Issue 111 - October 200901 October 2009
Welcome to the October issue of the Shanville Monthly -- it's a monster month for me and, fittingly, it's another monster issue of the Shanville Monthly!!! In fact it's SUCH a monster, with so many articles, that to make things a bit simpler for everyone, I've split it into two halves, one for book news, the second for movie news.
I have three major debuts this month -- Hell's Heroes, the last book of The Demonata, in the UK... Dark Calling, my penultimate demon book, in the USA... and... now what was it... I know there's something else... oh yes, the small matter of the mega-million dollar Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant movie, which is being released simultaneously in the UK and USA (after opening in Hungary a day earlier), before it sweeps across the globe in a fiery, freakish wave!!!
I have a lot of movie news to share with you -- things are heating up nicely on that front!! But I'm going start off with the book news (including the final details for my SHOCKTOBER tour!!) and work my way through all of that before heading over Hollywood way in the second half. Let's begin with... THE END!!!!!
---------------- FIRST HALF ... BOOK NEWS ----------------
HELL'S HEROES HITS THE UK
Hell's Heroes, the 10th and final book of The Demonata, goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on October 1st. It will be available in bookshops all across the land, but if you prefer buying online, you can do so through Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE. I've saved the biggest shocks, scares, twists and action scenes for this potentially-the-end-of-all-life-as-we-know-it finale, so miss it at your peril!!! This is a book I'm really proud of, and one I can't wait to share with you guys -- I hope you all liked reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!!! When you're done, head on over to the newly created Hell's Heroes Forum on my Message Board to discuss it with one another, post your reviews, thoughts, etc.
For those of you who enjoy reading my notes about the writing process of each book... I normally release my book notes for each book either at the same time of the book's release in the UK, or even a bit before. But I'm going to break with that habit with Hell's Heroes, and not release the notes for at least a couple of weeks, maybe even a bit longer. Since it's the last book of the series, I want to be free to talk about it openly, which I don't think I'd be able to do if I published my notes before anyone has read the book -- I'd be too worried about giving away spoilers. So please bear with me, and I'll publish the notes a bit further down the road.
DARK CALLING STRIKES THE USA
Dark Calling, the ninth book of The Demonata, officially goes on sale in the USA on October 1st. (For my American readers who don't like being behind the UK -- read the September issue of the Shanville Monthly in the ARCHIVE section of the Shanville Monthly for good news!!!) The book should be on sale in all good book stores across the States by now (my Demonata books are often stocked in a different section to the Cirque Du Freak books, so please ask the staff to help you if you can't find it). It is also now available to buy online through either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Dark Calling went down surprisingly well with fans in the UK and Ireland when it was released there a bit earlier this year (I wasn't sure if they'd like it as much as other entries, given some of its sci-fi trappings). To find out what got readers buzzing and trembling in anticipation of the final book in the series (which goes on sale in the USA in May 2010), grab a copy as soon as you can and get stuck in!!!!!
To buy Dark Calling from Amazon, CLICK HERE. To buy Dark Calling from Barnes & Noble, CLICK HERE.
The eBay auction for the special edition of Hell's Heroes (one of only 50 copies in existence, and the only one to be offered for sale directly to the public -- see last month's issue of the SM for more info) will start at 10.10pm UK time on September 30th, ending 10.10pm on Saturday October 10th. The starting bid is £50, though I'm hoping it will go for a lot more than that -- every penny generated by the auction will go to charity, to the wonderfully deserving No Strings. You will not be able to access the web page until the auction starts, but this is the link for when it goes live on the 30th:
CLICK HERE FROM SEPTEMBER 30 until OCTOBER 10
Although the bidding is in sterling, you are free to take part in this auction no matter where you live -- it is open to fans in every country around the world. If you're unsure if what the value of sterling is when compared with your local currency, then do a Google search for an online currency converter, which will allow you to convert any amount from one currency to another.
Happy bidding -- and may the richest Shanster win!!!!!!!!! :-)
FREE AUDIO PLAYER, PLUS AMAZING COMPETITION!
