• Issue 10 - May 2001

    01 May 2001
    Hi !!

    Welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly. This is the first time I've published a Monthly intended for readers of both the Shanville UK and Shanville USA sites. Rather than publish separate news bulletins, I'm going to stick with one Monthly, intended primarily for UK Shansters, but including all the news from the USA. As my base of Shansters in the States (hopefully!) grows, I might eventually publish a Monthly specifically for them, but for the time being we'll try it this way and see how it goes. The American pieces of the Monthly with have a small red USA sign before and after each headline, so they'll be easy to spot. Now -- on with the news ...
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    USA#10 WITH A STAKE!!!! USA

    Cirque Du Freak was released in America in April, and quickly zoomed to number 10 in the New York Times Children's Bestseller list! It's still very early days there, but the book is selling really well, and the response from critics and readers has been extremely positive, so it looks like there could be some freakishly good times ahead!!! To see the NYTimes Chart, click on this link: Children's Best Sellers For a list of the American reviews to date, click here: Reviews
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    NEW UK COMPETITION

    A brand new competition for Shanville UK readers this month! To celebrate the recent release of the Tunnels Of Blood audio cassette, I have TWO complete sets of all the Darren Shan audio tapes released so far, to give away to two lucky Shansters. So, if you want to be in with a chance to win the magnificently eerie tape collection of Cirque Du Freak, The Vampire's Assistant and Tunnels Of Blood, answer this simple question: Which actor narrates the Darren Shan audio cassettes? If you don't know the answer, visit the Shanville SHOP and have a look around ... Send your answer to comp1@darrenshan.com by midnight, Monday, May 7th, 2001. I'll draw two names at random on Tuesday and contact the winners for their full addresses. Please note: only one entry per person; this competition is not open to people living in the USA.
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    USA NEW COMPETITION USA

    In America, my publishers - Little,Brown - are running a competition with lots of great prizes for the winners, including signed copies of Cirque Du Freak, exclusive T-shirts, and more. It's a fun competition: entrants have to visit a number of web sites and find different colored "Madam Octas". For all the details and rules, visit the Time Warner site. Please note: this competition is only open to USA and Canada residents; I am not running the competition myself, so there's no point contacting me about it.
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    THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER...

    The long wait for Book 4 - Vampire Mountain - is almost at an end! The book's official release date is June 4th, so there's only a month or so to go!! As far as I know, the books are being shipped from the warehouse sometime around the middle of May, so you might find copies in stores a bit earlier than June 4 -- the surest way of ensuring you get a copy as early as possible is to order it in your local bookstore, or else through Amazon by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007114419/shanville

    POETRY COMPETITION RUNNERS-UP

    These are the five runners-up in the recent poetry competition. These came very close to being among the final five winners, but were edged out at the last hurdle, after much deliberation and re-reading on my part. These talented Shansters will each receive a signed copy of Vampire Mountain. Here, in alphabetical order (surnames first), are their entries.
    NO ORDINARY STORY by CONALL FORDE, TYRONE
    THIS IS NO ORDINARY STORY, A TALE OF THE GRUESOME AND THE GORY,
    DARREN ENJOYED AN ORDINARY LIFE, BUT ONLY TILL THAT FATEFUL NIGHT.
    4 FRIENDS HAD TICKETS FOR A FREAK SHOW,
    DARREN AND HIS FRIEND STEVE GOT TO GO,
    THERE WERE AMAZING FREAKS AND COOL THINGS TO BUY,
    BUT THE SPIDER - MADAME OCTA - CAUGHT DARREN'S EYE.
    BEFORE HE KNEW IT, HE HAD HER HID IN HIS ROOM,
    LITTLE DID HE KNOW THAT IT WOULD LEAD TO DOOM,
    SHE BIT STEVE, PARALYSING HIM IN EVERY VEIN,
    TO SAVE HIM, DARREN WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.
    NOW FORCED TO BE A VAMPIRE'S SLAVE,
    HE HAD TO PLAY DEAD, THEN RISE FROM THE GRAVE,
    TO FIND HOW THE STORY ENDS,
    YOU'LL HAVE TO READ IT - I GIVE 10 OUT OF 10!
    THE BITE!! by AMY HOUGHTON, 10, SURREY
    Madam Octa sinks her teeth in.
    She lowers her fangs/ Madam Octa sinks her teeth in.
    She climbs onto Steve's back/ Annie screams.
    She lowers her fangs/ Madam Octa sinks her teeth in.
    The hairs tickle the back of Steve's neck/ Darren blows hard on his flute
    His throat is dry/ Steve freezes like a snowman
    The spider climbs onto Steve's back/ Annie screams.
    She lowers her fangs/ Madam Octa sinks her teeth in.
    AXED by MAYFLOWER HIGH SCHOOL, ESSEX
    It is all in the blood I hear you say/ So why do you try to run away?
    There is no escape, nowhere to run/ Never knew scary could be so much fun
    Dark, narrow tunnels filled with webs/ Thoughts so fearsome fill your head
    Things that are horrid, things that are bad/ Thinks that make you think you are mad
    Creepy fingers up your spine/ Ghouls and ghosts standing in line
    Waiting to catch you and never let go/ You think you're running but you're moving slow
    Skeletons rattle as you pass by/ Whispering, wailing "you're going to die"
    Waiting in shadows it comes for us all/ Your time will come and the axe will fall
    FEAR IN THE AIR by SUSANNE O'REILLY, DUBLIN
    There's loads of blood everywhere,/ And plenty of fear in the air,
    There's Mr.Tall and the ferocious wolf man,/ Steve, Annie, and of course Darren Shan!
    Larten Crepsley's just a tad queer,/ Evra the snakeboy is Darren's only peer!
    Living in the Cirque du Freak,/ Where there's no place for the mild and meek!
    Danger's always round the bend,/ For themselves they have to fend.
    Being a vampire's really rough,/ And like Darren you have to be tough,
    But watch out Darren and Evra the snake,/ 'Cos Steve's behind you with a wooden stake!
    DEAR DIARY by JIM SMYTH, BIRMINGHAM
    Dear Diary, my friend and useless chew toy./ Bit Steve, he hate me, half-man half-boy.
    Annie watched on, eating candied spider webs./ While Octa that Madame, slipped straight from my head.
    Steve’s stiffening final blow delivered to his neck./ But back where it began, let us go check.
    Circus of Freaks, Messr’s Tiny and Tall./ Sight of Crepsley made Steve call.
    Hooded little people, a saliva jawed were-wolf./ I shouldn’t describe the crowd, I’ve said enough.
    Sive, Seersa and Alex contorted bodies bare/ Gertha very strong teeth, Truska plenty of hair.
    Steve mysteriously hung around after the show./ Crepsley accused by Steve; he’s a vampire you know.
    I hung around waiting in the wings./ Steve believed vampires were kings.
    Larten Crepsley tested Steve’s dirty blood./ Steve vowed revenge one day he would.
    But then it looked like he never could./ Until I gave 100 ml of my blood.
    To become a vampire, only half-bred,/ Still I had to fake and lie I was dead.
    The powers I received; my life times five./ Strength beyond any human alive,
    But after the antidote was delivered in time./ All Steve could think of was my crime.
    And revenge until the moment I died.
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    REGISTERED SHANSTERS COMPETITION

