• Issue 78 - January 2007

    01 January 2007


    Welcome to the first 2007 issue of the Shanville Monthly! I hope you all enjoyed Christmas and New Year's. I had a quiet but enjoyable break over the Yueltide, spent with family and friends in London. Although December is traditionally a quiet time of the year for me, I actually have quite a lot of news to report this month. There's the release of the paperback version of "Slawter" ... a revival of my books in Canada ... tour updates for the coming year ... a 2006 roundup ... oh, and the small matter of a film director possibly being appointed to the movie adaptation of "Cirque Du Freak"!!! Hah -- I knew that would grab your attention!!!! But you'll have to read all the way down to the bottom to get to that particular nugget!!!!!!!


    The paperback edition of "Slawter" (featuring a cool glow-in-the-dark cover) officially goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on January 3rd, but is already available to buy from Amazon UK by clicking on the following link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Slawter-Demonata-Darren-Shan/dp/0007231385/sr=1-2/qid=1167311180/ref=sr_1_2/202-7127908-6389469?ie=UTF8&s=books "Slawter" has proven to be one of the most popular books of "The Demonata" with fans (so far!!), so if you didn't get a hardback copy last June, this is your chance to finally bag a copy of your own, for a very reasonable price!!!

    Later in January (I think about the middle of the month), to promote the launch of the paperback of "Slawter", my UK publishers are re-decorating 120 telephone boxes around the London area to look like this:


    So if you're in the London area in January, keep your eyes peeled! And if you take any photos of yourself beside one of the boxes, I'd love to see them!!! (You can't email photos to me directly, but you can upload them to the web -- maybe using a free programme, like MySpace -- then email me the links.)


    For fans in the UK -- Waterstones are running an online competition to tie in with the release of the paperback of "Slawter". The four winners will each get a 3 months unlimited cinema pass to VUE cinemas!!!! Now that's what I call a super-cool prize!!!!! You have to be over 18 to enter the competition, but my advice, if you're under that age (as most of my fans are!), is to simply enter the name of your Mum or Dad -- if you win, they can collect it, and YOU can use it!!!!! The closing date is February 11th. Please note, I have no direct involvement with this particular competition, so if you run into any complications, you'll need to contact Waterstones, not me. Click on the following link for more info and to enter:



    I know the last few years have been frustrating for my Canadian fans. The first 4 books of "The Saga of Darren Shan" were released a few years back, and then ... nothing! Trust me, that wasn't my choice -- there were all sorts of complicated reasons why "The Saga" stalled in Canada, and it's been just as annoying for me as it has been for you lot! But finally, THANKFULLY, there's light at the end of the tunnel!!!

    HarperCollins Canada will be publishing the rest of "The Saga", starting with books 5 and 6 ("Trials of Death" and "The Vampire Prince") in May 2007. Hurrah!!! You can access their web site by clicking here: http://www.harpercollins.ca/ The new vampire books aren't on their system yet, but you can find links to buy my "Demonata" books if you wish -- just to remind all Canadians, the first 4 books of "The Demomata" ARE already available to buy in Canada!!!

    I'm also hoping to fit in a visit to Canada sometime within the next year or so. Keep an eye on the Shanville Monthly for updates.


    This will be my final post about the "Bec" special editions, so if you don't act now, you might not get the chance to order one again! There are still some copies of the special edition of "Bec" for sale to fans in the UK and Ireland, but at the moment you can't order them through the HarperCollins web site. However, if interested, you can order copies by ringing this number: 0870 787 1722. Tell them you want the special edition of "Bec", and quote the following ISBN number to make it even easier for them: 0-00-724778-8.

    There are only 666 copies of the special edition, each signed and numbered in strong black ink by ME! Each book comes in a hard, protective box (known in the trade as a slipcase), which has been decorated with artwork from the front cover of the book. Each customer can buy a maximum of 3 copies. They cost just £20, which is only £7 more than the regular edition!!! (Though you will have to pay post & packaging on top of that.) Once they sell out, no more will be made available.

    Unfortunately, because of legal reasons, the special edition is only available through HarperCollins to fans living in the UK or Ireland. However, copies have appeared for sale on Ebay, so if you live outside the UK/Ireland, but want to buy a special edition of "Bec", and don't mind paying a bit more for it, then check out the following link (which also features loads more of my books, including signed editions, proofs, etc):


    For those of you living in or near London, here's a date to put in your diary! On Monday February 19th, 2007, I am going to be doing an event at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (the second-largest venue at the Royal Festival Hall) on the Southbank, near Waterloo. This is going to be a MASSIVE event -- the Hall holds over 900 people!!! In fact, it's by quite a way the biggest event I've yet to do in the UK!!!! It promises to be an incredible, crazy kind of day -- or a complete disaster if nobody turns up!!!

