• Issue 151 - February 2013

    01 February 2013



    Hi everyone, and welcome to the February issue of the Shanville Monthly. I'll be on tour in the USA as you read this, following my whirlwind tour of Scotland just before. I'm going to be spending a lot of time on the road in the first five months of this year -- I have a month on the home front after my American tour, then I'm touring the UK again in March (details below), and then I'm getting married and going on honeymoon! Yep, Darren Shan's days as a free man are coming to an end! Oh well, we've all got to fall sooner or later! Anyway, the wonders of modern technology allow me to set up my Shanville Monthly issues in advance when necessary, so I made sure I got most of this edition in the bag before I hit the road, so that it's as jam-packed with news and updates as any other. And we have some VERY juicy reveals for you this month, including the title of the fourth Zom-B book and info about when the cover will be unleashed on the world, and details of a surprise book release in the UK! Plus there are some exclusive sneak peeks inside the covers of Zom-B City, updated tour details (there might still be time to catch me in February if you live in the States!), and more.





    Zom-B Underground, the second book in the series, went on sale in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in January. Like the first book, it has been picking up some amazing reviews, which you can check out by CLICKING HERE. In fact, many of the critics preferred the second book to the first, which is a good sign -- if I can keep that up all the way to Book 12, everyone will be happy!!!


    Zom-B Underground should be available in all good book shops in the territories listed above -- if you don't see it on the shelves of your local store, please ask a member of staff to order it in. Or you can buy it online or download it onto an eReader through a number of sites. If you live in the UK/Ireland and want to buy it through any of the major chain stores, CLICK HERE. If you like in the USA, and want to order it through Amazon, CLICK HERE.


    UK and Ireland fans -- don't forget to bookmark and keep checking out the Zom-B UK site. Run by my publishers, Simon & Schuster, it will feature exclusive downloads, competitions and more over the course of the series.





    You probably already know this, but the third book in the series is called Zom-B City. This is when the action opens out, after the confined settings of the first two books, and we begin to get a clearer picture of what has actually happened to the world in the wake of the zombie attacks. I don't think I'm giving too much away when I reveal that things are in a pretty bleak state!! It's a city overrun by zombies, but some humans are still at large on the streets. Can B find a place among them? Or is it a case of having jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire?!?


    Zom-B City goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on March 14th, just ten weeks after the release of Book 2! Originally it was scheduled to be release in April, but I will be away on honeymoon then, so it was brought forward so that I could tour to promote it -- good news for you guys!! The official release date in the USA is April 9th, but it will probably start popping up on bookshelves in most places from mid-March onwards, so keep an eye out for it! I'm assuming it will go on sale around the same time in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


    Zom-B City should be on sale everywhere books are sold. In the UK/Ireland, you can either buy it from your local bookseller, or order it online from one of the chains -- Amazon, ASDA, Easons, Play, Sainsburys, Tesco, Waterstones, WHSmith. Or, if you prefer to download it onto your eReader, you can do so via Amazon Kindle or iTunes.


    In the USA, if you prefer to buy online, I would suggest Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can also download it onto your eReader through either of those sites -- Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook Book.





    In previous issues of the Shanville Monthly, I have been revealing finished interior art by Warren Pleece ahead of each book's release. This time round, I've decided to do something a bit different. Instead of sharing the finished images with you, I'm giving you a sneak peek at some of Warren's early roughs. In their own way, I think these are just as cool as the final art -- I always love seeing an artist's work-in-progress. Also, rather than just reveal one image a month, I'm going to release three at a time, to give you a real sense of the story's development and scope -- so you'll get three this month, and three more at the start of March. Enjoy!!!!








    Of course, Zom-B City is far from the end of my zombie series. There will be twelve books in total, and they come out at a rate of approximately one every three months. Book 4 is due to be released in the UK on June 20th, and the title is...




