• Issue 268 - November 2022

    01 November 2022



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the November issue of the Shanville Monthly! I hope you all had a fabulous Halloween. I had a very enjoyable, busy time over the ghoulish weekend --  I attended a rare showing of the Cirque Du Freak movie in Limerick city, terrified children in the Scare Zone at my son Dante's school Halloween party, and dished out treats to Trick Or Treaters and went to a neighbourhood party on the big night itself. It's a good job we have a nice break between Halloween and Christmas, as I'm exhausted now!!! In this month's newsletter, I report on that showing of the movie... there's a reminder that the final Archibald Lox Volume is now on sale... I offer some advice on how teachers and librarians can sign me up for virtual school events... I share a photo of a tattoo of a pair of fancifully decorated boxer shorts (?!?)... there's a new COMPETITION... and more!! Let's start with that freaky film screening...








    There was a rare public screening of the Cirque Du Freak movie in the Belltable theatre in Limerick just before Halloween, as part of the Richard Harris International Film Festival. I went along to introduduce the movie, answer some questions afterwards, then sign books for fans in the lobby. This was only my second public appearance in 2022, and while I miss being out on the road, the upside is that I tend to relish my rare events far more now than I did back in the day when I was touring almost non-stop! When I was doing hundreds of events per year, back in my heyday, they tended to blur into one another. I always enjoyed the signings and talks, but there were a LOT of logistics to deal with, and I had to "reset" at the end of each session, as there were a new bunch of fans waiting to chat with and sign for at the next one. There was very little time to sit back and soak up the wonder of being an in-demand author and to reflect on how weirdly brilliant the last couple of hours had been!!
    On Saturday I was able to cherish every last minute of the event. Sitting with my wife and son Dante (well, he chose to sat in the row behind me, with a friend, but he was still *fairly* close!) to watch the movie... talking a bit about it beforehand and answering questions afterwards... being able to spend a nice chunk of time with each fan at the signing afterwards because I was wasn't having to rush off to get ready for another event... It was a special, special night.
    The fans were special as well, as they always are -- you guys never cease to amaze me!! Most were local, as one would expect, but one lady had come up from Cork especially for it... one guy had driven down from Belfast (well, his car had broken down the day before, so his father ended up driving him!)... and a young woman and her beau decided at the last minute to hop in their car in Sheffield (in the UK), drive a long way to the ferry, cross the Irish Sea, then drive across the breadth of Ireland to come and see me chat and get her books signed!!!
    As I said above, it was a really special night for me, and I hope it was special for those who came along to it too. I might never again tour as aggressively as I once did, but I do hope to do more regular events in the years to come. In the meantime I'm going to cling long and hard to the memories of one-off appearances like this one, and enjoy the hell out of them!!!






    The Volume 3 omnibus of my Archibald Lox series went 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.


    The cheapest way to buy the book is as an eBook, through Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Kobo, Nook, etc. There is also a nicely priced paperback edition, on sale exclusively through Amazon. And there's a gorgeous, hefty 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 direct buying links to the major book chains -- it's worth noting that if you'd prefer to buy the hardback through your local independent bookshop, they should be able to order in a copy for you if you ask...




    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




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

    Barnes & Noble (USA)https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/archibald-lox-volume-3-darren-shan/1141915660?ean=9781910009161

    Waterstones (UK)https://www.waterstones.com/book/archibald-lox-volume-3/darren-shan/9781910009161

    WHSmith (UK)https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/archibald-lox-volume-3-the-exiled-king/darren-shan/hardback/9781910009161.html










    Tthere are currently some amazing deals to be found on Amazon if you want to buy the hardback of Volume Two of my Archibald Lox series. At the time of writing, they're selling it at a whopping 72% discount in the USA, and 53% in the UK!! They're selling Volume One at a small discount too.


    Amazon USA Volume 2CLICK HERE

    Amazon UK Volume 2CLICK HERE






    I mentioned in my newsletter LAST month that the Cirque Du Freak movie is now streaming on PEACOCK in the USA. Since then I found a bit more information about it on the PopCulture site: CLICK HERE


    Basically, it's one of a large number of movies and TV show episodes that they added to their "Halloween Horror" collection. They grouped together the films and shows into several different categories within the collection -- Halloween Horror Nights, Horror Noire, etc. I thought the most natural fit for the film would have been the Freaky Franchises category, but instead they listed it in their Spooky Season category.


    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: https://www.justwatch.com/






    I was delighted to see Lady Of The Shades chosen as the Book of the Week in Ashford Library in the UK during September. Their librarians clearly have excellent taste in books!!!


