• Issue 181 - August 2015

    01 August 2015

    GREETINGS!

     

    Hi everyone, and welcome to the August issue of the Shanville Monthly. I enjoyed my events in Norwich and London last month, and I've been working away on the plot of a new book, which is starting to come together (I think!) so it's looking like it could be a fruitful summer in Shanville! I'm doing more events over the next few months -- you can read about those in the Tour Dates entry below to find out if Im coming to a venue near YOU any time soon... for older readers, there's welcome news of a price reduction on my latest Darren Dash book, as well as a City Of The Snakes promotional offer... I'm featuring more exclusive interior art for Zom-B Fugitive... there's news on when you can expect the reveal of the title of the final Zom-B book... a competition for my older Shansters... and lots, lots more. But let's start with some info about my upcoming Edinburgh appearances... 

     

     

    SCREAM WITH ME IN EDINBURGH

     

     

    12/8 UPDATE: I have some VERY exciting news for anyone planning to come to my event at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Saturday 29th at 3.45pm. Although it doesn't go on sale in the UK and Ireland until September 10th, we are going to have advance copies of ZOM-B FUGITIVE on sale at the event and in the Festival shop for a few days following!! This means the lucky fans in attendance will have the opportunity to buy the new book and read it almost two weeks before anyone else!!! And of course I'll be happy to sign copies on the day, along with any of my other books -- there are no limits on how many of my books each fan can get signed. So, if you CAN make it to Edinburgh on the 29th, my advice is DO make it!! :-) You can book tickets here: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/darren-shan-zom-b-bride

     

    August means the Edinburgh Book Festival. As usual, it's one of the most exciting line-ups imaginable -- and, as usual, I'm delighted to be part of it. Edinburgh was the first book festival I ever went to as an author, and I've been back every year since -- this will be my 16th appearance in a row!! As well as school events (see below) I'm doing a PUBLIC EVENT on Saturday, August 29th, at 3.45pm. Tickets are now on sale. You can find out more about the event and book tickets by CLICKING HERE. And you can download the full festival programme, to see what else is on (I'd strongly recommend trying to see Eoin Colfer, who is on earlier that day) over here: https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/

     

    As I said above, I'm also doing some school events to tie in with my visit to this year's Edinburgh Book Festival. I'm going to be doing Outreach events on Thursday August 27th, i.e. going to visit some schools. And I'm doing a big schools event in Charlotte Square (the Book Festival centre) on Friday August 28th, for groups who can travel to it. If you're a teacher or librarian in Scotland who wants to find out more about these events, and if you're interested in registering to either bring a group of children to the Book Festival to see me (or other authors), or maybe have me (or other authors) come visit your school, CLICK HERE for more details and to make a booking.

     

     

    TOUR DATES

     

    I'm doing SCHOOL and PUBLIC EVENTS in Edinburgh this month (see above), and then I'm on tour again in September/October around the release of Zom-B Fugitive (that tour is still in the planning stages -- I've added several events, with a few more to follow). I'm also going to be appearing at the Sharjah International Book Fair in November, the Dubai Literary Festival in March 2016, and the USA World Horror Convention in April 2016, and of course there will be a big Irish/UK tour when Zom-B 12 goes on sale next spring. Here are the details as they currently stand. School events are only for invited school groups (although individuals can sometimes get in too, if they contact the school/library in advance). Public events are open to anyone who wants to come, though you usually have to book tickets in advance to be certain of a place. Public signings are open to everyone -- just turn up on the day and take your place in the line. If you plan to come to any of my events or signings, 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!

     

    Thursday 27th August

    11.00am to 12.00pm -- school event, Carnegie Hall, East Port, DUNFERMLINE. If you are a teacher or school librarian interested in bringing students to this event, CLICK HERE. (If you are a student, show this to your teacher or librarian, and try to sweet-talk them into following it up!)