    I'm not going to reveal any more than that right now about the book or its title -- I'll leave you guys to speculate, as that will be much more fun!! What I WILL reveal is that this is when we start to move into the main part of the story. The first three books were about setting the scene and dumping us into the middle of an undead mystery. In Zom-B Angels we begin to find out what has happened, where the zombies, mutants and Mr Dowling have come from, and exactly how much might be at stake. And I think I'm safe in predicting that it will be even more ominous and surprising than you guys think...


    The UK and USA covers for Zom-B Angels are going to be revealed by my publishers on the Official Darren Shan Facebook page and the Darren Shan Books USA Facebook page on February 7th -- I will still be on tour, so I can't oversee the reveal personally, but I will provide a link to it from Twitter, and upload it to my site when I get back home. If you are not already following me on Facebook and Twitter, I suggest you start, by CLICKING HERE for the worldwide Facebook page, or CLICKING HERE for the USA Facebook page, or CLICKING HERE for Twitter. You will always find the latest Darren Shan news and updates first on Facebook and Twitter, along with personal posts by me. I've also been known to occasionally retweet or reply to a comment too!!






    A long time ago, way back in 2002, I wrote a short story called Hagurosan. It was inspired by something that happened to me in a shrine on a Holy Mountain in Japan. It was a sweet little story (even if I do say so myself!), a bit different to my normal work. It appeared in a book of short stories called Kids Night In, which was put together to raise funds for the charity, WarChild. And that was the end of that...


    ...until last year, when publisher Barrington Stoke asked me if they could adapt it into a short book. They said they wanted to tweak the text slightly and add illustrations. I was intrigued, and a deal was swiftly agreed, with all my proceeds from it again going to charity, this time No Strings, who produce educational puppet shows for use in developing countries. (I've always looked upon the story as a gift from the spirits of the Holy Mountain, so I wouldn't feel right taking any money for it -- especially given the theme of the story.)


    Barrington Stoke have done a beautiful job with the story, adding lots of incredibly detailed interior artwork, and producing a gorgeously coloured cover. I was closely involved in the adaptation, and ended up re-structuring the story slightly, and writing several new short poems for it. It's a lovely little book, and although it's mainly aimed at reluctant readers, as all Barrington Stoke books are, I think it would be a charming addition to any Shan fan's book shelves!!


    At the moment the book is only scheduled to go on sale in the UK and Ireland. The release date is May 15th. I'm not sure if it will be as widely available as my other books, but your local bookseller should be able to order a copy for you if you ask them. Or else you can buy it through Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE. And don't forget, as well as being a nice read, it's also for a good cause!!





    As part of my UK tour, I did a 40 minutes event for Authors Live, which was streamed live online. The event has now been archived, so you can watch it any time you like, and in segments which have been picked out to make it easier for you to view -- although I think it is only accesible to fans who live in the UK. You can check me out in action here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p006v267


    Then, on my USA tour, I did a similar online event, Live at the Lounge, although this one was just me answering questions from fans. It was a lot of fun, and it allowed for more interaction with the fans, which I enjoyed, so it's definitely worth watching as well. You can find it here: http://t.co/4QpN5NKk





    If anyone would like to nominate me for a Shorty Award, which recognise people who are active on Twitter, you can do so on the following link, using my  user name. Voting closes February 10th.





    I recently did an interview with The Cult Den, in which I talked about some of my past books, Zom-B, and more. In my opinion it's well worth checking out, so CLICK HERE.


    I also contributed to a recent Mind Meld on SF Signal, where various authors write about a single topic. In this case it was the rebranding of adult books as YA books. You can check out what we all had to say about it here: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2013/01/mind-meld-rebranding-fiction-as-young-adult/




    I was asked by The Big Issue last month to list five books that I think every child should read before they turn 12. It's hard to pick just a few books when asked a question like this, and your choices can change depending on what day it is. If I'd been asked to list five books by current authors, I'd have gone for the likes of Barry Hutchison, Alexander Gordon Smith, Eoin Colfer, Anthony Horowitz, Louis Sachar... I could go on and on!! But I decided to limit it to books I read as a child. You can find out what I went for by CLICKING HERE. Then check them out if you haven't read them already, and see if you agree!!





