• Issue 266 - September 2022

    01 September 2022



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the September issue of the Shanville Monthly! I hope you all enjoyed the summer as much as I did. I went on a couple of trips with my family, and was kept busy entertaining the kids in betweem the holidays away. I didn't get a whole lot of work done -- though I did start a new book, as I reported in last month's newsletter -- but hopefully I'll get to spend more time at my PC over the autumn, now that my son is back at school and my daughter has started pre-school... Anyway, even though I had an enjoyably relaxed summer on the work front, there's still plenty to report about this month -- I reveal the title and cover of the final Archibald Lox omnibus... I share reviews, both new and old... I offer an insight into my work world, and what happens when a fan spots a typo in one of my books... and there's the first competition since before the summer break!! But let's kick things off with one final reminder that the final book of my Archibald Lox series went on sale in the middle of all the summer madness...






    Archibald Lox and the Legion of the Lost -- the 9th and FINAL book of the series -- went on sale towards the end of July. You can buy the eBook through a variety of stores, or the paperback through your local Amazon shop -- there are direct buying links below, plus a link to Goodreads in case you want to check out readers' review for the book or leave one of your own.



    Apple, B&N, Kobo, etchttps://books2read.com/u/bPgxMr

    Google Playhttps://play.google.com/store/books/details/Darren_Shan_Archibald_Lox_and_the_Legion_of_the_Lo?id=EDduEAAAQBAJ

    Amazon paperbackhttp://mybook.to/Archie9paperback







    The Volume 3 omnibus of my Archibald Lox series goes on sale on October 25th. It collects the final three books of the series )books 7, 8 and 9) in a lovely, thick, single edition, and presents them as one long, unbroken novel, the way I originally wrote the story arc.


    My cover designer Liam - https://cover.works/ - has come up with another stunning cover to round out the trilogy of omnibuses, which you can admire above.


    The cheapest way to buy the book will be as an eBook, through Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Kobo, Nook, etc. There will also be a nicely priced paperback edition, on sale exclusively through Amazon. And there will be a gorgeous hardback edition, which is quite a lot more expensive, available through a variety of sellers, for those of you with a healthy bank balance!!! Here are some links if you wish to pre-order the eBook ahead of its release. (The physical editions aren't available to pre-order, but I'll try to release them a week or so before the official release date.)


    Amazon: https://mybook.to/ArchieVolume3ebook

    Apple, Kobo, Nook, etc: https://books2read.com/u/49veyM

    Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Darren_Shan_Archibald_Lox_Volume_3?id=A3F-EAAAQBAJ






    Speaking of the Volume 3 story arc... There was a great REVIEW for the last three books from a blogger called THIS DREAM'S ALIVE -- there are only very minor spoilers, so feel free to check it out even if you're unfamiliar with the series: CLICK HERE


    And there was also a fabulous review of Book 9 from THE LITERARY CONNOISSEUR, who said: "This book is a masterpiece... Volume 3 is the very epitome of the phrase, "saving the best for last"... Darren Shan has, once again, done what he does best; deliver an epic ending to an epic book series." You can read the full review by CLICKING HERE






    I was sent an email reminder last month about where you can watch the Cirque Du Freak movie in the USA, and since it's been a while since I highlighted it here, I thought I'd forward on the reminder -- CLICK HERE


    Long story short (as well as telling you the site where you CAN watch the film, the link also mentions lots of places where you CAN'T watch it!!) -- if you live in the USA, you can currently watch Cirque Du Freak for free if you have an AMAZON PRIME membership.


    Although the link only relates to sites in the USA, as I mentioned a few months back, if you live in the UK or IRELAND, you can now watch Cirque Du Freak on NETFLIX, who currently control the rights in those territories.


    If you live elsewhere in the world, have a look on JUST WATCH to find out if it's playing on one of YOUR local streaming services.






