• Issue 218 - September 2018

    01 September 2018



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the September issue of the Shanville Monthly. I'm running a couple of cut-price sales on my Darren Dash ebooks this month, which will hopefully be of interest to my older readers -- I should probably have spaced them further apart, but they're very different books to one another, and I was keen to get them on a few genre-specific promotional sites, and it just worked out this way. Anyway, at the bargain prices that these are up for, I doubt there will be too many complaints from fans saying they can't scrape enough pennies together in that short a time! :-) In other news, there have been more great reviews for Midsummer's Bottom... a fan ran away from one of my events in Edinburgh before it had even started... and I made a mother and her daughter cry! Read on to find out more...







    Good news for fans of my books for older readers -- I'm putting the ebooks of TWO of my Darren Dash novels for adults on sale this month.


    First up, running from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th, is An Other Place, my very dark sci-fi offering from a couple of years ago. This is a book that I thought might go down like a lead weight with readers, as it's so different to anything else I've ever written, but it's been one of my most warmly received novels on the adult front. If you want to give it a try, the ebook will set you back a mere $0.99 in the USA, or just £0.99 in the UK -- please CLICK HERE to be directed to your local Kindle store. It's also available as a paperback if you prefer a physical book, and you can read it for FREE any time of the year if you're a member of Kindle Unlimited.


    The following week, from Monday 10th to Friday 14th, I'm running another Kindle sale, this time for the ebook of The Evil and the Pure, which was the first book that I released as Darren Dash. A grim thriller, set on the streets of London around the turn of the millennium, it's my attempt to channel James Ellroy and do for London what he did for Los Angeles. It's big and sprawling and twisting and violent. If you want to get on board, the ebook will set you back just $0.99 in the USA, or £0.99 in the UK -- please CLICK HERE to be directed to your local Kindle store. As with all my Darren Dash books, it's also available as a paperback, or you can read it for FREE any time of the year if you're a member of Kindle Unlimited.






    Midsummer's Bottom (my most recent Darren Dash release) is continuing to stir up strong reviews. Here are a few snippets from last month's reviewers to hopefully tempt you to take a chance on the book!


    "A clever and kinky theatrical romp with a big heart." Kirkus -- a Recommended Read.
    "Midsummer's Bottom is a thoroughly Puckish take on the original play...rude, naughty, outrageous, and very funny... a delight for the devotee of Shakespearean comedy." Indie Reader -- 4 star review.
    "I think I've found my favorite book of 2018. Midsummer's Bottom is Darren Dash at his best and most inventive form." Scare Tissue.


    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.





    I was delighted to see Midsummer's Bottom feature as one of Indie Reader's Best Reviewed Books of July -- a list put together by the various reviewers for the site, highlighting their favourite reads from that month. https://indiereader.com/2018/08/best-reviewed-books-of-july/


    Midsummer's Bottom is my most recent novel for adult readers, a Shakesperean-inspired fantasy comedy. I know it doesn't sound like the sort of book you'd expect from a dark and horrific author like me, but it's been picking up amazing reviews, proof that I'm not ALL about the doom and gloom -- well, only 99% or thereabouts...  To find out more about Midsummer's Bottom and my other Darren Dash books for older readers, visit my web site: www.darrendashbooks.com





    I'm continuing to post author notes for all of my novels to my Facebook page, normally one or two books per week. I'm up to my Zom-B series now and busy describing how they all came together, who certain characters are named after, why I made specific key decisions, etc. Follow me on Facebook to stay in the loop (along with a whole lot more). I also post them to my web site, and you can find the full collection by CLICKING HERE. (I'll be gently tweaking the notes for the later Zom-B books as I move along on Facebook, and adding the notes for my Darren Dash books when I come to them.)






    Lady of the Shades was Book Of The Week in Cranleigh Library in Surrey in the UK in August. Lady Of The Shades was the last book for adults that I released under the name of Darren Shan before switching to my current Darren Dash pseudonym. A dark and twisting thriller, it's probably the most commercial of my works for older readers, and continues to reach a nice crop of new readers each year, especially through libraries like the one in Cranleigh. Here's a link to the Kindle edition in the UK Amazon store: CLICK HERE It's also available as a paperback, hardback, or as an audio book.
    Lady was released in several other countries (Hungary, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, etc) but surprisingly not in the USA, but if you're one of my American fans, don't worry too much, as you can easily track down a copy through a site like Abebooks, Alibris, eBay or even Amazon USA by CLICKING HERE
    Lady was optioned for a movie adaptation a few years ago. That version fell through, but there's still hope that it might get adapted at some point down the line, either for film or TV.


    "Thanks Darren Shan for having me in tears, my daughter Aoife just finished your series Sons of Destiny and gave me a recap, (she made a Cirque Du Freak ticket and shared it with you on Twitter) she’s only stopped bawling  now!!!! Jaysus a 14 1/2 year old should probably have me crying over other things! Hope your Saturday is tear free, and maybe you’d think of us parents when you write emotional endings."


