• Issue 273 - April 2023

    01 April 2023



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the April issue of the Shanville Monthly. It's another jam-packed edition, neatly summing up all that's been going on in the world of Shan over the last 31 days. I did a major interview with the Alizee Yeezy show, which you can either watch on YouTube or listen to as a podcast on Spotify -- quite a few fans have commented that this is one of the best Darren Shan interviews they've ever heard, and I wouldn't disagree with that view... You can watch a very funny recap of the Cirque Du Freak movie, which may just be even more fun than the film itself... I have updates (and photos) relating to the upcoming release of Archibald Lox Volume One in Hungary... photos of cosplaying Shansters and tattooed Shansters... and lots more!!! But let's start nice and easy with Alizee Yeezy...






    I haven't been doing much publicity recently, having decided to take things easy on that front after the release of the final Archibald Lox books last year -- I'm gearing myself up to hopefully do lots of promoting if I hit my target of releasing a new Darren Dash books for adults later in 2023. But when the Alizee Yeezy Show asked me if I'd like to be interviewed, I was tempted out of my shell for a rare first half of 2023 appearance!

    It ended up running for almost an hour and a half, and it covers a huge amount of ground, including my early life, getting my big break with Cirque Du Freak, my writing habits, and much, much more. It's a fun, easy-going, very relaxed chat, and the time flew by for me -- I honestly thought we'd only been talking for about 45 minutes when we drew to the end! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did -- if nothing else, it gives you a glimpse of my temporary office, where I'm working while I wait for my house to be fully repaired following last November's fire.

    You can watch the interview on YouTube: CLICK HERE

    Or you can listen to it as a podcast on Spotify: CLICK HERE






    It's not often I describe something as a MUST-SEE, but honestly, you HAVE to watch THIS -- He Fakes His Death, So He Can Play Games All Day In Grave!!! CLICK HERE


    It's an amusing 12 minute movie recap of the Cirque Du Freak film, that summarises the entire movie, while scenes from it play out. It basically reveals the whole of the movie, so if you've never seen it, you might never actually need to!! :-)


    I think this will tickle any Shanster's fancy, regardless of whether you enjoyed the movie or hated it. While the recapper mostly very faithfully and earnestly recounts what is happening, he does work in some very funny lines -- I think my favourite might be, "Steve's a douche!"


    Trust me, if you liked my vampire books, these 12 minutes will fly be. And the recap is proving hugely popular too -- it's already had over 1.3 million views!! This may well end up being seen by more people than saw the actual movie!!!!! :-)







    Volume 1 of my Archibald Lox series goes on sale in Hungary on May 15th. Coming in at a whopping 552 pages, it's a beast of a book! The publishers have done a beautiful job on it, as you can see from the attached photos, so hopefully it will give readers as much joy to hold and behold as it will to read!! (Unless, of course, you prefer to buy it as an eBook!!!)


    You can pre-order the book from one of Hungary's biggest book distributors, Líra, by CLICKING HERE. They will be stocking it in their 80 physical book stores across Hungary, and it will also be sold through the likes of libri.hu, bookline.hu, Tóthágas, Könyvtárellátó, etc. So hopefully it will be easy to pick up if you want to get your hands on a physical copy but would prefer to buy it from your local bookseller rather than pre-order.


    You can also pre-order the book from the publisher, by CLICKING HERE, and although it's a little more expensive than ordering through Lira, it MIGHT be worth paying the bit extra, at least if you do so quickly. There was a signed limited edition of the book which sold out almost immediately when it went on pre-order last year, BUT we are exploring the possibility of maybe adding a signed (but not numbered) sheet to the first 100 or so copies of the regular edition as well, as a bonus for those who buy the book before it goes on wider sale, as we know a lot of you were disappointed to miss out on the initial special edition. It's not confirmed yet, but if we do go ahead with the plan, the signed copies will ONLY be available through the publisher's web site.









    It was World Book Day last month, and I was delighted to see some Shansters getting in on the act and bringing life to characters from MY books.


    First up we have TYLER, who dressed up as B Smith from my Zom-B books. I think Tyler pegged B's look (from the third book in the series onwards) perfectly.


    GEORGINA dressed up as Mr Crepsley, and made sure she didn't head out without her trustworthy eight-legged companion in tow!!


    TARYN also dressed up as Mr Crepsley, and again, it was nice to see Madam Octa added to the mix. This also answers the oft-asked question of whether or not vampires need to get passports when they travel!!!! (Actually, I've NEVER been asked that question in all my years, but hey, I should have been!!!!)


    The final photo was shared with me by the teachers and students in P6 and P7 of WHITECRAIG PRIMARY SCHOOL, who clubbed together to create a Darren Shan World Book Day Door, highlighting both Darren's human and vampire halves. A fascinating piece of work, and I don't recall seeing a school take this approach with my work before.






    There was an article on ScreenRant last summer, ahead of the start of the Netflix show The School For Good And Evil, listing ten similar shows and movies for fans who wanted to "get in the mood" for the new arrival. The Cirque Du Freak movie was one of the ten, and although Ashvaria Rai - the author of the piece - noted that the film had disappointed audiences, they recommended it as a way of getting into my books, which was nice. :-)


    You can check out the full list here: https://screenrant.com/best-shows-movies-like-school-for-good-evil/


    I must admit, I don't know anything about The School For Good And Evil. Is it worth a watch?!?






    This one's for bargain-hunters among my Demonically Freaktastic fans in the good ol' USA...


