Issue 102 - January 200901 January 2009
Happy New Year, everybody, and welcome to the first Shanville Monthly of 2009!! Hard to believe that that is the last year of the Noughties -- I remember the Millennium as it was just a few months ago! Hopefully it'll be a big year on the Shan front -- with 3 new books on the way, along with the manga and movie adaptations of The Saga of Darren Shan, it's certainly set to be!! I had a rather strange Christmas. Bas and I went to New York on the 21st of December, where we planned to spend our yuletide. Then, on the 22nd, we got a call from home to say that my Grandad was dying in hospital. We rushed back and got home on the 23rd -- only for him to make a miraculous recovery!!! So we ended up spending Christmas with my family, before heading over to London to visit Bas's family and celebrate the New Year in our flat, which overlooks the London Eye. I still feel a bit dizzy thinking about it all, but the most important thing is that my Grandad seems to be over the worst and recovering nicely. Now it's time to settle down and get some work done. But before that, there's the little issue of the January Shanville Monthly to deal with!! Let's start off with some 21st century, high-tech news...
Fans living in the USA might be interested to note that all of my books are now available there in eBook form through Amazon, for use on their Kindle wireless reading device. I know eBooks are still in their infancy, and there's a lot of confusion over how they're going to evolve and what format will become the market standard. But if you like reading books on a screen, and have invested in or are planning to invest in a Kindle reader, then you can visit Amazon and buy any or all of my books in their Kindle store. Alternatively, for your convenience I have added links to the Kindle books on both of my American shops on my web site. You can access them by clicking on the following links:
CLICK HERE FOR USA VAMPIRE STORE
CLICK HERE FOR USA DEMON STORE
My books are not legally available anywhere else in a digital form at the moment, but I'm sure that will change over the coming years. As it does, I'll try to provide as much info as I can to make it easier for you guys to track down different formats as and when they become available.
CHILDREN'S LITERATURE INTERVIEW
There's a VERY interesting interview with me on the Children's Literature web site, which I highly recommend -- it covers quite a lot of ground in a short span of time! As a bonus, there are reviews of many of my books, from both my vampire and demon series. I class this page an absolute must read for fans!!!! You can find it by CLICKING HERE.
INDEPENDENT VAMPIRE ARTICLE
There was an interesting article in The Independent on Friday December 5th, about Twilight and other upcoming vampire movies. Cirque Du Freak was one of the films featured in the article. Please note, although this piece gives the impression that the CDF movie is due out within the next few months, to the best of my knowledge that isn't the case. As I've said before, while it's by no means out of the question, I would be surprised if we see CDF hitting screens before the summer. Then again, with Hollywood, you never know!!! As soon as Universal reveal a release date, I'll announce it on my site immediately, but so far I haven't heard. Anyway, to read the Independent article, CLICK HERE.
A journalist called Michael Jung recently wrote a brief career overview about me on the suite101.com web site. Most of the facts are taken from my own web site, but he collates them neatly and accurately, so if any of you are doing school reports and would like to be able to include a brief synopsis of my career, you might want to check this out by CLICKING HERE. Just make sure you give him credit if you use his article in your essay -- teachers don't like it when you try to pass off somebody else's work as your own!!
RAY STEVENSON INTERVIEWS
The actor Ray Stevenson, who plays Murlough in the Cirque Du Freak film, gave a short interview to Sci Fi Wire recently. Mostly he was talking about his new film, but he spoke a bit about CDF too, and provided an amusing insight into Murlough's dental habits!!! To check it out, CLICK HERE.
Ray also gave a recent interview to iF Magazine, about the new Punisher movie in which he stars, and again he talks a bit about the CDF film. You can read it by CLICKING HERE.
And in yet another interview (he's been a very busy boy!!!), this time with Crave, he spoke a bit more about the film! CLICK HERE.
I've added several new Demonata covers to my site, from Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, UK and USA. To check them out, CLICK HERE.
