• Issue 282 - January 2024

    01 January 2024



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the first 2024 issue of the Shanville Monthly! I hope you all had a great time over the yuletide period, and are enjoying a nice start to the new year. I don't really do New Year Resolutions, but I certainly DO plan to release my first picture book this year, as well as one for older readers, either a Darren Dash book for adults or a Darren Shan book for older kids/teens. So those are my two BIG goals for 2024. Hopefully I'll succeed with both of them, and make it a publishing year for us all to remember! On that picture book front, my Terrified Troll campaign has gone brilliantly, far surpassing our aim for it, and is still live for a short while into January, for those of you who maybe had an eye on pre-ordering a copy or buying a perk but couldn't make the books balance in the run-up to Christmas! In other news you can listen to me on a couple of podcasts... read three different articles that take delight in sticking the book into the Cirque Du Freak movie... and find out how a book from Korea made my eyes boggle when I spotted it online one day!!!






    The first ever Darren Shan PICTURE BOOK is on its way, and you still have a bit of time to pre-order a copy or buy one of our fabulous perks -- although a couple are now sold out!!


    We hope to sell the rights to a traditional publisher down the line, but first we're creating a LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED, HARDBACK version, which is only going to be available to people who pre-order a copy during our FUNDRAISER.


    The link for the fundraiser is below, but please note that it will CLOSE at the end of Wednesday, January 10th, so you'll need to act swfitly!


    To find out more about THE TERRIFIED TROLL and associated PERKS, click here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-bring-our-troll-to-life






    Above is a photo of me signing and numbering one of the PRINTS that artist Eva Byrne produced for our Terrified Troll campaign. These look absolutely amazing in the flesh -- we were both thrilled with how they turned out! While we originally set the print runs quite high (50 for the A4 prints, and 25 for the A3 prints) we have decided to make this MUCH smaller -- now, despite what it says on the Indiegogo page, there will be a maximum of EIGHT copies of any given print. So, if you buy a copy, you will be buying one from an edition of eight, making it WAY more collectible and rare than it otherwise would have been!!


    Also, we've REDUCED THE PRICES of two of the A3 prints, from €75 to just €55 -- they're a genuine BARGAIN at that price, as Eva's smaller A4 prints normally sell in that kind of ballpark!


    If you're interested in buying a print (or any of the other perks on offer) CLICK HERE






    One of the perks in my Terrified Troll fundraiser is the chance to take part in a one-to-one Zoom chat with me. I did the first of these sessions last month, with a guy in America called TRAE. When Trae was thinking of buying the perk, he got in touch with me to ask if it would be possible for him to record it for his podcast, THE ANIME HARMONIX. I was absolutely fine with that, so you can listen to Trae and me shooting the breeze if you CLICK HERE


    Normally, when I go to an event in a school or book store, fans in the audience will only get a chance to ask at most one or two questions each. Here, you can have me all to yourself for 40 minutes, and put me on the spot however you choose. You can also make a reading request if you wish -- I normally read out one of a few tried and trusted extracts, but with these personal events I can be more flexible. Trae asked if I wanted to read something from The Terrified Troll, so on the spur of the moment I grabbed a copy of the poem that started it all and read it out for the first time ever -- you can hear the world exclusive reading in the podcast. Another lady asked me to read out the chapter in Hunters Of The Dusk when the hunters meet Evanna for the first time. It's a scene I don't think I'd ever read out before, and will probably never read out again, so she got a true once-in-a-liftetime reading!!!


    Think about it -- what extract would YOU like me to read out live to you? What questions have YOU always wanted to ask Darren Shan??? Once you've decided, check out the Indiegogo fundraiser for The Terrified Troll (there's a link above, and also in Trae's podcast Episode Description), and if you can pull together the funds, sign up for a session swiftly with Shan before the campaign finishes!!!! And if you don't have the funds... hey, why not ask your loved ones to club together and buy a slot for you as an early birthday present this year?!? :-) :-) :-)






