Hi everyone, and welcome to the June issue of the Shanville Monthly. The big scoop this month is an exclusive reveal of the title of the ninth Zom-B book! I also have exclusive interior art from the upcoming book 8, Zom-B Clans... the new UK Demonata covers... new Kindle covers for some of my adult books... links to new interviews... a competition... tour updates (I've added a couple more signings to my events in the UK in July)... and more! Let's kick things off with that title reveal...
WE ARE FAMILY!!!!
I love the old Sister Sledge song, We Are Family! And while the song isn't something that ties in with the book directly, maybe I was thinking about it on a subconscious level when I decided to call the ninth Zom-B book...
That's right folks, you heard it here first -- book 9 of my Zom-B series will be called Zom-B Family. I'll be revealing the cover a couple of months from now, in the August issue of the Shanville Monthly, before it goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on October 9th, and in the USA a couple days earlier, on October 7th -- yes, for once my American fans are getting one of my books before anywhere else in the world -- although only just!!! Zom-B Family will hit stores in Australia, Canada and New Zealand around the same time in early October. With such a nice title, it's bound to be a lovely sweet book, right?!? Heh heh -- I think you guys know me better than that!! In fact, I think Zom-B Family is probably the darkest book in the entire series. Not the weirdest (that will be book 10), but certainly one that's going to take YA story-telling to the very edge of what's deemed acceptable in most quarters... and maybe a good bit beyond!!! I can't say anything more about it at the moment, because I don't want to spoil any of the plot twists of book 8, Zom-B Clans, but I'll be telling you a lot more about it, closer to its release date.
ZOM-B MISSION NOTES
When I publish a book, I always like to write up some notes about it on my site, to talk about the inspiration for the work, how I pulled the story together, where character names came from, etc. I've finally got around to publishing my author notes for Zom-B Mission -- sorry for the delay. To get all the inside scoop on book 7 of the series, including whether there is any link between Brian Barry in book 1 and Biddy Barry in book 7 (there is and there isn't!!) CLICK HERE.
ZOM-B CHRONICLES UK
I revealed back in the February Issue of the Shanville Monthly that my American publishers were releasing a collected paperback edition of the first three Zom-B books on September 9th. Well, my British publishers thought that was a great idea, and they loved the new title and cover, so they've decided to publish their own collection, even earlier, on July 3rd, at the same time as the hardback of Zom-B Clans and paperback of Zom-B Gladiator. BUT... and this is a crucial point, so pay attention... the UK edition will only collect the first two books, NOT the the first three.
"What the hell?!?" I hear angry British fans cry... and to be honest, that was my reaction too when they told me of their intentions. But there is actually a solid reason why they're doing this. In America, the books have not been released in paperback format, so Zom-B Chronicles marks the paperback debut for the series, and thus isn't in competition with any other paperback editions. In the UK, on the other hand, they started bringing out paperback editions six months after the release of the hardbacks. This means, if they were to collect three books together as the Americans have done, that there's a danger of them getting into a situation next year where the paperback editions start to overlap and compete with one another. To avoid that, and the confusion that would go with it, they've taken this route.
They're aiming Zom-B Chronicles at older readers who aren't familiar with the series, trying to use the differently styled cover to appeal to people who aren't interested in the more visceral hardback covers. I think the cover price is going to be £7.99 for the paperback and £4.99 on Kindle, so it will offer good value for new fans (albeit not quite as good value as the American edition!), but there's no reason why existing fans should feel pressured to buy a copy -- it's not going to offer anything new, except for the cool cover -- in fact, I don't think they plan to include any interior art, so it actually offers a bit less (albeit at a very good price!). If you're a completist who doesn't mind shelling out for multiple editions of books, then this is for you. If you haven't bought the books yet, and would prefer to collect the collections rather than the individual books, either because you prefer the cover or don't want to spend too much on the series, then this is for you. But if you already own the books, my advice would be to save your money to buy the last few in the series in the same format. But, hey, it's your call, and the customer is always right!!!
ZOM-B CIRCUS USA
I released an extra Zom-B book in the UK and Ireland in April. Called Zom-B Circus, it's not a full-length book -- it's about half the size of a normal Zom-B book -- and it doesn't focus on B Smith (though she has a small but crucial part to play in it). Instead it focuses on a teacher from B's school who gets caught up in the madness when the zombies attack, and undergoes a most surprising and disturbing transformation. The book is a stand-alone, though it also links in with B's story in certain ways, featuring appearances by some of the characters we have already met in the main series. It also gives us a chance to have another look at Mr Dowling and his merry crew in wild, kill-crazy action, to catch up on what they've been up to while they've been keeping low in the series...
In the UK and Ireland we are selling Zom-B Circus as an eBook for £0.99 -- you can order it on Amazon UK by CLICKING HERE or buy it through any of the main eBook sellers, such as iBooks, Nook, Google Play Books or Kobo.