I've also added lots of new covers to the Vampires part of my site, from the following countries: Brazil, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Japan, Russia and Sweden. To access them, CLICK HERE.
I've added several new reviews of Bec to my site, and most of them are very positive -- hurrah!! I have a special soft spot for Bec, given the fact that it's so different to everything else that I've written and that it required a lot of research (which I normally avoid like the plague whenever possible!!), so I'm delighted to see that it's getting such a warm and widespread reception!!! To check out what the critics are saying, CLICK HERE.
I've also added several new reviews of Demon Apocalypse to my site. To read them, CLICK HERE. More reviews of other books to follow over the next months or so, hopefully, if I can find the time to add them!
... why Cirque Du Freak is better than Twilight!!!
I was surfing around on YouTube recently and came across a fab, funny video by a fan who lists 31 reasons why she thinks my books are better than Twilight. Now, I haven't read Twilight yet, so it's impossible for me to compare my books to those, but this made me smile -- I always love it when fans wear their hearts on their sleeves and stand up for the things they really believe in, and this fan STRONGLY believes in what she's saying!!!! There are actually several entries, with the reasons spread across them -- if you have the time, watch them all, and see if you can add anything that she's forgotten!!!
JAPAN PROCESSION COVER
You can find the cover for the Japanese edition of Procession of the Dead by CLICKING HERE to get to the D B Shan web site. It's a nice, dark, cool little number!!
I'm coming to Norway on tour in May, at the end of the month. Plans for that trip are nearing completion, and as soon as I have all the details to hand, I'll post them in a future issue of the Shanville Monthly -- so keep checking back each month! At the moment that's my only planned trip abroad in 2009, but that situation might change over the coming months. I'll certainly be touring in the UK and Ireland when books 9 and 10 of The Demonata come out in May and October respectively, but we haven't started plotting those tours yet, so I can't say at the moment where I might or might not be coming to -- except that I definitely plan to come back to Wales for a signing or two at some point of the year, since it's been a while since my last visit!! More details to follow over the next few months, so keep checking back.
In January I revealed the UK cover for book 7 of The Demonata. Indonesia and Thailand became the 34th and 35th countries to sign up to the ever-growing, global Shandwagon! I did an event at a friend's school -- my first event of the year, and my only event of the month. The movie moved forward swiftly in the early months of the year, as the crew was put together and lots of actors were confirmed, including Ken Watanabe, Jane Krakowski and Salma Hayek. There was a big media buzz when Salma Hayek was announced, since this was her first film since she'd taken some time off to have a baby -- and everyone was intrigued to hear that she was going to be sporting a beard in the film!!! There was also a rumour that Willem Dafoe was going to be in the film, started by a fan who spotted him on the set, but it would be a few more months before that was proved to be true. Which just goes to show that sometimes you CAN believe the hype!!
I had a shock late in January when my best friend's father, Sean Kenny, sadly passed away. Putting that behind me over the coming weeks and months, I moved on with work, which included the re-release of my first published novel, Procession of the Dead, for adult readers. I had no idea what sort of reception it would receive, but the reviews were very positive, and even more importantly, older fans of my vampire and demon books liked it too!! The book hasn't sold as well as my novels for younger readers (at least, not yet!!), but it did better than I thought it would, so hopefully I'll build on that when book 2, Hell's Horizon comes out in the UK in March, and press on with my D B Shan career for many years to come!!
The movie started to film on February 19th in New Orleans. The producers invited me over to see the set, be interviewed, and maybe even have a cameo in the film, but because of other commitments I wasn't able to go. I did, however, get to go to the Czech Republic (to watch my team, Tottenham Hotspur, play a match!), where I did a few interviews for TV and print. I went on tour to Hungary in April, and had a wonderful time there. I also did a big tour around the UK to promote the release of Death's Shadow, which went on sale at the end of April -- it entered the children's bestsellers chart at #1 and stayed there for three weeks in a row!!! It was a mammoth tour, my biggest yet in terms of crowd turn-out and book sales at events. I felt like a star!!!!