    Thursday 27th August

    2.00pm to 3.00pm -- school event, Auchmuty High School, Dovecot Road, GLENROTHES. If you are a teacher or school librarian interested in bringing students to this event, CLICK HERE. (If you are a student, show this to your teacher or librarian, and try to sweet-talk them into following it up!)

    Friday 28th August

    1.30pm -- school event, EDINBURGH Book Festival, Scotland. If you are a teacher or school librarian interested in bringing students to see me at the Festival, CLICK HERE. (If you are a student, show this to your teacher or librarian, and try to sweet-talk them into bringing you!)

    Saturday 29th  August

    3.45pm -- PUBLIC event, EDINBURGH Book Festival, Scotland. For more info and to book tickets CLICK HERE

     

    Friday 25th September

    Time TBC -- school event, Isle Of Man, part of the Manx Litfest. CLICK HERE

    Time TBC -- school event, Isle Of Man, part of the Manx Litfest. CLICK HERE

    Time TBC -- PUBLIC event, Isle Of Man, part of the Manx Litfest. CLICK HERE

     

    Thursday 1st October

    9.45am -- school event, Warden Park School, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath.

    Thursday 1st October

    pm -- school event, Shoreham Academy, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.

    Thursday 1st October

    5.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones BRIGHTON, 71-74 North Street.

    Friday 2nd October

    9.30am -- school event, Trafalgar School, Hilsea, Portsmouth.

    Friday 2nd October

    1.10pm -- school event, Hounsdown School, Totton, Southampton.

    Friday 2nd October

    5.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones SOUTHAMPTON, West Quay Shopping centre.

    Saturday 3rd October

    10.00am -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones BOURNEMOUTH.

    Saturday 3rd October

    1.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones YEOVIL, 37a Middle Street.

    Saturday 3rd October

    6.30pm -- PUBLIC event with Charlie Higson, BATH Children's Literature Festival. For more info and to book tickets CLICK HERE.

    Sunday 4th October

    10.30am -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones WORCESTER, Unit D, The Shambles.

    Sunday 4th October

    1.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones COVENTRY, 50-52 Smithford Way.

    Sunday 4th October

    6.15pm -- PUBLIC event, CHELTENHAM Literature Festival. CLICK HERE.

     

    Monday 9th to Thursday 12th November 2015

    I'm going to be appearing at the SHARJAH International Book Fair. More details TBC closer the time. CLICK HERE

     

    March 2016

    I'm going to be appearing at the DUBAI Literary Festival. More details TBC closer the time. CLICK HERE

     

    28th April to May 1st 2016

    I'm going to be a guest of honor at the World Horror Convention, PROVO, UTAH, USA. More details TBC closer the time. http://www.whc2016.org/home.html

     

     

    SUNBURN  PRICE REDUCED

     

     

    "The story flows like a dream, and the characters are diverse, divisive and distinct. Mr Dash can not only create a thrilling horror, but the kinds of characters, depth and quality with which he completes the novel bring it to a much higher level. Sunburn is engaging, horrific and visceral, interesting and truly well-written."

     

    Those lines are part of Matthew R Bell's Book Blog Bonanza review of SUNBURN, my latest book for adults, which I released under the name of Darren Dash a few months ago. You can read the full review HERE. Matthew isn't alone in his praise of Sunburn -- it's picked up a growing number of rave reviews since it went on sale at the start of May. You can find links to them all in the Blog part of my Darren Dash site: http://www.darrendashbooks.com/

     

    Sunburn is available as a paperback or eBook through Amazon stores worldwide. (The paperback is also available on some other online stores, such as Barnes & Noble.) These are the links for direct access: Amazon USA and Amazon UKWhile the cost of the paperback editions is fixed (because it's a print on demand service) I have lowered the price of the eBook. It now costs just $2.99 in the USA or Canada, £1.99 in the UK store, and €2.99 in various Amazon stores across Europe. This lower prices is reflected across other Amazon stores too, e.g. Australia, Mexico, Japan, etc.

