• Issue 233 - December 2019

    01 December 2019



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the December issue of the Shanville Monthly. Christmas is coming -- but forget about that -- because there's a new Darren Dash book coming first! So let's crack straight on with news of a...






    I kept this one quiet, didn't I?!? Well, I did hint in recent months that I was planning to release my latest book for adults in the near future -- and here it is. I had actually hoped to have the book ready for sale at the start of December -- I wanted to drop it on everyone as a surprise, fully-formed and ready to buy, without any prior warning --  but the final bits and pieces are taking a tad longer than I had anticipated, so I don't have any buying links for you yet. But if all goes well, it will be going live on Amazon at some point over the next few weeks, in the run-up to Christmas. It might be that I release the eBook first, early in the month, and the physical edition a week or two later, as it will take time for the proofs to be sent to me.


    Anyway, as soon as the book goes live, I'll be adding it to my Darren Dash web site and posting links on my Facebook and Twitter and Blog pages, so sign up to follow me on one of those if you haven't already, to be among the first to learn about its release. In the meantime, here's a little bit of info about the book's plot, and some review quotes from reviewers who had a chance to read the book prior to publication. It seems to have gone down quite well with everybody so far...


    UPDATE -- 5th December -- the eBook of Molls Like It Hot is now on sale through Amazon stores worldwide, such as the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, India, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy... CLICK HERE to find it in your local Amazon store.




    Eyrie Brown used to serve in the Army, until a tragic loss forced him to return to civilian life earlier than planned. Now he drives one of London's iconic black cabs. On a dark, wet night, he gives a lift to a wounded gangster, and everything changes from that point on.

    When the gangster gets in touch some time later, offering Eyrie a small fortune if he will take care of a mysterious young woman for a few nights, Eyrie is suspicious and hesitant. He can see trouble ahead, but the money will change his life for the better, so he reluctantly agrees to become a temporary guardian. But some deals should never be struck, and his charge turns out to be far more of a handful than he had ever anticipated. As twist follows twist and the bodies start to mount, Eyrie gets backed into a blood-soaked corner and must resort to desperate, inventive measures if he is to stand any chance of seeing his mission through and making it out of the weekend alive.
    Fast-paced, action-packed, gritty London-based noir, inspired by the likes of Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
    "Dash supplies plenty of rousing action and deadly gangster machinations to satisfy mob-flavored fiction fans. A thrilling tale loaded with bullets, bloodshed, and bodies." Kirkus.
    "Molls Like It Hot is the perfect item for choice for noir detective readers who like their stories unpredictable, multifaceted, and hard to put down." Midwest Book Review.
    "He weaves a wily tale of double and triple crosses you absolutely won’t see coming. This is definitely a fast, ferocious, and fun read." The US Review of Books.
    "Far from a pulp piece of noir fiction, Molls Like It Hot touches on deeper themes of morality, loyalty, justice, righteousness and the desperate lengths humans go to survive in dark times. All in all, Dash has delivered a wickedly entertaining slice of British noir." Self-Publishing Review.
    "If you read it in bed, you’ll want to stay up all night until you finish. Just be careful if you have a bad heart." Readers' Favorite.
    "Brutal, raw, disturbing…and positively addicting. I have no idea where the time went as I read, I have no proper words to describe what this book has done to me, but I do know this: Molls Like It Hot is a book I will never forget. " The Literary Connoisseur.
    "If you like your books witty, gritty, and full of action, this is the perfect book for you!" Kelly Smith Reviews.
    "Molls Like it Hot is a fast-paced, cinematic unflinchingly gritty piece of modern day noir that is both sophisticated and pulpy. " Books, Films and Random Lunacy.
    "This book strangely had me laughing at some of the most inappropriate moments and left me feeling so covered in grime that I feel like I need to re-evaluate my sanity while I take a shower." Reviews and Randomness.






    It's that time of year again, when Santa Claus sets out on his rounds, and as long-time Shansters will know, where that's a Santa, there's also a SHANTA! I wrote a fun short yuletide story many years ago, featuring some of the characters from my first three vampire books, and since then it's expanded to include references to pretty much every YA book or series that I've released. It's the only place in the Darren Shan universe where there are crossovers between my various fictional worlds, where Lord Loss can rub shoulders with B Smith and Mr Crepsley. It always goes down well with fans, so make sure you look out for it in the week leading up to Christmas -- it will appear ON THIS PAGE on my web site when live. I'll also post links to it on my Facebook and Twitter and Blog pages. So, that just leaves us with one question that each of you now has to answer -- have you been naughty or nice?!?