Slovakia became the 36th country to buy the rights to my books in May. In the USA that month, The Demonata series made it onto the New York Times Bestsellers Chart for the first time, following the release there of Demon Apocalypse. I unleashed the UK Wolf Island cover on the world in June. That month, I also added a tour archive to my site, listing every signing and event I've ever done over the years, and supplying additional information (such as how many people turned up) wherever possible. Filming of the movie finished in June, and they immediately began editing it into shape. They did some more filming later in the year (that often happens when movies are being made). At one point it looked like they might even release the film before the end of the year, but eventually they decided not to rush matters, and gave themselves more time to work on it. Although many rumours flew around the internet about the release date for the rest of the year, Universal still hadn't decided by the end of December.
I turned 36 on July 2nd, and the Shanville Monthly celebrated its 8th birthday that month -- although I didn't actually realise that until a month later!!! In August I revealed that the manga adaptation of The Saga of Darren Shan was going to be published in the USA in 2009 -- I think I'm looking forward to that every bit as much as any of you guys!!! The first photo from the movie set, of Mr Crepsley and Darren, appeared in Empire magazine -- and that was the only photo to be released for the rest of the year!!! I think that Universal are keeping the movie as secretive as possible, ahead of releasing it, so that it has more of an impact when it comes out. From the on-set reports, it seems that the sets and costumes were amazing, so I think they're holding them back from the public eye for as long as they can.
My American publisher bought the rights to Procession of the Dead in August. I appeared at the Edinburgh Book Festival for the 9th year in a row. In late September I started on a tour of Ireland and the UK, to promote the release of Wolf Island. It was even busier than my earlier tour that year, with huge crowds turning out just about everywhere -- the longest signing session lasted four and a half hours, and the average over the course of the 3 week tour was two and a half hours!!!!! One of the "stars" of the book was a character called James Farrier, who was named after a real person -- earlier in the year, I offered fans the chance to bid to have their name included in the book, with all proceeds from the auction going to charity, and James was the winner -- his mum paid over £1000 to win!!!!
Bulgaria became the 37th member of the Darren Shan family. I revealed that the title of book 9 of The Demonata would be Dark Calling. As the Shanville Monthly hit its 100th issue, I went on another tour to the USA in late October. While it was a lot quieter than my UK tours of 2008, I had a good time, and met some incredibly avid fans -- several even flew hundreds of miles to my events!! As I relaxed after that, I revealed to fans that the tenth and final book of my demon series would be called Hell's Heroes. I also gave fans their first glimpse of the cover of book 9. As the year ended, new life was breathed into The Saga in the UK, with the news that the entire series was going to be re-released with new covers in February 2009. Portugal became the 38th country to come on board the Darren Shan publishing ship. And Procession of the Dead went on sale in Japan and the Netherlands.
And that was it for 2008!! Overall it was a very busy and successful year -- three books released, chart success, loads of touring. I didn't get as much new writing done as I had planned -- I only wrote one new first draft -- but I did a LOT of editing on the last few Demonata books, as well as the next five books which will come out when that series finishes. (For those who don't know, the first of those five books will be a one-off, stand-alone fantasy book, followed by a four-book series.) So I'm pretty much set for the next few years -- in fact, my publication schedule is set in stone up until the middle of 2012!!!! The books continue to sell strongly around the world, and the movie and manga are poised to hopefully attract even more fans in 2009. Shan's quest to achieve world domination continues!!!!!!!!
IT'S A WRAP
Right -- enough looking backwards -- it's time to crack on with 2009!! I plan to do a bit of editing in January, and launch myself into the first draft of another new book. I can't say anything about that at the moment, but if everything works out, it should be part of a major new series that will see the light of day sometime within the next 3 or 4 years. I hope you all settle back into normal life without too many post-yuletide blues! But if the long nights and lousy weather start to get you down, you can always go re-read my books to cheer yourselves up!!!! I'll be back in Februrary with all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x