• Issue 279 - October 2023

    03 October 2023



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the October HALLOWEEN issue of the Shanville Monthly!! I'm sure it will come as no surprise to anyone -- I love Halloween, so this is always one of my favourite times of the year. This year will be extra special, as I'm releasing my lastest Darren Dash book for adults, and although it's sci-fi, it explores the horrors of how we live as humans in an age of ever-more-controlling artificial intelligence, so it's rather well suited to the spooky season! You can check out its gorgeous cover below, and there are pre-ordering links for the eBook, for those who want to make sure they're among the first to read it when it goes on sale in the middle of this month. In other news, you can pick up all 9 eBooks in my Archibald Lox series for less than $8 (if you hurry!)... the Cirque Du Freak movie is back playing on Peacock in the USA... I give a major new interview in Phantasmagoria magazine... I provide an update on the likelihood of a Cirque Du Freak TV or movie reboot... and there's plenty more to sink your fangs into too! But let's start with that beautiful Future cover...






    FATHER OF THE FUTURE, my next Darren Dash book for mature readers, goes on sale on October 18th. It's a satirical, time-travelling tale that looks at the dangers of putting too much power into the hands of a super-computer, and what happens to humanity if we cede too much control over our lives to the artificially intelligent machines that we create.


    That's the stunning cover just above -- I hope you all love it as much as I do! The book has been picking up great reviews in the run-up to publication -- here are some snippets from the reviews to date:


    "A timely, riveting, thought-provoking page-turner." Kirkus.

    "This wildly creative read weaves issues of religion, science, and politics into a masterful allegory of contemporary society. 4.5 stars out of 5." Self-Publishing Review.

    "This is a fascinating and imaginative science fiction tale that blends fact and fiction to weave an entertaining read." The US Review of Books.

    "An engaging sci-fi story with a healthy dose of satire, philosophical discourse, and dark humor. 5 stars out of 5." Readers' Favorite.

    "A fun-filled and provocative time travel adventure." The BookLife Prize.

    "This story will stick with you for a very long time..." The Literary Connoisseur.


    The eBook is available to PRE-ORDER through Amazon, Apple, B&N, Google Play, Kobo, Smashwords and lots of other online stores, at a wallet-friendly price tag of just $2.99. It will be on sale all around the world, at a similar low price in your local currency, e.g. £1.99 in the UK, €2.75 in Europe. A paperback will also be published, though that will obviously be a bit more expensive because of the costs involved. (I always make about the same from a paperback as I do from an eBook, so it makes no difference to me which you choose to buy.) Pre-ordering links can be found below -- the paperback link won't go live until shortly before the book's release. There MIGHT be a sneaky little surprise edition too, so keep a close eye on developments over the next few weeks...



    Apple, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etchttps://books2read.com/u/318gPw

    Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Darren_Dash_Father_of_the_Future?id=jKnYEAAAQBAJ







    I ran a BookBub promo for the first Archibald Lox eBook late in October, and it's given the book a BIG boost. As you can see from the attached screenshot, it got to the #1 spot on the Amazon Fantasy Best Sellers (free) chart in the UK -- it also got to #4 on the same chart in the USA, and to #23 on the OVERALL Best Seller (free) chart in the UK, and #27 in the OVERALL Best Seller (free) chart in the USA. Woo-hoo!!!!


    To tie in with the promo, I reduced the prices of ALL the eBooks in the series. The first book is FREE to download, and I reduced the price of each of the other 8 books to just $0.99 -- which works out at less than $8 for the entire series!!!! I was going to return the books to their normal prices at the end of the month, but I';ve decided to let the sale run for a few more days. But be warned -- this is a temporary state of affairs, and prices will be returning to normal SOON, so if you're thinking about snapping them up, I'd urge you to do it ASAP!!!


    The eBooks are on sale through a wide variety of stores -- Amazon, Apple, B&N, Google, Kobo, Smashwords, etc. I'm providing links to the main stores for eBook 1 below -- you'll be able to see links for the other books on the store of your choice, and depending on where you shop, you might even be able to order all 9 with just one click.


    Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Archibald-Lox-Bridge-Between-Worlds-ebook/dp/B086LKBHD6/

    Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Archibald-Lox-Bridge-Between-Worlds-ebook/dp/B086LKBHD6/

    Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=oUjbDwAAQBAJ

    Apple, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc: https://books2read.com/u/4AzG7q






    Good news for fans of the Cirque Du Freak movie living in the USA. Streaming giant PEACOCK has made more than 100 horror movies available to its subscribers from September 1st, and Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is one of the horrific one hundred!! If you're a Peacock subsciriber, and you've never seen it before, or are keen to revisit it, now's your chance!!


    For a list of all the other movies in the Horror 100, CLICK HERE


    And if you don't live in the USA, and are feeling left out, have a look for it on JUST WATCH which will let you know if it's available to watch in YOUR part of the world.






    The latest issue of PHANTASMAGORIA magazine is on sale through the magazine's website. It contains a long, wide-ranging interview with ME, a special focus on the original King Kong movie, and loads of other cool stuff too. CLICK HERE for the Phantasmagoria home page, where you can order a copy of the latest issue of the magazine, or any back issues that might catch your fancy.


    The magazine is also on sale through Amazon stores worldwide. If you live in the USA CLICK HERE or if you live in the UK CLICK HERE






    GameRant ran an article a while back entitled 9 Best Vampire Manga With No Anime Adaptations. As you'd imagine, it focuses on nine vampire manga which haven't yet been adapted into anime, and Cirque Du Freak is one of the nine (listed at #2).


    There was exploratory talk between my agent and Japanese publishers, many years ago, of possibly adapting Cirque Du Freak into an anime. My publishers were keen to push the project further, but unfortunately the movie rights were under option in the USA, and the studio there didn't want any competition, so the talks didn't lead anywhere. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that it could happen one day in the future, but I'd say it's fairly unlikely.


    As the writer of the article notes, there was a "competition" of sorts to choose the adpating artist for the manga. Several artists were invited to draw a sample chapter (it might even have been a few chapters - if I recall correctly, the works sent to me were fairly long) and they were sent to me to judge. The standard was incredibly high, but my favourite by a long way was the one submitted by a very young, inexperience artist called Takahiro Arai. It wasn't as polished as most of the other pieces, but I was immediately captivated by his story-telling. Even though the text wasn't in English, I could follow the action seamlessly, and the story moved in a way that the other pieces didn't. He was my pick, and the publishers went with my decision, and the rest is freaky history!!!


    You can check out the full GameRant list by CLICKING HERE






    Cirque Du Freak: Will Darren Shan's YA Vampire Saga Rise from the Coffin After Film Version? (We haven't seen the last of Larten Crepsley and his vampiric protégée!)


    That was the heading (and sub-heading) of an article that appeared on SYFY last month. Its author, JOSH WEISS, had spotted a post of mine from last Christmas, when I mentioned that Cirque Du Freak had been optioned again, and that a team was working on adapting it into a TV show. While Josh doesn't have anything fresh to offer (since I haven't revealed anything fresh!), he does have some interesting things to say about the original Cirque Du Freak movie and its director, Paul Weitz. The article is short, and definitely worth a quick read, and you can check it out if you CLICK HERE


    I can't say much more about the potential reboot, except that it's looking mildly promising that it MIGHT actually lead to something. The team in the States (which includes some VERY experienced and successful Hollywood heavy-hitters) was still working on scripts earlier this year, and were inching closer to taking the project out to market, but everything ground to a halt with the writer's strike. Hopefully things will move forward more swiftly once that gets resolved, and I'll be able to come back to you all with more info about who optioned the rights and who is working on the scripts and which studio has (IF that happens -- fingers crossed!!) bought the project to film, but for now, alas, I must keep my lip zipped. Stay tuned for updates, even though I can't offer any guarantees on when those updates might come, or whether they'll be positive (the team found a backer and we're a GO!!!) or a negative (the proposal didn't come to anything this time, and the rights are back with me)...






    As most of you are all too aware, I've done extremely few in-person events since the end of my Zom-B series. I try to squeeze in one or two a year, but that doesn't always happen -- this year is looking like I might not get to do any at all. :-(


    BUT good news is just around the corner for the those in the UK who would like to catch me live!! I've signed up for SFW XV next March, a sci-fi weekender in Great Yarmouth. Details of what I'll be doing there are yet to be confirmed, but I imagine I'll be appearing on a couple of days, doing a few panel events, maybe even a solo event or two, and of course signing lots of books!!


