• Issue 65 - December 2005

    01 December 2005
    GREETINGS!

    Merry Christmas, everyone!!! Well ... it will be soon!!! You can click on the link above to see my Christmas Card to all of my Shansters. (click on this link if you can't see the picture) Of course, I'd love to send you a real card each, but that isn't really possible -- even if I had all of your addresses, I'd go bankrupt if I bought stamps for all of you!!!!!! So this will have to do!! I've been enjoying the last couple of weeks, relaxing after my American tour. You can catch up with all my recent to-ings and fro-ings in my Blog, a link for which is provided further down. I started the first leg of my UK and Ireland tour in late November -- you can find out the venues, dates and times for the rest of my events by scrolling down. There's all the latest news too, including the release of "Demon Thief" in the UK and Ireland, the title of Book 3 of "The Demonata", an award nomination for "Lord Loss", and lots more. Oh, there's also a link to my seasonal story, "Shanta Claus". And a competition with a totally BRILLIANT and otherwise unobtainable couple of prizes!!!!! I spoil you lot, I really do -- but you're worth it!!!!

    CATCH THE "THIEF"!!!

    "Demon Thief", the second book in my "Demonata" series, goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on December 5th -- but is already in many shops NOW!!!!! My books often appear on shelves a week or two early here, and "Demon Thief" is no exception -- so keep your eyes peeled for it!!!!!! I've been touring the UK to promote it, and have been busily signing copies everywhere I go. I'm including links to some of the stores where I've been, to let you know where you can pick up signed copies -- some of them also offer mail service, and can post books to you. They are, in the order that I visited:

    Hatchards, Picadilly, London -- http://www.hatchards.co.uk/

    Waterstones Picadilly, London.

    Goldsboro Books, 1 Cecil Court, London -- http://www.goldsborobooks.co.uk/

    Borders, 122 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0JR. Tel: 020 7379 8877.

    Foyles Charing Cross Road, London -- http://www.foyles.co.uk/foyles/index.asp

    Borders, 203 Oxford Street, London W1D 2LE. Tel: 020 7292 1600.

    Waterstones Oxford Street, London. (The one opposite John Lewis.)

    The Children's Bookshop, Muswell Hill, London.

    WHSmith, 34 North End, Croydon, London.

    Borders, 100, The Glades Shopping Centre, High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1DJ.

    Borders, The Bullring, Birmingham.

    Borders, The Trafford Centre, Manchester.

    The Bookshop, Dulwich Village, 1d Calton Avenue, London SE21 7DE.

    Dulwich Books, 6 Croxted Road, London SE21 8SW.

    The tour goes on until December 10th, in the UK and Ireland -- check below for further details!!

    Most stores where the book is available have some sort of an offer on it -- £2 off, or £3 off, or included in a 3 for 2 offer. The biggest discount I've seen so far is on Amazon, where it's currently book of the week, and thus on sale for HALF-PRICE!!!! But that's a VERY limited offer, and runs out early in December, on the 4th, so if you want to catch it, you'll have to act quickly!!!! (Oh, and you'll also have to pay postage, unless you're buying other goods over the value of £30!) The link for Amazon is http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/000719322X/shanville/026-4085056-3478016

    Waterstones have also done a signed, slipcased, limited edition of "Demon Thief", the same as they did with "Lord Loss". There will be 666 of those available, in select stores. I haven't seen any yet, but they should be hitting shelves very soon, if they haven't already. So if you've a few more pounds to spend -- or if you fancy buying or receiving a nice Christmas present -- and like a bit of exclusivity, you know where to go!!!!!

    BOOK 3 TITLE REVEALED!!!

    I've kept it a closely guarded secret, but at last the title for the third book in "The Demonata" can be revealed!!! And it is ...

    SLAWTER

    The name is a play on the word "slaughter". I don't want to say too much about the book, but much of the action in it takes place on a movie set, and the name of the movie being made is "Slawter" -- it's a horror flick, made by a producer who likes slasher-type titles like "Night Mayors". (I watched loads of horror flicks in my teens, with titles like "Fright Night" and "Basket Case", and I wanted to mimic those types of names.) More info about the book will follow in 2006.

    UK AWARD SHORTLIST

    "Lord Loss" has been shortlisted for the Berkshire Book Award in the UK. Children aged 11-14 in Berkshire vote for their favourite "Good Read" of the year from the shortlist. I don't get nominated for awards very often -- in fact, this is the first award nod I've had for "Lord Loss"!!!!! So I'm very pleased to be included -- though I'll be even happier if I win, of course!!

    READING ZONE

    I'm the featured author in the Childrens and Authors section of the December issue of http://www.readingzone.com -- a newish web site about books. Part of the feature is an interview with me -- and most (maybe even all) of the questions came from fans!!! I provided a link to the site in November, from the NEWS section of my message board, and some of the questions of those who acted quickly were put to me just before the end of the month. My answers are online now, and you can also enter a competition to win a signed copy of "Demon Thief"!!! So click on http://www.readingzone.com/index.php?page=authorprofile ASAP!!

