• Issue 31 - February 2003

    01 February 2003

    Welcome to the February issue of the Shanville Monthly. It's cold out there (certainly in the U.K. and Ireland!), so my advice is to stay indoors for the foreseeable future, wrap up warmly, and amuse yourself by reading a good book! (I know a few about a certain young half-vampire which I can most heartily recommend ...) That's definitely what I plan to do!!! Of course, before you hit the books, there's this month's news to get out of the way first, starting with ...


    Book 9, Killers of the Dawn, was released EARLY in the UK and Ireland!!! WHSmith decided, at very late notice, to make me their Author Of The Month!! To make the most of this, my publishers, HarperCollins, shipped Killers out to many shops around the middle of January. Lots of readers have already managed to get their hands on it, and the feedback has been terrific! Most reckon it's one of the best books in the series -- although it's also stirred up a lot of controversy and heated debate, for reasons which will become clear when you read it!!! All I'll say is that after this book nothing in Darren Shan's life will ever again be quite the same ...
    Although it wasn't on official release until this month, Killers made quick progress in the bestsellers charts in both the U.K. and Ireland. In the U.K it entered at #50 (having only been on general sale a few days) and rose to #13 the following week (the end of January). If the strong sales continue, it might crack the top 10 this month -- if the luck of the vampires is with it!!! In Ireland it came in at #2, and hit the top spot the next week, making it my fourth #1 bestseller in a row!!!!! So a big, heart-felt, Go raibh míle maith agat! to all my Irish Shansters -- you're incredible!!!


    I continue to get lots of requests from readers all around the world, wanting to know if they can order the U.K. editions of my books. My advice, if you're in a country where my books are being published, is to wait for the books to come out there -- each book is slightly adjusted by its translator and/or editor to make it feel more naturalised. (e.g. in America some of the words and phrases are changed, so that Darren seems like an American. The same happens in Japan, Germany, etc. This is one of the reasons I kept the books' locations vague, so that readers could set it wherever they live.) But if you live in a country where the books aren't being released, or if you're just too impatient to wait, then you can order any of the first nine books of the Saga from Amazon UK by doing the following:
    1) Check out the Amazon UK posting guidelines, which explain how much shipping will cost, and how long it will take. You can find them by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/502482/202-8582511-8523859
    2) Go to the Shanville UK shop at http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/shop/ukshop01.html You'll find links to my books on Amazon.co.uk and you can order the books from there.
    3) When you check out (you'll have to create an account with Amazon first, unless you already have one) follow all the instructions (remember -- a postal code is the same as a ZIP code!) and make sure you enter your details correctly. If paying by credit card (I'm not sure if you can pay by other means), you'll be charged in pounds sterling, and the money will be converted automatically by your card handler. (For a currency conversion web site, which give you a fairly accurate idea of how much it will be in your own currency, click here: http://www.expedia.com/pub/agent.dll?qscr=curc&qscr=alcc&dchg=&zz=959194293650&&zz=1044037248070& )


    My American publishers are running a contest where you can win the first 4 books of the Saga of Darren Shan!! To enter, click on the following link, or cut and paste it into your web browser: http://www.twbookmark.com/children/cirque_contest.html The closing date is February 28. As far as I know, this contest is only open to readers in the U.S.A. and Canada.


    My contacts in Japan tell me that books 7, 8 and 9 are all due to be released there in 2003! That means by the end of the year Japanese readers will only be one book behind the UK and Ireland!!! Shantastic!!!!!!!
    What's more, it looks like I might be returning to Japan in June, to promote the release of book 8!!! Plans are still at an early stage, but I absolutely loved my trip there last year, and would be delighted to return. If I do come, it might also be possible to visit some other countries in the region -- keep reading the Shanville Monthly for further updates ...
    And finally, I was checking out my Japanese publishers' web site recently and discovered that they now have 17(!!) pages of readers' art. The standard of many of the drawings is breathtaking -- I highly recommend you check these out!! You can find the latest page by going to http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/darren/portrait/portrait17.html and you can access the earlier pages from there.

    SHAN ON (a very small!) TOUR

    I'm afraid I'll be doing very, VERY few public events this year! After 3 years of almost constant touring and promotion, it's time to sit back for a while and focus on my writing. As I said above, I might be travelling to Japan in June, and perhaps some other countries in the Far East, to promote my books there. On the home front, I'll be appearing at the Edinburgh Festival again in August, but I have very little scheduled in for the rest of the year (though I do definitely hope to get to Glasgow at some stage, to make up for having to cancel last year's event -- but it might be August before I make it up).
    One public event which I will be doing is in Limerick, to celebrate World Book Day. I'll be appearing in Eason's on O'Connell Street on Saturday, March 8th, at 2.00p.m., and signing copies of my books for anyone who comes along. I'd love to see you there if you can make it!


    I finally managed to add new photos, new covers and new readers' art to the site (some of the stuff I've put up has been sitting around since early last year!! My New Year's resolution is to keep the site more regularly updated this year!!!!). You can check out the photos by clicking on this link: http://www.darrenshan.com/shanography/photos2.html There's a list of links on the right of that page, to all the photos you can find. I've added snaps from the Darren Shan party in Bologna, my trip to Japan, holidays in Russia and Jordan, and more! For great new readers' art and the new book covers, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/gallery/gallery1.html then follow the links on the right.
    I hope to add more photos and art to the site within the next month or two, and maybe some other stuff like readers' letters and reviews -- fingers crossed!!!


    And that's it for February! I know I said last month that I'd be revealing some BIG news about the Saga within the next few months, but the time is not yet ripe! But rest assured -- I'll be letting everybody know exactly how many books there are going to be in the Saga, very, VERY soon!!!!!! Until next month, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x