• Issue 70 - May 2006

    01 May 2006
    GREETINGS!

    Welcome to the May issue of the Shanville Monthly. I had a fun April -- I went to my brother's wedding in Cyprus, then to a stag do (a bachelor party) in Amsterdam, then had a big party back home in Ireland to celebrate my brother's marriage -- so I haven't been doing an awful lot of work recently!! You can find out all about my trips, and a whole lot more besides, by checking out my blog. The big news this month, of course, is the release of "Slawter" in the UK and Ireland, and "Lord of the Shadows" in America. It seems like an age since "Demon Thief" was unleashed here and "Lake of Souls" in the States! I'll be going on tour this month (see further down), and I have news of a really unusual and exciting promotion that will be taking place in Waterstones in the UK and Ireland. I'll also be appearing on the famed BBC show, "Blue Peter" on May 2nd, and on national Irish radio a bit later -- you can get the lowdown on these, and all the other latest news, by reading on ...

    IT'S "SLAWTERING" TIME!!!

    "Slawter", book 3 of "The Demonata", hits book stores across the UK and Ireland in late May. In fact, the book isn't officially released until the first week of June, but most stores should have it a week or two earlier than that (the stores where I'll be going to as part of my tour will definitely have the new book in stock -- I hope!!!). Grubbs Grady returns as the main narrator in this book, which is set several months after the events of "Lord Loss". It's fun, gory, action-packed stuff, which builds to a demonically delirious finale!!! You can out more about the book by going to Secret Shanville at http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html and you can buy it from Amazon UK by clicking on this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007229550/shanville

    I've also added my final book notes to Secret Shanville, revealing a few of the things you'll be able to read about in the book when it goes on sale (but without giving any big plot twists away, of course!!) And I'll be touring around the UK and Ireland to promote the book, and you can read about another, extra-special promotion right below this ...

    "TOP TRUMPS" DARREN SHAN STYLE!!
    I announced on my Blog a while ago that I was working on three top secret projects, which I couldn't talk about until later. Well, now I can finally reveal details of the first one! To promote the release of "Slawter" - book 3 of "The Demonata" - in late May/early June, my UK/Irish publishers, Harper Collins, along with Waterstones, will be giving away a free pack of "Top Trumps"-style cards with every purchase of a Darren Shan book in Waterstones. There will be 24 cards in total, featuring characters from the first 4 books in the series, i.e. "Lord Loss", "Demon Thief", "Slawter" and "Bec". There will be 6 characters from each book, one per card. The front of each card will feature part of a "Demonata" cover, while the back will be given over to different characters, and will list "attributes" such as Fighting Skills, Magic Powers, Intelligence, etc. You will be able to use these cards to play a "Top Trumps"-type game with your friends. Of course, since there are only 24 cards, it will be a fairly short game!! But hopefully, if this is a success, we'll issue more cards later, allowing fans to build up a more comprehensive set.

    The terms of the promotion are simple. For every one of my books that you buy in Waterstones during the promotion, you'll get a pack of 6 random cards from the set. This means you'll need to buy at least 4 of my books to complete the set, although the chances are you'll find duplicate cards, so you'll need to be VERY lucky to collect all 24 cards from just 4 purchases!!! An easier way of completing your set will be to trade with your friends -- if you have friends who don't read my books, or who read them but don't buy them, this will be the ideal time to gently encourage them to dig deep and buy some of my Shantastic books!!!! You'll get a free pack of the cards by buying ANY of my books (except "Koyasan") in Waterstones stores throughout the UK and Ireland -- so you can buy books from "The Saga of Darren Shan" as well as books from "The Demonata".

    If you can't convince your friends to buy my books, or if you fail to trade for all the cards you need -- don't worry!! Once the promotion has finished (I'm not sure how long it will run), we're going to make it possible for fans to complete their collection by acquiring cards through my web site. There will be more information about this later in the year. The promotion will only be available to fans in the UK and Ireland, I'm afraid -- but, who knows, if it's a success, maybe some of my other publishers will run similar promotions later.

