• Issue 217 - August 2018

    01 August 2018



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the August issue of the Shanville Monthly. It's been a scorcher of a summer in Ireland, one of the hottest and driest we've ever experienced in my lifetime. I've been enjoying the unusually extended warm spell, but to be honest, I won't moan too much when it starts to cloud over and drizzle again -- too much sun feels unnatural when you've written as many vampire books as I have! But hopefully the good weather will hold while I'm in Edinburgh for a couple of public events in the middle of the month -- Edinburgh's one of my favourite cities, but while it's a pleasure to visit no matter what the weather, there's no denying that it feels an extra bit glorious when the sun is shining. You can read about those events below, along with all the other Darren Shan (and Darren Dash) news and updates from the past month.






    August is here, and that means the Edinburgh International Book Festival. I've done events there for the last 18 years in a row, and I'm thrilled to be making it 19 in a row this year, with two appearances -- very probably my only two public events of 2018. Tickets are now on sale, and they're just a fiver each. If you can make it, my advice is to get there by hook or by crook, as it's been a long while since my last public events, and it could be a long while again until I next pop my head up out of the writing fox hole!!


    My first event is on Sunday August 12th at 3.30pm. I'll be doing readings from a few of my books (I'm going to try to cover vampires, demons AND zombies!), and answering whatever questions the audience members care to throw at me. CLICK HERE TO BOOK


    Then I'm doing a panel event on Monday August 13th at 11.45am with Charlie Higson and Sally Gardner, talking about how to write horror books. CLICK HERE TO BOOK


    I'll be signing after both events, and there are no limits on how many of my books you can bring to get signed.






    Midsummer's Bottom (my latest Darren Dash book for adults) is continuing to tickle the fancy of reviewers across the world. I posted snippets from different reviewers over the past few months, but new reviews have continued to trickle through, so here are a few more to whet your appetite and hopefully tempt you to take a chance on the book!


    "Midsummer's Bottom is one of the most entertaining novels of the year... filled with magic, mayhem and good old-fashioned storytelling that will hook readers from the very first page and take them on a riveting ride into the enthralling world of actors, fairies and magic dust. Light-hearted and humorous escapism doesn't get any better than this. Highly recommended!" Rising Shadow.
    "Every moment was a surprise where anything was possible and the ending was anybody’s guess. It made for a story that I couldn’t stop reading for having to know how it would all come to an end." A Drip Of Truth.


    "A charming, funny romp full of a host of quirky characters... entertaining, racy and humourous." Banshee Irish Horror Blog.


    Midsummer's Bottom is on sale as a paperback or eBook across all Amazon stores worldwide.


    Click here to buy the eBook in your local Amazon store: http://getbook.at/midsummersebook


    Or click on this link if you would prefer to buy it in paperbackhttp://getbook.at/MidsummersBottom


    Alternatively, you can read it for absolutely FREE if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited.



    SSS - Sunburn Summer Sale!



    To celebrate the sizzling summer, I've put Sunburn - my grisly Darren Dash horror novel for adults - on sale for a short, red-hot period - the sale starts Monday August 6th and ends at midnight on Friday 10th.


    Why choose Sunburn for the sale? Well, because it's a summer holiday novel. In the book, three friends head to Bulgaria on their summer break. It's not the most peaceful of vacations -- they argue and bicker a lot -- but all's going reasonably well until one of them gets stranded on a forested hill and wakes up sunburnt to the bone. As he's gingerly trying to find his way back home, he spots an old cottage in a clearing, runs into a monster that's using the shack as its base, and sunburn soon becomes the least of his worries!


    The ebook of Sunburn usually retails for $2.99 in the USA and £1.99 in the UK, but during the sale I've reduced the price to $0.99 (a 67% reduction) and £0.99 (51% off) respectively. If you'd like to nab it at a real bargain price, click on the following link to be taken to your local Amazon store, and swoop like a summer swallow!




    Although the sale is only valid on Amazon USA and Amazon UK (sorry!), the eBook of Sunburn is on sale through Amazon stores worldwide at a very reasonable price. Sunburn is also available as a paperback worldwide, or you can read it for FREE if you're a member of Kindle Unlimited.





    The Cirque Du Freak movie gets a mention in this list of 45 movies based on YA novels, which looks at the overall IMDB ratings of viewers under the age of 18. I know a lot of my existing Shansters despised the movie with a vengeance, since it differed so radically from my books, but as I've often pointed out -- and the mark that it gets in this list backs me up -- it actually went down pretty well with people who weren't familiar with my novels and judged it purely on its own terms. Anyway, based on the disregard for the Twilight series that many of you have expressed on my Facebook and Twitter feeds over the years, whether you love or hate the CDF movie, I think the vast majority of you will be pleased to see that it outscores all of the Twilight films!!!  CLICK HERE






    Are you ready to start reading?!? A YouTuber called HardbackHoarder is about to commence a mammoth Cirque Du Freak readalong -- and she wants YOU to join in with her! She aims to read one of my Saga Of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak series books per week over the next few months, and she is inviting other people to join her in the challenge, and to discuss the books with her and other fans on her discussion boards over the course of the readalong. It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun -- three months of immersion in the world of Darren and Steve, Mr Crepsley and Mr Tiny, Vampire Mountain and the Lake of Souls, with the opportunity to rave (or rant!) about them with a load of new Shan-friendly friends. To find out more about it, and to join in the readalong, click on the link below. I'll be keeping an eye on it and maybe dropping in with a line or two of my own every now and then, so if you've ever had any long-burning questions that you wished you could put to me, this might be the time... CLICK HERE





    A fan called Richard was delighted recently when he found one of my Zom-B books on CD -- especially as he wasn't aware that the series had been done as audio books! In fact, all 12 of my Zom-B books are available on audio. They were released by my American publishers, LittleBrown, and are available on CD or as downloads through sites like Audible in the USA. I don't think they're on Audible in other countries, but you can get the CDs through global Amazon stores or possibly sites like Abebooks or Alibris, though you might have to do a fair bit of hunting to track them all down. They're worth the effort -- they're really well done. (The first four books were also released on audio in the UK, with a different (British) narrator, but the company making them went bust, so that was that!)