    For those unfamiliar with Lady Of The Shades, it's the last book for adult readers that I released under the name of Darren Shan, before I started using the pseudonym of Darren Dash. It's an extremely twisting thriller that will hopefully set your head spinning every several chapters or so! I think it's probably my most mainstream book for older readers -- it was optioned for a movie some years back, but didn't come to anything.


    If you're interested in checking it out, ask in your local library -- they can probably order in a copy for you -- or else you should be able to buy it through any major bookseller, as it's still in print, as far as I'm aware.






    Now that kids are back at school and hopefully settled in nicely after the summer holidays, I've started doing online virtual events again. In these, I chat about myself a bit, read an extract from one of my books, then answer questions from the audiences. While they're not entirely the same experience as an in-person visit, they're usually a lot of fun, and teachers and librarians regularly report back to me to say how much the children have enjoyed it, and how they're reading more than before, on the back of the buzz of the event.


    The photo above was taken in St Paul's school in Newry, when I did my first online event of the current school term. As you can see, I was in fine, freaky form!!!


    If YOU are a teacher or librarian, interested in chatting with me about the possibility of setting up an event for YOUR students, you can drop me a line at: post @ darrenshan dot com (I'm sure it goes without saying, but just in case... delete the spaces betwen those words, and replace the word "dot" with an actual dot.)


    The events run about 30 to 40 minutes. I don't charge a fee. And while I can't say yes to EVERY proposed event, I do agree to a lot of them -- it helps if you can offer the involvement of LOTS of children, as it's a case of the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned! :-)






    TATTOO TUESDAY is an occasional feature on my blog, where I share photos of tattoos that fans have had of images related to my books. I shared one last month which is a real thing of beauty, although it might be a bit of a mystery to many fans of my books!! "What on Earth," I hear many of you muttering to yourselves, "does a tattoo of pink elephants on a pair of boxing shorts have to do with the master of YA horror's gory, thrilling books?!?"


    Well, a fan called LEO has a better memory than most of you, and when he decided to pay homage to Gavner Purl, he recalled a moment in the book Vampire Mountain, when the main characters have to strip on their way to the famous gathering of night creatures, and Gavner peels off his trousers to reveal... a pair of boxing shorts featuring pictures of adorable pink elephants!!


    I thought little of it when I wrote that scene -- it just tickled my fancy -- but my editor hated it and asked me to remove the reference to the shorts, as she didn't think a vampire general would wear such a thing. But I held firm, and came up with a heart-wrenching short story which explains why Gavner was wearing the shorts. It also sheds light on his final comment in book 5, Trials of Death, and makes clear to whom those words were directed. This is maybe my favorite short story that I've written (with the honourable exception, of course, of my Christmas-themed Shanta Claus tale), and you can read it online for free by CLICKING HERE






    There was a nice review of my book, Lord Loss, a while back, on Books And Beyond, which is the Litcham School Literary Blog. It was written by a student called Evelyn, and although it's rather short, it's a sweet little review... in a grisly, bloodthirsty kind of way!! You can check it out by CLICKING HERE






    Last month I visited the Nightmare Realm in Dublin, Ireland's biggest indoor scream park, with five horrifying mazes which you get to wander through, bumping into all sorts of unsavoury creatures along the way! I've been in quite a lot of haunted house attractions over the years, as well as Universal's famous Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando, and this ranks up there with the best of them. Excellent, lengthy mazes, loads of actors in spine-tingling costumes, grisly atmosphere galore. In fact the only thing I didn't like about it was that I got called "Grandad" by the ghouls a few times!!! Highly recommended if they run it again next year in the run-up to Halloween. You can bookmark their website to stay in the loop by CLICKING HERE






    Volume Three of my Archibald Lox series went on sale shortly before Halloween 2022. Last, year, around the same time, ahead of the release of the omnibus edition of Archibald Lox Volume Two: The Kidnapped Prince, I produced an ultra-limited collector's edition of just 5 copies of the paperback edition of that book, from proof copies (also known as ARCs) that I had ordered. I kept the 1/5 copy for myself, and I'm giving the the other four away as competiton prizes this month -- yay!!!


    Each book is signed, dated, and numbered out of 5. To be in with a chance of winning this rarest of prizes, all you have to do is answer a simple question and email it to, 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 full title of the second Archibald Lox omnibus Volume?"


    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, Wednesday, November 9th, 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 Thursday, November 10th, 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 November. Hard to believe that when I pen next month's issue, we'll be preparing for Christmas -- where has the year gone?!? I'll see you all back here at the start of December. 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.