    The promotion will begin with the release of "Slawter" in late May or early June -- so if you were thinking of buying any of my books over the next month, my advice would be to wait!!!

    I'm very excited about this. It's the first time we've tried such an ambitious promotional tactic, and I think it will be a lot of fun. Of course, it's a pity if you live in an area where there isn't a Waterstones branch, but as I said, in the long run we plan to make the cards more widely available.

    USA - BOOK 11 ON SALE NOW!!!

    "Lord of the Shadows" -- book 11 of the "Cirque Du Freak" series -- is now on sale in book stores in America -- so watch out for it if you live Stateside!!!! If you prefer to order through the internet, you can buy the book through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316156280/ref=pd_sim_b_5/002-0747559-4680006?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155 or through Barnes & Noble at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?z=y&pwb=1&ean=9780316156288

    Book 11 proved incredibly popular in other countries where it's already been released. Darren returns to his home town and the action switches back to the War of the Scars ... it draws all the surviving main characters back together, features a couple of truly shocking deaths ... and ends on a humongous cliffhanger, setting the scene for the 12th and final book!!!! Miss it at your peril!!!!!!!!!

    The mass-market paperback edition of book 8, "Allies of the Night", is also now on sale in the States!! You should be able to find it (or order it) in your local book store, or else check out the Shanville SHOP for links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, at: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/shop/usshop.html

    Finally, the paperback edition of "Lord Loss" has also gone on sale, so for a slice of a demonically delicious treat, head for your local store, or buy through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0316012335/sr=1-2/qid=1146592833/ref=sr_1_2/103-9159159-8169463?%5Fencoding=UTF8&s=books or Barnes & Noble at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&isbn=0316012335&itm=2

    BLUE PETER

    I will be appearing on the UK CBBC show, Blue Peter, on Tuesday, May 2nd! (NOT April 24th, as originally scheduled!) The show runs from 5.00-5.25pm. There will then be a live webchat with me directly after the show, at 5.25pm. So, no matter where you live in the world, you can log onto the Blue Peter web site and chat with me if you wish!!! You can find out more details about it by checking out the Blue Peter website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/bluepeter/

    Blue Peter is one of the most successful and longest-running TV shows in England ever!! Those of you who read my Blog might remember that I was scheduled to appear on their web site back around the time of World Book Day, but it didn't work out. As I said then, I bore no grudges and would be only too pleased to accept an invitation to go on the show or its web site at any point in the future if asked. I'm relieved to see that the staff there didn't bear any grudges either!!!! :-)

    COMPLETE SHAN INTERVIEWS

    I've finally overhauled the Interviews section on my web site, after several years of inactivity!! You can now find every interview with me that I've been able to track down online. (There are others, available only in print, which for the time being will have to remain in my archives -- i.e. in the file cabinets in my garage!! I hope to scan and add them to the site one day, but that might be a LONG way off!!!) I was surprised, going through this, by just how many interviews I've given over the years -- there are LOADS!!! You can find out all sorts of juicy little secrets about me by reading through the interviews -- but be warned, some contain inaccuracies, especially the older ones!!!! I'm relieved to have finally sorted this part of the site out -- it had fallen WAY behind and mounted frightfully over the years!! The link for the all-new Interviews page is: http://www.darrenshan.com/facts/interviews.html

    Oh, I almost forgot -- if you scroll down on the Interviews home page, you'll find links to some other curiosities, such as video interviews, notes for teachers, and so on!!!

