Hi everyone, and welcome to the February issue of the Shanville Monthly!! After an extended New Year's break, you'll be happy to hear that I've returned to the writing treadmill and have been beavering away busily for the last few weeks! I'm currently hard at work on a series which I hope to release at some point in the future, once I have finished the Mr Cepsley books. I'm not sure I'll have it ready in time to start releasing the books as soon as that series ends, but I'm doing my best! I can't tell you very much about the new series just yet, except to say that it's a horror series of fairly short books, not connected to any other books that I have released. If all goes well, I might be in a position to reveal a bit more about the series later this year, but right now I'm still trying to figure out all the angles, how many books there are going to be in it, etc. So I'm afraid for now my lips are sealed!!! However, there are plenty of other things happening in my world that I can talk about, so we've got a jam-packed issue of the Shanville Monthly as usual!! So let's not waste time talking about murky mysteries lurking in the shadows, and instead throw ourselves into all the latest news items that I can be upfront and vocal about, starting with...
UNUSUAL AUCTION -- ENDING SOON!!!
Want a signed Darren Shan item with a unique sporting difference?!? Then check out this official eBay auction! http://cgi.ebay.ie/Signed-Munster-Shirt-sold-Darren-Shan-/180616178093?pt=UK_Rugby_Shirts&hash=item2a0d9029adhash=item2a0d9029ad
Up for auction is a Munster home shirt signed by most of the 2010/2011 squad, including Ronan O’Gara, Paul O’Connell, Alan Quinlan, Keith Earls and many others. This jersey was won in a raffle by the author Darren Shan (Cirque Du Freak, The Demonata, etc). He is auctioning it on behalf of Copsewood Gaels RFC, a newly formed mini rugby club, for children under the age of 12, covering the areas between Mungret to Askeaton and Pallaskenry to Adare, in County Limerick, Ireland. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the club. If the winning bidder wishes, Darren Shan will be happy to sign the shirt as well. Darren is also including a signed copy of the 2010 American edition of Procession Of The Dead, a novel he wrote for adults, which was his first ever published book. The prizes can either be posted to the winning bidder, or if they prefer, they can come and collect them in person from Darren Shan at his home.
The auction ends at 2.12pm, Wednesday, February 2nd, Irish time. I know that some of you might not receive an email about this until after the auction ends. My apologies in advance for that. I had hope to get this issue of the Monthly out a bit earlier, but time ran away from me!
NEW HELL'S HORIZON REVIEWS
Since Hell’s Horizon was released in the USA on January 5th, there have been several new reviews of the book by American critics. I’ve added all of these to my site. I always list every official review that I can find, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, and as you’ll see, most give Hell’s Horizon a big thumbs up—phew!!! If you want to check out what critics are saying about the book (and what critics in the UK and Ireland said about it in the past) click here: http://www.darrenshan.com/reviews/list/hells-horizon/
In the USA you can buy Hell's Horizon online from either Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hells-Horizon-City-Darren-Shan/dp/0446551732/ref=pd_sim_b_4 or Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Hells-Horizon/Darren-Shan/e/9780446551731/pwb=1&
CRACKING THE TOP 100
Parent Dish recently listed 100 recommended books for teenagers, and I was pleased to note that Cirque Du Freak was among their choices. If you want to check out the full list, to see how many you’ve read or to get ideas for what you might want to read next, click here: http://www.parentdish.com/2011/01/13/top-100-books-for-teens-parentdish-picks/
I’m delighted to be able to anounce that the typography for Procession of the Dead has been declared among the year’s best by Communication Arts Annual. These guys highlight the best examples of typography among a wide range of media every year, and this year Procession of the Dead was one of only four books to be awarded their stamp of excellence. My warmest congratulations to Catherine Casalino Design and all the rest of Team Shan USA!!!! For the full list of winners, click here: http://www.commarts.com/annuals/2011-Typography/winners
My American publishers, LittleBrown, have established their own Darren Shan Facebook page. This page will focus on the American editions of my books, releasing all the latest Stateside news relating to Darren Shan and his books. This will sometimes include exclusive updates and alerts which will not be available anywhere else. To become a member of the American Darren Shan Facbook club, click here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Darren-Shan-Books-USA/173336159367670
As I announced last month, my UK publishers, HarperCollins, have also established an official Darren Shan Facebook page. It’s had a very strong membership since the beginning, but in January they received permission from Facebook to merge their membership with lots of other unofficial Darren Shan Facebook pages, bringing their membership up to a staggering 94,000-plus!!! Yes, that’s right, more than ninety-four thousand users of Facebook are now part of the Facebook Darren Shan community!!!! If you haven’t yet joined their ranks, you can do so by clicking here: http://www.facebook.com/darrenshanofficial?v=wall
YET ANOTHER FREAKY MENTION!!