    Heh heh! That email popped up on my Inbox last month. As I often say to people when I'm asked about what I think of the scary impact that my books have on readers, I get FAR more emails and letters from fans saying they've cried reading my books than saying they've had nightmares. Don't tell anyone, but the real secret of my success, I think, isn't that my books are terrifying -- it's because they're tear-jerkers!!!  This was what I said in my reply to the weeping mother:


    "I love that books can prompt such reactions. Life’s all about the feels, the tears as well as the laughs. When you’re both old and grey you won’t remember most of the thousands of days that you shared, but you might just recall the night you wept about those silly childish vampire books... "


    And her reply to that was a happy -- "Absolutely!!"






    A YouTube blogger called HardbackHoarder is in the middle of 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;s not too late to catch up -- to find out more about it, and to join in the readalong, CLICK HERE. I've been keeping an eye on the readalong and dropping in with a line or two of my own every now and then on Goodreads, so if you've ever had any long-burning questions that you wished you could put to me, this might be the time...





    Speaking of reviews... a blogger called Bookmarks And Bobby Pins is working her way through my Saga Of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak series, reviewing each book as she goes. She's recently read book 9, Killers of the Dawn, and is enjoying the ride so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she finds the final quarter of the series as worthy as the first three! You can read her review for Killer by CLICKING HERE, and access her reviews of the other books on her site.






    Last month I was in Edinburgh, making what will probably be my only public appearances of 2018. I had a fun time, especially at my solo event -- with no new book to promote, I was able to do three of my favourite readings from older books of mine -- Cirque Du Freak, Lord Loss and Zom-B. It's not very often that I perform all three of those in a single event (indeed, I'm not 100% certain that I ever have before!), so it was nice to fire through them -- the closest thing I have to a greatest hits concert! Although, having said that I enjoyed the event, it got off to a rocky start. I was doing the scene from Cirque Du Freak where the Wolf Man bites off a woman’s hand. I asked for volunteers to help me act it out and chose four kids at random. The girl who volunteered to play the woman started to look a bit queasy when I got out the fake hand that I’ve been using for the last 15 or so years. I asked her if she wanted to go sit back down and she said yes -- but she was clearly freaked out big time and ended up leaving with her mother a few seconds later. That’s the first time I’ve ever traumatized an audience member BEFORE I’ve started my act!


    One family traveled all the way from Bulgaria to come to my events, and there's a photo of me with them above -- mum Violeta, son Amir and daughter Adelina. Another fan, called Arra, took a few bus-journeys-from-hell to travel up from the souh coast of England, and could probably have flown to Australia and back in the time she was on the road. I'm always stunned when people travel so far to see me. More proof, if any was needed, that book fans are the very best kind of fans in the world!






    The Cirque Du Freak movie got a mention in a recent list of YA movies that flopped: CLICK HERE As I've often said, I don't think the CDF film is that bad on its own terms. Of course, for those who wanted an adaptation that was faithful to the books (and obviously I was one of them!), it was a travesty, ripping apart the structure of the novels, replacing much of my well-thought-through world-building with rather shakier vampire lore and history of its own. It cut out characters who were crucial to the plot, changed or diluted others to the point where they were hardly recognisable, and even introduced a few ill-advised characters of its own (though I must admit, even though many fans of the books tend to rail against her, I thought the monkey girl was a nice addition). And its real marketing failing, in my view, was to fall between two genres -- too scary to work as a comedy film, too funny to succeed as a horror movie.


    But for all that, on its own terms, for those who had never read my books, I think it worked quite well. In tone and ambition it's unlike any other YA film that I've seen (and I've seen a LOT of films), some of the comedy works, the action isn't that bad, John C Reilly is great as Mr Crepsley (those who claim otherwise are usually people who can't forget the comedy roles that he's become famous for, but I think that's unfair on him -- judged solely on this performance, he's A1). The film brought my story (albeit in a mangled version) to many teenagers who had never heard of me before, and quite a few of those enjoyed it enough to come check out the books afterwards.


    Having said all that, regardless of one's opinion of the quality of the movie, one fact is certain -- at the box office it definitely DID flop. The returns weren't actually terrible, but Universal spent a HUGE chunk of money making and promoting the film, and they didn't make back anywhere near the amount that they spent. So, yes, sadly, it DOES belong on a list like this, and there almost certainly WON'T ever be a sequel, although I'm hopeful that it will be rebooted one day, perhaps for TV, where the lengthy story and extensive cast could be done more justice. Watch this space...






    I was thrilled to see Hell's Horizon, one of my adult thrillers, make this Barnes & Noble list of 8 of the best dark fantasy noir novels. Of course I'm always pleased when any book of mine appears on a list like this, but it was especially sweet in this instance, because Hell's Horizon was maybe the most difficult book I've yet to write. To find out why it was so tricky, CLICK HERE. And to see the full B&N list, CLICK HERE.



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for September. The Shan clan spent a couple of weeks in London over the summer, where Dante picked up a pair of Harry Potter glasses on a visit to Hamleys -- if they ever decide to do a film prequel to the HP books, I think he'd be perfect for the lead role! I'll be back at the start of October with another roundup of all the Darren Shan and Dash-related news and updates -- and, of course, I'll be celebrating the run-up to Halloween, my favourite holiday of the year! 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.





    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 different provider in the 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.