Issue 125 - December 201001 December 2010
Hi everyone, and welcome to the December issue of the Shanville Monthly!! December, of course, means Christmas in most parts of the world, and I am celebrating the festive season with a couple of extra-special treats in this issue of the Shanville Monthly -- namely, the return of Shanta Claus, and an exciting competition open to fans everywhere! There's also news of an event with a difference which I am doing in Limerick on December 8th... I need your vote in a Covers War... I chat about my November tour of the States... I announce early details of some upcoming events in Australia... there's even a link to an article where I muse on the similarities between touring writers and serial killers -- you might never look at an author's tour schedule in the same way again!!! All that and more lies in store, so let's not dawdle -- on with the freaky Christmas show!!!!
I am going to be doing a MOST unusual event in Limerick on Wednesday, December 8th! The Hunt Museuem are having a Christmas Cabaret that afternoon, starting at 3.00pm. There will be music, dance, mulled wine and hot chocolate… and, at approximately 4.30pm, a reading of “Twas the night before Christmas” by a certain, familiar, freakish master of children’s horror!!!! Yes, it will be a family-friendly reading like none other I’ve done before—and, if it all goes horribly wrong, maybe never again!!! If you want to come along, check out the Events section on the Hunt Museum site and book your ticket ASAP, as space is limited. Please note, I will ONLY be doing the reading of the poem, i.e. I won’t be reading any of my own material or answering any questions. Of course, if you bring books for me to sign, I’ll be happy to do that afterwards too, and will gladly answer any questions you might have while signing, but I don’t think there will be any books there to buy on the day. http://www.huntmuseum.com/
I am also going to be opening a library in Youthreach, in Hospital, County Limerick, on the 21st, but that will be for students only, I think.
AUTISTICA AUCTION RESULT
As expected, competition was fierce on the bidding front when I offered the public the chance to have a character named after them (or someone of their choice) in Brothers to the Death, book 4 of The Saga of Larten Crepsley, due for publication in the UK and USA in May 2012. In the end the naming rights went for a whopping £990 -- the most raised by any of the Autistica auctions which were on around that time!! All proceeds have gone to the brilliant Autistica charity, and I will be giving the winner a most gruesome, grisly scene in the book!!! http://members.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?viewUserPage&userid=autistica_charity
They’re having a little competition over on the Mr Ripleys Enchanted Books site. For the past month they’ve had a weekly contest where the covers of four different books have gone up against each other. Viewers vote on which is their favourite and the four winners have gone forward to the Final, which ends on Wednesday, December 8th. The UK cover for Birth Of A Killer was one of the four weekly winners, and is now up against the other three victors in the Grand Final. If you want to check it out and vote for it, click on the following link: http://mrripleysenchantedbooks.blogspot.com/
It’s all good, clean fun, but it would be nice to end the year on a nice little victorious high!!!!
NOVEMBER TOUR ROUND-UP
I had a great time on tour in the USA in November, to promote Birth of a Killer. I covered a lot of the East Coast, starting out in New York and New Jersey, heading up to Boston, then down to Virginia, North Carolina, Miami and Orlando. The school events all went well, from an incredibly idyllic island school at the start (Governors Island in NY) to a mammoth session with 700 students and a dodgy microphone at the end in Miami!! And the public events were a treat. I usually don't get huge crowds on my American tours, because most of my events are held in independent book stores where space is limited, but that allows me to spend more time with the fans and it creates a more intimate experience. And those who do come are incredible -- one couple drove five hours to the airport then flew from Illinois, one young lady drove 8 hours from Canada, another couple flew from Houston to Miami just to see me do a panel event, others travelled 4, 5, 6 hours or more. Of course I alwasy appreciate the presence of those who come out to support me on tour, even if they've just crossed the road!! But there's definitely something especially humbling about having someone fly or cross international borders or drive for hours on end just to come meet me.
