• Issue 50 - September 2004

    01 September 2004
    GREETINGS!

    "... and so it came to pass, in the ninth month of the two thousand and fourth year, that the Shanville Monthly did, as predicted in the sacred texts of old ... TURN 50!!!!!" Yes, folks, welcome to the 50th issue of the Shanville Monthly! It seems like years and years ago that the Monthly first hit the web! In the early days of Shanville, I used to send out occasional news bulletins by e-mail to the people who had registered. But as time passed, and more and more news came in, I realized this was going to get messy. So I decided to experiment with a monthly newsletter which I would post up at the start of each month for everyone to read. In the beginning I was worried that I might not have enough news items to fill an issue each and every month -- but that hasn't been a problem yet!! The Shanville Monthly has gone from strength to strength, attracting more and more readers every month, providing a direct link between me and YOU!!! It keeps us all in touch with one another, and up to date on all the breaking Shan-related news. I'm delighted not to have missed any months, apart from a brief spell towards the end of 2003 when I was away from home for 3 months (but even then I managed to stay in line with my monthly schedule by releasing a double issue!). And hopefully there will be many more to come! But enough of the nostalgia! Let's get down to business and catch up with all the latest news -- after all, that's why we're here, isn't it?!?

    COMPETITION

    OK, we'll have to wait just a LITTLE bit longer to get to the news! Because, as I promised last month, I have a couple of special treats in store to celebrate the Shanville Monthly turning 50!!!! You'll find out about the second treat in the Deja Vu section near the end of this Monthly. The first is a mega-competition, with maybe the best prize I've ever offered in any of the Shanville competitions!!!!
    Up for grabs we have a global set of 12 books of The Saga of Darren Shan!!!!! As many of you know, my books have been translated into lots of different languages and released in many different countries around the world. Although I include copies of the cover images on the Gallery part of Shanville, most of you will never have an opportunity to buy the actual various editions of my book, unless you do a LOT of travelling and visit a LOT of foreign book shops!!! So I thought it would be cool to offer one lucky reader the opportunity to win a virtually unique set of my books, with editions from several different countries! So here's what I have up for grabs!
    Book 1 - Spain. Book 2 - Netherlands. Book 3 - Brazil. Book 4 - Taiwan. Book 5 - America. Book 6 - Germany. Book 7 - Japan. Book 8 - Germany. Book 9 - Hungary. Book 10 - Hungary. Book 11 - Japan. Book 12 - U.K.
    Apart from myself, I think the only person in the world who has copies of all these books in their collection is my agent (and maybe even he doesn't have one or two of them!). So the winner of this competition really will have an exclusive set of my books -- a collection which probably no other fan in the entire world has, or will ever have!!!! And they'll all be signed by me as a bonus!!! If that's not a competition to set your mouth watering, you must have a tongue and lips of sand!!!!!!!!
    To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer the following question: what month and year did the first issue of the Shanville Monthly appear? When you think you have the answer (HINT: there are two links to the page with the answer in this issue of the Monthly!), send the month and year in an e-mail to me at:
    comp@darrenshan.com
    PUT YOUR NAME IN THE SUBJECT BOX WHEN YOU SEND YOUR E-MAIL!!! (I won't accept your entry if you don't!) and, underneath your answer, INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS -- and don't forget to add the name of your country!!!! (Again, if you don't do this, your entry will be rejected!) This is so that I can easily send the books to you if you win! Closing date is midnight, GMT, Sunday, September 26th, 2004.
    Now, for the rules: (1) This competition is open to everybody, anywhere in the world, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations!! (2) Only one entry per household -- if you send in more than one entry, ALL of your entries will be rejected! (3) Like I said above, closing date is midnight, GMT, Sunday, September 26th, 2004. (4) The draw for the winner will be made on Monday, September 27th; I will try to notify the winner by e-mail, and will post their name (but not their address, obviously!) on the Shanville Message Board and in the October issue of the Shanville Monthly. I will try to send the books to the winner before the end of September, but that will depend on whether or not I have received my copies of book 11 and book 12. Otherwise it might be the end of October before I can post them!! But I will let the winner know this by e-mail when I contact them. (5) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company! I'll keep your details on my PC, then delete the info once the competition ends.
    May the luck of the vampires be with you!!!!

