• Issue 250 - May 2021

    01 May 2021



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly -- which just happens to be the 250th issue, which is a lovely milstone to have reached! Such a milestone deserves something of a more super-charged issue of the newsletter, wouldn't you say? And luckily, that's exactly what I have in store for you! Covers of three new books! Info about the Summer Of Shan!! An "album" of songs inspired by my work!!! Oh yeah, there's all that and more -- lots, lots more!! Let's kick things off with those brand new covers and details about the new books...







    As promised a while back, this is going to be the Summer Of Shan!! I've finished work on the three books that make up Volume Two of my new Archibald Lox series, and those are the stunning covers above. I'm going to be releasing them in quick succession over the course of the summer months. Each will be simultaneously released as an eBook and paperback -- you'll be able to buy the eBooks through all the major online stores, but the paperbacks will probably only be available through Amazon stores worldwide. You can pre-order the eBooks NOW, using the links below, but I won't be able to list the paperbacks until much closer to the release dates. Oh, and there WILL be an omnibus bind-up edition, in hardback and paperback, to match the Volume 1 omnibus, but probably not until the spring of 2022.


    Book 4, Archibald Lox and the Forgotten Crypt, goes on sale on 1st July 2021.

    Amazon: http://mybook.to/archie4ebook

    Apple - B&N - Kobo + others: https://books2read.com/u/mKRAxL

    Google Play: CLICK HERE


    Book 5, Archibald Lox and the Slides of Bon Repell, goes on sale on 3rd August 2021.

    Amazon: http://mybook.to/archie5ebook

    Apple - B&N - Kobo + others: https://books2read.com/u/m0KaB0

    Google Play: CLICK HERE


    Book 6, Archibald Lox and the Rubicon Dictate, goes on sale on 1st September 2021.

    Amazon: http://mybook.to/archie6ebook

    Apple - B&N - Kobo + others: https://books2read.com/u/3LR5we

    Google Play: CLICK HERE






    If you haven't yet got on board the Archibald Lox train, this is the perfect time to start! Read on for where you can get the best deals -- but please note, I plan to REDUCE the costs of the eBooks of books 2 and 3 in July, when the Volume 2 books start going on sale, so if you want to buy those, I suggest you wait until then...


    1) If you're looking to buy a hardback edition of The Missing Princess, (which collects the first three books into a single edition) the best deal over the last month has been on Amazon, where it's been selling at a very large discount: CLICK HERE. There are also always good deals on Book DepositoryCLICK HERE to be directed to your country's branch, where you'll be shown the cost in your local currency.


    2) You can get the paperback of The Missing Princess on Amazon or Book Depository at the same price,and they seem to be the stores offering the best price -- CLICK HERE to be sent to your local Amazon store, or CLICK HERE to be directed to your local Book Depository branch.


    3) The cheapest way to buy Volume One in a physical edtion is to buy The Missing PrincessBUT if you would prefer to buy it as three individual books, I've produced paperback editions, but only through Amazon stores worldwide. CLICK HERE to buy Book 1... CLICK HERE to buy Book 2... and CLICK HERE to buy Book 3.


    4) The very cheapest way to buy the books is in digital format. You can buy Volume One as three separate books (book 1 is always FREE) or as one big omnibus bind-up called The Missing Princess. In either case, the price is the same, just under $5 or your local equivalent -- BUT THIS WILL BE CHEAPER IN JULY! Click on any of the links below to find out more about the books and to buy -- BUT AGAIN, I SUGGEST WAITING UNTIL JULY!!!


    Book 1 on AmazonCLICK HERE   Book 1 on Google PlayCLICK HERE   Book 1 on Apple, Kobo, B&N, etcCLICK HERE


    The Missing Princess on Amazon: CLICK HERE   The Missing Princess on Google Play: CLICK HERE   The Missing Princess on Apple, Kobo, B&N, etc: CLICK HERE






    The second Volume of the Cirque Du Freak manga omnibus went on sale last month. The omnibus editions print two books at a time, so Volume Two includes Tunnels of Blood and Vampire Mountain. You should be able to order the omnibus from any shop that sells English language manga. CLICK HERE for the official Yen Press page for the book, which includes links to several American stores -- Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more. Fans in other countries can either order through their local manga specialist, or through somewhere like their local Amazon store by CLICKING HERE or Book Depository by CLICKING HERE.