Other highlights of the tour included spending a day with a fan called Tabish in Islands of Adventure -- Tabish has been battling a serious disease for the last two and a half years, and his wish was to meet me -- the Make A Wish foundation set up the meeting between us and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. And cursing in Disney!!! My last event of the tour was a speech to 400 teachers and librarians, which was held in one of the Disney convention centres. I spoke about teenagers finding themselves with the help of books. It went down very well, but I got my biggest round of applause when I swore!! I covered quite a lot of ground in my speech, but ended up by reading a letter I received from a teacher of kids with problems. It was a lovely, humbling, uplifting letter, which tied in perfectly with the theme of the speech. It ended with a quote from one of her most problematic students, who had been turned on to the wonders of reading by my books -- "F**k free time! Let's read more!!!" I knew it would either win me a huge round of applause or absolute, horrified silence -- luckily it was the former!!!! That's the first time in 11 years of touring that I have sworn at an event, and despite the rapturous applause, any teachers out there who are hoping to bring me to their schools in the future don't need to worry -- I won't be making a habit of it!!!
If you want to read my blogs from the tour, click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/news/
I was asked to write a piece for the Mulholland Books web site recently, and since I was on tour in the USA at the time, I found myself thinking about life on the road, and how the life of a touring author would be the perfect cover for a serial killer!!! (That’s the way my twisted brain works!!) Click on the following link to read the full article. http://www.mulhollandbooks.com/2010/11/19/serial-author/
GOOD NEWS FOR AUSTRALIAN SHANSTERS!
I have a double whammy of good news for my Australian fans! First, I am coming to Australia for a holiday in April 2011 (a cousin of mine is getting married there). It’s mostly a pleasure trip, but I felt it would be a shame not to work in a few events while I’m there, and thankfully my publishers felt the same way, so we’re going to work something out over the next few months—hurrah!! Secondly, Birth of a Killer was originally scheduled for release in Australia in July 2011—but now my publishers are going to release it on April 1st, to tie in with my appearances there—double hurrah!!!! More info will follow once we figure out dates, venues, etc. so keep an eye on the Shanville Monthly and my Events page.
NEW INTERVIEWS AND REVIEWS
You can read a recent interview with me that appeared in the The Big Issue in Scotland by clicking here: http://www.bigissuescotland.com/features/view/410
If you want to listen to the Rock Radio Halloween show that I did on October 30th, you can now download it and listen to the entire two hour recording, featuring both loads of cool rock songs, and me chatting with DJ Donald MacLeod (of the Clan MacLeod!!) about my books, music, deviant trough men and more!!! http://www.speedyshare.com/files/25271717/30_October_show_with_Darren_Shan.mp3
You can read a very nice review by a professional reporter of an event I did in Boston by clicking here: http://stacysamericandream.blogspot.com/2010/11/teens-american-dream-comes-true.html And if you’re wondering why I look so animated as I strangle young Sam, it’s because I’m a Tottenham Hotspur fan and he’s wearing an Arsenal top!!!!
And you can also read an insightful review of another event I did in Cherry Hill, in New Jersey, written by a part-time redhead!!! http://clmacneil.blogspot.com/
And there was also a short piece about the event I did in New York, where the staff in Jefferson Library brought in loads of freakishly cool actors dressed up as characters from the Cirque Du Freak—there’s a photo of me with them accompanying the article. http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/45211-in-brief-november-18.html?utm_source=Publishers+Weekly’s+Children’s+Bookshelf&utm_campaign=cc89226355-UA-15906914-1&utm_medium=email
ANOTHER FASHIONABLY FREAKY MENTION!!
The “Cirque Du Freak” ripples are continuing to spread!! The latest instance of the term cropping up independently of any direct link to my books came in San Jose, where CDF was a theme in a local hair competition show!!!! I always knew I was destined to leave my mark on the world of fashion… :lol: Click here for the full story: http://www.sjcctimes.com/cirque-du-freak-impresses-1.1775529
It's almost that time of year again!! The time for Christmas trees... presents... mince pies... and SHANTA CLAUS!!!!! Every year I add a short story about "Shanta Claus" to my site for a limited period only. It's a fun tale, set mostly around the time of Tunnels of Blood, i.e. the night when Darren Shan and Mr Crepsley went up against Murlough! It's not meant to be taken too seriously -- I also bring in characters from my other books. I usually make some adjustments to the story each year, tweaking it slightly, sometimes adding new characters or references to new books that I might have released during the previous 12 months. So it's in a constant state of flux!! The story is probably the most popular of all the short stories on my site (or maybe that's just because it's the most exclusive!!) so don't miss out, or you'll have to wait another year for it!!! This year I plan to put the story online on or around Tuesday, December 14th, and I will probably take it off shortly after Christmas Day, maybe even as early as December 26th -- so you only have a thin window of two weeks or less to catch it!! The story link will appear in the EXTRAS part of my site: http://www.darrenshan.com/extras/
To celebrate Christmas, the end of the year, and also my recent tours of the UK and USA, I'm running THREE very exciting competitions this month, one open to fans in the UK and Ireland, one to fans in the USA, and one to fans in the Rest of the World. This is what is up for grabs.