As part of the promotional campaign for the Cirque Du Freak movie in the UK, Universal are giving away free portable audio book players with a one hour audio sample of the first book of the series -- all you have to pay is postage. The offer is going to be made available via the Daily Mail, and Mizz Magazine. You can also apply for one of the free players online via the Mizz web site, where you can also enter a fabulous competition to win a family trip to Universal Orlando worth £8000!!!! CLICK HERE for the Mizz site link.
The audio book player is also going to be given away via the Irish Star in Ireland, but I'm not sure whether or not they're going to link in to the competition.
YOUTUBE PAGE AND NEW TRAILER
My UK publishers, HarperCollins, have decided to create their own official Darren Shan YouTube page. They have been making promotional videos for the last few books of mine which they have released, and figured this would make it easier for fans to find those videos in future -- the current video, for Hell's Heroes, is online there now, and it's a beastly little number, so make sure you check it out!!! They will also be running occasional competitions through the YouTube page. You can subscribe to the page if you want to keep up with all the updates and never miss out on a new addition. You can also post your own Darren Shan videos to it if you wish -- e.g. footage of me at events or signings, or if you make fan videos of the books -- and reach a far wider audience than if you posted them elsewhere. To check out the fab new Darren Shan YouTube page, CLICK HERE.
The winners of the Waterstones competition to win a copy of the Special Edition of Hell's Heroes (see last month's issue of the SM) are due to be announced on the Waterstones Darren Shan site on Tuesday or Wednesday. I will post the list of winners here next month -- I'd hoped to do that this month, but I can't, since I'm publishing this a few days earlier than normal, because of my forthcoming tour. If you're keen to learn who the winners were before I post the info here, you can find out on the Waterstones site by CLICKING HERE. Please note, all ten winners have been contacted and informed by this stage, so if you haven't heard from the good folk at Waterstones or HarperCollins, I'm afraid that means you weren't one of the lucky few. Better luck next time!!!
I have written an article about The Thin Executioner (the book which I am releasing in the UK in May 2010, and in the USA in August 2010) for the Teachit Primary web site newsletter. It's the first time I've discussed anything about the book in public, so if you're interested to learn a bit more about what I have in store for you next year, CLICK HERE.
I recently did an interview with the Chichester Observer, ahead of my visit to Chichester as part of my Hell's Heroes Shocktober tour. To read the published article, CLICK HERE.
After far too long, I have finally updated the author biography on my web site, to take into account more recent developments in the world of Darren Shan. I've also tweaked the FAQ section. For a brief rundown on my life and career, and answers to some of the most-asked questions that I receive from fans, CLICK HERE.
NEW REVIEWS AND COVERS
I've added several new reviews for Wolf Island to my web site. As with my vampire series, there are less and less reviews of the books the further on I press, but some reviewers still make the time and effort to look them over and pass their thoughts on to the rest of us, and for that I'm always grateful!! So go check out the reviews ASAP, to show your gratitude too!!!! image To access all the demon reviews, CLICK HERE.
I've also added new reviews for the Cirque Du Freak manga, which has been going down an absolute treat with most reviewers!! To access them, CLICK HERE.
On the covers front, I've added the latest global movie posters to my site, along the with cover of the UK edition of the movie tie-in book, which features the first 3 books of the series. CLICK HERE.
I've also added the cover for the American edition of Hell's Heroes, the final book of The Demonata, and it's possibly my favourite American cover out of the entire series!!! Plus, I've added two earlier drafts of the cover, so you can chart its evolution. To access them, you need to enter Secret Shanville (you'll have to become a member if you haven't already) by CLICKING HERE.
Finally, you can also now check out the American cover for Dark Calling, along with its earlier drafts, on the Demons part of my site, by CLICKING HERE.
TOTTENHAM 'TIL I DIE
The Tottenham 'Til I Die book, which I have written a foreword for, is being launched on October 29th. The book features lots of memories from fans about Tottenham Hotspur, and is essential reading for any Spurs fans among you. For everyone else... well, it might still be worth checking out, if you're curious about football and why it matters so much to so many people -- this is an insider's look into the brains and hearts of fans who love the beautiful game, and maybe it will win you round to our way of thinking!!! At the very least, you'll be getting an article by Darren Shan which very few people in the world will ever have access to -- there won't be a huge print run of the book!! If you're interested in purchasing a copy, CLICK HERE.