    UK and Ireland fans - my first two Zom-B books were released as audio books on January 28th, to download only. You are able to download them from the AudioGo site by CLICKING HERE.


    The books will be made available on audio CD a bit later in the year (April 1st and May 6th respectively), with more to  follow. Zawe Ashton, best known for her role as Vod on hit Channel 4 TV show Fresh Meat, is the voice of B Smith. You can follow Zawe on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/zaweashton


    American fans —  Zom-B is also available in audio format in the USA, read by EMMA GALVIN. You can have a listen to a sample chapter and buy it here: http://www.theaudiobookstore.com/darren-shan/zom-b-unabridged_b009k8tr5c.aspx Or, if you’d rather buy it through Amazon, you can do so here: http://www.amazon.com/Zom-B/dp/B009RFFIRO?tag=vglnk-c24-20





    The Saga Of Darren Shan was adapted into a manga in Japan several years ago, and has been translated and published in lots of countries around the world since then. The UK schedule hit a snag (it's a long story) and stalled at volume 7. Everything has now been sorted out, and the remaining volumes are finally going to be released in the UK and Ireland. Volume 8: Allies of the Night, hit shelves in the UK and Ireland in December, and Volume 9: Killers of the Dawn and Volume 10:The Lake Of Souls went on sale in January. The rest will be released as follows:


    Volume 11:Lord of the Shadows goes on sale on March 28th 2013.


    Volume 12:Sons Of Destiny goes on sale on June 6th 2013.


    The manga won't be widely available, but your local bookseller should be able to order in copies for you if you ask for them. Or you can order by clicking on the Amazon UK links above.


    American fans -- all 12 volumes are on sale already in the States. As in the UK, they aren't as widely available as my books, so if you don't see them on the shelves of your local bookseller, either ask the staff to order them for you, or you can get them on Amazon. This is the link to Volume One, and you can find the rest from there.




    I was tickled pink to be chosen as a question in a recent quiz in the Guardian newspaper in the UK! See if you can get it right, and how many of the others you know. http://www.guardian.co.uk/childrens-books-site/quiz/2013/jan/11/quiz-author-pen-names





    I had a great time on tour in Scotland in January, kicking it all off with a signing in London to begin with, as well as having lunch with the winners of a Zom-B competition first. I was worried that the weather might interfere with the tour -- much of the UK was blanketed with snow -- but incredibly the snow seemed to melt away everywhere I went, and everything went ahead pretty much as planned!! (Although I know some fans were unable to come along in a few instances, because they were snowed in -- my magic touch didn't extend beyond the cities!!!)


    I did a live online event for the Scottish Book Trust and the BBC while in Scotland (see entry a bit further above) which is still accessible in the online archives, for anyone who missed it. There were also some nice reports of my tour by various reporters, so click on any of the following links to find out what went down when Shan was in town!!!











    I flew out to the USA near the end of January for my first American tour in over 2 years!!! I did a one-off event in New York in October, but this will be a full-on, two-week tour that will take in several areas. Please come and see me if you can -- and tell everyone you know to come too!!!!


    26th January, Saturday

    09.30-10.30a.m. -- signing at the ALA Midwinter Conference, LBYR Booth #2702, Seattle Convention Center, Seattle, WA.

    27th January, Sunday

    3.00pm -- public event, University Place Library, 3609 Market Place W,. Suite 100, University Place, Seattle, WA 98466. http://www.piercecountylibrary.org/files/library/up-author-darren.pdf

    28th January, Monday

    10.00am -- school event, Garfield High School, Seattle WA.

    2.00pm -- school event, Nathan Hale High School, Seattle WA.

    5.00pm PST/ 7.00pm CST/ 8.00pm EST -- public online event, BookTalk Nation. http://booktalknation.com/index.html See entry below for more information.