    If you're looking to buy a complete Darren Shan set or two in the run-up to Christmas -- or if you'd like someone else to buy them for you -- here are some deals that will put you in a freakily fabulous yuletide spirit, without breaking the bank.


    First, for my fans in the UK, the lovely people in THE WORKS are currently selling a boxed set of all 10 books in my Demonata series for the ludicrously low price of just £15. Yep, you read that right -- £15, which equates to £1.50 per book. Even Lord Loss is happy to get in line and wait patiently for that particular offer! If you want to grab the books, you can either head down to your local branch of The Works as fast as your feet can carry you, or you can pop online and get them through their web site by CLICKING HERE.


    On the LOWPLEX book site, you can buy complete sets of all the UK editions of my major series all year round, at eye-bogglingly low prices. For instance, when I last checked, the Saga Of Darren Shan (aka the Cirque Du Freak series) will set you back just £17.99 -- that's for ALL 12 books! If you want all 12 Zom-B books, it's just £17.95! The 10 Demonata books cost £19.95 -- still a big bargain, but you can get them cheaper at The Works, so have a look above. They also have the 4 books in The Saga Of Mr Crepsley for a wallet-pleasing £10.99. Lowplex is a UK site, but they also ship to several countries around Europe -- Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland -- as well as Japan and the USA. You can CLICK HERE for The Saga Of Darren Shan -- AND you can find the rest of my work by searching for "Darren Shan" in the search box on the site.


    Looking further afield, I also found the following deals -- In the USA you can buy all 12 of the American paperback editions of the Cirque Du Freak series on Amazon, for less than $40 -- CLICK HERE.


    I couldn't find American sets of my other series on Amazon USA, but I did find sets of the UK editions, which American fans can buy -- my advice is to check the overall prices, inlcuding shipping, on both Lowplex and Amazon, to find the best deal.


    The Demonata, just under $50 -- CLICK HERE


    Zom-B series for $47 -- CLICK HERE


    The Saga Of Larten Crepsley for $22 -- CLICK HERE


    You can also buy the combined Saga Of Darren Shan and Demonata sets for $92 -- CLICK HERE


    I wasn't able to look for sets on every Amazon store worldwide, but I did spot The Saga Of Darren Shan on Amazon CANADA for $64 -- CLICK HERE


    Amazon AUSTRALIA had all of the UK editions of my series -- here's the link for Zom-B, which costs $60 -- CLICK HERE


    I've provided links to Amazon simply because they're the main player and I was able to easily find them, but I'm sure plenty of other places sell sets of my work too, so it's always worth asking your local bookseller, or checking out other online sites. Happy shopping!!!





    CLICK HERE a really sweet post by a blogger called Liam, who got invited onto the BBC to chat about children's books. It details his nerves, what happened on the day, the books he talked about (there's a certain familiar demon master in among the mix), and so on. It reminded me of how I felt when I first started doing interviews twenty or so years ago. I got used to it over time, and these days I barely blink, but back then it was a whole new and unnerving world. I was this guy who had been drawing the dole (unemployment benefits) up to very recently, I still lived with my parents and did my writing in my bedroom, I hadn't really travelled outside of the UK and Ireland, I was very shy and not used to speaking to anyone outside of my small group of friends and close family... Yeah, it was a real culture shock, and Liam's post captures that better than I ever did at the time.






    I love it when songs are written in honour of my books or characters who feature in them. I remember listening to Anthrax's song Among the living years ago, which is based on Stephen King's novel The Stand, and thinking how cool that would be if it ever happened with one of my stories one day.


    Well, the vampire gods have smiled on me over the years, and I've been lucky enough to have had several songs written by music-orientated fans of my books. The latest is by a lady called Aimee Heloise, who wrote a song with the title of Deal with a Demon, that was inspired by Lord Loss. It's a really cool song, and quite different to most of the other Shan songs that have been recorded, in that it's got a fairly strong country/folk vibe to it. It's still very dark lyrically, so don't worry -- I don't think anyone will be line-dancing to it! :-)


    You can check out Deal with a Demon on YouTube by CLICKING HERE.


    And you can CLICK HERE to listen to all the songs on Guiding Light, the album it hails from.


    These are the lyrics, which you can read along to while listening to the song.


    I know a man who would love to see you fail
    See your nightmares come true be right on your trail
    If we believed in fate maybe we’d pull through
    But without faith and drive there’s not much we can do 

    You see he loves to play a game and you’re the pawn who
    Thinks you’re right on track but he’s behind you 
    How can we banish him from this world
    When it’s full of pain and hurt 
    He’ll spin his words like webs and then he’ll blind you
    From everything that’s good you need to see the truth 
    He can’t capture your soul if you speak up, open up, team up and slip his net.

