• Issue 274 - May 2023

    01 May 2023



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly. This issue packs quite an international punch. Archibald Lox debuts in Hungary, and I'll probably be doing a live online event to help promote it! I become a featured artist on a record in The Netherlands!! And there's a MASSIVE discount on the hardback price of Archibald Lox Volume 2 in the USA!!! There are plenty of other items too, which will hopefully be of interest to you no matter where in the world you live. But let's kick things off with news of that exciting Hungarian release...








    Volume 1 of my Archibald Lox series goes on sale in Hungary this month, on May 15th. 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.hubookline.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 order the book from the publisher, by CLICKING HERE, and although it's a little more expensive than ordering through Lira, it comes with a bonus, SIGNED page!! There was a signed limited edition of the book which sold out almost immediately when it went on pre-order last year (that's a photo of me signing the first of the signature sheets), BUT we are adding a signed (but not numbered) sheet to the first couple of hundred 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. The signed copies are ONLY available through the publisher's web site, and we expect them to sell out quite swiftly, so if you're interested, I'd advise you to order a copy ASAP!!


    Oh, and it's looking like I'll do a live online event with my Hungarian fans a week or so after the book's release. Keep an eye on the publisher's FACEBOOK PAGE for updates about when it's going to happen and how to take part.







    I've always dreamed of being a rock star. I love writing, of course, and that was my first choice of what to do with my life, and it was also the career to which I was best suited - I'm a good writer, but as anyone who's ever heard me singing at karaoke will attest, a pretty poor singer!!! But still the dream of fronting a rock band has lingered, even though I'm now a greying, fifty year old with a dodgy left knee and creaking joints. When I run on a treadmill of cycle on an exercise bike, the headphones go on, I turn the volume up to full on my iPhone (a stupid thing to do, I know, and the phone gives out to me every time, but I don't care, because being a rock god means you'd rather go deaf than turn down the volume!) and imagine myself singing to a captivated audience. 


    Well, last month, coming towards the end of my 50th year, I got to live the dream for real. Kind of!!! HARVEY SENGERS is a long time fan of mine - you might have seen him comment on my posts over the years. He's also a musician and last month he released his new album, The Al(l)onetime Project Pt 1. One of the songs, FLAMING HYPOTHERMIA, is a catchy little number that features a guest "musician" -- ME!!!! 

    Harvey asked me, a long time back, to record an extract from one of my books, and he's beautifully worked it into this song. This is where it all starts, the second phase of my life. Wembley Stadium here I come!!!


    You can listen to the song (and album) on Spotify by CLICKING HERE or on YouTube by CLICKING HERE. It should also be available on pretty much any music streaming service. If you like the song, please give it a big thumbs up and help spread the word to anyone you think might dig it too.






    I check the prices of the physical editions of my Archibald Lox books every so often, on Amazon and other site, as sellers sometimes run super-bargains on the hardbacks or paperbacks, without informing me in advance. On my latest check, I found a MASSIVE bargain on Volume 2 (which collects books 4, 5 and 6 of the series) on Amazon in the USA, where it's on sale at a hard-to-believe 79% discount!!!! There's also a 16% discount on Volume 3, and the UK Amazon store is offering a 60% discount on Volume 2. I've provided direct buying links below.


    Volume 2 on Amazon, 79% discount: CLICK HERE

    Volume 3 on Amazon, 16% discount: CLICK HERE

    Volume 2 on Amazon UK, 60% discount: CLICK HERE






    I haven't seen Renfield -- the latest Dracula-inspired movie -- yet, but the trailer looks fun, so I'll certainly catch it at some point, though probably on my TV rather than in the cinema.


    To tie in with its release, DAILY O, an India-based news site, took the opportunity to list 10 of the best and worst vampire movies. The Cirque Du Freak movie made the cut, though sadly it appeared among the "worst" films. I felt its placing was a bit harsh, as most of the movies were made for adults, and it's hard for a teen flick to compete with those, but hey ho. You can check out the full link by CLICKING HERE, and it's certainly worth a look, as it does list quite a few really cool vampire pictures, a nice reminder of how wide-ranging and different the genre can be -- imagine running a triple bill of What We Do In The Shadows, Cronos, and Let The Right One In!!!






    As a very prolific author, I know it can be difficult keeping up with all my books. Quite part from the expense of buying them, there's almost the not-so-minor matter of simply figuring out just HOW MANY books I've actually released!! You can always check on the BOOKS page of my www.darrenshan.com website, but now, thanks to a Tweeter called ChaosPixie The Bookworm, you can also just run a quick eye over THIS list if you prefer!!


    ChaosPixie shared her self-compiled list with me, noting that when she picked up the ebook of Zom-B Circus, she would own ALL of my Darren Shan books, after a long time spent tracking them down. (A physical copy of Hagurosan was the latest addition.) She did confess to not owning all of my Darren Dash books for adults, but was working on that too.