     

    If you prefer paperback, you can buy Sunburn in that format at full price at any time, through Amazon stores worldwide, as well as certain other online stores like Barnes & Noble. You can also download it as a full-priced eBook, through any of Amazon's worldwide stores, such as Amazon CanadaAmazon Australia (only as an eBook), Amazon Germany, etc. If you live in a country that doesn't have an Amazon store, then you probably won't be able to download the eBook, but you can order the paperback and have it shipped to you -- just check around to see which store offers you the best price. If you're interested in downloading the eBook, please bear in mind that YOU DO NOT NEED A KINDLE. You can download a FREE KINDLE APP to whatever device you prefer, e.g. Mac, iPad, smartphone, tablet, etc. You can then use that App to buy books from the Kindle store and download them to your device. I've kept the cover price as low as I can with the paperback, and the eBook is on sale for approximately a third the cost of that, so it's pretty good value, even if I say so myself!! :-)

     

    Sunburn is also part of KDP Select, which means it is available for FREE to those who subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, or who borrow the book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

     

     

    STENCIL

     

    If you only read one Darren Shan interview this year, maybe it should be THIS ONE which appeared in issue 32 of STENCIL MAGAZINE. They asked me a lot of good questions, which threw up a lot of good answers, even if I do say so myself! I talk about my past, the writing process, and also a bit about the end of Zom-B and the future. It's a wide-ranging, four page interview, that I strongly recommend. To access it, click on THIS LINK to open up the online version of the magazine, which is absolutely FREE. (You can also use a programme on the site to download it if you prefer, but be careful, as I think this sets itself up as your home page and regular downloader!) The interview with me can be found between pages 130 and 133. There are loads of other cool interviews and reviews too, mostly music-based, so you might want to browse the rest of it as well... 

     

     

    HEAR! HEAR!

     

    Audible in the UK are running a nice promotion at the moment, called The Zombie Collection, in which they feature some of their most recommended zombie audio books. I'm delighted to spot the first four Zom-B books in among the mix -- only four, unfortunately, since the original UK production company went bust!!! Anyway, you can check out the first four if you're interested by CLICKING HERE, and the good news is that the American editions of the rest of the rest are/will be on sale, though they might prove a bit harder (and more expensive) to track down... well, unless you live in America, of course, in which case it should be a doddle!!!!

     

     

    CITY OF SPECIAL OFFERS!

     

     

    If you're one of my older fans, YOUR presence is requested in The City!!! Although I've become known primarily for my YA books, I started out writing books for adults, and the first book i ever published was called Procession Of The Dead, book 1 of The City trilogy. The three books have been published all over the world, in lots of different countries, including the USA, Japan, Taiwan, Hungary, and many more. The eBook of the third, City Of The Snakes, is currently on sale on Amazon UK for just £0.99, so this is the perfect time to buy it if you don't already have a copy. CLICK HERE. Although the books are best read in order, each focuses on a separate story, so you CAN read City Of The Snakes without having read the first two -- though I would recommend starting with the first. Either way, it won't be at this bargain price for long (the end of August, I think), so my advice is to buy it now, even if you don't plan to read it until later. 

     

     

    KINDLE MATCHBOOK

     

    I'm pleased to announce that I have signed up my two Darren Dash books, The Evil And The Pure, and Sunburn, for the Kindle Matchbook offer. This means, if you have bought a copy of the paperback of either book in the past, or buy a copy in the future, you will be able to download a copy of the eBook of that book for FREE. That way you can have the best of both worlds, without having to pay twice for the privilege!! (My apologies to anyone who might have bought both editions already, but I only found out that I could do this a while ago.) To learn more about my Darren Dash books for adults, and to find direct buying links for the books, visit the Darren Dash web site: http://www.darrendashbooks.com/

     

     