    AMERICA & AUSTRALIA-- NEW RELEASES

    Book 8, Allies of the Night, is on sale in America NOW!!! So if you haven't bought it yet, rush down to your nearest book shop IMMEDIATELY!!! Or, if you'd rather buy it over the web, you can buy it from Barnes & Noble at: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=mHu1m7Jwg6&isbn=0316155705&itm=1 or from Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316155705/qid=1090417772/sr=ka-1/ref=pd_ka_1/103-3482506-7217418
    The mass-market paperback edition of book 3, Tunnels of Blood, is also on sale NOW!!! This is the small, more affordable edition of the book. It comes with a new, striking cover. You can either buy it at your local store, or order it through Barnes & Noble at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=FK15sOq9Fq&isbn=0316905739&itm=17
    or Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0316905739/qid=1092678929/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/002-6765448-8440802?v=glance&s=books

    The mass-market paperback edition of book 4, Vampire Mountain, will go on sale in November 2004. You can pre-order it from Barnes & Noble at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=FK15sOq9Fq&isbn=0316905747&itm=19
    In Australia, book 9, Killers of the Dawn, is NOW on sale! For any of my Australian fans who are having trouble finding copies of book 9 (or any of my other books) in your local store, you can visit the HarperCollins Australia web site, see which of my books are on sale there, and find links to buy them, by clicking here: http://www.harpercollins.com.au/authors/author_profile.cfm?ISBN=0007137818&Author=0015980
    Remember -- if you don't see any of my books in your local bookstore, you can ask your bookseller to ORDER them for you! Most booksellers are delighted to order in a book for a customer, since they're assured of the book's sale!! You should never hesitate to ask for any book that you can't find in a book shop -- if it's in print, the shop CAN and SHOULD order it in for you!!!!

    SCREEN SAVER

    My American publishers, Little Brown, have created a cool, menacing, FREE Darren Shan screensaver for computers!! You can download it and set it as your screensaver by clicking on the following link: http://www.twbookmark.com/features/screensaver/CirqueDuFreak.EXE
    If you have a MAC, the link is: http://www.twbookmark.com/features/screensaver/CirqueDuFreak.sit
    You'll need the QuickTime Player to run the screensaver (at least if you're using a PC -- I'm not sure about MACs), but if you don't already have it, you can download that through the Little Brown twbookmark downloads link, either before or after you've downloaded the screensaver. Enjoy!!

    CHART SUCCESS!

    Book 11, Lord of the Shadows, got to #3 on the Japanese bestselling books chart in August!!! That's ALL fiction and genres, not just children's!!! Many thanks to my Japanese fans for their continued support! And the bonus news for all of you is that I'll be popping back your way early next year -- look further down this issue of the Monthly for more details!!!

    THE DESTINY TOUR!!

    "Roll up!! Roll up!! Roll up for the Destiny tour ...."

    I'm doing a major tour of the U.K. and Ireland in October to promote the release of Book 12, Sons Of Destiny. This is going to be the biggest tour I've ever done here, with lots of public events, to give as many of you a chance to meet me as we can squeeze in!!! Most of my events will last one hour, with signing afterwards. And I usually sign ALL of my books that fans bring, unless time runs out -- so don't be afraid to bring your entire Darren Shan collection with you!!!!!!!

    Please note: PUBLIC EVENT means it is open to anyone who comes along on the day of the event (if it says PUBLIC SIGNING it means I will only be signing books). TICKETED PUBLIC EVENT (FREE) means you should contact the venue in advance for a free ticket. TICKETED PUBLIC EVENT (PAY) means you should contact the venue in advance to BUY a ticket. Tickets at both FREE and PAY events MIGHT be available at the venue on the day, but to be sure of a seat you should book in advance. SCHOOL EVENT means the event is in the day time, at a library or some other venue, and only students from selected schools will be allowed to come. SCHOOL EVENTS are being organized by librarians or book sellers, so if you live close to one of the areas where I'm going to be, it might be possible for you to organize a visit for a group from YOUR school!! The first thing you have to do is tell a teacher about it and ask if they're interested in arranging a visit. If they say yes, you or your teacher (or both!) should write/phone/e-mail the library/book shop/contact which will be organizing the event, and ask them what the set-up is, if there's space for you, how many of you can come, etc. You have the power to arrange a visit to see me -- so use it!!!

