• Issue 83 - June 2007

    01 June 2007


    Welcome to the June edition of the Shanville Monthly! No time for any preamble, because we've got a BIG one for you this month. There's LOADS of news to report, starting with the release in the UK and Ireland of Blood Beast (hurrah!!). There are a couple of great competitions being launched in the UK by major chain stores to promote sales of Blood Beast, as well as a special BB trailer -- you can find out about them further down, along with all the other hot, Shan-related news. Plus there are details of web updates I've made over the last few weeks, including an exciting new crop of fan art!!!! And all my latest tour news!!!! So much to tell you about, and so little time!!! Anyway, let's not procrastinate, but instead dive straight into the news, beginning with ...


    In the UK, Blood Beast -- book 5 of The Demonata -- goes on sale on June 4th. But my books often turn up earlier than their release date. It has already appeared in certain shops in Ireland, so it might be on the shelf of a bookstore near you right NOW!! Blood Beast and its sequel (books 5 and 6 are a two-part storyline) are two of my favourite books out of the entire series, and early responses from fans on my message board seem to suggest that the rest of you might end up sharing that view!!! If you prefer to buy online, you can now get Blood Beast through Amazon.co.uk at an excellent discount. Just click on the following link and you'll soon be running wild with Grubbs, Dervish, Bill-E and co. -- AMAZON UK - BLOOD BEAST


    As well as the the hardback of Blood Beast, the paperback edition of Bec is now also on sale in the UK and Ireland. It features a cool, creepy glow-in-the-dark cover -- possibly the spookiest yet in the series!!! You should be able to find the paperback version of Bec in any halfway decent bookstore. You can also order it online through Amazon UK by clicking here: AMAZON UK - BEC



    There are two great Blood Beast-based competitions running in the UK this month (and before anyone asks, sorry but they're ONLY open to residents in the UK). First up, in alphabetical order, Waterstones are running a challenge with the groovy tagline: HAVE YOU GOT THE GUTS FOR DARREN SHAN? In this competition, fans are being asked to undertake a series of Darren Shan-themed challenges, in order to prove that they have the guts to be a true Darren Shan fan!!!!

    By clicking on the link at the top or bottom of this section, you will be taken through to a specially created site (it doesn't go active until June 1st) where you can create your own profile page and take various challenges to prove your 'worth'. There will be 10 challenges in all, and they involve holding a spider, acting out your favourite scene from Blood Beast, and more!!! The 10 challenges won't all be revealed at once -- you'll have to keep going back to the site over the course of the competition to find out what the new challenges are. When you complete a challenge, you will have to provide proof by uploading a photo of yourself completing the challenge on your profile page. You can also e-mail a link to your friends so they can see too! (So you can have mini-competitions with your friends to see who completes the most challenges the quickest!!!)

    Every fan who completes five of the challenges will get a certificate "signed" by Darren Shan! (i.e. the signature will be a photocopy) And one lucky competitor will also win an Xbox 360!!!! It's a fantastic, highly original challenge, which should also be lots of fun for those who take part. You can find out more about the competition, inlcuding full rules and how to submit your entry, either by visiting your local Waterstones shop or clicking on the following link (details will be made available from June 1st):



    WHSMITH is also running a Blood Beast competition this month -- you lucky, lucky people!!! In this competition, you and a friend have a chance to get a limited edition poster with a facsimile of my signature, and you also have the opportunity to win a meeting with Darren Shan!!! To enter, you'll need to pay a visit to your local branch of WHSmith and pick up a FREE Blood Beast booklet (it features a chapter out of Lord Loss, to whet the appetites of those who haven't yet sampled the delirious delights of The Demonata!!). The booklet will provide you with a web link where you'll be able to submit your details and enter the competition.

    My publishers in the UK, HarperCollins, have created a movie-style trailer for Blood Beast, which they're using to generate interest in the book. It's pretty cool, featuring some text from the book, video images and nice, creepy music!! The video will be posted to a number of sites, including Google Video and YouTube. If you want to check it out, click on the following YouTube link. (The video quality isn't great on YouTube, but it's OK.) This is the first time we've done something like this, so it would be fab if you could leave a comment to let us know what you think. Also, if you could forward the link on to your friends, it would be much appreciated -- spread the love, people, spread the bloody love!!!!!