    INSIDE A FUGITIVE

     

     

     

    The eleventh Zom-B book, Zom-B Fugitive, goes on sale in the UK and Ireland on September 10th, and in the USA and Canada on September 22nd. Those are the American and British covers above, by series regular Cliff Nielsen. Below are a couple of roughs for the interior art, by our other series regular, Warren Pleece. The first is a worrying scene, as someone is attacked on the London Eye, which is part of Dr Oystein's base -- are the Angels under attack?!? In the second, B looks like she's about to finish off one of her many enemies -- but who is lying sprawled at her mercy, and can she find it in her (missing) heart to show any?!?

     

     

     

    It's getting tricky to feature interior art at this stage of the game, as I don't want to give any big twists away! But, by choosing carefully, I think I can whet your appetite without spoiling things too much, so expect another rough or two next month, just ahead of the book's release.

     

    Zom-B Fugitive should be available through all good high street and online book stores once it goes on sale, but if you wish to pre-order, here are some handy links. Amazon UK hardcoverAmazon UK kindleAmazon USA hardcoverAmazon Canada hardcover.

     

     

    ZOM-B 12 TITLE REVEAL

     

    The 12th and final Zom-B book goes on sale next March/April. So far we have not revealed the title, but I'm pleased to announce that I will be exclusively announcing it here next month, at the start of the September issue of the Shanville Monthly. If you want to have a guess in the meantime, feel free -- no prizes for anyone who guesses right, just the satisfaction of being a step ahead of the rest of the world!!!

     

     

    NEW GIRL

     

    I don't watch the TV show NEW GIRL. I know next to nothing about the TV show NEW GIRL. But, regardless of that, I'm going to point you towards THIS ARTICLE about the TV show NEW GIRL because... oh, you'll see when you read it!!! Especially the bit about what the character NICK would read. Don't miss the bit about NICK!!!!! Otherwise the link will make no sense to you whatsoever!!!!!!!

     

     

    AN EVIL REVIEW

     

    I was nervous when I saw that Matthew R Bell had reviewed The Evil And The Pure, the first book for adults that I released under the Darren Dash banner last year. Matthew is a very eloquent reviewer, who analyses books in depths, and writes spot-on reviews about them. That's great when a reviewer enjoys the book that they're reviewing, but if they don't like it, it means you're about to get a proper old hammering!!!

     

    Actually, I was nervous about EVERY reviewer when The Evil And The Pure first went on sale. It's the darkest, most disturbing of my books to date. There's nothing titillating about it, but it explores some very unsettling themes, and although it's far from a celebration of evil (in the way, for instance, that the film Natural Born Killers was), it does spend an awful lot of time in the more shadowy recesses of the human experience. I was worried that readers might misinterpret it, especially if they gave up and didn't follow the storyline through to the finish. I was aiming for something along the lines of Crime And Punishment, a searing look into what drives the more wretched of humans, but I came at it in a more pulp than literary fashion, and I thought it might come across as morally exploitative rather than spiritually explorative. I did very little to promote the book, even going so far as to not mention its name on any of my Darren Shan pages.

     

    Thankfully, the vast majority of readers to date "got" what I was aiming for, and it's actually picked up some of the best reviews of any of my books, which has led to me being a bit more open in my promotion of it. It's certainly a cult item at the moment, but it's built up a slow but sure momentum, as word of mouth gradually spreads, and is finding favour in all sorts of quarters -- including, to my relief, Matthew R Bell, who gives it a rousing 5 star review -- phew!!!! 

     

    I DO NOT recommend Evil for my younger readers. This is the most adult of all my adult books, NOT a book to give to a 12 or 13 year old Darren Shan enthusiast. But if you're one of my older fans and wish to see what my writing is like when I move beyond the YA pool, into far murkier and more troubling waters, then you can find out more by reading Matthew's review, or by checking out my Darren Dash site for info about Evil, as well as my latest (more tongue in cheek) release, Sunburn: http://www.darrendashbooks.com/

     

    Both my Darren Dash books are available in paperback format (Evil is quite expensive, because it's a MASSIVE book and costs a lot to manufacture) or you can download them as eBooks (for very reasonable rates!) and they are available through Amazon stores all over the world (the paperbacks are also available through some other online stores, such as Barnes & Noble).