    This absolutely lovely post about my books was written by blogger ASHLEY MANNING back near the start of December last year -- sorry it's taken me so long to share it with the rest of you. It's a beautiful post about how much my books meant to her over the years, how she read them first at school, then at university, and still now that she's graduated and is living and working in that scary old place we like to call... the adult world. I think it will strike a chord with a lot of you, whether it was my books that meant (and mean) so much to you, or another author's. It reminded me of the authors who *I* obsessed over in my youth and the decades beyond -- Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and so many others. You can read Ashley's post by CLICKING HERE






    Earlier this year, the site COLLIDER ran an article entitled 10 Under-Appreciated Fantasy Movies Worth A Second Look. One of them was a freaky little flick from 2009... :-)




    The key observations -- "not popular among fans of the books... [but has] a sense of identity often missing from most other movies like it... an impotent lead... but an under-appreciated performance from John C. Reilly." I'd go along with all of that! :-)







    This made me chuckle!! A gathering of clips on RANKER which are "mildly infuriating" -- and look what's at #13!!! CLICK HERE


    As I explained a while back, when it was brought to my attention, the legs originally WERE on book 4, but somehow "fell off" in subsequent reprints. I brought it to my publisher's attention, and they've marked it for correction if the books are reprinted again. So I guess it's a case of "watch this space"... literally!!!






    I'm not sure why this old SCREEN RANT review of the Cirque Du Freak movie recently popped up on my radar again, but it was an interesting read, so I figured I'd share it here for those of you who missed it first time round, or who (like me) had forgotten about it! CLICK HERE


    The review dates back to 2009, when the movie was first released, It's a very positive review, and as I've always said, despite the impression that has formed over the years that the movie was hated by reviewers when it came out, that's just not the case. I read every review that I could find at the time, I think it was somewhere between 120 and 140 -- a third WERE negative (mostly written by reviewers who saw the movie as a Twlight cash-in, unaware that it had been on the cards long before Twilight came along), but a third gave it a mixed review -- there were some things the reviewers liked, some things they didn't -- and a third were extremely positive, like this one.


    As positive as the review is, the reviewer DOES make a very telling comment near the end -- "The Vampire's Assistant is a hard movie to nail down as far as tone." I think this is what really worked against it, and led to it faring so poorly at the Box Office. (And it WAS a Box Office failure, there's no denying that, which is why there was never a sequel.) The movie heavily diluted the darkness of the books, and played as much as a comedy as it did as a horror flick. It was a tricky one to market, because it was too funny to be really scary, yet too dark to be a full-on laugh-fest.


    If you haven't yet seen the film, you can watch it for free in the USA if you have an Amazon Prime account, and on Netflix in the UK and Ireland. You can stream or buy/rent it in many other countries too -- do a search for it on JustWatch to find out how to access it in YOUR country: CLICK HERE






    This cool, creepy, eight-legged bundle of nightmares was drawn by JM, who was inspired by my book The Vampire's Assistant. This was created for the wonderful My Books My Story project in Leicestershire in the UK, where students are encouraged to create a piece of art inspired by a book that they've enjoyed. They've exhibited physically in the local area, and they also have an online exhibit which you can enjoy from anywhere in the world by CLICKING HERE






    TYPOS!! The bane of the published author's life!!!! Like (I assume) every other author, I spend a LOT of time weeding out typos in my books. Even with my self-published work, I always hire an editor (hi, Zoe!) to run an eye over the manuscripts, looking for small mistakes and typographical errors. In fairness, I usually manage to keep them to a minimum. But the odd one or two almost always sneaks through, either something tiny that my editor and I both missed, or a little flaw I made when doing my very final edit of the book after my editor has got back to me with their observations. I never mind when readers spot a typo and bring it to my attention -- I like to correct mistakes whenever possible, even if it's months or years after a books has been released.


    With my traditionally published work, it can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to correct typos. For instance, if a particular edition of a book is out of print, there's nothing that can be done. And even if it's still in print, the publisher has to wait until the next reprint to make any changes, and there can be LONG waits between reprints! But one of the perks of self-publishing is that you can implement corrections almost instantly. And that's what I've done with Archibald Lox And The Legion Of The Lost (plus the upcoming Volume 3 omnibus, released on October 25th), the 9th and final book of my Archibald Lox series. A reader called JAMES spotted a typo and alerted me. Have a look at the attached photo of the offending page and see if YOU can spot it...