    If you prefer to read manga on your digital devices, the books are also being released as individual eBooks. Please note, although these (confusingly!) are also called Volumes, they are NOT the omnibus editions -- so, the Volume 1 ebook is just book 1, the Volume 2 ebook is just book 2, etc. The publisher, Yen Press, is issuing them through Comixology (which is the Amazon manga store -- the link below should direct you to your local branch), Kobo, B&N, and other stores too. If you buy the books digitally, they work out at about half the price as the omnibus paperback editions, so they're good value. I'm including some links for Tunnels Of Blood below -- there are links for the other digital volumes on that page.










    Over the years, several bands/musicians have recorded songs based on my books. When the latest of those (Cirque Du Freak by Evelyn's Casket) started streaming recently, I started thinking about creating a YouTube playlist that would bring the various songs together in one easily accessible place -- in effect, the first ever fan-recorded Darren Shan album. Of the 8 songs that I have on file, four were based on my vampire books (mostly Cirque Du Freak), and four on my demons books (mostly Lord Loss), so I decided to call the playlist (album)...




    I've arranged them as if I was putting together an album, trying to create a natural flow. The first half is devoted to the vampire songs, and it begins with a bang, with a few very rocky numbers. It gets softer and slower in the second half, with some etheral and unsettling demon-based tunes. (The last song, Lord Loss, is only available in an instrumental version on YouTube, but when you get to it, you'll see a link for the full version on Soundcloud, which I highly recommend.)


    I really like the "album," and at under half an hour in total, I think it has a nice running time too. There's no charge to listen to the playlist -- if you enjoy the songs, all I'd ask that you give each song a quick like on YouTube, and share the playlist with anyone else you think might get a kick out of it too. CLICK HERE






    A quick reminder that the Cirque Du Freak movie is now streaming for FREE in the USA on IMDB TV. For the link to IMDB TV, CLICK HERE


    At the moment, IMDB TV is only accessible to people living in the USA. If you live elsewhere, check our your smart TV or computer or phone to find out if you can get it in your country. It used to be available on Netflix in most regions, but now that it's been removed. I'm guessing you can probably buy or rent it through another provider, e.g. Google. Hell, you might even be able to find it for free -- but don't quote me on that!! Of course, whether you WANT to watch it or not is an entirely different matter!! But if you DO want to see it, to paraphrase the old X-Files catchphrase, "The Vampire's Assistant is out there..." :-)






    A reviewer called Loz recently wrote a review for my Zom-B series, having read all 12 books -- you can CLICK HERE to read it. (There was an additional short 13th book, called Zom-B Circus, but although it links strongly to the main storyline, it's an optional extra.) She reviewed my Saga of Darren Shan/Cirque Du Freak series last year, before launching into my equally mammoth take on zombies. Her review can be summed up in a nutshell from this line early on in it:


    "It is safe to say Darren Shan has done it again. Absolute banger."


    Heh heh. "Absolute banger." That's maybe the most apt compliment I've yet to receive for the series! It's a really well-written review, which also compares it in some interesting ways to my vampire books. There are a few spoilers, especially towards the end, but otherwise VERY highly recommended. CLICK HERE






    There was a lovely mention for the first Archibald Lox cover recently, on the Proactivity Press site, in an article entitled Covers That Dare To Be Different. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE


    I was really pleased that the cover's designer, Liam Fitzgerald, is getting the acknowledgement he deserves. It would be a stunning cover no matter what, but Liam pulled this together with virtually no notice, when I contacted him in the spring of last year and said "I'm thinking of surprise releasing three new books in a few weeks' time, to cheer up my fans during lockdown -- any chance you could knock up some covers for them?!?"