Below you can find details for my tour plans in 2009. School events are for invited schools only. Public events are usually open to anyone, but usually you need a ticket to enter, so please contact the shop or event managers in advance to ensure a seat if you're interested in coming -- events usually last up to an hour, and I always sign after an event. Public signings are open to anyone who comes along -- and I am always happy to sign as many books of mine as people choose to bring along with them. Signings are normally scheduled to last an hour, but I always stay to sign for everyone who comes, so they usually last much longer than that -- the average for the last few tours has been 2 and a half hours per signing session!!!!
u.k. and ireland
Thursday 1 10.30a.m School event at Rich Mix Cinema, Bethnal Green Road, London E2.
Thursday 1 2.00p.m. School event as part of StarLit Festival in Shoreditch, London -- for more info, CLICK HERE.
Thursday 1 6.30p.m. Launch party in Central London. Invited guests only.
Friday 2 12.00p.m. School event at St Andrews High School For Boys, Sackville Road, Worthing.
Friday 2 4.00p.m. Public signing at Waterstones Brighton Clock Tower, 71-74 North Street, Brighton BN1 1ZA. (Although the official start time is 4.00pm, I will try to start signing earlier, probably about 3.30pm, so please get there early if you can!)
Friday 2 7.00p.m. Public event at Chichester College, Westgate Fields, Chichester, PO19 1SB. For tickets or more info, contact Waterstones, The Dolphin & Anchor, West Street, Chichester PO19 9HD.
Saturday 3 10.30a.m. Public signing at Waterstones, 11A Union Galleries, Broadmead, Bristol BS1 3XD.
Saturday 3 4.00p.m. Public event at Central Library, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3HQ. Contact venue for more information and tickets. Debra.email@example.com
Sunday 4 12.00p.m. Public signing at Borders, 34 Coliseum Way, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire Oaks, Cheshire CH65 9HD.
Monday 5 11.00a.m. School event at Bramhall High School, Seal Road, Stockport.
Monday 5 4.00p.m.
Public signing at Simply Books, 228 Moss Lane, Bramhall SK7 1BD.
Monday 5 7.00p.m. Public event at Waterstones, 91 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW. Contact store for more information and tickets.
Tuesday 6 11.00a.m. School event at Wetherby High School, Hallfield Lane, Wetherby, West Yorkshire.
Tuesday 6 4.00p.m. Public signing at Waterstones, 17 Newport Crescent, Middlesborough TS1 5UA.
Wednesday 7 10.30a.m. School event at Dyke House School, Mapleton Road, Hartlepool, Teeside.
Wednesday 7 4.30p.m. Public signing at WHSmith, Gateshead Metro Centre, Gateshead NE11 9YR.
Thursday 8 11.00a.m. Public signing at Borders, Unit 7, Gallagher Retail Park, East Dock Street, Dundee DD1 3JS.
Thursday 8 4.00p.m. Public signing at Waterstones, Unit 1, Thistle Marches, Stirling SK8 2EA.
Thursday 8 7.30p.m. Public event at Wishaw Library, Kenilworth Avenue, Wishaw ML2 7LP. For more information and tickets, contact Margaret Bell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 9 10.30a.m. Schools event at Adelaides Auditorium, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow G2 4HZ.
Friday 9 4.00p.m. Public signing at Borders, 98 Buchanan Street, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3HA.
Saturday 10 10.10a.m. Public signing at Waterstones, Bluewater Shopping Centre, West Village, Greenhithe, Bluewater DA9 9SE.
Sunday 11 11.00a.m. Public signing at Easons, Unit G1, The Pavilion Shopping Centre, Swords, County Dublin.
Sunday 11 3.00p.m. Public signing at Easons, Level 3, Unit 12-14 Dundrum Town Centre, Sandyford Road, Dundrum, Dublin 14.
Monday 12 10.30a.m. Schools events at Ashbourne Library, Killegland Square, Ashbourne, County Meath.
Monday 12 3.00p.m. Public signing at Waterstones, Scotch Hall, Marsh Road, Drogheda.