    7.00pm -- public event, Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park, Seattle, WA 98155. http://www.thirdplacebooks.com/event/zom-b-underground-darren-shan

    29th January, Tuesday

    5.00pm PST/ 7.00pm CST/ 8.00pm EST -- Live At The Lounge video chat. See entry below for more information. You will be able to join in live on the day by CLICKING HERE.

    30th January, Wednesday

    8.40am -- school event i, Coppell MS West School, 200 S. Denton Tap Road, Coppell, TX.

    9.45am -- school event ii, Coppell MS West School, 200 S. Denton Tap Road, Coppell, TX.

    1.00pm -- schools event, Coppell High School, 185 West Parkway Blvd, Coppell, TX.

    7.00pm -- public event, Barnes & Noble Frisco, Stonebriar Center Mall, Frisco, TX 75034. http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/78605

    31st January, Thursday

    9.15am -- school event, Harby Junior High School, Alvin, TX.

    12.45pm -- school event, Nolan Ryan Junior School, Pearland, TX.

    1st February, Friday

    9.15am -- school event, Hill Country Middle School, Austin, TX.

    2.00pm -- school event, O. Henry Middle School, Austin, TX.

    7.00pm -- public event, BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78703. http://www.bookpeople.com/event/darren-shan-zom-b-underground

    2nd February, Saturday

    11.00am -- public signing, Main Exchange, Fort Hood military base, TX.

    3rd February, Sunday - CANCELLED!!!!!

    CANCELLED BECAUSE OF SUPERBOWL!!! 5.00pm -- public event, Barnes & Noble El Cerrito, 6050 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito, CA 94530. http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/78604

    4th February, Monday

    9.00am -- school event i, Petaluma High School, Petaluma, CA.

    12.30pm -- school event ii, Petaluma High School, Petaluma, CA.

    1.30pm -- school event, Cherry Valley School, Petaluma, CA.

    7.00pm -- public event, Copperfield's Books Montgomery Village, 775 Village Court, Santa Rosa, CA. http://copperfieldsbooks.com/event/darren-shan

    5th February, Tuesday

    10.00am -- school event, Crocker Middle School, Hillsborough, CA.

    12.45pm -- school event, Burlingame Intermediate School, Burlingame, CA.

    7.00pm -- public event, Books Inc, 1375 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010. http://www.booksinc.net/event/darren-shan-books-inc-burlingame-0

    6th February, Wednesday

    8.46am -- school event, Ramona Middle School, Chino, CA.

    2.00pm -- school event, The Wesley School, North Hollywood, CA.

    6.00pm -- public event, Mrs Nelson's Toy And Book Shop, 1030 Bonita Avenue, La Verne, CA 91750.

    7th February, Thursday

    11.15am -- school event, Blair Middle & High School, CA.

    7.00pm -- public event, Los Angeles Public Library, 630 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071.

    8th February, Friday

    9.00am -- school event, Ruth Musser Middle School, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.

    7.30pm -- public event, Mysterious Galaxy, 2810 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA 90278. http://www.mystgalaxy.com/Event/Darren-Shan-Signs-RB-020813




    There really is no rest for the wicked -- or for Darren Shan!!! On February 26th, at 12.00pm. I will be doing a special event for winners of a story-writing competition being run in some secondary schools in Limerick. (I'm afraid I have no more information than that -- sorry!) Then, in mid-March, I'm back on the road, this time to support the release of Zom-B City in the UK and Ireland. We are still working on fine-tuning the tour details, so I will update this later, and a finalised schedule will appear in the March issue of the Shanville Monthly -- so please do check back to find out if I'm coming to a school, store or library near YOU!!!


    Friday 15th March

    4.00pm -- public signing, Crescent Bookshop, Crescent Shopping Centre, Dooradoyle, Co Limerick.

    Saturday 16th March

    11.00am -- public signing, Easons Galway, 33 Shop Street, Galway.

    2.00pm -- public signing, Easons Athlone, Unit 23, Athlone Town Centre, Athlone, Co Westmeath.