In my continuing efforts to list the widespreading use of the term “Cirque Du Freak” throughout society across the globe, this month I noticed a familiarly named fright-night attraction in Hastings, New Zealand, which will run until April 1st. If any of my Kiwi Shansters are interested in learning more and maybe go visiting, click here: http://www.hawkesbaytoday.co.nz/local/news/freaky-friday-becomes-ghoulish-giggle/3936672/
I came across a cool, school-run web page recently, where lots of different students give short reviews of books which they have read. It’s a neat, fun way for kids to post their views. I particularly liked Leo’s review of The Thin Executioner—especially the way he declared it a “gooooood book” at the end!! The school is Duke School MS, and this is the link: http://www.dsmoodle.org/library/booktalks6th.html Happy listening!!
FEBRUARY UK EVENT
I am doing a public event on Friday, February 25th (during mid-term, so schools should be closed) at 11.30am at Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF. I will be doing some readings and answering questions for approximately one hour, then signing books afterwards. You can buy books on the day or bring along books from home. I am happy to sign as many books as anyone wants. Tickets are available through the Surrey County Council website: http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/sccwebsite/sccwspages.nsf/LookupWebPagesByTITLE_RTF/Darren+Shan+-+master+of+horror+-+at+Bourne+Hall+Ewell?opendocument
APRIL AUSTRALIA BIRTH OF A KILLER EVENTS
I am coming to Australia on a holiday in April, to attend the wedding of my cousin Kevin. Although it's primarily a pleasure trip, I thought it might be nice to squeeze in a few signings while I am there, and luckily for my fans Down Under, my publishers thought so too!!! I won't be doing a huge amount, and I don't have specifics to hand, but here's a quick rundown of what we're working on.
Friday, April 1st -- Melbourne -- an afternoon, public event in a bookstore.
Monday, April 11th -- Sydney -- two public events in different bookstores.
There's a slight chance that we might also slot in an Adelaide event, if we can, but please don't count on that. More details to follow next month.
MAY IRELAND/UK OCEAN OF BLOOD TOUR
I will be touring in Ireland and the UK in May to promote the release of Ocean of Blood, the second of the Mr Crepsley books. The tour will take place in two sections, the first coming at the start of the month, with a few extra dates added at the end of May. Here are all the details that we currently have to hand. More info will be added where appropriate over the coming couple of months. A public signing is open to anyone who wants to come. A schools event is for invited schools only. A public event is open to anyone who wishes to attend, but tickets normally need to be reserved in advance. I am always happy to sign as many of my books as fans wish to bring along or buy on the day.
1st May, Sunday
12.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Cork, 69 Patrick Street, Cork.
2nd May, Monday
12.00pm -- public signing, Dublin area. This is a bank holiday Monday.
3.00pm -- public signing, Dublin area. This is a bank holiday Monday.
3rd May, Tuesday
10.00am -- multi-schools event, Belfast.
4.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Belfast, 44-46 Fountain Street, Belfast BT1 5EE.
4th May, Wednesday
am -- multi-schools events, Stratford-Upon-Avon. Part of the Stratford-Upon-Avon Literary Festival.
pm -- public signing, somewhere between Stratford and London!!
5th May, Thursday
am -- multi-schools event, Norwich.
6.00pm -- public event in Jarrold Department Store, Norwich. Arranged through a local library.
6th May, Friday
am -- multi-schools event, Ipswich.
pm -- public event, Chelmsford, arranged by Just Imagine book shop.
7th May, Saturday
10.30am -- public signing, Books @ Hoddesdon, 79 High Street, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire EN11 8TL.
8th May, Sunday
public signing at Waterstones Bromley, 100 The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1DJ.
29th May, Sunday
HOPEFULLY an evening public event in Cardiff -- we're trying to make it happen, but we can't guarantee it at this stage!
30th May, Monday
am -- public signing, Swansea.
4.00pm -- public event with Charlie Higson, Hay-On-Wye Literary Festival.
31st May, Tuesday
am -- multi-schools event, Liberty Hall, Dublin. Part of the Dublin Writers Festival.
IT'S A WRAP
And that's it for February!! I plan to spend almost all of this month hard at work -- I'll be travelling quite a bit over the coming months, so I want to get ahead of the game nice and early in the year! But I'll still be tweeting regularly and blogging whenever I can -- see the links below for my Twitter and Blog accounts. You never know -- I might accidentally let something slip about the mysterious new series that I'm working on!! I'll be back here at the start of March with all the latest updates and news items. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan x x x
Follow Darren Shan on MySpace and Twitter and on his Blog. He also has a YouTube page.