    All dates and venues are subject to change or updates -- I'll add more details as and when they become available.
    UNITED KINGDOM -- FIRST LEG!
    Saturday, October 2nd -- 2.30p.m. -- ticketed public event (pay - £5 for 2 tickets -- this includes entry for 2 people, one FREE copy of Sons Of Destiny, discount vouchers to be used in the shop, and refreshments!!! How's that for a bargain!!!!!) arranged by The Children's Bookshop, 1 Red Lion Parade, Bridge St, Pinner, Middlesex HA5 3JD. Tel: 020 8866 9116. The event will be held in West Lodge School, West End Avenue, Pinner. There are only 200 places available, so book ASAP to be sure of a seat! I will be signing at the school after the event, and then going to the store to sign for anyone who was unable to make it to the event -- I expect it will be 4.00p.m. or later before I get to the store.
    Sunday, October 3rd -- 5.30p.m. -- ticketed public event (pay - £3.50) at The Word festival, at the Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB. For ticket details phone: 0208 5434888 or check out their web site at http://www.polkatheatre.com
    Monday, October 4th -- 10.30a.m. -- school event arranged by Ottakar's Bookshop, 6-6a Exchange Centre, High St, Putney, London SW15 1TW. Tel: 020 8780 2401.
    Monday, October 4th -- 6.30p.m. -- public event at Ottakar's Bookshop, 6-6a Exchange Centre, High St, Putney, London SW15 1TW. Tel: 020 8780 2401.
    Tuesday, October 5th -- 09.45a.m. -- school event arranged by Ottakars, 71 High St, Guildford. Contact: Clare Gambell, 01483 536366.
    Tuesday, October 5th -- 4.30p.m. -- public signing at Lion & Unicorn Bookshop, 19 King Street, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1ND. Tel: 020 8940 0483.
    Wednesday, October 6th -- 1.30p.m. -- school event at Cramlington Community High School, Highburn, Cramlington, Northumberland NE23 6BN. Contact: Eileen Armstrong, 01670 712311.
    Wednesday, October 6th -- 4.30p.m. -- public signing at Waterstones, 104 Grey Street, Newcastle NE1 6JG. 0191 2616140.
    Thursday, October 7th -- 10.30a.m. -- school event arranged by Borders Books & Music, Unit 1b, Peel Retail Park, Great Portwood St, Stockport Cheshire SK1 2HH. Contact: Jenny Watt, 0161 476 3392.
    Thursday, October 7th -- 4.30p.m. -- public signing at Waterstones, Deansgate, Manchester.
    Friday, October 8th -- 1.30p.m. -- school event, Ottakars, 50-52 The Precinct, Coventry CV1 1DX. Contact: Jenni Hope, 0247663 4224. (The event will be held at the Belgrade Theatre, so there are LOTS of seats available!!! )
    Saturday, October 9th -- 1.00p.m. -- ticketed public event (pay) at Cheltenham Book Festival. Check out their web site for more details at http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk/frame_festindex.cfm?FEST=LITERATURE or contact: jane Churchill 01722 743 450.
    Monday, October 11th -- 10.00a.m. -- school event arranged by Ottakar’s, 12 Boscawen Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2QU. Tel: 01872 225765.
    Monday, October 11th -- 12.30p.m. to 1.30p.m. -- public (lunch time!!) signing at Ottakar’s, 12 Boscawen Street, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2QU. Tel: 01872 225765.
    Monday, October 11th -- 7.00p.m. -- public event at In Other Words, 64 Mutley Plain, Plymouth PL4 6LF. Contact: Libby Allman, 01752 663889. I don't think this is ticketed, but you should probably phone to make sure.
    Tuesday, October 12th -- 10.30a.m. -- school event in St Boniface’s R C College, Tavistock Road, Plymouth PL5 3AG. Arranged through Libby Allman (see above).
    Wednesday, October 13th --10.30a.m. -- school event at Lode Heath School, Lode Lane, Solihull B91 2HW.
    Wednesday, October 13th -- 4.30p.m. -- public signing at WHSmiths, 29 Union Street, Birmingham B2 4LR. Tel: (0121) 631 3303.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 10.00a.m. -- school event arranged by Ottakars, 72 Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, MK9 3GA. tel: 01908 395384.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 12.30p.m. to 2.00p.m. -- public (lunch time!!) signing at Ottakars, 72 Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, MK9 3GA. tel: 01908 395384.
    Thursday, October 14th -- 6.30p.m. -- Party-type public event in Heffers, Grafton Arcade, Cambridge. Contact: Suzanne Jones: 01223 568512. I don't think this is ticketed, but you should ring in advance to check.
    Friday, October 15th -- 10.00a.m. -- school event in the Simpson Room, in Waterstones Picadilly, London. Contact: Larissa Procktor at Larissa.procktor@waterstones.co.uk or 02089964390.
    Friday, October 15th -- 4.00p.m. -- public signing at The Children’s Bookshop, 29 Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London N10.

