that we've got the legal stuff out of the way -- hi everyone, and welcome to the June issue of the Shanville Monthly! My latest novel goes on sale this month. It's not a Darren Shan book, but one of my Darren Dash books for older readers. This is 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) and it's been picking up some incredible early reviews -- proof that there's life in the old dog yet!






    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 -- a risque, fantastical, Shakespearean-inspired comedy! It goes on sale on June 21st. This is the 50th book that I have published. I wasn't sure what readers would make of it, given how different it is to the rest of my body of work, but the early reviews have been incredibly positive. Here are some snippets:


    "Dash's signature wit and humor shine on every page... magical escapism at its best... Midsummer's Bottom is a laugh out loud comedy, a rollicking romp that will leave you with a warm, satisfied feeling long after you finish." Rachel Hobbs, author -- 5 star review.


    "It is comedic, a little hectic, and the strength of its rich cast keeps things moving at a delightfully entertaining pace... this unique tale is that rare reimagination of elements of a classic story that captures all the comedy, drama, and emotional satisfaction of its original and in some ways exceeds them." US Review of Books -- Recommended read.


    "Midsummer's Bottom delights with Shakespearian couplets and a cacophony of human foibles that smash up to a satisfying ending. Dash has created a stellar cast of full, engaging characters. Tightly-written and imaginative, Midsummer's Bottom glides the reader through a wonderful story towards a rewarding, and unexpected, end." Self-Publishing Review.


    "Midsummer's Bottom is a delightful book with the lyrical words of the bard and the theme of his magical work intertwined into the story line. Mr Dash is an accomplished wordsmith and brings the chaos to the sort of satisfying finale that, had I been in a theatre, I would have stood to applaud." Readers' Favorite -- 5 star review.


    You can also find an entry for Midsummer's Bottom on Goodreads, and to my delight it's been picking up lots of great early feedback from readers there too: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39929208-midsummer-s-bottom


    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 next month): http://getbook.at/midsummersebook





    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 still submitting advance eCopies to reviewers. 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 sitehttp://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






    I've released three books for older readers under the Darren Dash name to date -- The Evil and the PureSunburnAn Other Place. To tie in with the release of Midsummer's Bottom, my fourth Darren Dash book, I've decided to run a competition for my older readers (16 years old or upwards), with three copies of my third Darren Dash novel, An Other Place, up for grabs. Signed copies of my Darren Dash books are very rare, so this is a great opportunity to win something that almost no other fan will have!


    1) Answer this question: "How many Darren Dash books have I released before Midsummer's Bottom?"


    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.


    3a) Please also include your age along with your name, address and answer. As stated above, this competition is only open to fans aged 16 years or older. If you do not wish to tell me your actual age, a statement to the effect of "I certify that I am 16 years old or older" will be acceptable.


    3b) If you would like to be included on the Darren Dash mailing list, please let me know and I'll be happy to add you to it.


    (4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Monday, June 11th, 2018.


    (5) This competition is open to everybodyeverywhere in the world 16 years of age or older, 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, June 12th, 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.





    There was a delightful new review for an old foe of ours recently -- Lord Loss. The demon master always approves of fresh reviews (almost as much as he approves of fresh victims to terrorise) and gets jealous of my other creations when reviewers choose to focus on their books rather than his, so Katrin will be spared his wrath when he starts ripping off heads. Any other reviewers out there who don't want to wake up to a close encounter with the eight-armed one -- you'd better get writing lovely things about him NOW!!!  To read the review, CLICK 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





    To tie in with the release of Midsummer's Bottom, I've been doing a few interviews, and you can read one of those by CLICKING HERE. It's a short one for Book Reader Magazine. The questions are standard questions, so it's not specific to the book, but that's probably a good thing, as it gives you a little overview of me and my work, so I don't just rabbit on about my latest release! 






    This photo was sent to me by a fan called Ally. It was taken on her wedding day, while she was waiting for her husband, and to pass the time she decided to read one of my books -- Slawter, if I'm any judge! That's the first time I've ever heard from one of my fans who's done that -- I would have thought a bride's nerves would be shaky enough on the day of her big wedding, without flicking through the pages of one of my more horrific offerings! Ally is obviously made of stronger stuff than most blushing brides -- or maybe she was just looking for ideas of demons she could feed her husband to if he made any mistakes during the ceremony!