    I recently did an interview with vlogger NICHOLAS FLORES, whose vlog is called GROWING PAINS. We chatted for nearly an hour, and covered a very wide range of subjects. We talked about specific works of mine at some points, but also writing in principle. It was a very enjoyable interview, and the hour flew by for me, which is always a good sign! Hopefully it will fly by for YOU too if you decide to watch it, which you can do by CLICKING HERE


    Oh, the beginning of the interview appears to be missing (Nicholas must not have hit the RECORD button in time!) so don't drive yourself loopy trying to rewind back to the start!!! :-) :-)







    My latest Darren Dash novel, Father Of The Future, was reviewed very positively online by book industry giant KIRKUS ahead of its release, which was lovely. BUT it was also included in the November 15th issue of their physical magazine, which was an amazing bonus achievement! Kirkus review HUGE numbers of books every month, and select only a very small percentage of them to appear in the magazine they produce, which is sent to booksellers, librarians, teachers and others in the publishing industry. They basically cherry-pick the cream of the crop for the magazine, so I was absolutely delighted when I heard that Father Of The Future was going to be included. Happy days!!!


    Kirkus prounced the book "A timely, riveting, thought-provoking page-turner." And for the full review, you can check out the online edition of the November magazine -- the review for Father appears on page 164 of the online version. CLICK HERE


    The eBook of Father of the Future is available 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's 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. You can also buy it as a hardback or paperback through Amazon stores worldwide. If you're going to buy a physical edition, I strongly recommend the hardback, which is a beautifully produced book and only slightly more expensive than the paperback -- and before you accuse me of trying to upsell you, I actually make less on the hardback than I do on the paperback!!! (I wanted to keep its cost down, to make it more attractive to buyers.) Links for all the editions below:




    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



    Amazon USA hardbackhttps://www.amazon.com/Father-Future-Darren-Dash/dp/B0CKH7NMVV/

    Amazon USA paperbackhttps://www.amazon.com/Father-Future-Darren-Dash/dp/B0CKD3YCFW/

    Amazon UK hardbackhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Father-Future-Darren-Dash/dp/B0CKH7NMVV/

    Amazon UK paperbackhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Father-Future-Darren-Dash/dp/B0CKD3YCFW/






    "The Movie Was So Bad, It Fully Hurt My Soul."


    That's a quote that would bring a tear to the eye of anyone who's seen their favourite book adapted for the big screen, only to come away from the viewing feeling incredibly underwhelmed and disappointed. It's happened to all of us at one point or another, I'm sure, but in this case the fan with the bruised soul was talking about... yes, you guessed right!!!... the CIRQUE DU FREAK movie.


    The short, sad review appeared on a Buzzfeed article with the headline: 19 Book-To-Movie Adaptations That Were Disappointing Enough That People's Souls Were Affected. I'm in two minds what to think of it -- on the one hand, it's depressing that the Cirque Du Freak movie disappointed a fan so deeply... but on the other hand I'm delighted that the fan was so in love with my books in the first place!! Anyway, you can check out the full list by CLICKING HERE. Just make sure you have a hankie to hand, in case it brings back awful memories of the time YOUR soul got stung by a (perceived) dodgy movie adaptation!!! 






    Cirque Du Freak Could Have Competed With Harry Potter -- that was the headline for an entry about Cirque Du Freak on an article that appeared on CBR last month, entitled 10 Box Office Flops That Could Have Made Great TV Shows.


    Hmm!!! While I'd love to think this was a universe where a Darren Shan adaptation could have gone toe-to-toe with the Harry Potter franchise, I suspect my books were always a bit too dark and... well... FREAKY to go down quite that well with the massive mainstream audience that HP reached!!! But, yeah, I do think the movie could have reached a much larger audience, as the books surprisingly did, given that everyone in the publishing industry in the UK wouldn't touch them with a barge pole in 1997 when I wrote the first draft of CDF! Hopefully we'll fare better when/if the series ever gets a reboot... You can read the full article if you CLICK HERE