    In the UK, to help encourage boys to read, a list of the Top 160 books for boys has been released -- and Blood Beast is one of the chosen books! The Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, has promised to give every secondary school in England the chance to chose 20 books from the list free. You can read the full article by clicking on the following link: TIMES ARTICLE

    And you can check out the full list (it's arranged in categories, such as Horror, Classics, etc, although confusingly the list doesn't show the category headings!!!) by clicking here: FULL LIST


    I'm delighted to be able to announce that my Italian publishers, Mondadori, have bought the rights to my Demonata series, so the books should be going on sale in Italy in the near future! My vampire books came out at a fast and furious rate in Italy over the last couple of years, so if my publishers keep to the schedule they've set, they'll probably catch up with my British publishers soon -- great news for all my Italian fans!!!!


    For anyone who's interested, the signed, numbered, limited edition hardback of Shrouded By Darkness is now on sale. The anthology features a host of short stories by many of today's leading horror writers, including a reworked version of my short story, "Life's a beach". The special edition has been signed by everyone who contributed, so it includes the signatures of Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Michael Marshall Smith, Graham Masterton, Richard Christian Matheson and a whole lot more. It costs £50. If you want to treat yourself, you can buy a copy (or, if you don't have money to burn, a copy of the regular paperback edition for £12.99!!!) by clicking on the following link:

    You will find the book listed in the Original & Classic Fiction part of the web site. All the royalties are being donated to DebRA, a national charity working on behalf of people with the genetic skin blistering condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). So as well as being a brilliant read and a highly sought-after collector's item, the book will raise money for a great cause too.


    I ran a cool competition in May to celebrate the 10 year anniversary since I started writing the first draft of Cirque Du Freak. I made the draw in the middle of the monent, and the list of winners, in the order they were drawn, is:


    There were 683 correct answers in total -- the highest entry ever for one of my competitions!!!! Congratulations to the lucky winners. Regrets to those who entered and didn't win -- better luck next time!!!!

    NEW FAN ART!!!

    I've added lots of new fan art based on the characters and monsters of The Demonata and The Saga Of Darren Shan to my web site. I don't add art as often as I'd like (I have to scan in, edit, and upload all of the art myself, so it's very time-consuming!!), but I'm always very pleased when I managed to update the pages, since so much of the artwork is amazing!! You can check out the chilling new images by clicking on the following links:



    I've added LOADS of new reviews of Slawter and Bec to my web site. You can find them, as well as reviews of the first 2 books of The Demonata, by clicking here: DEMONATA REVIEWS


    I've added the paperback covers for the American editions of Books 10, 11 and 12 of Cirque Du Freak to my site, and they're pretty nifty little numbers!!! I've also four cool new Italian covers (books 8 to 11) , plus new covers from Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Japan (the third manga cover), Lithuania, and Sweden. You can find them all by clicking here: VAMPIRE COVERS

    I've also added new Demonata covers to my site, from Hungary and The Netherlands. You can find them here: DEMON COVERS


    I've updated the shops in the Demons and Vampires sections of my site, so you can now easily buy any available editions of my books. Click on any of the links below.

    UK Demonata shop -- DEMONS SHOP UK

    USA Demonata shop -- DEMONS SHOP USA

    UK Saga of Darren Shan shop -- VAMPIRES SHOP UK

    USA Cirque Du Freak shop -- VAMPIRES SHOP USA


    Below you'll find the latest, revised schedule for my Ireland/UK "Blood Beast" tour. I've added a couple of new events (in Dublin on Friday 8th, and Southend on Wednesday 13th) and updated details of several others. It's worth double-checking the revised schedule before you come to any of my events, just to be certain (a) that I AM coming, and (b) that you get the right venue, date and time!!! Every tour, at least one fan comes to the wrong place on the right day, or the right place on the wrong day -- take care that YOU aren't that fan on this tour!!!!!!


    Tuesday, 5th


    Schools/public event at the Belltable Theatre, Limerick. SOLD OUT!