    It's a hell of a list, isn't it?!? An awful LOT of books to read. How simpler things would be if I only published a book every year or two!! But hey, isn't it great to have so many to choose from, and a list that's hopefully going to expand ever further before I move on to Vampire Paradise (or the Lake of Souls!)??? I often recall Billy Wilder's infamous line about his fellow director Ernst Lubitsch. At his funeral, another director called William Wyler remarked, "No more Lubitsch." To which Billy Wilder responded, "Worse. No more Lubitsch films!"


    I might be costing some of you a small fortune, but all I can say is enjoy me while you have me, folks, because as productive as I am, I'm not planning to release any more books from the far side of the grave!!!!






    As I said in the previous post, a fan with the Twitter handle of ChaosPixie The Bookworm created a list of my books, to help her track down all of them. She'd just managed to track down a physical copy of my (very) short book, HAGUROSAN, and was extremely excited to have got hold of it, which is what prompted her to share the photo with me.


    Another fan, called Theodor, commented on that post when I shared it on Facebook, saying that he'd also wanted to buy a copy of Hagurosan, but the cost of shipping had deterred him -- he lives a LONG way from the UK, where the book was published. I was pleased to tell Theodor that although I can't help him with tracking down a physical copy of the book, he can read it for FREE on my website -- as can anyone else!


    There are actually TWO versions of the story on my site. The original version, which appeared as a short story in a book called Kids' Night In. And an extended, restructured version, which I put together for Barrington Stoke -- that's the book in this photo.


    You can read either (or both!!) versions, FOR FREE, by clicking here: https://darrenshan.com/extras


    I hope you enjoy your trip up the Holy Mountain with Hagurosan. It's a very special story to me, as I wrote it especially for a young woman who, many years later, would become... Mrs Shan!!!






    Near the start of last month, four letters from fans had been sitting on my desk for a while, so I decided to reply to them -- it's always my intention to reply to a fan letter within a day or two of receiving it, but in reality that rarely happens, as I normally set it aside then get distracted by a load of other stuff and forget it about it! I mean, I see it every day, because it's right THERE, on my DESK, but my eyes just kind of sweep over it and don't register it, until one day, with a startled blink, I realise what it is, and that I should have replied to it WEEKS ago (sometimes, to my shame, it can be MONTHS, though it's rarely THAT long), and I swiftly pull it forward to deal with.


    Anyway... what was the point I was trying to make???? (See how easily I get distracted?!?) Oh yes!! Bizarrely, three of those four letters were from people wanting relacement Darren Shan signatures. They (or their loved ones) used to have signed books or letters from me, which had been "lost" -- in two of the cases, mothers had thrown out the signed items. (This happens SO often!!! Most mothers are absolutely brilliant in most recordable ways, but they do have an irritating habit of casually tossing away items of huge sentimental value -- sometimes financial value too -- simply because they think their children have outgrown such "useless junk" and surely have no need for it any longer.) In the third case, a house flood had destroyed a couple of precious signed Shan books.


    I was more than happy to send signed letters to the grieving Shansters, and in the case of the house flood, I sent a signed book which the fan's husband had tracked down online and sent to me, having checked with me first to see if that would be alright. I usually prefer for fans NOT to send me books through the post, as they can get lost or damaged so easily, and return shipping can be tricky for me to organise, but in this case I made an exception, as the husband wrote to me not long after I'd suffered a house fire, so I was in a sympathetic frame of mind!!


    Anyway, if any of YOU would ever like to write to me, for a handwritten, signed reply, I'm always open for business. I can't guarantee a swift reply (but I can guarantee that I'll PLAN to reply swiftly!!) but as long as you include a return address, I most certainly WILL eventually reply. You can even asked me about a replacement signed book, but you'll need a good story that can tug at my heartstrings, and timing might be everything!!! :-) :-) :-) Oh, and if you want a signed letter, you WILL need to SEND ME a signed letter -- I normally will only reply to emails with emails. With letters, you gotta give some physical scribbles to get back some physical scribbles. Um... so to speak!!!!


    If you want to send me a letter, you can find my address here: https://darrenshan.com/contact






    One of the downsides to reading a book on a Kindle reader (or any eReader) is that every Kindle looks the same, no matter what book you might be ploughing your way through. With a physical book, you get to enjoy that book's unique cover. Other people can look across on a train or plane and see what you're reading, and you can see what they are reading. With a Kindle, you're a mystery reader to them, and they're a mystery reader to you.


    At some point I'm sure we'll get a Kindle that displays the cover of the book that the person is reading, a digital back-screen that will change every time you change a book. But while we're waiting for that, a Tweeter with the handle of @Wattkins asked another Tweeter -- one who designs cases for Kindles -- called @KleverCase to design a freakily fabulous case for their Kindle, featuring my most famous quote. It won't match every book that @Wattkins reads, of course, but damn, it's absolutely perfect when that books happens to be Vampire Mountain!!!


    If you're looking for a Shanified Kindle case of your own, now you know where to enquire.



    IT'S A WRAP!


    And that's it for May. It's going to be a busy month for me. I'm looking forward immensely to the release of Archibald Lox in Hungary, and the live online event to promote it. I'll hopefully see you all back here at the start of June. 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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