    IRELAND
    Sunday, October 17th -- 5.00p.m. -- Tipperary -- public event in the "Main Guard" courthouse in Clonmel. Contact: South Tipperary Arts Centre, 052 27877.
    Monday, October 18 -- 10.00 -- school event in Westport Library, Mayo. Contact: Eleanor O'Toole, eotoole@MayoCoCo.ie
    Monday, October 18 -- 12.00 -- school event in Castlebar Library, Mayo. Contact: Eleanor O'Toole, eotoole@MayoCoCo.ie
    Monday, October 18 -- 3.30p.m. -- public event in Ballina Library, Mayo. Contact: Eleanor O'Toole, eotoole@MayoCoCo.ie
    Tuesday, October 19 -- 10.00 -- Meath -- school event at Navan library. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, mrogan@meathcoco.ie
    Tuesday, October 19 -- 11.30 -- Meath -- school event at Trim library. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, mrogan@meathcoco.ie
    Tuesday, October 19 -- 1.30p.m. -- Meath -- school event at Dunboyne library. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, mrogan@meathcoco.ie
    Tuesday, October 19 -- 4.00p.m. -- Meath -- public event at Ashbourne library. Contact: Maedhbh Rogan, mrogan@meathcoco.ie
    Wednesday, October 20th -- Dublin -- school events at Sutton Park School, and North Bay School.
    Wednesday, October 20th -- 3.00p.m. -- Dublin -- Eason's, O'Connell Street -- school event, to be followed by a PUBLIC SIGNING from 3.45p.m. onwards!!!! This is my first ever public signing in Dublin -- so don't miss it!!!! (If you can make it to Eason's for 3.00p.m. you can take part in the event too!!)
    Thursday, October 21st -- 10.00 -- Dublin -- school event at Pembroke Library -- Contact: Valerie Kilboy, 01 6689575.
    Thursday, October 21st -- 12.00 -- Dublin -- school event at Finglas Library -- Contact: AnneMarie Kelly, 01 8344906.
    Thursday, October 21st -- 2.00p.m -- Dublin -- school event at Cabra Library -- Contact: Terri Murray, 01 8691414 .
    *SOLD OUT!!!!* Thursday, October 21st -- 4.00p.m. -- Dublin -- Central Library, in the Ilac Library, in the Ilac Centre -- Contact: Cathy McKenna, 01 8734333 -- this is a ticketed public event (free), which has now SOLD OUT!!! You might still be able to get tickets from your local library (a number were distributed to various libraries in central Dublin), or there might be a few seats available on the day if some people don't turn up. But as of September 15th, this event is officially a sell-out!!! My advice is to come to Eason's on Wednesday the 20th for the signing!!!
    Friday, October 22nd -- 10.30 -- Dublin -- school event at Ballyroan Library, Rathfarnam. Phone: 01 4941900.
    Friday, October 22nd -- 12.00 -- Dublin -- school event at Castletymon Library. Phone: 01 4524888.
    Friday, October 22nd -- 2.30p.m. -- Dublin -- school event at Tallaght County Library. Phone: 01 4620073.
    Tuesday, October 26 -- 11.00a.m. -- Cork -- St Mary's Road Library -- ticketed public event (free). Contact: Eleanor Twomey, 021 4924937.
    Tuesday, October 26 -- 2.00p.m. -- Cork -- Children's Library, Grand Parade -- ticketed public event (free). Contact: Eileen O'Sullivan, 021 4924903.
    Tuesday October 26 -- 4.00p.m. -- Cork -- Waterstones book shop -- public signing.
    Wednesday, October 27 -- 10.00 -- Limerick -- public event in Newcastlewest library.
    Wednesday, October 27 -- 12.30p.m. -- Limerick -- public event in Adare library.
    Wednesday, October 27 -- 2.30p.m. -- Limerick -- public event in Dooradoyle library, to be followed by a public signing at 3.15p.m., with books on sale, supplied by O'Mahony's.

    UNITED KINGDOM -- SECOND LEG!

