• Issue 113 - December 2009

    01 December 2009


    Ho Ho Ho -- Merry Crimbo, Shansters!!! And to those of you who don't celebrate Christmas, welcome to the December issue of the Shanville Monthly!! This issue is quite a lot smaller than the last couple, so you won't have to set aside a couple of hours to plough through it!! This is usually a quiet time of year on the Darren Shan front, as it is for most authors, though as long-term Shansters are all too aware, no month is entirely without news in my freakish, demonic world!! There are a couple of competitions to stir your cockles this December, plot notes to peruse, an amazing array of freshly added covers (I spent hours and hours adding them to the site, so you'd better take the time to appreciate them -- OR ELSE!!!!!), and more. Onward, Donner!!! Onward, Blitzen!!!!


    Heads up, Shansters!! The generous folk of HarperCollins UK are running not one, but TWO fabulously freaky competitions on the Darren Shan Bebo site this month!! First up, and currently live, is an amazing chance to have a lot of online fun AND win a Flip High Definition Video Camera!!!! Basically, you need to edit together your own trailer for Hell's Heroes, using material which you can find online by CLICKING HERE. The compeition runs unitl the end of December (you can find the full set of terms and conditions on the Bebo page), and I think it's only open to fans in the UK and Ireland (though it doesn't say this on the site, so if you live elsewhere and want to give it a shot, feel free -- just don't moan too much if they disqualify your entry!!!). Once again, to enter the competitiona and access the downloadable material, CLICK HERE.

    Later in December, they will also be running a competition to win a Demonata Hoodie, just like the one which I wore on tour in the UK and Ireland in October. To enter this competition, just head on over to the Bebo page and either check back regularly or register to be notified whenever it is updated (you can cancel your membership of the site at any time). To visit the Darren Shan Bebo Site, CLICK HERE.


    Speaking of competitions, The winners of the November issue of the Shanville Monthly competition were:

    UK & Ireland comp -- Carolyne Lewis, Herefordshire, UK.

    Rest of World comp -- Devina Dhawan, Illinois, USA.

    There were 190 correct and correctly submitted entries for the UK contest, and 124 for the Rest of the World contest -- I was amazed by the number of incorret entries in both comps -- always read the small print, people!!! Thanks to everyone who entered, and better luck next time if you weren't one of the winners on this occasion!!!


    Great news for my German fans -- the manga rights to my Saga of Darren Shan series have been bought by my German publisher and they should start appearing in shops in Germany some time in 2010. Hurrah!


    I have finally added the plot notes for Hell's Heroes to my site. Sorry for the delay!! If you want to get an insight into the writing of the book, along with all of the other books in The Demonata, CLICK HERE. I would like to issue a VERY strong SPOILERS warning for those of you who have not yet read Hell's Heroes -- the notes contain MAJOR spoilers, both about this book and others in the series, so you should not read them until you have read the book. You have been warned!!!


    I have added LOADS of new covers to the Vampires part of my site, from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hong Kong and Macau, Japan, Sweden, Taiwan, UK and USA. You can check them all out by CLICKING HERE. Make sure you pay special attention to the UK page -- I've added scores of rough covers which were used when creating the 3rd generation covers, giving you an inside look into how a series of covers comes into being. I've also added a couple of the rough, early draft covers to the USA part of the site, but I don't have as many of those in my files -- I'm trying to track down the rest through my publishers, if they haven't been lost already.

    I've also added some new covers to the Demons part of the site too, from Indonesia (where Lord Loss has just been released) and Japan. You can find those by CLICKING HERE.

    2010 TOURS

    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.


    I did two events in November, one in Swindon, the other in Wexford with Eoin Colfer. You can read an article about the event I did in Swindon in November by CLICKING HERE. And you can read my blog entry about the event with Eoin by CLICKING HERE.


    Below you can find the planned global release dates for the movie of Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. Please note, all dates are subject to change, and all dates are decided by Universal -- I have nothing to do with the release schedule.