    NEW AMERICAN COVERS

    You can check out the brand new American covers for the hardback edition of "Lord of the Shadows" and the paperback edition of "Allies of the Night" by clicking here: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/countries/usa/usa.html I like them both, especially the book 11 cover, which is VERY atmospheric!!!

    NEW "LORD LOSS" REVIEWS

    I've added several new reviews of "Lord Loss" to my website. Most are by American reviewers, and the majority are VERY positive -- phew!!!!! You can find links to them all by clicking on the following link: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/reviews/lordloss/lordlossindex.html

    AN EVENT REVIEW

    You can read a short report about one of the events on my USA 2005 tour on super-fan Crowgrrl's site at http://www.crowgrrl.com/reviews/111305perch.htm I always like to get a fan's perspective of my events -- somebody writing about an event makes it seem more ... real for me, I guess!!! Fans at my events go home with signed books and sometimes photos -- but usually all I ever get to take away are memories!

    NEW PHOTOS

    I've added LOTS of new photos to my site recently, on top of those I added last month -- the photo section is really start to build up into a complete profile overview!!!! Included in the current batch are a few photos from my USA tour, as well as the first ever snapshots of the mysterious Liam Fitz, designer of my web site, on a VERY special day!!!! You can check them out here: http://www.darrenshan.com/photos/index.html

    SHANTA CLAUS

    Hard to believe it's that time of the year already -- but it is!!! One of my favourite short stories that I've written over the years is "Shanta Claus" -- but since it's a Christmas tale, I only put it up on my site at Christmas time!! This year, I've decided to put it up a bit earlier than usual, to give you all as much time as I can to read it, but it will be coming off the site a day or two after Christmas, so don't wait TOO long to check it out!!! I make small changes to the story every year, so even if you've read it before, you might want to have another look, to see if you can spot the differences!!!!!! The link for the story is: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/extras/extras/09-shanta2.html

    BLOG

    http://darrenshan.blogdrive.com/

    I'm still managing to add almost daily entries to my online Web Log. It's a great way of detailing what I get up to at events, of letting fans know what I do with my spare time, and also passing on information quickly -- a lot of the news in the Shanville Monthly crops up first in my Blog over the course of the month!! Here are a few randomly selected highlights from the last month, covering all sorts of topics, like good news of the road in America ...
    I'm two-thirds of the way through my American tour, and I received wonderful news tonight, which makes all the hard work worthwhile ... my "Cirque Du Freak" series has re-entered the New York Times Top 10 Bestsellers Chart at Number 7!!!!! click here for full entry

    airport morons ...
    ... he got a very serious look on his face and said that "a few years ago" a couple of women in baggy sweatshirts boarded a plane in Chechnya and blew it up! I just looked at him blankly and said "They blew up a plane with a sweatshirt?!?" click here for full entry

    the end of my American tour ...
    Cheerio, America! I had GINORMOUS fun and hope to be back in the VERY near future!! To Jennifer ... the staff at Little Brown ... the teachers, librarians and booksellers ... the escorts who drove me around ... and especially all of the amazing fans who showed up to say hi and have their books signed ... DARREN SHAN SALUTES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! click here for full entry

    my Grandad's 80th birthday party ...
    The bar stopped serving at 02.00, so everyone went home. But several came down for an impromptu party at my house. Luckily I had lots of drinks in the fridge, and we stayed partying for a few more hours. It was 06.30 before I got to bed!!!! click here for full entry

    Christmas cards ...
    Spent the morning writing out Christmas cards. Got through a lot, though I have some more to do. I'm not a fan of Xmas cards, and would just as happily send and receive none every year -- but I don't want people thinking I'm an old Scrooge, do I?!? click here for full entry

    theatre overload ...

    Had dinner in Brown's in Covent Garden, then went back for our last play ("Heroes") of our marathon session -- six shows in three days!!! click here for full entry

    problems on my UK tour ...
    Almost three hundred tickets had been sold for the event (many people had to be denied, since demand outweighed the capacity of the hall!!). But because of the weather, loads of fans couldn't come. A couple of bus companies, who'd been supposed to bus in large groups, cancelled because of insurance risks!!! It looked at one stage as if NOBODY would be able to make it!!!! click here for full entry

    ... and much, MUCH more!!! For continued access to the daily, inner world of Darren Shan, click on http://darrenshan.blogdrive.com/ and either bookmark it, or register on the site to be sent an e-mail every time I update it. It's your gateway to the world and mind of the REAL Darren Shan!!!!

    THE 2005 GLOBAL TOUR!

    DECEMBER -- UK

    Here are the details for the remainder of my "Thief in the Night" tour of the UK in December to promote Demon Thief.

    DECEMBER

    Friday 2nd -- 2.00-3.30pm -- School event in Milton Keynes.

    Friday 2nd -- 4.00-5.30pm -- Public signing at Ottakar's, 72 Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes. phone: 01908 395384.

