• Issue 267 - October 2022

    01 October 2022







    Hi everyone, and welcome to the Halloween issue of the Shanville Monthly! I imagine that many of you share my love for Halloween -- it's always a time of the year that I look forward to immensely, and I'll no doubt be out trick-or-treating with my two children this year -- I might even pop up in my son's school when they have a Halloween party, but shhh, that's meant to be a surprise!!! I hope that lots of you will be dressing up for the special occasion, and if you were maybe thinking of wearing a costume inspired by a character from MY books, I thought I'd start things this month by hitting you with a few snaps of fans who've cosplayed as Shan creations in the past. From the top left we have Jake and Kevin as Mr Crepsley and Murlough... "Fizzykat" as Evra Von... "Kismet" as Mr Dowling from my Zom-B books... and finally Katie Louise as Mr Crepsley. (For a photo of ME dressed up as my smartest, bravest and most handsome character, scroll down to the very end of the newsletter!!) I think they all did a wonderful job with the costumes, and if any of you follow in their footsteps this Halloween, I'd love to see some snaps -- you can share them with me through Facebook or Twitter. Right, on with the news!!






    OK, this is, as of October 1st ,still UNCONFIRMED, but there's a chance -- I say, a CHANCE -- that there will be a rare public screening of the Cirque Du Freak movie in Limerick, Ireland, very close to Halloween, POSSIBLY on Saturday 29th October. If -- I say, IF -- it goes ahead, I will be attending, watching the film with the audience, then chatting about it afterwards (or maybe before). After that, I will of course be happy to sign any books that fans have chosen to bring along from home. (I don't think there will be any books for sale at the event on the day.) As soon as this is confirmed -- IF it is confirmed -- I'll share the details (venue, date, time, ticket price) through my Facebook and Twitter pages, and also email them to everyone who subscribes to this newsletter.


    This will only be my second public appearance of 2022 if it goes ahead, and most likely my last of the year. It would also only be the second time I've ever attended a public screening of the film -- I went to the European premiere in Limerick back in October 2009 (the photo above was taken on the night), where I answered questions from the crowd and signed books afterwards, but that was my only promotional event for it. Fingers crossed it all goes ahead, and that at least some of you guys will be able to come along and keep me company -- put it in your diary NOW if you think you can make it to Limerick on that date!!!






    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. While readers are free to read the series any way they like, i.e. as nine short books or three big volumes, my recommendation if you haven't yet started is to read them in this format, as I think the stories work best this way. But then again, hey, what do I know?!? :-)


    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 or hardback ahead of its release. (The paperback edition isn't available to pre-order, but I'll try to release it a week or so before the official release date, so that you can then order it to arrive around the same time that the digital edition hits the world.)


    Amazon ebookhttps://mybook.to/ArchieVolume3ebook

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

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

    Amazon hardbackhttps://mybook.to/archievol3hb

    Book Depository hardbackhttps://www.bookdepository.com/Archibald-Lox-3-Darren-Shan/9781910009161





    Archibald Lox Volume 1   


    If you wish to buy the hardback omnibus editions of the Archibald Lox Volumes, you'll find they're a bit on the expensive side -- that's because of the costs of printing, not because I'm earning anything extra from them (I'm not -- in fact, I think I make more per sale on the eBook!). BUT there are some deals to be found if you shop around. For instance, Amazon are currently selling the hardback of Volume 2 at a whopping 50% discount through their USA and UK stores!! And you can get a 27% discount on Volume 1 through Book Depository (who ship worldwide) -- they're also selling Volume 2 at a 27% discount at the moment, in case you live in a country where you can't take advantage of the Amazon offer. At those prices -- which puts them (or certainly Volume 2) at about the same prices as the paperback editions -- they become VERY tempting in my opinion... Here are some links, but do feel free to do more searching online in case you can find any other stores offering them at even better prices.


    Book Depository Volume 1CLICK HERE    Book Depository Volume 2CLICK HERE

    Amazon USA Volume 2CLICK HERE    Amazon UK Volume 2CLICK HERE






    If you'd prefer to read the series as nine shorter books (and for all I know, maybe that IS the best way to read them!!), 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.



    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


    Meanwhile, I was left buzzing by a review by Mahtab, over on Goodreads, for Archibald Lox And The Legion Of The Lost -- CLICK HEREMahtab said: "I loved this book and I loved this series... As the finale, this book was perfect. It was unpredictable, it was suspenseful, and the action was well paced."


    That's the kind of praise that puts a BIG smile on my face!! But that's not why I've highlighted the review. I have to be careful here, because the review contains big SPOILERS -- and, in fairness, Mahtab has marked it as such, and the review is hidden on the page, so you can only read it if you click to reveal it. Anyway, in the books, Archie alternates between our world - the Born - and the fantasy worlds of the Merge. We don't get to see much of his home life in the Born, and Mahtab notes that she was disappointed by that in the first two Volumes of the series, as it seemed that I was skipping over some very important scenes, and "it felt rushed to me and I knew it wasn't the Darren Shan way." But then she read book 9 and noted with delight that "NOW it all makes sense."