UK and Ireland -- the winner will receive an exclusive T-shirt which I wore on my recent tour to promote Birth of a Killer -- it has the cover of the UK edition of the book on it, the date of the tour underneath, and I will personally sign it in silver. I only created two of these T-shirts to wear on tour. I will keeping one for myself, so the winner will receive a true one-of-a-kind prize which nobody else in the world can ever have!!!! I will also send the winner a signed copy of the proof UK edition of Birth of a Killer, i.e. an edition which was published before the book was released, to be distributed among booksellers and reviewers. These are VERY rare!!!
USA -- the winner will receive an exclusive T-shirt which I wore on my recent tour to promote Birth of a Killer -- it has the cover of the American edition of the book on it, the date of the tour underneath, and I will personally sign it in silver. I only created two of these T-shirts to wear on tour. I will keeping one for myself, so the winner will receive a true one-of-a-kind prize which nobody else in the world can ever have!!!! I will also send the winner a signed copy of the USA ARC of Birth of a Killer, i.e. an edition which was published before the book was released, to be distributed among booksellers and reviewers. These are VERY rare!!!
REST OF THE WORLD -- the winner will receive a signed The Vampire's Assistant T-shirt. These were created by Universal to promote the release of the movie, and I don't think too many of them are out there on the open market!! It's YM size, so you won't be able to fit into it unless you're a child or a Little Person!! But it will be signed in silver and it looks quite cool, so you can pin it your wall or door or maybe frame it. I will also send the winner a signed copy of the UK proof edition of Birth of a Killer.
Here are the entry links, along with the full terms and conditions. Make sure you read the General Terms BEFORE you submit your entry!!!!!
UK & IRELAND COMPETITION:
1) If you live in the UK or Ireland, answer this question: "How many T-Shirts did I create for the UK Birth of a Killer tour?"
2) Send your entry to: email@example.com
1) If you live in the USA, answer this question: "How many T-Shirts did I create for the USA Birth of a Killer tour?"
2) Send your entry to: firstname.lastname@example.org
REST OF WORLD COMPETITION:
1) If you live anywhere else in the world apart from the UK, Ireland or the USA, answer this question: "How many T-Shirts did I create for either the UK or USA Birth of a Killer tour?"
2) Send your entry to: email@example.com
GENERAL TERMS FOR ALL ENTRANTS:
3) You can only enter ONE of the competitions, depending on where you live. If you try to enter more than one, ALL of your entries will be disqualified.
(4) Put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail. I will not accept your entry if you don't! And make sure you INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS in the body of the e-mail, as well as the answer -- and don't forget to add the name of your country. This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win!
(5) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Monday, December 13th, 2010.
(6) This competition is open to everybody, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations.
(7) Only one entry per household -- if you send in more than one entry, ALL of your entries will be rejected. If more than one person in a house wants to enter, you'll need to make a joint entry.
(8) The draw for the winners will be made on Tuesday, December 14th, 2010. It will be a completely random draw, made by Darren Shan personally (I use an online number generator to pick the winners). I will try to notify the winners by e-mail, and will post their names on the Shanville Message Board and in the January issue of the Shanville Monthly.
(9) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company. I'll keep your details on my PC, then delete the info once the competition ends.
(10) My decision will be final.
IT'S A WRAP
And that's it for December!! I hope you all have a freakily fabulous Christmas and that Shanta brings you all the presents you could ever want -- especially if those presents are brand new copies of my books!!!! I'll be having a nice Christmas at home with my family, before nipping over to London for New Year's. I usually spend a bit of time online on Christmas Day, so if you happen to be on the web, look out for me on Twitter or MySpace!! I'll be back at the start of 2011 with all the latest news and roundups. Until then, wrap up warm, take care, and be nice to those you love and who love you in return. All my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x