Monday 12 7.00p.m. Public event at Blanchardstown Library, Civic Centre, Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15. Contact library for more information and tickets. Enid.email@example.com
Tuesday 13 10.00a.m. Schools event at Dunamaise Arts Centre, Church Street, Portlaoise, County Laoise.
Tuesday 13 4.00p.m. Public signing at Easons, 9 O'Connell Street, Limerick City.
Tuesday 13 7.00p.m. Public screening (European premiere!!) of Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, at Omniplex Cinema, Dooradoyle, Limerick. I will be giving a short introduction to the film, doing a Q&A session afterwards, then signing books. For tickets, see information further down.
Friday 23 10.15a.m. School event in LUND, Sweden. Part of the LiteraLund Book Festival. See their web site for more info: http://www.litteralund.se/
Friday 23 12.00p.m. Shool event in LUND, Sweden. Part of the LiteraLund Book Festival. See their web site for more info: http://www.litteralund.se/
Friday 23 2.15p.m. Conference event for adults in LUND, Sweden. Part of the LiteraLund Book Festival. See their web site for more info: http://www.litteralund.se/
Saturday 24 12.00pm Public event in LUND, Sweden. Part of the LiteraLund Book Festival. See their web site for more info: http://www.litteralund.se/
u.k. and ireland
Schools event at the Wyvern Theatre, part of the Swindon Ten Youth Festival Of Literature. http://www.swindontenyfl.net/events.html
Saturday 21 TBC Public event with Eoin Colfer at the Wexworlds Festival in Wexford, Ireland. A one-off event in which Eoin Colfer and I will be chatting with each other on stage. It could get messy -- but in a good way!! For more info, check out the Wexworlds site: http://www.wexworlds.net/
I know it's a long way off, but I've already booked up for a couple of international tours in 2010! In March, I will be visiting Dubai for the first time, and I will also be returning to Hong Kong. Dates, times, and more information to follow in a later edition of the Shanville Monthly.
---------------- SECOND HALF ... MOVIE NEWS ----------------
INTERNATIONAL RELEASE DATES
Below you can find the planned global release dates for Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. Please note, some of these dates are subject to change, and all dates are decided by Universal -- I have nothing to do with the release schedule. At the end, some countries are listed with no release date -- these countries are part of the schedule, but a date has not been confirmed yet. As Universal update me over the coming months on any planned release dates or changes, I will adjust this list accordingly.
TERRITORY RELEASE DATE
UNITED KINGDOM 23-Oct-09
NEW ZEALAND 07-Jan-10
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 18-Feb-10
CZECH REPUBLIC 04-Mar-10
SWITZ. (G) 04-Mar-10
SERBIA & MONTENEGRO 18-Mar-10
JAPAN (Toho Towa) 19-Mar-10 tbc
SOUTH AFRICA 19-Mar-10
HONG KONG 01-Apr-10
UNIVERSAL WEB SITE UPDATES
Universal have completely rejigged and updated their web site for the movie of The Vampire's Assistant, and it's transformed into an incredibly cool new monster of a site!!! As well as the trailer for the movie, it features loads of pictures of the characters, clips from the movie, downloads, a game you can play on your computer, a feature where you can upload a photo of yourself and then FREAK IT UP!!!! And more!!! You're probably going to spend loads of time on the site once you enter is wild, freakish world, so make sure you don't visit when you have anything pressing to attend to!!! To check out the site, CLICK HERE.
Universal have also gather together the various character snippets which you can find on their site and edited them into a fascinating short video which provides an intriguing snapshot of several of the characters from the film. This gives fans their biggest insight into the world of the movie to date!!! Check it out by CLICKING HERE.
Plus, Apple have released an awesome new featurette about the movie! You get to hear some of the cast talking about the film, and it also features some new clips from the movie which have never been seen before!!! Check it out by CLICKING HERE. You can choose to watch it in a variety of formats, and also on your iPod if you have one.
LIMERICK PREVIEW SCREENING
It was a dream of mine, many years ago, that if a film ever got made of my books, that I would love for the premiere to take place in Limerick, at my local cinema, where I've been going to films for as long as I can remember. And guess what ... dreams DO come true!!!!