    Heh heh!!! Listen, I've been at this writing business a long time now. I've published something like 60 books over the last 23 years. Surely you regular readers of mine have worked out by now that there's nothing I love more than pulling the rug out from under your feet, and throwing in surprise twists that seem to come from completely out of left field, but in actual fact have been carefully orchestrated far in advance. In short, if something seems a bit OFF in one of my books or series, your Spidey-senses should be tingling, because it's almost certainly a sign that I'm messing with your mind and am about to pull the mother of all twists on you at some point down the line!!!!!






    If you live in the USA, and haven't yet seen the Cirque Du Freak movie, and have access to the Peacock streaming service, then I have good news for you!! From October 1st, the Cirque Du Freak movie will be streaming on Peacock, as revealed recently on on BGR -- CLICK HERE Perfect timing for Halloween... IF you like the film!!! :-) :-) :-)


    This is the link for Peacock in the USA: https://www.peacocktv.com/


    Meanwhile, if you live in the UK or IRELAND, you can 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.






    There was an interesting article on ScreenRant a while back, entitled How Twilight Killed Vampire Movies (& How Streaming Saved Them). It's not an especially long read, and I'd highly recommend it for fans of bloodsuckers. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE


    The Cirque Du Freak movie gets a mention, as one of the post-Twilight films that fared poorly at the box office. In my opinion, based on the reviews that I read at the time, this was certainly a factor in its failure on the big screen (though by no means the only one). As I've often said, I read somewhere between 120 and 140 reviews at the time, basically every review that I could find. A third were positive, a third were middling, and a third were negative.


    A telling thing about the negative reviews was that many of them name-checked Twilight, and were dismissive of the Cirque Du Freak film on the grounds that it was a cash-in -- even though it had been in in the works years before Twilight ever came out! Basically, quite a few reviewers -- and I assume quite a lot of films fans too -- automatically wrote off the Cirque Du Freak film (and other vampire movies at the time) on the incorrect grounds that it had only been green-lighted to cash in on the Twilight craze.


    Timing can be vital when it comes to the release of a film, and while I'm sure the makers of the Cirque Du Freak film thought that Twilight's success would be an unanticipated boon for them, in retrospect I think it did the freaky flick more harm than good. Hopefully, if the series ever gets rebooted, it won't come out in the middle of a Twilight reboot!!!! :-) :-) :-)






    Last year a YouTuber called RAT set about making a series of very funny short films based on the books in my Saga Of Darren Shan / Cirque Du Freak series. I shared the first five, and here's the link for the film they made about book 6, The Vampire Prince: CLICK HERE


    You can check out the first five films by CLICKING HERE


    "Rat" posted the book 6 film back in January, when they noted that they'd just started college, so I guess their studies have got in the way of their film-making. A pity, as I was looking forward to seeing the second half of the series!!! Maybe they'lll resume work on it when they graduate... :-)






    Now, THIS is an odd one!! A fan called BRETT wrote to me recently, asking me if they could send a book of mine to me in the post, for me to sign and return to them. I'm normally reluctant to do that, as books can get damaged or lost en route, but occasionally for whatever reason I'll make an exception.


    I agreed to sign Brett's book if they wanted to send it to me, but asked them to weigh it first, so that I could give them a quote for what the return shipping would be. While Brett was doing that, they also took a photo of the book and shared it with me... and it wasn't a book I recognised!!!


    "An American paperback omnibus edition of the first three Cirque Du Freak books?" I muttered to myself. "I don't recall that one..."


    A quick check of my bookshelves proved that I hadn't forgotten about this edition -- I didn't (don't) HAVE a copy of it. I have a copy of the omnibus edition with a cover from the movie, which was released to tie in with the film in 2009, but my publishers never sent me my author copies of this one, which features a cover adapted from the hardback of book 1.


    I don't think there's any point asking my publishers for my contracted copies at this stage -- I assume this is long out of print -- so I guess I'll have to follow my own advice and do what I recommend to fans who ask me where they can track down old copies of my books, and go look on Abebooks and Alibris for one!!


    In the meantime, while I like to modestly boast every so often that I have the most complete Darren Shan collection in the world, if YOU, like Brett, have a copy of this book, you're currently one step ahead of me, so feel free to say "Nyah! Nyah!"" if our paths ever cross!!!! :-) :-) :-)






    A fan called EMILY created a wonderful seven-page comic strip, which is set near the end of Brothers To The Death, the fourth and final book in my Saga Of Larten Crepsley series. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE. Emily was careful not to throw in any direct spoilers, but it will still be best appreciated by readers who have read all of the Mr Crepsley books, as they'll understand what happened to Larten in the chapters before this sad, reflective scene.