    Who gave the right for him to exist here
    Feeding on memories, forcing despair
    It’s not all over when he calls check
    Block the move and counter the threat 


    I made a deal with a demon, wriggled out his sticky web 
    I made a deal with a demon, won’t let him punish me with death
    I made a deal with a demon, now I’ve got him in check
    That’s how you deal with a demon, sweep the board and scatter his set.





    A librarian at Glenthorne High School Library decided to create some Readalike Brochures, which are basically recommendations to readers who like a certain type of book. e.g. "You like Harry Potter? Then try some of these." I was pleased to see a couple of my books appear in the "Do you like scary stories?" section, but there are LOADS of great-looking books here, spread across the various categories, proof of something that I've long known to be a universal truth -- nobody knows more about YA books than a good school librarian! CLICK HERE to find the complete brochures.






    The memes based on Cirque Du Freak and other books of mine keep coming thick and fast, and are proving as popular with my followers as they are with me, so long may it last! I published a few more over the course of last month on my Facebook page and blog, and the one above, sent to me by a Twitter follower with the user name of Vampire Council, really struck a chord with me, because I was a big John Hughes fan in my teens. (And still am.) And of all his films, The Breakfast Club is probably the one that moved me the most.


    (Although some of my favourite scenes from any of his films are in Planes, Trains & Automobiles.)


    (And if I could only pick a sinlge film of his to watch over and over again, it would have to be Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which was a joy when I saw it at the cinema on its first release as a teen who went away dreaming of being Ferris Bueller, and remains a joy even though I'm now the age of Ferris's father.)


    But I digress.


    The Breakfast Club. Yeah, it's a great film, especially for those of us who feel like we don't quite fit in with the normal masses. It had a big impact on me, and I think you see very strong echoes of if in characters of mine like Kernel Fleck and B Smith and Bill-E Spleen, and even older characters like Dervish, Mika, Barnes...


    So, enjoy the meme, and I look forward to hearing if you agree with Vampire Council's attribution of the names to the various characters in the film -- I suspect there might be some strong differences of opinion...





    There was a list posted on the site Imgur a while back, by a librarian who loves horror, entitled: SINK YOUR TEETH INTO HORROR. It mentions loads of interesting-sounding horror books for adults and YA, handily broken down into categories such as "Zombies," "Vampires," "Demons" and so on. The Demonata got a nod, which was nice. There was no mention of Cirque Du Freak or Zom-B, but hey, you guys know about those already, right?!? But I bet there's plenty here that you DON'T know about, so if you want to broaden your horror field considerably, CLICK HERE for more recommendations than you can throw a headless horseman at!!!! You can also CLICK HERE for the link to the librarian's post on Reddit, which included the link for the list.






    In the run-up to October 31st, my American publishers LittleBrown came up with a list of 13 Books to Spook You Out This Halloween, and Cirque Du Freak was one of their chosen offerings. There are lots more (well, 12 more to be precise!) cool, freaky recommendations that might be of use to young and YA readers who want to keep that Haloween feeling going through to the end of the year and beyond. You can find the 13 fright masterpieces by CLICKING HERE.




    There was an interesting article on CBR.com a while ago, focusing on 10 YA Series that Could Be the Next Hunger Games. It looks at ten different YA series that it feels are ripe for a TV or movie adaptation -- and I was very pleased to see not just one, but two of my long series namechecked -- Cirque Du Freak (it almost goes without saying) and The Demonata. CLICK HERE for the complete list.


    I'm always open to my works being adapted, and as I've hinted here in the recent past, there are TV rumblings on the Cirque Du Freak and Zom-B fronts -- although before anyone gets too excited, those rumbles have been rumbling for quite a while now, and at the moment they're nothing more than rumbles, so don't go raising your hopes TOO high. But yeah, things have been happening behind the scenes with those two series, though it remains to be seen if anything will come of either project.


    The Demonata, on the other hand, hasn't yet elicited more than a few half-interested enquiries over the years. Maybe it's too grisly. Maybe the structure is too off-putting. The world of TV and movies being what it is, if there ARE to be further adaptations of my works, maybe a Demonata fan will come from out of nowhere and it will be fast-tracked and see the light of day first. But at the moment I'd have to pronounce it a deep-sleeping Sleeping Beauty...



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for December -- and 2019. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year's. The photo above is my Christmas card to you all, from myself and the rest of the Shan clan. We'll be having a quiet one, spending Christmas at home with family. I'll be back here at the start of January with the first 2020 edition of the Shanville Monthly, and maybe -- just maybe -- news of another new book... 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.





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