    16 December 2009 -- I have updated the list with the latest schedule. Please note, the list below includes every territory where the movie will be released in theatres. Universal have decided not to release the film theatrically in several countries where it previously planned to (I was especially upset about the decision to not release it in Taiwan or Hong Kong, since I know there are lots of my fans in both those places). The film, I assume, will be released in those countries direct to DVD. My apologies if you're a disappointed fan in one of the affected areas, but it's unfortunately not something I have any control over.

    FRANCE 02-Dec-09
    BULGARIA 11-Dec-09
    CYPRUS 04-Dec-09
    EGYPT 09-Dec-09
    PANAMA 11-Dec-09
    LEBANON 31-Dec-09
    MALAYSIA 31-Dec-09
    SWITZ. (F) 06-Jan-10
    CHILE 07-Jan-10
    GERMANY 07-Jan-10
    NEW ZEALAND 07-Jan-10
    SINGAPORE 07-Jan-10
    SWITZ. (G) 07-Jan-10
    AUSTRIA 08-Jan-10
    PERU 14-Jan-10
    BRAZIL 15-Jan-10
    VIETNAM 15-Jan-10
    ROMANIA 22-Jan-10
    PHILIPPINES 27-Jan-10
    THAILAND 28-Jan-10
    VENEZUELA 05-Feb-10
    COLOMBIA 19-Feb-10
    SPAIN 26-Feb-10
    CZECH REPUBLIC 04-Mar-10
    AUSTRALIA 11-Mar-10
    ARGENTINA 18-Mar-10
    JAPAN (Toho Towa) 19-Mar-10
    ITALY 04-June-10


    The movie of Cirque Du Freak has now been released in several countries, and while it didn't sell quite as many tickets in the States as everyone would have liked, it has continued to generate positive word of mouth from fans, and has been faring much better overseas. I've been trying to follow its fortunes online, though it's tricky as chart news from countries outside of the USA can be hard to pin down and slow to trickle through. Here's what I've been able to find out so far:

    In its first week of release, Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant topped the film charts in Ukraine, flying straight in at #1!!! It dropped to #3 in its second week.

    In Russia it entered the chart at #2.

    In Portugal it entered the chart at #3.

    In the UK it entered at #5 and held onto that spot in its second week.

    In the USA it entered at #7.

    In the Netherlands it entered at #8.


    It's that time of year again, when a mysterious figure clad all in red flits around the world and breaks into the homes of sleeping humans. No, it's not Mr Crepsley -- it's SHANTA CLAUS!!!!! Of all the stories I've created for the web site over the years, my story about Shanta remains my personal favourite -- it's a bit of silly fun which tickles my fancy!! I usually tinker with it slightly every year, adding in small sections or tweaking those which are already there. Normally I don't post it until just before Christmas, but this year I'll probably post it earlier than usual -- maybe even by the end of first week of December -- so keep checking back!!! You can find the link to the story by CLICKING HERE. I will remove the story shortly after December 25th, and won't post it again until this time in 2010 -- so don't miss it!!!!!!


    For those of you who are maybe looking for a special Darren Shan present this Christmas, either for yourself or to give to a loved one, please note that I recently signed a lot of copies of Hell's Heroes at the Goldsboro Book Store in London. The store specialises in signed, first edition books, but unlike many similar stores, they don't charge an arm and a leg!! Hell's Heroes, for instance, is currently available, signed, at its cover price of £12.99. They also have a lot of signed copies of my other books, mostly from The Demonata, but there are a few hard-to-find gems from The Saga of Darren Shan too, including rare, signed copies of Tunnels of Blood and Vampire Mountain from back in the days when the print runs of my books were much smaller than they are now!! To check them out, and to browse the rest of their store, CLICK HERE. The store will ship books to just about anywhere in the world.


    And that's it for December!! I hope you all have a lovely, relaxing Christmas in the company of loved ones and friends -- and don't get too upset if all that peace and quiet sends you stir-crazy and leads to arguments and fights!!!! I think most families end up turning on one another at this time of year -- there's only so much "peace and good will to all" that you can take before steam starts coming out your ears!!!!! I'll be having a nice, easy Christmas (I hope!!!), lots of time off to chill, gather my thoughts and charge up the batteries ahead of what is all set to be another busy, hectic year -- 3 books, lots of tours, business as normal!!! I'll be back at the start of the New Year to update you all and say HI. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x