    Sunday 17th March

    12.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Bluewater, Bluewater Centre, Greenhithe DA9 9SE.

    Monday 18th March

    10.10am -- schools event, Great BaddowHigh School, Chelmsford.

    1.50pm -- schools event, Philip Morant School, Colchester.

    4.30pm -- public signing, Waterstones Colchester, 12-13 High Street, Colchester.

    Tuesday 19th March

    10.20am -- schools event, Kemnal School, Orpington.

    2.00pm -- live, online, streamed event, open to schools and individuals all across the world! You can watch me do a live event with a group, and also pre-submit questions of your own that you would like me to answer. http://www.darrenshanlive.com/

    5.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Bromley, 100 The Glades Shopping Centre, Bromley.

    Wednesday 20th March

    am -- schools event, Portsmouth area, arranged by Hayling Island Bookshop.

    1.45pm -- schools event, Hamble Community Sports College, Hamble, Southampton.

    6.30pm -- public event, Wildern School Hall, Wildern Lane, Hedge End,  Southampton. SO30 4EJ. Arranged by Waterstones Southampton.

    Thursday 21st March

    10.00am -- schools event, Worthing High School, Worthing.

    1.15pm -- schools event, St Robert Woodard Academy, West Sussex.

    4.30pm -- public signing, The Book Nook, First Avenue, Hove, BN3 2FJ.

    Friday 22nd March

    9.30am -- schools event, Shoreham Academy, Shoreham-by-Sea.

    5.00pm -- public event, Crawley Library. Tickets (free) available through Crawley Library or Waterstones Crawley. http://wordfestcrawley.org/

    Saturday 23rd March

    11.00am -- public signing, Heffers bookshop, Cambridge.





    The winners of the January Shanville Monthly competitions, in the order that they were drawn, were:


    UK/Ireland comp:
    Ian Redington / Matt Martin / Oisin Keighron.
    Jade Thomas / Eilidh McKenzie / Serimah Seruji.
    Stephen Haskins / Emily Phillips / Daniel Ayres.
    Senyee Lee / Jack Collings / Samantha Hooker.
    Chloe Attwood / Mairead O’Connor / Ryan Henderson.


    USA comp:
    Andy Caswell / Amber Favela / Troy Goodin.
    Jake Richard / Jared Machtinger / Eytan Kessler.
    Dylan Pesesky / Onatee Przeslawski / Cameron Dukes.
    Meranda Mullikin / Caitlyn Ahrens / Melissa Schaeffer.
    Courtney McGee / Brian McNamara / Kyle Shahan.


    Rest of World comp:
    Jessica Perrin, Australia / Raylene Lilley, Canada.
    Cathy Vanopdenbosch, Belgium / Lauren Wymont, Canada.
    Willem Van Iseghem, Belgium / Vanessa Carlson, Canada.
    Jacob Horvath, Canada / Leon Zitman, the Netherlands.
    Courtney Dughetti, Australia / Brooke Shepherd, Australia.
    Gerardo de la Garza Castaneda, Mexico / Thomas Drelich, Canada.
    Line Kristin Dahlstroen, Norway / Veronica Gordon, Australia.
    Pont Leen, Belgium.


    Thanks to everyone who entered. Look out for more Shanville Monthly competitions coming SOON!!





    And that's it for February. As I said at the start of this issue, I'm on tour until the 9th -- what I didn't add was that I don't actually get home until the 14th, because I'm having my stag do/bachelor party in Las Vegas at the end of my American tour!! I love Vegas, so I'm looking forward to that a lot -- although *AHEM* not as much as I'm looking forward to the tour itself, of course!!!  :-)  Anyway, assuming I don't get strapped to a pole by my friends and left in Vegas, I'll be back here at the start of March with the next edition of the Shanville Monthly, when I'll be counting down the days to the release of Zom-B City -- these babies are shooting out like bullets, aren't they?!? Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x


    Follow Darren Shan on Facebook and Twitter. He also has a (very rarely updated!) YouTube page.