    This is a schools event, but tickets ARE available to members of the public too, so if you can swing a day off school, click on the link below for tickets. Alternately, you could ask your teachers if they're keen on bringing a class (or even a few different classes) to the event, and if they are, they can contact the Royal Festival Hall to organise tickets for a group.


    TOUR INFO 2007

    As well as the London event in Feburary, I am doing one more event that month at the Derby Literature Festival, on Sunday February 18th. I will provide more details about this next month.

    I am coming to America on tour in April 2007, from the 1st to the 20th. My publishers, Little Brown have almost finished putting my schedule together. I hope to post the finalised itinerary in the February issue of the Shanville Monthly. In the meantime, if you're one of the many who tabled a request -- keep your fingers crossed!!!

    On Saturday, April 28th, I will be appearing at the Cuirt Festival in Galway. You can click on the following link for their web site, but there will be no information on it until March: http://www.galwayartscentre.ie/cuirt.htm

    Looking further ahead, I'm going to be doing another big tour of the UK (including a visit to Wales -- hurray!!!) and Ireland in June, and some more global touring after that -- in July I plan to visit Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. There will be more info about these tours (and any others that come along as the year progresses) in upcoming issues of the Shanville Monthly -- so keep reading!!

    After far too long a wait (apologies all, but that's the downside to running this site myself!!), I've added loads of new photos to my site, with more to come very soon!!! Make sure you have a look at the Young Darren folder while you're there, as I've added some rare snaps of me in my hairy early 20s!!! You can find all the incriminating evidence by clicking on the following link: http://www.darrenshan.com/photos/index.html


    The sale of the "Demonata" trading cards was a great success -- out of 445 packs, 420 packs sold!!! I will be keeping the final 25 packs for my own collection, to save against a rainy day. In total, the sale raised 723 euro for the charity organisation, No Strings Ireland. On their behalf, I'd like to thank everyone who bought packs. I hope you all enjoy them.

    I've added a full list of the 24 characters featured on the "Demonata" trading cards to my site, along with the rules of the game. So, if you have some but not all of the cards, and want to find out which cards you're missing, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/cards/

    I'm going to look into the possibility of establishing some kind of trading shop in the next few months, to make it possible for fans with excess cards to exchange replicas for cards they are missing. Keep an eye on the Shanville Monthly for updates.


    I've added lots of reviews of all 4 of my "Demonata" books, including the first reviews of "Bec", and a few interesting reviews of "Slawter", to my site. To check them out, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/demons/reviews/index.html

    I've also added some new, recent interviews to my site. The link is: http://www.darrenshan.com/facts/interviews.html

    Finally, I've added the Indonesian cover of Book 8 of "The Saga of Darren Shan" to my site, and some of the Japanese paperback covers (I haven't been sent the first 3 paperbacks yet, which is why they don't appear), as well as something ... a bit different!!! Click on the following link to access them all: http://www.darrenshan.com/vampires/covers/index.html


    No less than three of my books have made it into Crowgrrrl's Top 10 Books of 2006 list!!!! Crowgrrrl is a music, film and book critic, and a long-time supporter of my books. You can check out her full year's best list here: http://www.crowgrrl.com/reviews/122406perch.htm

    2006 roundup

    Time again for my annual review of what's been going on in my life for the past 12 months. 2006 was a relatively quiet year on the travel front -- I chose to do lots of touring in the UK and Ireland this year, and nothing abroad. On the writing front, I worked hard on "The Demonata" all year and have got well ahead of the publication schedule -- I like being a couple of years ahead of the game, because it means that I have plenty of time to edit my books and can make sure that none of them are rushed. In terms of new books, I released 3 in the UK in 2006 -- "Slawter" and "Bec", as well as a short book, "Koyasan", for World Book Day. So, publishing-wise, this was my busiest year in print for quite some time!!

    In January I created Secret Shanville, a members-only part of my site, to encourage more regular readers to sign up with my web site. (There were no ulterior motives for this -- I just like to be able to contact you guys quickly and easily if I have any big news stories to tell you about!) I did a short UK tour late in January, to promote the paperback release of "Lord Loss". In February, "The Ultimate Teen Book Guide" was released -- I wrote reviews of six books for it -- you can order it from Amazon UK by clicking here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0713673303/shanville. This month, my UK publishers settled upon a new release schedule for "The Demonata", ensuring that there'll be a new Darren Shan book on the shelves every June and October until 2009. In March I released "Koyasan" and did a lot of interviews to promote it. I also did a live online chat event, which was a bit chaotic but fun. After several slack years, I finally updated the reviews section of my site, to make it easier for fans to access reviews of my books. I also revealed the title of Book 4 of "The Demonata".