    I think I might have linked to this before, but a fan spotted it online recently and brought it to my attention, so I figured I'd share it with everyone again (assuming I *have* shared it before!). It's a list of 50 very cool book covers, and one of my books features among them. Which book? And which edition? To find out, you'll have to  CLICK HERE. See if you can guess before you look -- but no cheating!






    Before I started releasing my books for adults under the name of Darren Dash, I released four of them under the Darren Shan banner. (Against my better judgment. My publishers convinced me to do it, and while it meant that the books certainly sold more copies than they would have if they hadn't been published as Darren Shan books, I never felt easy about it.) The last of those was Lady Of The Shades, which is probably my most twist-packed stand-alone book -- if you can predict where the story is going to go by the end of the first 50 or 100 or even 200 pages, then you're the possessor of a mind as cunning and devious as mine!!! 


    Lady Of The Shades is the most commercial of my adult novels, and was optioned by a film producer a few years ago. That didn't come to anything, but there's still interest in it, so hopefully it will get adapted one day.


    Anyway, rather than take MY word for how good it is (I am, of course, rather biased in these matters!) there was a brand new review for the book recently, on a site called Chatterday, so why don't you CLICK HERE to find out what the reviewer thought of it: 





    Cirque Du Freak was first published in January 2000, almost eighteen and a half years ago, and it's taken that long for me to finally get a letter that I'd been hoping for ever since it came out -- someone who had been inspired by my book to join a freak show!! Let's hear from Dan, who wrote to me a few weeks back:


    "So this is gonna seem random but I wanted to reach out to say thank you. Cirque du Freak had a huge influence on my future and I didn't even know it as a kid. I read the series from about 12 years old to whenever you finished it, I'm 26 now.... And a professional sideshow freak, not even joking. Whenever people ask me how I got into the circus (and a dark circus at that) I tell them about your books and how I never fell for Harry Potter, I always had the freak show. So, as an adult, thank you for teaching me to follow my own path, that's it's okay to be afraid, but to never let that stop you."


    Dan sent me a YouTube clip of himself in action, which you can check out by CLICKING HERE


    What do you think? Would he make a good addition to the Cirque Du Freak?!? Should I pass on his details to Mr Tall?!?!?





    As I said last month, the Cirque Du Freak movie is currently being show on Netflix in the USA. It's a film that divides viewers. People who hadn't read my books tended to enjoy it more than those who were familiar with my work, as it deviated massively from the story that I had outlined in my novels. Surprisingly, the changes didn't depress or annoy or enrage me as much as they depressed and annoyed and enraged some of my fans -- I knew from reading the script in advance that it was going to be VERY different, so by the time I saw it, I'd resigned myself to the fact that this wasn't going to be MY story, but rather a film only loosely based on my story. That allowed me to watch it as a separate entity, more objectively than I had anticipated, and yeah, while it's by no means a perfect movie, I thought it was a quirky and unusual little film, and I enjoyed it for what it was, without mourning too much for what it might have (and should have) been.


    While I can be very sanguine about the movie, I appreciate that some Shansters don't share my view of it. You guys who were here before Hollywood got involved wanted a faithful, dark, emotionally moving adaptation, and instead you got a much lighter, looser story, with a lot more humour than you'll ever find in a Darren Shan novel. I'd argue that it's not as bad as some of you claim -- I think your love for my books has blinded you to the film's positive points -- but I respect your views and won't try to change your minds. In that spirit, here's an article that was written recently about the film, by a fan of the books who is still hurting by what the movie industry did to them. Haters of the movie -- enjoy!!! 




    Oh, and while I stand by my view of the film, I do agree that the scene in the coffin was poorly judged -- they took what should have been a very sobering moment and made a joke of it.



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for June. I hope you decide to give Midsummer's Bottom a try if you're one of my older readers -- it's unlike anything else that I've ever published, but it's been picking up great reviews from those who got their hands on a copy early, and I'm keen to see if it appeals to my regular readers as much as it has to the critics! If you DO enjoy it, you'd be doing me a huge favour if you left a nice review for it on a site like Amazon or Goodreads... :-) I'll be back at the start of July 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.