    RTE RADIO SHOW

    I went to a school in Limerick called Scoil Carmel in March to record a short interview for a radio programme. RTE 2FM have run a scheme over the past few years, where they invite a group of Transition Year students (fourth year of secondary school, i.e. 15 or 16 year olds) from a certain school to record a one hour radio programme. The programme is researched, planned and presented by the students. This year over 300 schools competed for the honour of hosting the show -- and Scoil Carmel were among the handful of winners!! The girls wanted to interview me during the show, and I was happy to go along and give it a try. I was very impressed -- the studio had been professionally set up, and the interviewee was as polished and sure of herself as most journalists I've spoken to over the years. The other girls were fun too -- they were very excited to see me, and took loads of photos. It reminded me a bit of my trips to Japan and Taiwan, where most of my fans are girls! Hugging loads of teenage girls and posing for photos ... it's a hard life!!!!! Audio files and photos from past TY programmes are available at http://www.rte.ie/2fm/tyradio This year's programme is due to air on Sunday, May 7th. You'll be able to listen to it live on radio if you're in Ireland, or through the RTE web site from anywhere else in the world. http://www.rte.ie

    THE 2006 TOURS

    This is the revised, most up to date list of all the places I'm going during my May tour. Please read through carefully if you're interested in coming to any of my events, as some of the details have changed since last month!! e.g. one of my Dublin events has been cancelled!! The time of my Hay event has been changed and confirmed. etc.

    MAY -- Ireland/UK
    Wednesday 17th -- 11.00a.m.-12.30p.m. -- Navan Arts Centre -- Schools event. Contact Mary Murphy, Ashbourne Library, Meath County Council Library Service, for more info. mmurphy@meathcoco.ie
    Wednesday 17th -- 3.30-4.30p.m. -- Dunboyne Library -- Public event at Dunboyne Library, County Meath. All are welcome!! Contact Tom French at the library for more information.
    Thursday 18th -- 10.00-11.00a.m. -- Hughes & Hughes, Unit 218 – 219, Omni Shopping Centre, Santry, Dublin 9. Tel: 01 862 3394. School event -- please contact the store if interested in coming.
    Thursday 18th -- 12.30p.m. -- Hughes & Hughes Junior, Top Floor, St Stephens Green Shopping Centre, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 478 8132. School event -- please contact the store if interested in coming.
    Friday 19th -- all day -- school events and public signing at The Children's Bookshop, Pinner, 1 Red Lion Parade, Pinner Middlesex HA5 3JD. Tel: 020 8866 9116. The public signing will be in the store at approx 3.30pm. Contact store for further information and correct time.
    Saturday 20th -- 2.00pm -- public event at Kingston Reading Festival, Kingston, London. Click here for info about the event: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/krf/2006/Events/darren%20shan.htm and click here for information about how to book tickets:http://www.kingston.ac.uk/krf/2006/booking.htm
    Sunday 21st -- 2.00-3.00pm -- public event at Brighton Festival, Main Hall, Old Market, Hove, Brighton. Click here to book now: http://www.brightonfestival.org/index.asp?id=1908 or phone: +44 (0)1273 709709. UPDATE: This event is now SOLD OUT!! (All 280 seats!) There MIGHT be returns on the day or before -- contact the box office by phone for more information.
    Monday 22nd -- 10.30-11.30am -- school event at Woodkirk High Specialist Science School, Rein Road, Tingley, Wakefield.
    Monday 22nd -- 1.30-3.00pm -- school event arranged by Sonia Benster's Children's Bookshop, 37-39 Lidget Street, Huddersfield. Phone: 01484 658013.
    Monday 22nd -- 3.45-4.45pm -- public signing at Sonia Benster's Children's Bookshop, 37-39 Lidget Street, Huddersfield. Phone: 01484 658013.
    Monday 22nd -- 8.00pm -- public book group event at Rastrick High School, Brig House, arranged by Sonia Benster's Children's Bookshop, Huddersfield. Phone: 01484 658013.
    Tuesday 23rd -- 11.30a.m-12.30p.m. -- school event at Waterstones, 93 Albion Street, Leeds. Contact: nyree.jillings@waterstones.co.uk
    Tuesday 23rd -- 12.30-1.00p.m. -- public signing at Waterstones, 93 Albion Street, Leeds. Phone: 0113 244 4588.