    Monday 5th -- 4.00pm -- Public signing at Waterstones, 128 Princes Street, West End, Edinburgh. phone: 0131 226 2666.

    Tuesday 6th -- 10:30am -- School event at St Aloysius College, Hill St, Glasgow.

    Tuesday 6th -- 4.00pm -- Public signing at Ottakar’s, Buchanan Galleries,220 Buchanan Street, Glasgow. phone: 0141 353 1500.

    DECEMBER -- IRELAND

    Wednesday 7th -- Dublin -- 11.00am -- Public signing at Easons Dundrum.

    Wednesday 7th -- Dublin -- 4.00pm -- Public signing at Easons O'Connell Street.

    Thursday 8th -- Galway -- 11.00am -- Public event at City Library.

    Thursday 8th -- Galway -- 1.00pm -- Public signing at Easons.

    Friday 9th -- Cork -- 10:30am -- Library event at Torytop Library.

    Friday 9th -- Cork -- 12:45pm -- Library event at Douglas Library.

    Friday 9th -- Cork -- 3:00pm -- Public library event at Mayfield Library, Cork. Booking is required for this event -- please ring 021 4924935 if you are interested in attending.

    Friday 9th -- Cork -- 5:00pm -- Public signing at Waterstones, Cork.

    Saturday 10th -- Limerick -- 1.00pm -- Public signing at Easons O'Connell Street.

    COMING YOUR WAY IN 2006

    The Darren Shan road show will continue in 2006!!! I've already penned in some dates. I plan to do a handful of events around London and the south-west UK in January. I'm appearing at the Brighton Book Festival on Sunday May 21st. I'll be doing more events in the UK on May 22nd and 23rd, then doing a short tour of Scotland on May 24th, 25th and 26th. I'll probably do a few more events after that, culminating with my second appearance at the Hay Festival on May 31st. And, yes, I'll be back at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August for the seventh year in a row -- I'm practically becoming an institution there!!!! I also hope to fit in a book tour of Northern Ireland at some point during the year, though I haven't decided exactly when yet!!

    More details about these events, and any others than arise, will follow in future issues of the Shanville Monthly.

    COMPETITION

    Ah-hah -- you thought I'd forgotten about the competition, didn't you?!? I bet you've scrolled down this far in an excited hurry without reading anything above -- am I right?!?!? Well, worry not, Shan never forgets! Well, hardly ever!!! As you can see from the above photo (click on it for a larger image) I'm wearing an ultra cool Demonata hoodie. The hoodies were created by my American publishers for my recent tour there. They only made about 100 or so of them. One was sent to each of my events, to be raffled off. Since they were all won by fans, rather than held on to by shop staff, I imagine very few, if any, of them will ever resurface or come up for sale on Ebay. Meaning they're pretty much impossible to get hold off.

    Well, I have TWO up for grabs in a special Christmas competition!!! And I'll sign each of them with a special silver pen!!! One will be won by an American reader. (I figured, since they were created for American fans, I needed to ensure that one of them went to a "home" fan!!) The other will be won by somebody somewhere else in the world. To enter, you have to do the following:

    1) Answer this question: "Who or what did the Little People eat in my Shanta Claus short story?" (You can find a link to the answer by scrolling back up the page!)

    2) If you live in America, send your entry to: compusadec05@darrenshan.com

    3) If you live anywhere else in the world, send your entry to: compworlddec05@darrenshan.com

    (4) Put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail!!! I won't accept your entry if you don't! And make sure you INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS in the body of the e-mail, as well as the answer -- and don't forget to add the name of your country!!!! This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win!

    (5) Closing date is midnight, Greenwich Mean Time, Sunday, December 25th, 2005.

    (6) This competition is open to everybody, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations!!

    (7) Only one entry per household -- if you send in more than one entry, ALL of your entries will be rejected! If more than one person in a house wants to enter, you'll need to make a joint entry and include all of your names in a single e-mail. And you can only enter in one of the sections, i.e. either in the American section, OR the rest of the world section. If you try to enter both, your entries will be disqualified!

    (8) The draw for the winners will be made on Monday, December 26th. It will be a completely random draw, made by Darren Shan personally (I use an online number generator to pick the winners). I will try to notify the winners by e-mail, and will post their names (but not their addresses) on the Shanville Message Board and in the January issue of the Shanville Monthly. I will try to send the prizes to the winners before the end of the month, but it MIGHT be January before I can post them out! So, if you win, please be patient!

    (9) 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.

    (10) My decision will be final -- so there!!!!!

    IT'S A WRAP

    And that's it for the December issue -- and, indeed, for 2005!!! I'll be back in 2006 for the start of a whole new year, three new Darren Shan books, and a lot more touring!! Until then, I hope you all have a truly wonderful Christmas and New Year's, even those of you who don't celebrate Xmas, and who have your New Year at a different time to the Western calendar!!! May your presents be plentiful and your table full of good food. But, more importantly, may your family and friends be close, in good health and in high spirits. Gods rest ye merry vampires, and all the demonic bloody best, Darren Shan x x x