• Issue 32 - March 2003

    01 March 2003
    TOP IN JAPAN!!!!!!!!!

    WOW!!!!! I knew there were lots of enthusiastic Shansters in Japan, but not THIS many!!! I've just heard that book 7, which was released on February 21st, is this week's Number 1 bestselling book in Japan -- and that's on the COMPLETE BESTSELLERS list, including adult books as well as children's!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm absolutely delighted about this -- in fact, I feel positively overwhelmed! I think I'd better go have a mug or two of blood to calm me down ...


    *Deep breath* *Calm* *Try to carry on as normal* *OK.....*
    Welcome to the March issue of the Shanville Monthly. I'm just back from a short holiday to Venice. It was Carnival time there, and I was fortunate enough to take part in an event called "Triumph of Death". It was held in a large square, and involved lots of actors in costumes celebrating ... well, the triumph of death over the living!! The Grim Reaper himself put in an appearance, along with many famous Italian historical figures. There was fire, damnation, terror -- a brilliant night out for a morbid young soul like me!!! And at the end, everybody got their very own Certificate of Death! It was one of the best festivals I've ever enjoyed -- I'd highly recommend it for anyone who can pop over to Venice for next year's Carnival! Anyway, enough of the grisly festivities! Time to find out what's been happening recently with the "Triumphs of Shan" ...


    By the end of February, book 9, Killers of the Dawn, had spent an incredible 5 weeks at the number 1 spot in Ireland, and nestled in the U.K. top 20 for the whole of February. It's been one of my most successful books yet, and also one of the most popular with long-term Shansters -- according to the buzz on the message board, a lot of readers think it's the best book in the series to date! It's provoked a lot of controversy too (as I knew it would!) -- to find out what the fuss is all about, you'll have to read a copy of your own!!!!

    SHAN ON T.V.

    My UK publishers, HarperCollins, commissioned a ten-second TV advert for Killers of the Dawn on UK cable/satellite TV station, Nickelodeon, which was shown 100 times, at various times every day, between February 1st and 14th. This was the first time Collins ever ran TV adverts for a children's book!!!!! The short ad featured a copy of Killers, with a worm crawling across it, and a narrator saying "Darren Shan -- not just for bookworms!" Not the most startling advert ever, granted, but it had a nice spooky touch, and represented a large vote of confidence in the books by HarperCollins. Let's hope the ads were a success and spread word of the Saga even further afield than ever!!!


    Sorry to throw everyone off course, but I've decided to change the title of Book 11 from Sons of Destiny to Lord of the Shadows. The title of book 12, previously advertised as The Cannibal King, will also be changing -- I'll confirm the new title shortly. These changes are part of the BIG news I've been hinting at for the last couple of months. I still can't reveal the full extent of the news just yet, but hopefully I'll be in a position to let everybody in on the secret very, very soon .... (Actually, I'm quite enjoying this, working up the suspense each month!! Maybe I'll keep putting the announcement off until the very last moment ... Nah, only joking!!!!!!)


    In response to lots of requests, I've added a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions to my Message Board (in addition to the slightly outdated list available on Shanville). This covers a wide range of questions which I get asked all the time, and also includes info on how to order the U.K. books if you live abroad. Please note -- due to a huge rise in e-mails and Message Board threads over the last year, I don't have time to answer many questions personally any more. The few I do answer tend to be questions I haven't been asked before. So if you e-mail me a query, or ask it on the Message Board, and don't get a reply, it's probably because I've already answered it in F.A.Q. (Although there are lots of other questions which I just don't ever even begin to answer, since they're too vague and hard to respond to -- e.g. "Where do your ideas come from?" "What influenced you to start writing?" etc.)


    My publishers have informed me that from book 10 onwards, my books will now cost £4.99 in the U.K. -- an increase of a pound. This is the first price rise in almost 4 years, so I don't think there can be too many complaints!!! I hope you all still believe you're getting value for money -- I'm sure I'll hear about it sharpish if you don't!!!!!!! Also, as the earlier books are reprinted, the price of the new editions will rise to £4.99 as well. So if any of you don't have any of the first 8 books yet, this would be a VERY good time to buy them!!!! (The price rise will of course affect the price of the books in Ireland too, though the rise there will vary from shop to shop -- at a guess, I'd say readers will be asked to pay somewhere in the region of 1.5 or 1.6 euro more than they currently pay.)


    To counter the price rise, Collins are putting out an economically friendly trilogy collection of the first 3 books later this year (release date is set for September 1st). It's going to be called Vampire Blood, and will contain Cirque Du Freak, The Vampire's Assistant and Tunnels Of Blood. The price will be that of 2 books (either £7.99 or £9.99 -- I'm not sure whether they'll base the price on the new price or the old!!) -- so it's basically a 3 for the price of 2 offer. They've also designed a cool, brand new cover for it, very different to any of the other covers -- I hope to add a copy of it to Shanville later in March. If you want to put in an early order for the book, you can do so through Amazon UK by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007143745/shanville


    As you'll have gathered by now, Book 7 was released in Japan on February 21st, and soared straight to the top of the bestsellers chart (again -- because I enjoy saying it so much! -- that's the total bestselling fiction chart, which covers all books, both adult's and children's!) The cover of book 7 is as beautiful as the other 6. You can check it out by clicking here: http://images-jp.amazon.com/images/P/4092903073.09.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
    It looks pretty certain now that I'll be returning to Japan in the middle of June, to promote the release of book 8! I'll also probably be coming to Taiwan and Thailand and maybe a few more countries in the Far East around that time -- and it seems like I'll be doing some events in America on my way home!!!! More news and info will appear in later issues of the Shanville Monthly as and when a precise schedule is finalised ...


    To celebrate World Book Day, I'll be appearing in Eason's on O'Connell Street in Limerick 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!


    For U.K. and Irish reviews of the first 4 books, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/reviews/reviews1.html


    And that's it for March! I hope everyone has a great World Book Day -- not to mention a fabulous St Patrick's Day if you're Irish!!! I'm going to be hopping about with delight for most of the month -- #1 in Japan, 5 weeks at the top in Ireland ... if somebody wakes me up and it turns out to have just been a dream, I'm going to be a VERY angry half-vampire indeed!!!!!!!! Until next month, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x