    A fan of my Zom-B books called Stefan spotted this clip from an episode of Bob's Burgers and swiftly brought it to my attention, figuring -- correctly -- that it would make me chuckle. For those not in on the joke, the zombies in my Zom-B series grow long, sharp fingernails and toe nails when they turn into undead monsters, all the better to cut open skulls with to get to the sweet, juicy brains nestled within!!!


    If you haven't yet read my Zom-B books, and are thinking of buying a set, I strongly recommend Lowplex in the UK, which offers a complete set of all 12 paperbacks for the amazing price of just £19 or thereabouts. CLICK HERE


    Lowplex ship worldwide at reasonable rates, although obviously there's no cheap way to ship 12 books if you live a long way away. They also sell my other series at incredibly low prices, so have a look when you're on the site.


    The UK Zom-B set is also available through Amazon stores worldwide -- it's usually cheaper to get them through Lowplex, even with the shipping added on, but my advice is to check on Amazon too, just to ensure you get the best possible deal.






    Here are links to a couple of recent reviews for Palace Of The Damned, the third book in my Saga Of Larten Crepsley series, four books which chart the course of Mr Crepsley's life across the two hundred years before he crossed paths with Darren and Steve at the Cirque Du Freak.


    The first review comes from a blogger called Madelon, who gives it a stonking five stars. CLICK HERE


    The second reviewer, on the Angelic Impressions blog, was less enamoured with the book, not finding it as powerful or as moving as the second in the series, but it's a lengthy, thoughtful review that should be of interest to readers of the series. CLICK HERE


    WARNING: both reviews contain a number of spoilers, so if you haven't yet read the Saga Of Larten Crepsley, you might want to hold off reading these until you're up to speed. The books are on sale in the UK and USA, as well as many other countries around the world -- if your local bookseller can't get hold of them for you, try a site like Amazon, or pick them up through Lowplex where they're going for a real steal: CLICK HERE






    My cousin Ronan recently celebrated his 30th birthday, which led to his sister Meara tracking down this old photo of me, Ronan and his younger brother Lorcan, taken in London a long time ago when we were all a hell of a lot younger -- and I was a hell of a lot hairier!!! Ronan and his brothers had a key role to play in my move into YA books in 1997. It was while I was babysitting one of them (Kealan or Tiernan) while he was asleep in a car that I first had the idea for Cirque Du Freak. And one of the main reasons I proceeded to write the book -- not having any idea if it would turn out to be a complete waste of time, since I'd never written for children before -- was that Ronan's birthday was coming up and I wanted to be able to give him something special. I didn't have any money back in those days, so I couldn't buy him anything nice, but I thought that if I wrote a book and printed it off and gave it to him, it would make for a pretty neat present, even if it turned out to be rubbish and of no interest to anyone else in the world except him. And so I pushed on with it, and, well, that's why we have Darren Shan. So, y'know, if you don't like my books and think the world would have been better off without my novels on so many shelves -- blame Ronan!!!


    p.s. Lorcan had an important role to play too. He has a very long tongue, which he can stick up inside his nose. I thought that was both a cool and disgusting talent, which would perfectly fit a certain member of the Cirque Du Freak, so I modelled Evra Von after him!!





    173 of you entered the July Shanville Monthly competition, but in the end the first five Shansters across the finishing line (well, picked by a random number generator!) were:


    Robbie Concha, UK.
    Tyler Koestner, USA.
    Rebecca McKevitt, Ireland.
    Alice Bernamont, UK.
    Sinead Kiely, Ireland.


    An unusually high number of British and Irish winners this time round -- bad news for my more globally scattered fans, but good news for my wallet, as that kept the cost of postage down a little!!!  Thanks to everyone who entered, congratulations to the winners, and better luck next time to everyone else. There'll be a new competition coming your way soon...






    It was my birthday last month -- thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday on Facebook, Twitter, by email and by post. I don't want to milk it for all its worth, especially as I don't pay too much attention to my birthdays (except for the significant ones, and the next one of those is 50, which is more of a terrifying than exciting prospect), BUT a fan called Sakura did this drawing, of me with some of the characters from the manga adaptation of Cirque Du Freak, and it was just too good NOT to share. I'm a lucky, lucky Shan to have such a super duper Fan!!!



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for August. I went on holiday with Mrs Shan and Dante to Sagres in Portugal recently. There was a bungee trampoline at the hotel where we were staying, and Dante LOVED it and went on it most days, and was happier the higher he soared. Mrs Shan didn't realise it hurled him THAT high up until she saw this photo -- whereupon she freaked out big time!!! I'll be back at the start of September with another roundup of all the Shan and Dash-related news and updates. Until then, keep flying high, and 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.





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