    Tuesday, 5th

    Schools/public event at the Belltable Theatre, Limerick. Tickets: 10 euro for adults, 6 euro for children, 4 euro for school groups. Phone this number for tickets: 061 315871.
    Tuesday 5th 4.30pm PUBLIC signing at Easons, O'Connell Street, Limerick.

    Wednesday 6th


    School events (2 sessions) at Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar.
    Wednesday 6th 4.30p.m.

    PUBLIC signing at Easons, 33 shop st, Galway.

    Thursday 7th


    School events (2 sessions) in Drogheda.
    Thursday 7th 4.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, Unit 12, Scotch Hall, Drogheda.
    Thursday 7th 8.30p.m. Dinner with media with booksellers -- YUM!!!!

    Friday 8th


    Schools event at Mill Theatre, Dundrum.
    Friday 8th 4.00p.m.

    PUBLIC signing at Easons, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Unit 45/46, Clondalkin, Dublin 22.

    Saturday 9th 1.00p.m. Stock signing at Waterstone’s, 8 St Peter’s Street, St Albans, AL1 3LF. phone: 01727 834 966. This isn't an official public event, but if you contact the store, they will be able to get books signed for you. It might even be possible to come along and meet me, but you should speak to someone at the store first to check.

    Saturday 9th


    PUBLIC event at The Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans. Tickets £4.50. Phone: 01727 844222. Web site: http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/mat/

    Sunday 10th


    PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, Unit 72, Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes.

    Monday 11th


    School event at Bignold Middle School, Norwich.
    Monday 11th 3.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 11-17 Castle Street, NR2 1PB, Norwich.
    Monday 11th 7.00p.m. School/PUBLIC event at Broadland High School, Tunstead Rd, Hoveton, Norwich, NR12 8QN. This event is being coordinated by Norfolk Children's Book Centre. For more info, please visit their web site for contact details: http://www.ncbc.co.uk/NCBC/Home.html

    Tuesday 12th


    School event at Perse Prep School, Cambridge.
    Tuesday 12th 4.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 15-19 Buttermarket, Ipswich IP1 1BQ.
    Tuesday 12th 6.30p.m. PUBLIC event at Copleston High School (in the library), Copleston Road, Ipswich, IP4 5HD. This is being organised by the Federation of Children's Book Groups. See their web site for contact details if you wish to find out more: http://www.btinternet.com/~martin.kromer/

    Wednesday 13th


    School event at Sweyne Park School, Rayleigh, Essex.

    Wednesday 13th


    PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, The Royals Shopping Centre, High Street, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1DQ. Phone: 01702 461 655.

    Thursday 14th


    School event in Crown Woods School, Greenwich, London.
    Thursday 14th AM School event in London.
    Thursday 14th 4.00p.m. Stock signing at a number of central London bookshops. Keep an eye on my blog -- once I've signed, I'll post the details there!!

    Friday 15th


    School event at Highgate School, London N6.
    Friday 15th 4.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Children’s Bookshop, Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London N10 3RY. Phone: 020 8444 5500.

    Saturday 16th


    PUBLIC event at Creative Writing on the Wirral.
    Saturday 16th 2.00pm PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 14-16 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4DS.

    Sunday 17th


    PUBLIC signing at Borders, 34 Coliseum Way, Ellesmere Port, Merseyside CH65 9HD.

    Monday 18th 10.00a.m. School event at St David’s High School, Saltney.
    Monday 18th 4.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 14 Eastgate Row, Chester CH1 1LF.

    Tuesday 19th 10.00a.m. School events (2 sessions) arranged through Waterstones Aberystwyth.
    Tuesday 19th 4.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 27 Great Darkgate Street, Aberystwyth, Wales SY23 1DE.

    Wednesday 20th AM Schools event in Cardiff.
    Wednesday 20th 4.00p.m. PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 2a The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1WB.

    Thursday 21st


    Schools event at the Lyceum in Sheffield. (It holds 1000 people!!)
    Thursday 21st 4.00pm PUBLIC signing at Waterstones, 27 Frenchgate Centre Interchange, Doncaster DN1 1LJ.

    Friday 22


    School event at Hull Collegiate, Tranby croft, Anlaby.