    I imagine you saw it straight away -- it stands out when the page is isolated like this, especially when you've been tipped off to look out for it. But just in case you didn't, it's the second line at the top, which should read "cocks an eyebrow at me" instead of "cocks AT eyebrow at me." I spent about half an hour making the correction to my various files, and then uploading them to all the stores where the book is on sale, then reported to my followers that the typo had been fixed.


    BUT I should have known better than to conclude it with the folllowing line: "by this time tomorrow the book should be blessedly typo-free... until some other sharp-eyed super-sleuth spots another bloody one!!!"
    Within a few hours of publishing the post, another fan, called GERMAN, got in touch to politely point out that they'd spotted not just one, but TWO further typos in Archibald Lox And The Legion Of The Lost, and the second was a real doozy!!!
    I can't show the screenshots that German shared with me, as they'd be spoilers for people who haven't yet read the book, but basically the first one was a small, ordinary typo -- I said that a character found their way out of the Born (that's the name for Earth in the series) when I should have said they'd found their way out of the Merge (the fantastical, alternate universe in the books). An understandable, minor mistake, easily corrected.
    But the second one was more of a boo-boo than a typo. There's a place in the series called the Crypt, and at one point I had a few characters situated in it. They left it to go somewhere else (I'm being deliberately vague here), but one of the characters stayed behind and waited for them to return. BUT, because of a complicated piece of logic which I'd mentioned earlier in the book, German pointed out that the group COULDN'T return to the Crypt unless that character had gone with them, as he was needed to open the door back to the Crypt. Doh!!!!
    I didn't have to change too much, just tweak a few lines here and there, but it's the sort of mistake I hate to have made. Typos are annoying, but we all know that in life little mistakes slip in along the way. This, on the other hand, was an oversight on my part -- I got my facts wrong, and a writer really shouldn't do that. (Though in reality, it's not as rare as one might imagine!)
    Anyway, if you've already read the book, or have bought a copy and are getting ready to read it, and are curious about the "offending fact"... it comes almost at the start of the chapter which begins with the words, "First stop..."







    When I released the paperbacks of books 7, 8 and 9 of my Archibald Lox series, I produced an ultra-limited collector's edition of just 5 copies of each book, from proof copies (also known as ARCs) that I had ordered ahead of the books' release. I'm keeping the 1/5 copies for myself, and will be giving the others away as competiton prizes, starting this month!


    First up for grabs are the four copies of Book 7 -- Archibald Lox and the Sinkhole to Hell. Each is signed and numbered, dated 31/5/22 (31st May 2022, the day the book was released). I also scribbled in "publication day!!" for extra emphasis, and I even included the TIME, so each winner can pin down the very minute of the day that their copy was signed!! To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer a simple question and email it to me, along with your name and address. After that, keep your fingers crossed and hope YOUR name pops out of the electronic hat when I make the draw!!


    1) Answer this question: "What is the name of the seventh Archibald Lox book?"


    2) Send your entry to: [email protected]


    3) Put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail. Make sure you INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS in the body of the e-mail, as well as the answer, so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win


    (4) Closing date is 11.59pm UK time, Tuesday, September 13th, 2022.


    (5) This competition is open to fans everywhere in the world, 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 Wednesday, September 14th, 2022. 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 and my blog too.


    (9) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company.


    (10) My decision will be final.



    IT'S A WRAP!


    And that's it for September. I plan to get back to working on that new book that I started in July -- if all goes well, I should be nicely advanced with the first draft by the time I post here again. My thoughts have also started to turn towards my Darren Dash books -- it's been a very long time since my last novel for adults went on sale, so perhaps I'll start picking away at the next one of those too... Too ambitious?!? We'll find out shortly, I guess!! Anyway, I'll see you all back here at the start of October, for the start of the countdown to Halloween -- hurrah!! 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.