    It was a challenge that I think most designers would have shied away from, but Liam not only took it on, but delivered three amazing covers as well -- they drew universal applause when I revealed them, with many fans commenting on how much they loved their look.  If you'd like to check out Liam's web site, to see what other fab covers he's produced for other authors, click here: https://www.cover.works/






    Now THIS is a bizarre one!!! A fan in the Czech Republic posted a photo of their Darren Shan collection recently, and asked readers if they could spot the HUGE mistake that my Czech publishers had made. The only clue was -- look closely at the Demonata covers.


    Well, I'd never been made aware of any problems with the Czech editions of my books, and I looked and looked, but couldn't spot anything amiss, until I read a comment from a sharper eyed fan than me!


    Now, before I draw your attention to it, have another look and let me know if you can spot anything wrong...


    Go on, I can wait...


    No??? OK, then look again at the cover spines for book 7 (Death's Shadow) and book 8 (Wolf Island).




    The front cover of Wolf Island is correct, and is the same as the UK front cover (Grubbs turning into a werewolf). But somehow they used the spine image from book 7 again!! I can't believe a) that happened, and b) that I didn't notice, and c) that it's taken 8 years for someone to bring it to my attention!!! :-) :-) :-) :-)






    There was an article on Screen Rant a while back, examining some of the vampiric differences between my Cirque Du Freak novels (and the film) and The Vampire Diaries. It's a light but interesting look at the ways in which vampires can be presented in all kinds of different fashions, by writers who want to riff on the old vampire legends rather than just slavishly follow them. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE






    There have been great reviews for The Meat, a 5 track EP released on March 25th by an Australian performer known as Necronata -- I'm including links to three of them below:






    The main reason I'm flagging this up is that one of those five tracks is called... Cirque Du Freak!!! (I've included it in my Cirque Du Loss playlist which I mentioned earlier in the newsletter.) Brendan Brendkins, the creator behind Necronata, is a fan of my books, and was inspired by them to write the song. He first released it last year to YouTube, with a cool little video, and I'm delighted that it's now enjoying a wider release. All three of the reviewers mention the Cirque Du Freak song, with Scene Daddy calling it "an obvious highlight" of the EP. If you want to check it out, CLICK HERE, and hopefully it will spur you on to go buy the EP -- us Shansters need to support one another, right?!? :-)






    I had a hearty chuckle last month, courtesy of a Mr Crepsley cosplaying Shanster over on TikTok, with the user name of foreverfleaa, who shared the following short clip with me -- CLICK HERE to have your funnybone tickled too!!






    There was a nice review for Demon Thief recently, over on the Book Lover blog. It's in Italian, but if you copy and paste the text into a site like Google Translate, you'll get back a very accurate translation. CLICK HERE


    Demon Thief was actually the key to the entire Demonata series. Although it was the second book published, it was actually the sixth book in the series that I wrote, and it changed the whole shape and structure of the other five books -- it allowed me to create order out of chaos and set everything up for what would become the final four books. You can find out more about how it saved the day in my author notes by CLICKING HERE.






    I ran a competition last month, offering up five signed and dated copies of Volume 1 of the Cirque Du Freak manga omnibus. There were 5 prizes up for grabs, and there were 339 entries, meaning everyone had a 1 in 68 chance of winning. The five lucky Shansters who overcame those odds were, in the order drawn...


    Amaryllis Vega, USA.
    Desiree Alegria Martinez, Mexico.
    Meggan Alkire, USA.
    Sarah Vaughn, USA.
    Alex Reed, Australia.


    Congrats to the winners, thanks to everyone else who entered -- and better luck next time!! 



    IT'S A WRAP!


    And that's it for May. I hope you're all excited by my upcoming new releases -- I certainly am! It's going to be a very busy summer for me, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the books enjoy as warm a reception as the first three did when I put them on sale without any warning last spring. I'll be talking more about the books over the next few issues of the Shanville Monthly, so I'll see you all back here at the start of June for some sneak insights and all the other latest 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.





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