    I will be visiting Japan on tour from July 5th to 12th. I will be be doing public events in Tokyo and Kyoto, and I might also be doing one or two school events in the Kyoto region. There will be more info about this tour later -- so keep checking back!! If you are living in Japan and would like to find out more details from my publishers, Shogakukan, please see thier web site by clicking on this link: http://www.shogakukan.co.jp/darren/


    This is the tentative plan for my Taiwan tour in july. Please see the Crown website for full, updated details closer to the time. Click here for more info: CROWN
    Saturday 14th 13.30 - 16.30 Signing session at Kingstone Bookstore, Taipei.
    Saturday 14th 18.30 - 20.30 Reading and signing session at Hess Bookstore, Taipei.

    Sunday 15th 13.00 - 15.00 Signing session at Kingstone Bookstore, Kaoshiung.
    Sunday 15th 19.00 - 21.30 Signing session at Fnac Bookstore, Taichung.


    This is the tentative plan for my Hong Kong tour in July. Please see the Crown website for full, updated details closer to the time. Click here for more info: CROWN
    Wednesday 18th 14.30 - 16.00 School visit.

    Thursday 19th 11.30 - 13.30 Seminar at Hong Kong Book Fair. BOOK FAIR WEB SITE
    Thursday 19th 14.00 - 15.00 Signing session at Hong Kong Book Fair. BOOK FAIR WEB SITE

    Friday 20th 13.00 - 15.00 Signing session at Hong Kong Book Centre. WEB SITE
    Friday 20th 15.30 - 18.00 Signing session at Crown Bookstore.


    I'll be doing a one-week-plus tour of the UK in late Spetember/early October -- more details will follow later in the year.


    PUBLIC event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

    Saturday 29th September

    time t.b.c.

    PUBLIC event at the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature.


    As I revealed last month, my adult books are being republished by HarperCollins in the U.K. starting in Spring 2008 with the newly renamed "Procession of the Dead". The plan is to release "Hell's Horizon" in Spring 2009, then "City of the Snakes" in Spring 2010. I can now reveal that the name under which I'm releasing the books is ...

    D B SHAN

    I was very wary of using Darren Shan for my adult books, since I don't think they're suitable for children and I didnt want them winding up in the children's section of bookshops by accident! But HarperCollins wanted to keep it, arguing (convincingly) that the likes of Stephen King and Clive Barker have released children's books without changing their name. In the end I compromised and came up with D B Shan. The B, in case you're wondering, is one of my initials -- my full real name is Darren William Barry O'Shaughnessy!!! I considered D W B Shan, or D W Shan, but neither seemed as catchy as D B Shan. (My original choice was O D Shan, which had the dual connotation of standing for Older Darren Shan and OverDose Shan -- but nobody else found that as funny as I did!!!) So, D B Shan it is!!!! There'll be more news about the books later this year or early in 2008, so keep an eye on future issues of the Shanville Monthly for updates.


    And that's it for June! I undertake my massive Blood Beast tour early in the month. I start off close to home in Limerick, wind my way across the Irish countryside and through a fair chunk of England and Wales. Then, after a brief pause for breath, the tour continues in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Phew!!!! That's a LOT, even by my standards!!! I'm going to be dead on my feet by the end of July!! But at the same time, I love a challenge and meeting my fans, so I can't wait to get started, and I know I'm going to love every single, long, gruelling, exciting day of it!!! I'll try to update my BLOG and the blog on my MYSPACE PAGE as regularly as possible, but there will be days when it just isn't possible to get to a computer. Also, as I found out on my last tour, some public computers don't allow access to MySpace, and others don't let me post on my BlogDrive Blog!!! Oh well, I'll work around things as best I can!! In the meantime, if you live anywhere near any of the places where I'm coming on tour, please do come along to see me, and feel free to bring as many of your Darren Shan books as you like -- at most events, I'm happy to sign every book that fans want signed. (The only times I put limits on book numbers is if I have to leave at a specific time to get to another event.)

    I'll be back here on June 25th or 26th to post the July issue of the Shanville Monthly -- hopefully!! I haven't installed my web editor on my new laptop in London next -- if there's no sign of the July issue by June 27th, you'll know something went wrong!! In that event, I'll do a big double issue in August!!!! In either event, I'll be back here SOME TIME during the summer!! Until then, all the bloody best, Darren Shan x x x