    I appeared on "Blue Peter" in May, which was fun, especially as I'd had a bit of a run-in with them earlier in the year, which I thought has ruined my chances of ever appearing on the programme! "Slawter" went on sale late in May, and I went on the road around the UK and Ireland to promote it. I wasn't sure how fans would respond to "Slawter", and was surprised and very pleased when it became clear that it was one of their favourite books of mine to date. Waterstones produced their Top Trumps-style cards for "The Demonata" this month. I signed 2000 copies of "Slawter" for Ottakars -- ouch!!! In June, I returned to the New York Times Top 5 Children's Series Bestsellers chart, when book 11 of my "Cirque Du Freak" series was released there. And "Slawter" was the #2 bestselling children's book in June -- and the paperback version of "Demon Thief" also made the top 10. Nice!!!!

    In July, "Lord Loss" won the Redbridge Best Teenage Book award, and was a runner-up in the Lancashire Children's Book Of The Year award. The Cartoon Network released a fun "Slawter" microsite. Lithuania and Estonia became the 31st and 32nd countries to officially publish my books. Oh, and I turned 34 on the 2nd!!! In August, a new edition of "Treasure Island" was released in the UK, with an introduction written by me -- you can buy it from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0747587477/026-8140752-9574053?v=glance&n=266239&v=glance. I went to New York for an event by Stephen King, J K Rowling and John Irving, which was great. I did the Kilkenny Arts Festival for the first time, and returned to Edinburgh for my 7th year in a row -- and my biggest event there yet!!! In September, "Sons of Destiny" went on sale in America, and I returned to the NYT Bestsellers chart for an extended spell of nine weeks!!! I reveaed the title of book 5 of "The Demonata". I discovered Darren Shan clips of You Tube -- more have been added since then, and you can check them out by clicking here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=darren+shan

    "Bec" went on sale in the UK and Ireland in October, and I went on tour again to promote it. I had a hugely enjoyable launch party for the book, at Craggaunowen in County Clare. I added new fan art to my site (after waaaaaayyyyyy too long a time!). I published a short story in an anthology called "Shrouded by Darkness" -- click here for more info: http://www.telos.cuttingsarchive.com/ocfic/ocfic-main.htm#shrouded. My bravest feat of the year was going on a TV show in Ireland with Dustin The Turkey -- a fearless interviewer who can reduce grown mean to jelly with one well-timed growl!!! Did a very fun interview for the BBC Big Toe radio show (I had to go apple-bobbing in order to answer questions!), and ended my tour with a big public event in Waterstones Picadilly. In December I decided to launch a MySpace account, which has proven very popular so far. I sold off my stock of "Demonata" trading cards to raise funds for charity. And, finally, there was a bit of movie news right at the end of the year (see below) which got a lot of fans very excited!!!!

    For a full rundown of 2006 (and all the other issues of the Shanville Monthly), check out the Archive. There's a link near the top right of this page, or else you can click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/monthly/archive/index.html

    The question I get asked most often (in fact I can't recall a single day in recent years when it hasn't been put to me in one form or another, in emails, message board posts or letters) is: "Will there be a Cirque Du Freak movie?" There has been talk of a CDF film since my very first book hit the shelves in January 2000. As regular readers will know, Universal Studios acquired the movie rights to the books last year, and they've been working on moving the project forward ever since. Lauren Shuler Donner as producer (she made the "X-Men" movies), and Brian Helgeland as writer (he wrote "L.A. Confidential"), have been on board since day one of the Universal deal. Now, a director has been lined up -- Paul Weitz, of "American Pie" and "About A Boy" fame. You can read more about it by clicking on the link below, but before you get TOO excited, please take note of the following: first, this news is unconfirmed. It's based on something Lauren Shuler Donner said in a recent interview, but I have not yet had written confirmation that the appointment has been made. It's always been my policy not to make announcements here until they're set in stone, but since the news has already aired on the web, I decided to make an exception to the rule in this case. It all looks genuine, but as I said, it's currently officially unconfirmed. Secondly, NO, there is no release date set, no actors have been cast, auditions are not currently scheduled. Developments are still at a very early stage, and while it's all looking positive, there's a long way to go before they get anywhere near to actually filming. I'll keep posting updates as and when they come in, but please -- BE PATIENT!!! When you don't hear any news from me, it's not because I'm holding it back -- it's because there isn't any!!!! I know a lot of fans seem to think that I'm witholding wads load of information, and that if they write to me personally, I'll reveal the secrets to them -- but, believe me, that isn't the case. As soon as I have anything new to report, you'll read about it here on the Shanville Monthly. Until then ... peace!!!



    And that's it for January! I plan to get stuck into my writing duties this month -- since I'm doing so much touring later in the year, I want to make the most of the first few months. I'm not sure at the moment what I'm going to focus on (though I know I have to do more editing work on the later "Demonata" books), but I have a few ideas and I'll just wait and see what I feel like doing -- a nice position to be in!!! I'll be back here in February for more updates and news. Until then, take care of yourselves, and wrap up warm against the cruel January winds, frosts, gales and snow!!!! All the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x