    An Instagrammer called STEPH LOUISE posted a very nice review for my Zom-B series a while back, which you can check out by CLICKING HERE


    She mentions in her review that she thinks the books are aimed at 7-11 year old, but this is a mistake -- it's more appropriate to teenagers, and was always marketed that way.


    Steph also makes mention of the big twist towards the end of the first book, thankfully without giving any spoilers away. There are actually a couple of big twists near the end of that book, but I absolutely know the one Steph is talking about, and I'm pretty sure any of you who have read it will know as well. I won't give anything away, but yeah, if you haven't read Zom-B yet, and intend to give it a try in the near future, prepare yourself for the mother of all shocks a few chapters before the big finale... :-) :-) :-)






    A fan of my books, called Timothy, posted this on Facebook recently:


    "Was thinking about this the other day... what character of Darren's scares you/gives you the ick the most? Is it Steve after what he admitted about Annie? Mr Dowling and his ruthlessness? I never really got too scared of Lord Loss and Mr Tiny because the protagonists always ended up belittling them. For me, it was the Cult leader of cannibals from The Thin Executioner... something about him always give me the creeps, maybe it was the raw human chunks they ate! Or second... maybe Spits Abrams (who I swear blind is meant to be the cabin boy who snitched on Malora and Larten. let go! I've never seen it confirmed if they are the same person) - for similar reasons!"


    So, who's YOUR ickiest character of mine?!? I'm going to throw my hat in the ring and say... Dan-Dan from my Zom-B books, pictured above!!!


    Oh, and Timothy was right about Spits. I thought everyone would put two and two together on that one, but it seems I might have been a bit too subtle... :-) :-) :-)







    I received a few hand-made presents from Shansters recently which blew my mind and warmed my heart. I never ask for or expect anything like these from you guys, so it really does touch and amaze me when one of you takes the time to create something so special.


    The first is a crocheted Blooder, a creature to be found in my Archibald Lox books, and it was created by REBECCA, who noted that after 14 years of reading my books, this was the first time she'd felt compelled to make any fan art based on one of my characters. The bright red is actually a small pool of blood, and the darker red is the Blooder -- they can change their shape and are almost always in a state of flux.


    RAWAN made the incredible heart-shaped watch magnet in the second photo, plus the sticker that I'm also holding. It's an unsettlingly realistic piece -- needless to say, I love it!!!


    Finally, TAMARA sent me the gorgeous Des-Tiny key ring, which is the most perfect shade of purple imaginable. She actually runs her own small business, Kennet.Road.Krafts - CLICK HERE - so if you're looking for a little piece of DesTiny for yourself, now you know who to reach out to...






    I'm not sure why this interview with me on the Vampyres Only site, which first appeared 15 years ago, cropped up on my radar recently, but for some reason it did, and I found it a highly enjoyable read, so I figured I might as well share it with you guys too, even though some of you were most likely in nappies (or not even born!) when it first aired! CLICK HERE


    It dates back to when I was releasing my Demonata series, and covers a wide spectrum of issues in a very short space, touching on the surprising lack of a backlash to my books, their early success in Japan, the high number of female readers I attract despite the dubious reckonings of my publishers, and a whole lot more. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I did! :-)






    A fan of my books called Kate painted her nails and posted the following on Facebook when she shared the photos:


    "My new nails of one of my favourite series from my favourite author. I love the Demonata series and I have to admit doing pawns are not my calling. My husband asked if they were pawns or keyholes. I'm gonna have to try and do them again at a later date and get better at them."


    I think these are absolutely fabulous!! But I must admit, like Kate's husband, at first I thought they were keyholes, and I got VERY excited, because I thought she'd painted her nails in honour of my Archibald Lox books!!! But hey, pawns and a respectful nod to my Demonata series are equally as good!!!! :-) :-) :-)






    The winners of my September competition, in which four lucky Shansters each won a VERY rare signed and dated copy of Archibald Lox And The Sinkhole To Hell, were...


    Tristan Kennedy, USA.

    Sophie Bingham, UK.

    David Cook, UK.

    Allison York, USA.


    Thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to the winners. And better luck next time to everyone else!!


    There will be another competition coming SOON in my Shanville Monthly newsletter. I always link to the newsletter each month from my blog and Facebook and Twitter pages, but it's easy to miss, so my advice is to SUBSCRIBE -- it's free, I never send out more than two or three emails each month (often it's only one), and I don't share your details with anyone else, so you don't have to worry about extra spam emails!!! Click here to fill out a VERY short subscription form if interested: https://darrenshan.com/news/subscribe



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for October. As promised at the start of the newsletter, here's a photo of me dressed up as a character from my books. It is, of course... Darren Shan!!! Heh heh!! Sorry -- I couldn't resist!! As I said to one of my friends years ago, when he said he was disappointed that I hadn't dressed up in a costume for Halloween, "I don't need to dress up -- I'm always Darren Shan, no matter what I wear!!!!" :-) :-) :-) I hope you all have a wonderfully wicked Halloween, and I'll see you all back here at the start of November. 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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