    The draw for all registered Shansters was held on Sunday April 1st. The three winners were Chris Hobley of Somerset; Paul Johnson of Brighton; and Charlie White of London. Each received a proof copy of Vampire Mountain plus a proof copy of Book 5 of the Saga, Trials Of Death. I think this will probably be the last draw for registered Shansters -- in future I'll most likely run competitions which require specific entries (like this month's tape competition), as I think that's fairer. But it's still worthwhile registering, if you haven't already -- by registering with Shanville, you get alerted when each new Monthly hits the web, and you also receive e-mail notifications when there's any hot news to report.
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    WHSMITH AWARDS

    As expected, J K Rowling won the WHSmith Children's Book Award for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Many congrats to Miss Rowling, and many, many thanks to all the Shansters who took the time to vote for Cirque Du Freak.
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    USA CHAT ROOM USA

    I did two Chat Room sessions for readers in America this month, on Yahooligans and Talk City. You can access the transcript of the Yahooligans session by clicking on this link: Yahooligans! chat transcript I also think there's a transcript for the other session available, but I haven't been able to locate it yet. If I do, I'll provide a link to it in next month's Shanville Monthly.
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    MAGIC!!

    I was interviewed by a Dutch reporter recently, for a magazine in the Netherlands. He and a photographer (HI! Karel and Hermann) came to Limerick to interview me and shoot some photos. We took most of the photos in the Magic Shop in Mallow Street, which was great fun -- I used to buy loads of magic tricks and cards there when I was younger, but I hadn't been inside in many years. The owner is a highly accomplished magician, who loves demonstrating his wares. Anybody in the area looking for cool tricks or party costumes should check it out! You can also order from the shop by clicking on the following link: The Magic Shop
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    ON THE ROAD

    I had a disastrous trip to the Netherlands early in March - you can learn more about it on the Message Board if you want - but otherwise it was a quiet month, touring-wise. Not so May and June!! With Vampire Mountain making its debut soon, I've got a busy few weeks lined up, either side of the end of May. All the events are pre-booked, I'm afraid (i.e. they're not open to the general public), although I'm trying to arrange a public event in Limerick for Saturday June 2nd -- I'll e-mail registered Shansters and post a message on the Message Board if it goes ahead. Apart from that, I'll be doing some events in the following bookshops in Scotland/England, so you might be able to buy signed copies of my books in the shops afterwards, or maybe even arrange with the staff there to get me to sign copies of books you've already bought. The bookshops where I'll be are: Waterstones in Edinburgh, Newcastle and Leeds; and the Children's Book Shop in Pinner in Middlesex. I will be at these bookshops between June 4 and June 8 -- ask in-store for more details.
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    IT'S A WRAP

    That's all for May. I'll be back at the start of June -- and so will Vampire Mountain!!! Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x
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