     

     

    RECOMMENDED READS

     

    There's a nice mention for Cirque Du Freak in this article by a librarian in the USA, recommending books to get children interested in reading. There are loads of other great books mentioned too, and they're ranked alphabetically by author surnames, which is a nice change, as normally lists like these go by the book titles -- as if those pesky damn books can take all the credit!!! So, if you're looking to broaden your reading horizons, or if you want to turn a younger reader on to some new authors, or if you want to try to get a child to start reading, CLICK HERE

     

     

    HELLO, NEWBIES!

     

    One of the most difficult tasks when I'm working on a long series is to try to make the later books acceptable to new readers who have just come on board. In an ideal world, every reader would start with book 1 in a series and work onwards from there, but in reality that's not what happens. The latest release tends to attract readers who haven't read any of the earlier entries, even if it's near the end -- even (indeed, sometimes especially) if it's the very last book. I'm sure some authors tut about this, mutter beneath their breath that they don't have any time for readers who jump on board so late in the game, and make no concessions to help clue in the newbies to what's going on. I prefer to treat it as a challenge, and while my primary goal is to entertain those who have been with me from the start, I also try to slip in enough information to allow newcomers to not only follow what is happening, but to enjoy it. But can such an approach work? Is it possible to please someone who is reading the tenth book of a series, with no idea what happened in the first nine books?!? For the answer to that, READ THIS intriguing review of Zom-B Bride, on the HORROR TALK site, by a reader who was coming fresh to the series with book 10

     

     

    YALC REVIEW

     

     

    I had a brilliant time at the YA Lit Con in July. I had a fun panel event with Will Hill, Dawn Kurtagich and Lou Morgan, and signed for three and a quarter hours afterwards. I was briefly interrupted when I was attacked by a vampaneze called Jessie, but I managwed tro subdue her and carry on, as you can see in the photo above!!! For those who weren't able to come, you can get the next best thing by CLICKING HERE for a highly detailed account by a blogger who spent the entire weekend at the Con. This gives you a nice flavour of what the event was like, the type of questions that were covered, and the answers that I and the other authors gave. It goes on to take in some other events too -- and that's only the Day One entry, with two more days to come!!! And in addition to all that, the blogger has one of the best blog names I've ever come across!!!!

     

     

    BOOK VS EBOOK

     

    Books versus eBooks -- the war rages on. A lot of people love the convenience of eBooks, the ease with which you can download a book that catches your attention, the way you can have your entire collection held on one device, allowing you to flit from one book to another at the push of a button. Others love the sheer form of physical books, the look and feel and smell of them, the space they take up on the shelf almost like a piece of furniture, the way each has its own unique identity, the history behind them if they are old and have passed down through the hands of a variety of readers.

    Me? I've a foot in both camps. I'm a collector by nature, so I have lots of shelves overflowing with books, all carefully ordered by author name. Some are cheap secondhand books that I bought when I was young and close to penniless, lovely reminders of the time when I would scour the bookshops of Limerick and London in search of bargains. Others are first editions or signed copies from authors I have met over the years, similarly lovely reminders of how lucky I've been to be able to indulge in my hobby and meet so many great writers. At the same time, I do a lot of my reading on the road, and my Kindle has become a vital part of my life, and I do most of my reading on that these days. I've even started reading a bit on a smartphone that I bought a few months ago. I love the fact that, even though I live in the countryside, far from my nearest bookshop, I can have access to all the latest releases any time I wish.

    The old and the new -- in my opinion there should always be room in our lives for both.