    I did SFW a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so I'm delighted to have been invited back. It's a very relaxed, welcoming festival, with LOTS going on, loads of people from the sci-fi/fantasy/horror worlds of movies, TV, books, comics, etc. Most people (maybe everyone?!?) who attend camp over the weekend, and I chatted with some who went to it every year and treated it as a holiday, the same way that some people do with music festivals.


    If you're interested in coming, you can find all the info you need by CLICKING HERE. I can't guarantee good weather at that time of year, but I can guarantee more access to me than you'd get at a normal event, more time to ask questions and have your books signed. You might even spot me in a restaurant, at the bar or on the dance floor and get a chance to quiz me one-on-one -- but be warned, I take no responsibility for crushed toes if you get too close to me while I'm dancing!!!






    TRY is a YouTube chanel, whose aim is to bring quality Irish comedy to the world. It boasts more than a million subscribers, and offers lots and LOTS of fun video clips -- you could lost yourself for weeks at a time in these if you wished!! A new clip, posted last month, is called... Irish People Try 10 Shots, 10 Questions: Dermot & Gráinne. It basically features two Irish people, Dermot & Gráinne, who answer ten random questions while downing ten shots!! (Most of which are alcoholic, although to their shock and disgust, some DON'T contain alcohol!) It's very funny, but be warned, it does include some swearing, and obviously they're making light of drinking a lot of alcohol in a very short period of time, so this one definitely is NOT for young, impressionable humans!!!


    The reason I'm flagging it? Well, at the 5 minute mark, the third question posed to our intrepid duo is, "If you could live in any fictional universe, which one would you choose?" And without giving too much away, Gráinne has FREAKILY impeccable taste in books!!!! :-) Check out the full video by CLICKING HERE







    An article was published in the UK recently, listing the best opening lines of a book as voted for by 2000 readers in a poll. I agree with the number 1 choice -- Dickens' brilliant opening to A Tale Of Two Cities -- "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." An amazing opening line, and the rest of the book isn't too shabby either!! :-)


    A lot of people on social media have been debating whether or not the opening line from the first Harry Potter book should have made the list (it appears at #4). Although I read and greatly enjoyed all the Harry Potter books, I wouldn't rank the opening line as one of the all-time greats, so I'd be on the side that says, all other considerations aside, if you're judging only by the first line, it wouldn't be high on MY list. For those who might have forgotten, it's “Mr and Mrs Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”


    But all the online debate did get me wondering which of MY opening lines would rank the highest among readers of my books. I haven't gone through and read the first line of every single book I've ever released (there are 60 of them -- it would take me ages!), but off the top of my head I'd say my own personal favourite would a toss up between Cirque Du Freak and The Thin Executioner.


    "I've always been fascinated by spiders."


    "The executioner swung his axe — thwack! — and another head went rolling into the dust."


    But how about you guys? Would one of the above get your vote? Or do you have a different favourite opening line of mine -- one which I've probably completely forgotten about?!? Let's have your quotes (you can share them with me through Facebook, Twitter or by email), and if we get enough of them, I might put the favourites to a vote a bite further down the line...





    I ran a competition last month, to win an incredibly rare special edition copy of Archibald Lox and the Legion of the Lost. The four lucky Shansters, in the order drawn, were...



    SIMONE PETERS, the Netherlands.


    SAKSHI TANDON, (the!!) England.


    Congratulations to the winners, and better luck next time to everyone else -- I plan to run another competition in the not too distant future (probably in either the November or December issue of the Shanville Monthly), so watch out!!!



    IT'S A WRAP!

    And that's it for October. I hope you all have a wonderful time trick-or-treating if that's how you plan to celebrate Halloween, or that you just enjoy kicking back and watching a few good scary movies -- if you're looking for a recommendation, I saw Barbarian recently, and would highly recommend it -- just don't read anything about it beforehand, or you risk spoiling its many surprises for yourself! If you're into my Darren Dash books for adults, I hope Father of the Future will tickle your fancy -- if it does, the best Halloween treat I could get would be if you posted a nice little review for it on Amazon or Goodreads or some similar site... Anyway, I'll see you all back here at the start of November, for the latest round of news and updates. 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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