Last month I revealed that title of the fourth Zom-B book is going to be ZOM-B ANGELS. The book is due to be released in the UK on June 20th, and in the USA around the same time. (Again, I assume it will be released in Canada, Australia and New Zealand on a similar date.) A week or so after I revealed the title, my British and American publishers unveiled their covers, and here they are, the UK cover on top, USA just beneath...
As usual, both covers have been drawn by series regular Cliff Nielsen, but but he has designed different versions based on the specifications of ther two publishers, giving it a VERY different look and feel. One of the added pleasures of this series for me is checking out Cliff's covers and seeing how they differ -- they make for fascinating comparison! There has already been a lot of speculation from fans about which cover works best, with most seeming to favour the American cover in this instance. As always, I'm going to maintain a neutral stance -- every cover is equal in my eyes!!!! :-)
The UK and USA covers for Zom-B Angels were first revealed by my publishers on my Facebook and Twitter pages -- indeed, a lot of the information in the Shanville Monthly not appears initially on those pages. If you are not already following me, I suggest you start, by CLICKING HERE for the official Darren Shan Facebook page, and/or CLICKING HERE for my official Twitter account. 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!!
As I revealed last month, I am releasing a short book on May 15th called Hagurosan. Adapted from a short story I wrote way back in 2002, this is a sweet tale about mountain spirits, inspired by something that really happened to me in Japan. Publishers Barrington Stoke have done a beautiful job with the story, adding lots of incredibly detailed interior artwork by Zack McLaughlin, one of which you can see above. You can check out the rest of the interior art over on Zack's site, by CLICKING HERE.
At the moment the book is only scheduled to go on sale in the UK and Ireland. The release date, like I said, 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 pre-order it through Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE.
ZOM-B PAPERBACK AND DISCOUNTED ON KINDLE
The good news for my UK and Ireland fans, who have not yet started reading Zom-B, is that the paperback of the first book is due to be released on March 14th, at the same time as Zom-B City in hardback. This means, if you start now, and stick to buying the paperbacks, you will have a new book to look forward to every 3 months, and will never be more than 6 months behind the hardback release schedule. You should be able to buy Zom-B in paperback in pretty much any bookshop, but if you would rather order online, you can do so through Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE.
And for those of you in the UK who prefer to download your books, you might like to note that the first Zom-B book is now available on Kindle for the bargain price of just £2.99!!! You can order it by CLICKING HERE.
In the USA the first Zom-B book is similarly discounted on Kindle, and will set you back just $4.31!!! If you don't have it already, check it out by CLICKING HERE.
I'm not sure when the Zom-B books will start coming out in paperback in the USA -- we'll have to wait and see what my publishers decide.
LIVING IT UP!
When I was on tour in Scotland in January, I did an online event that was open to fans all across the UK, for the fabulous Authors Live site -- it's atill available to view by CLICKING HERE. One school, McLaren High School, decided to incorporate it into their general curriculum in an extremely imaginative way. I think this is a great example of how teachers can make school a much more fun and rewarding place if they're prepared to think outside the box and get a bit inventive. To read more about it, and maybe spark off a few ideas of your own if you're a teacher or student, CLICK HERE.
I know Big Goverment has spent much of its educational time in recent decades trying to make school-life as regimented and anti-individual as it can, but this is proof that there's hope yet for us -- we don't HAVE to surrender to a system that is more interested in ticking boxes than it is in nurturing children's minds. If we fight/ignore close-minded beauracracy, and push ourselves that extra little soul-enriching bit, the power CAN still be ours...
#1 IN AUSTIN!!
I was delighted to see Zom-B Underground hit the #1 spot on the Austin Children’s Bestsellers chart following my events there while on tour in February. They have great taste in Texas!!! http://www.statesman.com/news/entertainment/books-literature/best-sellers/nWFdc/
NEW INTERVIEW AND EVENT REPORTS
You can check out a light-hearted interview with me over on the fab NOVL web site by CLICKING HERE
And you can read a report about one of my school events, in Coppell, in Texas by CLICKING HERE
Plus here's an article about an event I did in Limerick near the end of Febraury, with winners of a short story competition from 11 different schools in the region. CLICK HERE
ZOM-B AUDIO IN UK AND USA
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 THIS MONTH 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.
USA TOUR REPORT
After a quick January UK tour, mostly in Scotland, to support the release of Zom-B Underground, I headed Stateside for my first full USA tour in more than 2 years. I started in Seattle, swung by Dallas, Houston and Austin areas, then back out to the West Coast to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The school events all went well, and although I had a few public events that fell on the smaller side (I always get a few of those on my USA tours), the majority of them were very well attended, and lots of fun for me as well as the fans. And what fans they were!!! Most of those who turned up were local, of course, but in some cases they had driven for hours, or even flown across the country to see me! They all listened attentively, asked good questions, and waited in line patiently. And they bought lots of books too, which is always a bonus!!!
Thanks to everyone who played host to one of the events or signings, from booksellers to librarians and teachers. Thanks as well to the booksellers who came to all of the school and out-of-store public events, to make sure books were available for anyone who wished to buy there. Special thanks to my literary escorts who got me to every event on time and in good shape. And extra special thanks to Hallie Patterson, my LittleBrown publicist, for putting it all together in the first place, and creating order out of chaos -- I know how difficult it is to organise an American tour, particularly if your author is from another country, and it's not a job I'd undertake for all the chocolate in the world!!! :-) Well done, Hallie, and I hope we get to do it all again one day!!!!
Oh, and by the way, there's going to be a short addenda to my USA tour! One of my signings in the San Francisco region had to be cancelled, because of the SuperBowl, so we are trying to rearrange that for early April, when I will be back in the city on personal business -- the start of my honeymoon!!! I'm also setting up a few events in the Napa area around the same time. More details on those in the next issue of the Shanville Monthly, when it's all been confirmed.