Although fans in the States will have had a chance to see The Vampire's Assistant already, the first public showing anywhere else in the world (to the best of my knowledge) is going to be at the Omniplex Cinema, Dooradoyle, Limerick, on Tuesday, October 13th at 7.00pm. I've been going to the Omniplex ever since it opened -- the most recent film I saw there was District 9 -- so I'm delighted that, with the help of Universal Ireland and Eason book shop, that we've been able to make this work. This will be as special for me as it will hopefully be for everyone else who comes!!
The screening is going to be in Screen 1, their biggest screen, and it should be a night to remember!!! Assuming I finish up my signing in Eason's in Limerick on time, I hope to get to the cinema to introduce the film at the beginning and watch it with everybody else. I will definitely be there at the end, when I will be answering questions for 15 or 20 minutes after the film finishes, and then signing books for anyone who wants to get books signed. (I think you will be able to buy books there on the night, but I'm not 100% sure of that.)
There are a few different ways to go about getting tickets for this landmark screening.
First up, on the HarperCollins Bebo Demon Freak site -- http://www.bebo.com/demon_freak -- they have 50 pairs of tickets which they are giving away in a competition as prizes. You can submit your entry online, through the Bebo site, but it must be sent in no later than midnight on Sunday, October 4th. Entering is bit strange -- according to the Bebo site, you have to do it twice, once when registering for the competition, and also on the Comment board (meaning everyone can see everyone else's answer!!) -- but hey, this IS a movie about freakishness!!!!!
Secondly, there is a competition on the Eason online site, also with 50 pairs of tickets up for grabs. To try your chance on that one, CLICK HERE.
Thirdly, there is an instore competition being run in the Eason store in Limerick -- so if you pop in, you'll be able to enter while there. I'm not sure how many tickets are up as prizes in that one, but I'm currently in the process of finding out.
Fourthly, there is a competition on the Omniplex site, with 25 pairs of tickets up as prizes. To enter that one, CLICK HERE. The closing date for the Omniplex competition is October 8th. The cinema chain are obliged to state that under 16s must be accompanied by an adult, since the film has not yet been granted a certificate by the Irish Film Board, but assuming it gets the expected 12A cert ahead of the preview date, it should be fine for unaccompanied teenagers to attend.
Please note, all of the competitions above are for tickets only -- you will have to make your own way to the cinema, and accommodation is not provided. And PLEASE do not enter if you know that you cannot make it to the screening on Tuesday, October 13th at 7.00pm, as you will be depriving someone of their place there if you enter, win and do not go. There is no reason why you should not enter more than one of the competitions if you wish -- all I would ask is that if you win more than one set of tickets, you give them to friends so that they can come along, rather than let the tickets go to waste.
HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS
John C Reilly, Josh Hutcherson and Chris Massoglia appeared at the Universal Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando on Friday, September 25th, from 6.00pm onwards, to chat about the movie. There were also sneak peeks of the movie available to view on the night, and fans in attendance got their first view of the Cirque Du Freak Scare Zone, which is part of the park's slew of attractions this year. You can view some photos from the event by CLICKING HERE. Also, you can see more photos on the Halloween Horror Nights Facebook HERE, along with a video of the stars talking about the show and a video of the Cirque Du Freak scare zone (along with the other scare zones in the park) BY CLICKING HERE -- the Cirque part comes about 3 minutes and 20 seconds into it.
After their trip to Orlando, stars John C Reilly, Josh Hutcherson and Chris Massoglia attended the first ever public showing of the movie at the Austin Fantastic Fest. They gave a fun, informative interview after the screening, and you can view a video of it by CLICKING HERE. It's definitely worth checking out!! Also, from all the reports and reviews I've been able to find online, the reaction from the crowd was extremely positive, which is hopefully a good sign of things to come!!!