    I spotted a Twitter ad for my books on JUST KIDS BOOKS. They're selling the beautiful British boxed sets of my Cirque Du Freak series (known in the UK as The Saga Of Darren Shan) and The Demonata at massive discounts -- 63% off the vampire series, and 53% off the demon set!! That's much cheaper than you'll find on Amazon. (They're also selling my four-book Saga Of Larten Crepsley series, at a 40% discount, although you can get that on Amazon slightly cheaper.)


    Click here if interested: https://justkidsbooks.com/collections/darren-shan


    Fans in the UK needn't feel left out -- as I've highlighted many times in the past, LOWPLEX sell full sets of my books (including my Zom-B series) at huge discounts. The Saga Of Darren Shan is currently sold out, but my other major series are all available, at discounts of up to 74%!!!


    Click here to banish the Brexit blues: https://www.lowplexbooks.com/pages/search-results-page?q=darren%20shan


    If you live elsewhere in the world, you might be able to find these sets through your local Amazon seller, or some similar online book seller. Happy hunting!!






    Last summer, a new podcast hit the world, called OUT LOUD & AWKWARD. It's still going strong, with the hosts chatting about a different subject every week, but in the very first episode they cast their net wide and talked about their favourite movies, TV shows, anime, manga, books, and video games.


    Cirque Du Freak was the choice of one of the hosts when it came time to chat about his favourite books, and you can listen to it from about the 25 and a half minutes mark by CLICKING HERE. He chats about it for a couple of minutes, but then returns to my work a minute or two later, to give a very nice shout-out to my other books too -- so make sure you don't cut away too early if you only go there to listen to what they have to say about me!! :-)






    Seven years ago, when the final book of my Zom-B series went on sale, I gave lots of interviews to promote it. Recently, for some odd reason, one of those popped up again on my radar. It appeared on the web site, SCI FI NOW, and it's a fairly short but wide-ranging interview. I'd forgotten all about it, and enjoyed reading through it again all these years later -- it only took a few minutes. If you'd like to check it out, click here: CLICK HERE






    Some months back, ScreenRant published an article entitled 10 Worst Movies Based On Books, According To Reddit. A far from scientific approach, then!! :-) But even though it's light on detail, it's interesting to note what's in there -- along with some expected entires, such as Eragon and, yes, the Cirque Du Freak movie, it also lists... Harry Potter?!? Um, I seem to remember those films being rather popular actually... :-) You can check out the full list by CLICKING HERE


    In all honesty, I never know how to regard lists of this kind. On the one hand, a film based on my books is being slammed, which is a disappointing thing (even though, as I always point out whether the movie is getting hammered or praised, I had absolutely nothing to do with the adaptation), but on the other hand the author of the piece is pointing out that my books are widely loved, which is... well, lovely!! All I can say for certain is that I'd rather be on this kind of a list than one entitled "Great movies based on books that SUCK!!!" :-) :-) :-)









    Tattoo Tuesday is an irregular feature over on my blog. If fans gets tattoos inspired by my books, and send me photos, I feature them on a Tuesday. Sometimes That might happen a couple of times a month. Other times there can be a longer wait between them. Last month was rare in that I had FOUR photos of tattoos to share, so there was a new Tattoo Tuesday every Tuesday in March. It would be lovely if we could keep that run going throughout April, but I suspect things will return to normal, as there just isn't THAT much tattooist's ink out there in the world... :-)


    The first tattoo was shared with us by CHLOE. Chloe wanted to pay homage to both my Saga Of Darren Shan / Cirque Du Freak and Demonata series, so she merged references to Mr Tiny with references to Lord Loss. I think it's an absolutely incredible work, and it runs all the way down Chloe's shin to her ankle. Demonically delightful and freakily fabulous!!!!


    Next, SAVANNAH ROSE opted for a quote taken from Birth Of A Killer, the first book in my Saga Of Larten Crepsley series. My most famous quote, of course, is "Even in death may you be triumphant," but this one has been cropping up a lot as well in recent years. I must admit, I've been surprised by its popularity -- I would have thought it was a bit too long, running as it does to three sentences, to capture widespread attention as a stand-alone quote. But I guess the sentiment means as much to many of you guys as it did to me.


    The third photo comes to us courtesy of a fan of my stand-alone fantasy novel The Thin Executioner, called JAKE. The Thin Executioner is my favourite out of all my books, so when I see that it's close to the hearts of fans like Jake too, I get an extra warm glow all over. The book was released in 2010, but it actually started life eight years earlier, in 2002. If you'd like to read my author notes for it, in which I talk about how it came to life, and reveal some of its heavier influences, CLICK HERE


    The fourth, MASSIVE work adorns the lower arm of STINA, who decided to pay homage to Mr Crepsley and Madam Octa, performing in the Cirque Du Freak. The attention to detail here is absolutely staggering. I'm sure we'd have to see it in the flesh to fully appreciate its beauty. Hey, Stina, any chance you can donate your arm to me when you pass on to Vampire Paradise, so that I can hang it in a glass case on the wall outside my house, for every passerby to admire?!? :-) :-) :-)



    IT'S A WRAP!


    And that's it for April. I shared a snap of my black eye with you last month, the result of a fall when I fainted -- I'm happy to say that's pretty much fully healed now, and hasn't left too much of a mark -- phew!!! I've been working away on my first edit of what will most probably be my next Darren Dash book for adults -- a sci-fi tale about time travel. It's been a slow process, as it's required a LOT of adjusting, but I'm almost at the end, and the next few edits should go a lot quicker, so we're looking good for that to see print before the end of the year, though it will probably be in the latter half of the year. I'll keep you updated on its progress over the coming months, so make sure you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, or subscribe to this newsletter, which is the surest way of ensuring you don't miss out on any new. I'll hopefully see you all back here at the start of May. 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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