    Thursday, October 28th -- 4.00p.m. -- public event at Borders Books and Music, 98 Buchanan Street, Glasgow, G1 3HA. tel: 0141 222 7700.
    Thursday, October 28th -- 6.30p.m. -- ticketed public event (pay - £3) at Glowworm Books, Unit 3&4, Bishopsgate Business Park, 189a West Main Street, Broxburn EH52 5LH. Tel: 01506 857570. This event is being arranged by Glowworm books, but will be held at Mitchell Theatre, Glanville Street, Glasgow G3 7DR.
    Friday, October 29th -- 10.30a.m. -- school event in The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, arranged by Glowworm Books (see above).
    Friday, October 29th -- 4.00p.m. -- public event at Waterstones, 128 Princes St, West End, Edinburgh EH2 4AD.
    Saturday, October 30th -- 2.00p.m. to 4.00p.m. -- public event at The Whitby Book Shop, 88 Church St, Whitby, North Yorks YP22 4BH. Contact Madeleine Gair: 01947 606 202, or e-mail thewhitbybookshop@hotmail.com The bookstore is organizing a fancy dress event to tie in with my appearance, for 400 people or more!!
    And that will be that!! Phew -- what a monster!!!!!!! I hope my voice keeps working that long!!! :-) Updates and confirmations will follow, so make sure you check back a bit later in the year for the final itinerary!!!!!!

    THE NEVER-ENDING TOUR!

    Well, that might be that for the Destiny tour, but the Darren Shan touring show will continue across the globe in 2005 -- there really is no rest for the wicked!! Plans are already being made for me to visit the following countries on book tours next year: Japan (probably in January), Hungary (in late April) and America (probably in October). And it's likely that I'll be fitting in a few other countries as well! Keep reading the Shanville Monthly for further news and updates!!

    EDINBURGH

    I had a great time at the Edinburgh Festival, as always! This was my fifth year in a row at the Festival, so I decided to do a mix of new material and old stuff. At the Saturday event, in the Children's tent, I focused on books 10, 11 and 12, and read out an extract from the new book which I have coming out in 2005. On Sunday, in the Main tent (my first time there -- I was delighted to see so many fans turn up for it!) I did some older sketches, little plays which I'd performed in Edinburgh in previous years, plus I read out the extract again, and also treated the crowd to a burst of song at the end -- my ghoultide favourite, "Must be Murlough!!!" Thanks to everyone who helped me out on both days by taking part on stage, and also to Dom and Nicola for sticking by me so vigilantly during the extra-long signing sessions -- 2 hours on Saturday, 3 hours on Sunday!!!
    I also fitted in a lot of comedy shows and plays while I was in Edinburgh -- I stayed there for a couple of days before and after my events. I try to mix work with leisure each year at Edinburgh, and turn it into a mini-holiday. Two of the best plays I saw this year were "My Long Journey Home" and "Finding Mick Jagger". And the best comedy show I went to was a Best of the Fest at the Assembly rooms, which featured Dara O'Briain, Jimeoin, Rich Hall and others -- side-splitting stuff!! Hopefully I'll be back again next year for more shows and comedians -- oh, and maybe an event or two as well!!!!

    DEJA VU

    And here's my second treat to Shansters in honour of the Monthly hitting the big 5-0!!!
    After what seems a lifetime (it's been 2 years or more), I've finally added some new stories to the Shanville Extras pages!!! Well, they're not, strictly speaking, "new", since they've both been previously published in anthologies, but this is their first time to hit the web, and most of you won't have read them.

    First up, a story I wrote for an Alan Moore celebration anthology. You'll find out more about Mr Moore at the start of the story, and I've even included a link to a page which explains most of the references and in-jokes for those of you unfamiliar with his work. You can read it by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/extras/uk-extras-alanmoore.html

    Next, "Hagurosan", a story I wrote for the War Child anthology, Kids' Night In. This is one of my gentlest stories, and has surprised a lot of readers who thought I could only write grisly, blood-soaked tales!! You can read it by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/uk_site/extras/uk-extras-hagurosan.html

    I've held the stories back until this point so that I could release them to celebrate the 50th issue of the Shanville Monthly. Consider them a gift from me to you, to thank you for your continued support! I hope you enjoy them both!!!!

    IT'S A WRAP

    And that, my ageing, avid Shansters, is that for September!!! I hope you all enjoyed this special 50th issue, and are looking forward to the next 50 as much as I am!! Most of you are probably back to school now, for another year of study and exams. It's hard, I know, but take heart -- you'll always have a new Darren Shan book to look forward to, to break up the boredom and hardship of the school year!!!! And while you're waiting for that, you have the Shanville Monthly to give you a small fix of all things Shan to keep you ticking over!! Anyway, I'm going to shuffle off now and marvel at the fact that I made it to issue 50 with all my hair intact, my deadlines met, and a few million more fans than I had when the Monthly first started!! Until next month, all the bloody best from the birthday boy, Darren Shan x x x