The music score for the movie is due to be released on October 20th. The news article below is from moviescoremagazine.com:
Varèse Sarabande has announced two score albums due for release on October 20. The first one is Stephen Trask's "darkly adventurous but fun" score for The Vampire's Assistant (aka Cirque du Freak), from the upcoming Universal Pictures release starring Chris Massoglia, John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek. Trask, a composer who is best known for music to more intimate films such as The Station Agent, In Good Company and last year's Sex Drive, recorded his score earlier this year at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox. Interstingly, Trask worked with several of Danny Elfman's team members on this big orchestral score, among them conductor Pete Anthony, orchestrators Edgardo Simone and Darren McKenzie.
Meanwhile, you can find snippets of some of the music from the audio CD of the movie, about half a minute each of five of the tunes, by CLICKING HERE. You can also see the full listing for the CD on that page. Many thanks to Elizabeth for unearthing the link!!
I have been giving lots of interviews over the last couple of weeks, which should be appearing in various newspapers and on web sites over the coming month, in both the UK and Ireland. I won't be doing much publicity for the film, as (a) I haven't been directly involved in the making of it, (b) I'm going to be busy as hell promoting Hell's Heroes, and (c) I don't think the public at large really care about writers when a film is being a released -- they want to hear from the stars!!! However, I am scheduled to appear on The Afternoon Show on RTE television on Monday, October 19th, to chat about both my books and the movie -- so keep an eye out for that if you live in Ireland!!
The UK Universal team are going to be busy promoting the movie all throughout October. In addition to the free audio book player and Orlando competition (see above), expect the following:
- TV spots for trailer from 4th October- 1st November, during prime time shows on terrestrial and digital targeting teens including X Factor
- TV spots advertising competition to win a free screening for you and your mates at a cinema near you with entry via Bebo campaign page
- To enter you need to design your own film poster and kids will vote on the Bebo page
- Cross promotion with our Bebo profile
- Phone boxes starting 12th October
- London Underground from 19th October
- School run spots from 19th October
- Trailer pre-loads on multitude of gaming sites & TV on Demand
- MSN messenger banners
- Viral trailer share widget on Facebook/MySpace & Bebo
- Xbox Live - trailer & clips featured on log in screen
- Audio book sampler giveaway in Daily Mail (2million circulation), Mizz magazine (circ 94,000) & Irish Star (circ 97,862) with major placement in the papers, and promotion of the film tie in book.
Merchandise available: Hoodies & Satchels.
I'll provide more info on all of the above as and when I get it, though because I'm going to be on tour for the first two weeks of October, I might not be able to keep up with everything that is going on.
I'm sure that Universal in the States and other countries are planning similar high-level campaigns -- I just don't have their details to hand yet, which is why I haven't published them here. I know that the stars of the film are heading out on the road on a press junket at the start of October, so if you live in the States, you should hopefully be seeing and hearing LOADS about the movie on the TV, radio, web and newspapers and magazines over the coming month, ahead of its release on October 23rd.
A COUPLE OF ARTICLES
You can read an interesting article about the movie, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times on September 13th, by CLICKING HERE.
There's a very cool feature about the movie and the making of it on Moviefone, entitled 15 Things you must know about The Vampire's Assistant. To check it out, CLICK HERE. Oh, and although it says in the article that the movie is based on the first 4 books in the series, that is incorrect -- it is only based on the first 3 books.
For further articles, reviews and updates about the movie over the coming month, keep an eye on the Movie Forum on my message board, were all of the news will be appearing first, ahead of being collated in the November issue of the Shanville Monthly.
IT'S A WRAP
And that's it for October!! Blimey -- what an issue -- and what a month!!! New books... the first ever Darren Shan movie... a massive tour... a planned media blitz by Universal... the next few weeks are going to be absolutely manic, but in a freakily fabulous way!! The next issue of the Shanville Monthly will be hitting the web a bit later than usual (the 3rd or 4th of November), because I'm heading off on a short holiday (to Universal Orlando, of all places!!!) near the end of October. Once I'm back, I'll fill you in on all the latest goings-on, including early reaction to Hell's Heroes and the movie of Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. I hope you all enjoy the new book and movie -- and if you live in the UK or Ireland, and can make it to any of my events or signings, do please come along and I'll be only too happy to sign as many books as you bring with you!!! Oh -- and I hope you all have a horrendously happy Halloween as well!!! Until November, all my bloody, exhausted best, Darren Shan x x x