• Issue 22 - May 2002

    01 May 2002

    Welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly!
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    It's finally online!! Late last night (Thursday May 2) the new-look Shanville replaced the old site, lock, stock and two freaky barrels!! Sorry about the long delay in putting it up, but I hope, when you see it, that you'll all agree it was worth waiting for. The new site looks a lot better than the old one, downloads much faster, and is much easier to surf. It might take you a little while to adjust to the new navigation system, but you'll soon see how much smoother and more structured it is. There will also be a new, simpler way to contact me and register with Shanville (see the CONTACT page -- but please note that we're still working on this page). We'll be ironing out any creases over the next few days, so if you come across any broken links, don't worry, they'll all be sorted out swiftly (not that there ARE many broken links -- the changeover went a lot cleaner than I anticipated!). It's a new era in Shanville, folks -- I hope you all get as much of a kick out of it as I have!
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    Cirque Du Freak has recently been awarded TWO awards in America!
    1) It won the IRA-CBC Children's Choice Award. The IRA (International Reading Association) and CBC (Children's Book Council) set up groups of students around America; they read a certain number of books sent to them by various publishers; and CDF was their favourite!!!
    2) It received a certificate of Outstanding Achievement in Books from the Parent's Guide to Children's Media Inc. You can access their site at http://www.su.edu/parentsguide/
    I'm VERY excited by these 2 awards -- and also delighted to see that my books are proving as popular in other countries as they are in the UK and Ireland. I always thought that the Saga of Darren Shan would travel well, but it's only been in the last year or so that my hunch has been proved right. Roll on world domination!!!! :-) :-) :-)
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    If you live in the UK or Ireland, and want to get your hands on a FREE, SIGNED Darren Shan poster, then go to Shanville UK and click on the new link I've added, asking you to fill out a questionnaire. Once you've completed the questionnaire, click on the SUBMIT button at the bottom. Your details will go to the good folks at HarperCollins, and you'll be sent your poster at a later date (I'm not sure when, exactly). This exclusive offer is being run by HarperCollins, not me, so if you have any queries, you should go to their site (http://www.fireandwater.com/) and ask them directly.
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    As some of you already know, I will be in Japan in June to follow Ireland's progress in the World Cup. While there, I'm also doing a weekend of publicity events, to promote my books. On Saturday, June 8, I'll be doing interviews with magazines and maybe TV shows. Then, on Sunday, June 9, I'm doing a public appearance at the Asahi Yashoten bookshop in Ikebukuro, where I'll be signing books for people. If you wish to come, please check with the bookshop first, as I think it might be a ticketed event.
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    I flew to Bologna in Italy in April, for the Bologna Children's Book Fair, where I met most of my worldwide publishers. It was great to meet so many publishers from all around the world, and to hear how my books are doing in their countries. In terms of print runs, Japan is the current leader of the field -- between the first 4 books, they've printed up 970,000 (almost a million!) copies!!!! And the largest audience for my books in Japan? 20-30 year old women!!!!!!
    Back in England, I appeared at 2 hugely enjoyable events in Pinner and Golders Green, where I met loads of super keen Shansters and had to be on my toes to answer tonnes of detailed questions (including, of course, the current favourite: "Is Steve Leopard the Lord of the Vampaneze?!?" Folks -- you can ask all you like, but I ain't telling!! What I WILL say is: don't go jumping to any quick conclusions until you've read Book 8 ...). Many thanks to everyone at The Children's Bookshop in Pinner and the Bookworm Bookshop in Finchley Road for setting these events up.
    I'm in Birmingham TWICE this May! I'm appearing at the Stourbridge Town Hall on Saturday, May 4 at 1.15pm. Then, on Tuesday May 28, I'll be at the Young People's Parliament Millennium Point at 10.00am, where I'll be taking part in a debate about whether books should be seen or read (basically, I'm going to be arguing that movies of books are good!). I'm also doing a regular event later that day.
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    You can read a new interview with me by clicking on the following link: http://www.wigglefish.com/zine/twentyquestions/shan/ I think it's one of the better interviews I've given, so be sure to check it out! You can also read the early American reviews of Tunnels Of Blood by going to the REVIEWS section of the Shanville USA site.
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    I've added LOTS of new covers to the site this month! Check out the COVERS sections in the Shanville GALLERY for all the latest Darren Shan covers from around the world, including the new-look UK covers for books 1, 2 and 3!! Then, check out a Brand New web page at http://www.darrenshan.com/newcovers.htm I've added new covers of books to this page, but also a few work-in-progress covers -- so you can see the new UK covers for books 4, 5 and 7, and the USA cover for Book 4, before anybody else!! I'll be adding this page to the regular Shanville site later in the month (I hope!), but for now it's a stand-alone page, so if you wish to access it, you'll either have to bookmark it, or come back here and click on the link above.
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    A few months back, I ran a poll on the old Shanville, asking readers in the UK and Ireland if they thought the cover of Book 6 was better, the same or worse than the old-style covers. 520 people voted -- here's the breakdown:
    New cover MUCH BETTER than old cover: 187 (36%)
    New cover SLIGHTLY BETTER than old cover: 87 (17%)
    New cover ABOUT THE SAME as old cover: 58 (11%)
    New cover SLIGHTLY WORSE than old cover: 100 (19%)
    New cover MUCH WORSE than old cover: 88 (17%)
    Thanks to everyone who voted. Readers can run their own polls now on the Shanville MessageBoard, and I'll be running more polls myself on the main site a little bit further down the line.
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    And that's it for May! I hope to get some writing done this month (I've been doing an AWFUL lot of travelling lately!), before heading off to Japan at the end of the month. I'll post the June issue of the Shanville Monthly before I go. Until then, all the bloody best, (and I hope you enjoy the new site!!) Darren Shan x x x