Zom-B Circus is also going on sale exclusively as an ebook in America on September 9th, on the same day that Zom-B Chronicles (the bind-up edition of the first three books of the series) goes on sale. I'll have a cover and link for that shortly. It's also due to go on sale in Canada in the near future -- I'll have an update about that in a later issue of the Shanville Monthly when it gets confirmed.
Zom-B Clans is the eighth book in the series, and it does on sale in the UK and Ireland on July 3rd, and in the USA on July 8th -- and in Canada, Australia and New Zealand not long after that. The sketches above are two of series artist Warren Pleece's roughs for the interior art. The first is a bit of a spoiler, I'm afraid, but I couldn't refrain myself from sharing the grisly news with you all -- yes, Dan-Dan is back!!!! The second piece lets you know that this one is going to have a hefty body count! Book 7, Zom-B Mission, ended on a massive cliffhanger, and Zom-B Clans picks straight up where that book left off. It features some BIG shocks and surprises, as well as answering some of the crucial questions thrown up in the first half of the series -- such as why Dr Oystein and Master Zhang haven't been able to lead their Angels in a direct assault on Mr Dowling and his followers. Plus, if you thought the cliffhanger for book 7 was unberable, you ain't seen nothing yet -- this one is going to leave you pulling your hair out while waiting for book 9, Zom-B Family -- but at least you only have to wait three months for it!! The pace and stakes are rising in the second half of the series, and every book from this point on provides readers with several steps upward and onwards. It's going to be a frantic, gut-punching ride all the way from here until the end -- only the truly brave will be able to tough it out!!
You can ask your local bookseller to pre-order Zom-B Clans for you, or else you can pre-order it online. CLICK HERE to pre-order it in the UK or Ireland, or CLICK HERE to pre-order it in the USA.
ZOM-B SCHEDULE TWEAKS
Although the Zom-B books have been coming out regular as clockwork, one every three months, we’ve decided to tweak the schedule slightly for the last three books, for a number of reasons, mainly to allow us to build up a good head of interest and anticipation as we come towards the climax of the series. So, where the original dates were the start of January, April and July 2015, Book 10 is now scheduled (subject to final confirmation, i.e. there's a chance the dates could alter slightly) to come out in the UK on February 19th 2015, and the USA on February 24th 2015. Book 11 will hit shelves in the UK on May 28th 2015, and the USA on May 26th 2015. And Book 12 will go on sale in the UK on September 3rd 2015, and in the USA in either late September or early October 2015. Sorry for the slight delays, but this will allow us to market the books more successfully, and it will also give me the opportunity to hopefully fit in more tour events than I would otherwise have been able to.
In the UK and Ireland, all ten books of my Demonata series are being re-released with brand-new covers. The last two in the series, Dark Calling and Hell's Heroes, books 9 and 10, go on sale on June 5th. You should be able to find them in all good bookshops -- if not, do please ask a member of staff if they can order them for you. Or you can buy them through www.amazon.co.uk
I absolutely love the new covers! They're also really cool covers to feel -- certain parts of the covers are raised, so if you run your fingers over them, you can feel the image, almost like reading braille. This is especially effective on the Hell's Heroes cover, because of all the scars -- it's almost as scary to feel as it is to read!!!
To celebrate the release of the new editions of books 9 and 10, the final two volumes of The Demonata, I am offering fifteen prizes of signed copies of books 7 and 8, Death's Shadow and Wolf Island, in this month's competition -- and the good news is that it's open to fans everywhere in the world!! Just to clairfy, each of the 15 winners gets 2 books, one copy of book 7 and one of book 8.
1) Answer this question: "How many books are there in The Demonata series?"
2) Send your entry to: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) 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. This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win.
(4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Sunday, June 15th, 2014.
(5) This competition is open to everybody, everywhere in the world, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations.
(6) You can only enter the competition ONCE. If you try to enter more than once, ALL of your entries will be disqualified.
(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 or after Monday, June 16th, 2014. 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, in the July issue of the Shanville Monthly, and possibly on Twitter and Facebook too.
(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.
I don’t usually talk much about my past in interviews. It’s not because I’m hiding deep, dark secrets — it’s just because nobody in the media ever really asks me about my early life! There doesn’t seem to be much interest in where I came from, just in where I’m at — and that’s perfectly understandable, and actually the way that I prefer it, as I'd rather be talking about my work than myself. But I was recently interviewed by one of my local radio stations, Spin FM, in which they asked me to focus on what I was like when I was 16 years old. I think it’s one of my more interesting, revealing interviews, one that will hopefully be of particular interest to current teenagers who are worried about the future and what they’re going to do with their lives. To listen to the interview, CLICK HERE.