    All of my Scottish Events are being arranged by the Scottish Book Trust. For information about tickets, contact Catriona Scott. Phone: 01315240169. Email: catrionas@scottishbooktrust.com
    Wednesday 24th -- 10.00a.m. -- Montrose Town Hall, Melville Gardens, Montrose.
    Wednesday 24th -- 2.00p.m. -- Kirriemuir Town Hall, 28/30 Reform Street, Kirriemuir.
    Wednesday 24th -- 6.00p.m. -- Angus Chatterbooks, Venue TBC (probably Brechin).
    Thursday 25th -- 10.30a.m. -- Beach ballroom, Beach Promenade, Aberdeen.
    Thursday 25th -- 1.30p.m. -- Beach ballroom, Beach Promenade, Aberdeen.
    Friday 26th -- 10.30a.m. -- Elgin Library, Cooper Park, Elgin, Moray.
    Friday 26th -- 1.30p.m. -- Elgin Library, Cooper Park, Elgin, Moray.
    Saturday 27th -- 12.00-1.00pm -- public event/signing at Waterstones, 2-6 Hill St, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6UA. Phone Rachel Benn: 0208 332 1600.
    Tuesday 30th -- 2.30-3.30p.m. -- event at Waterstones, 22 Sidney St, Cambridge CB2 3HG. Phone: 01223351688.
    Wednesday 31st -- 3.15pm -- Hay Festival, Hay-On-Wye, Wales. Click here for details and to buy tickets: http://www.hayfestival.com/hayfestival/programme.asp?filter=name&id=178

    AUGUST -- Ireland/UK
    Saturday 12th -- 5.00p.m. -- public event at Kilkenny Arts Festival.
    Edinburgh Book Festival -- public event -- date and time to be confirmed.

    MALAYSIA ALERT

    in Malaysia, the book chain MPH will be promoting my books in May, and giving away a "Demon Thief" poster to everyone who buys one of my books!! So if you live in Malaysia, and your wall's looking a bit bare, and you want to fill the space with one of the coolest posters around -- you know where to find it!!!!

    NEW COVERS

    I've added THREE new American covers to Secret Shanville -- the cover for my 12th and final vampire book, "Sons Of Destiny" AND the cover for my third demonic book, "Slawter", AND the cover for the second "Cirque Du Freak Boxed Set"!! You can check them all out by clicking here (and joining Secret Shanville if you aren't already a member): http://www.darrenshan.com/secretgateway.html You can also check out the Hungarian cover for "Demon Thief" (a modified version of the UK cover) on another part of my site, at: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/covers/covers/hungary/demonthief.html

    EBAY AUCTION

    Finally, I spotted an exciting auction on Ebay, running until May 10th. The seller is offering on the exclusive T-shirt from my UK/Ireland Destiny Tour, back in October 2004. These T-shirts were made by HarperCollins to promote the tour, but were only available to staff at places where we went. Some were raffled off or given away to lucky fans, but the number of these that made their way into public hands are minimal!! This is the first time I've seen one of these come up on Ebay, and I doubt if there will ever be many more -- so if you're interested, my advice is to big BID this time, as one might not come around again any time soon!!! I have nothing to do with the auction -- I'm just letting you folks know, because I think some of you will be keen to bid! The auction can be found here: http://cgi.ebay.com/DARREN-SHAN-THE-DESTINY-TOUR-BRAND-NEW-T-SHIRT_W0QQitemZ7027367932QQcategoryZ63672QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem Best of luck if you decide to go for it!!!

    IT'S A WRAP

    And that's it for May! I'll be hitting the road later in the month to launch "Slawter" on its merry, bloody way. I hope to see lots of you during the tour -- I'll be bringing dozens of pens along to sign your mountains of books!!! I'll be back in June to report on the tour and celebrate the official release of the book in the UK and Ireland. Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x