    While the Cirque Du Freak movie has plenty of fans (it does! honestly!!), there's no denying that lots of people dislike it too, especially if they'd read my books first and were dismayed by the way the film-makers played fast and loose with the plots and characters in the novels. It cropped up again in a recent(ish) article on BUZZFEED, entitled: 22 Book To Movie Adaptations That Really Disappointed The Readers. (A rather odd number of movies to pick, in my opinion -- why not stick to the standard 20?!?) There isn't a whole lot of content attached to each listing -- most of them get a single quote from a disgruntled fan, although Cirque Du Freak actually got the double-barrel treatment, with these two stingers:


    "It was a horrible movie, but great book series." – Breanna Ferguson


    "I like to try to pretend it never happened." – Jes Parsons


    To see what other movies made the nefarious cut, CLICK HERE






    Did you ever have one of those days where you're idly looking for some of your books on Amazon, when you suddenly spot covers for Korean editions of those books that you never knew existed?!?


    I was answering an email from Eva, the artist who will be drawing the illustrations in The Terrified Troll. A teacher at her daughter's school was trying to track down a copy of the manga edition of Cirque Du Freak, and couldn't find it in the shops, so Eva asked me if I knew where she could get her hands on a copy. I told her about the omnibus editions which were released a few years ago, and went to Amazon UK to forward on the link to her. I could only see Volumes 1, 2 and 6 (each Volume collects two books from the series), so I scrolled down a bit further, in case the others were hidden elsewhere in the listings. Which is when I spotted... THIS and others in the Saga Of Darren Shan series!!!


    So, my books were officially released in Korea by a reputable publisher many years ago, and I actually visited there on tour a couple of times. I have the covers of those early, legitimate editions up on my website, along with the covers from all the other countries where my work has been printed. These appear to have been published more recently, by a publisher I've never heard of, and since no one over there told me about the new editions of the books, I'm pretty sure they didn't send me any royalties from them either!!!!


    Anyone know any good lawyers over in that neck of the woods?!?


    Actually, it was only as I was typing that last line that it actually struck me... I've been assuming these are from a publisher in South Korea... but maybe they actually hail from NORTH Korea!!! Might Kim Jong Un be a secret Shanster?!?!? :-)






    A fan of my books, John Gichomo, who lives in Kenya, recently sent me this VERY cool ambigram of my name. Now, I've got to be honest -- when I saw the word "ambigram" I didn't have a clue what it meant, so I had to Google it!! Turns out it means a name that can be read the same way in either direction. So, like a palindrome, only visually a whole lot snazzier!!! John told me that he started out trying to turn the word SLAWTER into an ambigram, but found that my name leant itself more naturally to the process. I think he did a brilliant job on it. I hope you guys like it as much as I do.






    If you're having a quiet, lazy day, why not pass an hour of it wacthing a Shanster called Morgan chat about Birth Of A Killer, the first book in my Saga Of Larten Crepsley series?!? Almost every time I post about the Mr Crepsley books, I get at least one or two fans replying, "WHAT?!? There's a series about Mr Crepsley?!?" The answer is, yes indeed, there is!! Four books in total, starting when Larten was a young human boy, and covering the two hundred years of his life before he met Darren and Steve at the Cirque Du Freak. But hey, that's enough about the book from me! Let's hear what Morgan has to say about it, by CLICKING HERE






    The pre-order link for the SIGNED, NUMBERED, LIMITED edition of the Hungary translation of ARCHIBALD LOX VOLUME 2 went live at 20:20 (8.20pm) Hungarian time on December 20th... and SOLD OUT in just 9 MINUTES!!!


    Congratulations to those who managed to grab a copy -- and my commiserations to those of you who sadly missed out. But it's not all bad news -- you can still pre-order the normal edition, by CLICKING HERE. It will be on sale as an ebook too, if you prefer to read it that way.


    You can find out more about the Hungarian editions of Archibald Lox on the publishers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bookaholickiado






    I've done extremely few in-person events since the end of my Zom-B series. 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 in 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 several 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 the festival tend to 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!!!



    IT'S A WRAP!



    And that's it for January. On Christmas Day I recorded a video which I sent out to the world via the wonders of YouTube! If you want to watch me waffle on for 7 minutes, chatting about what I got up to last year, what I'm planning for 2024, and when I was having my Christmas dinner, CLICK HEREI'll hopefully see you back here in February for all the latest 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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