NEW KINDLE COVERS
My first ever published novel, Procession of the Dead (originally released in February 1999, under a different title: Ayuamarca), has been given a jazzy new Kindle cover, along with Hell's Horizon and City of the Snakes, books 2 and 3 of The City Trilogy. All three are adaptations of the Hungarian covers, and I think they look great! These are books for older readers, so I wouldn't recommend them for people who aren't reading books for adults on a regular basis. But if you're old enough, and happy to embrace some VERY dark tales, they're books that I'm still incredibly proud of, some of my most unusual and mind-bending works.
Procession of the Dead is available all around the world as a eBook (and in print in many countries too -- see the Covers part of www.darrenshan.com), but only through Amazon Kindle. If you don't own a Kindle, you can download a free Kindle App to your smartphone, PC, tablet or whatever, and buy and read it that way. Here are links to some of the global Kindle stores where it is available.
UK shop: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008M0AMV2/shanville
USA shop: http://www.amazon.com/Procession-Dead-The-City-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B008M0AMV2/
CANADA shop: http://www.amazon.ca/Procession-Dead-City-Trilogy-Darren-ebook/dp/B008M0AMV2/
AUSTRALIA shop: http://www.amazon.com.au/Procession-Dead-The-City-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B008M0AMV2/
You will be able to find links for Hell's Horizon and City of the Snakes once you've clicked on any of the links above.
For details of my latest release for adult readers, which came out as an eBook under a different name, CLICK HERE.
A new interview with me was recently published in Eile Magazine, in which I speak about Zom-B, racism and marching in Pride parades!! You can read the whole interview by CLICKING HERE.
I’ve added lots of new covers to my site, from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Taiwan, UK, USA and Vietnam. To check them all out, along with every other Darren Shan cover there has ever been, CLICK HERE. One of the new covers is the Taiwanese cover for Zom-B Angels, shown above, the fourth book in the series, which went on sale in Taiwan on May 19th. I think the cover for this is my favourite so far of the Taiwanese covers! I love the very different approach that they're taking, and that I've no idea what to expect from book to book!
As most of you probably already know, I started publishing my books for adult readers under a different name earlier this year. The first book was published as en eBook only, all around the world, in February, and I'm hoping to release the second later this year if possible, though I never rush my books, so I can't guarantee that. The book has been picking up some very positive reviews from readers, and my first few interviews under the new pseudonym were published in April and May. If you're interested in reading them and learning a bit more about my work for older readers, you can find a link to them in the Blog on my adult site, but you'll need to verify your age first by CLICKING HERE.
Ahead of my visit to Hungary in June, my Hungarian publishers are running a competition where fans are invited to take photos of themselves with one or more of my books. There are prizes for the winners. THere's one of the entries up above -- which looks more like a model shoot to me!! Maybe this will become a category in those Next Top Model TV shows, and contestants will have to pose with a collection of my books in the foreground!!!! :-) You can see more of the entries here:https://www.facebook.com/mora.rajongo/photos_stream And if you live in Hunary and want to come see me in June, to get your photo taken with ME rather than one of my books... see below!
I am doing several events over the course of the summer. Here are the details as they currently stand. If you plan to come to any of them, please note that I never impose any limits on the number of my books that I will sign, so feel free to bring your whole collection from home or buy loads of them on the day at the event!
Friday 13th June
5.00pm to 8.00pm -- public signing at Mora Books stand, Vorosmarty Square, Budapest.
Saturday 14th June
11.00am to 1.00pm -- public signing in Libri Book Store, Mammut Shopping Centre, Budapest.
5.00pm to late -- public signing at Mora Books stand, Vorosmarty Square, Budapest.
Friday 4th July
4.00pm -- public event, Hay Festival Kells, County Meath. Click here for tickets.
Saturday 5th July
12.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Liverpool, 12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL.
6.00pm -- public event, Manchester Children's Book Festival, Manchester. Click here for tickets.
Sunday 6th July
12.00pm -- public signing, Waterstones Newcastle, Emerson Chambers, Bleckett Street, Newcastle NE1 7JF.
Saturday 12th July
4.30pm -- public event with Charlie Higson, Derek Landy and Will Hill, at the London Film And Comic Con, Earls Court 2, Old Brompton Road, London SW5 9TA. I will be signing between 1.15pm and 2.15pm, and also from 5.15pm to 6.00pm. http://www.londonfilmandcomiccon.com/
Monday 11th August
4.30pm -- public event, Edinburgh Book Festival.
Wednesday 29th October
Time TBC -- public event, Exeter.
Friday 31st October
Time TBC -- public event, Limerick.
LET THEM EAT CAKE!
How cool is this Zom-B cake that a talented mum made for her son Ciaran's 12th birthday?!? And that's the lucky boy tucking in -- I hope it tasted as fabulous as it looked!!
And that's it for June. I'll be editing the last three Zom-B books over the cour of this month -- the end is nigh, at least for me! I doubt I'll completely finish them in June, but you never know... Either way, I'll be back here at the start of July with all the latest news and updates, as well as to celebrate my 42nd birthday on the 2nd, the day before Zom-B Clans goes on sale! 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.