    But there's no denying that in purely aesthetic terms, physical books win hands down, and I was reminded of that recently when I read this article about endpapers in books, which includes the beautiful Zom-B endpapers. So, for those of you who wish to wax lyrical about tangible books, here's a treat for you -- although it's somewhat ironic that you have to read about it online!!!

     

     

    COMPETITION WINNERS

     

    I normally list the names of all the winners of my competitions, but there were 43 of them this time, and that would make for a long, wearying list! Suffice to say, I emailed each winner to inform them of their win, so if you haven't received an email from me informing you that you're one of the 43, then I'm afraid the luck of the vampire gods wasn't with you this time!! There were 449 entries in total (so you all had a roughly 1 in 10 chance of winning), from all over the world, and winners came from Argentina, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Mexico, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, Hungary, Ireland, the UK, and the USA. For those who expressed a preference, after some careful juggling I managed to fix almost all of you up with your book of choice. Thanks to everyone who entered, and watch out for another competition coming soon to the Shanville Monthly, the official Darren Shan newsletter.

     

     

    COMPETITION

     

     

    To tie in with the reduction in price of Sunburn and the City Of The Snakes promotion in the UK, I thought it would be a good time to run a competition for my older readers, featuring some of my adult books as prizes. So, since it's the eights month of the year, I'm offering eight SIGNED sets of The City Trilogy, the first books for adults that I released under the name of Darren Shan (after previously releasing different editions of the first two under the names of Darren O'Shaughnessy and D B Shan -- it's been a convoluted path on the adult front!). These are the American editions, which are beautifully designed, a worthy addition to any Darren Shan collection! The first two, Procession Of The Dead and Hell's Horizon, are hardbacks, while the third, City Of The Snakes, is paperback. To enter, you must be fifteen years of age or older. (If you're younger, try to get a parent or older sibling to enter on your behalf, and you can read them when you're older if you win!) Read the entry guidelines below, answer the question (you can find the answer to it in a few of the earlier posts in this issue of the Shanville Monthly)... and good luck!!

     

    1) Answer this question: "What pen name does Darren now use when releasing new books for adults?"

     

    2) Send your entry to: compaugust2015@darrenshan.com

     

    3) Put your NAME and AGE 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. And please note. you must be 15 years or older in order for your entry to be accepted.

     

    (4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Sunday, August 9th, 2015.

     

    (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, August 10th, 2015. 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 in the Shanville Monthly, and on Facebook too.

     

    (9) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company.

     

    (10) My decision will be final.

     

     

    7/7

     

    July saw the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London. These had a major impact on both myself and my writing, as even though my main home is in Ireland, I have a flat in London too, and ten years ago it lay just off Brick Lane, very close to Aldgate, where one of the bombs went off. I was in Ireland on the day of the bombings, but I had just got back from a visit to London. I don't think I would have been on any of the effected trains or buses if I'd been there on the day the bombs went off, but still, it was a sobering experience.

     

    I noticed a lot of changes after the bombings. People in London were angry, confused, scared. I saw a lot of racist graffiti, and people arguing on the basis of race and religion. The BNP, a far-right political organisation, attracted more support and made significant electoral gains. A friend of mine knew where the wife and family of one of the bombers lived, and he told me that he stormed over there the day after the attacks and hammered on the door. They had all left, so his knocks were not answered. I asked him what he would have done if she had been home. His honest answer was, "I don't know. I just felt so frustrated, that I had to do SOMETHING."

     

    I was as worried by the response of normal Londoners as I was by the attacks themselves. In a way, the response worried me MORE. The bombers were fanatics, part of a very small group of people who live on the fumes of hatred and intolerance. Their kind can hurt us, of course they can, but by themselves they can't overcome us. However, if enough of us react the way they want us to react... if we follow them down the dark paths that they tread... if we let hatred, anger and fear influence us and determine how we respond... then we risk becoming monsters, no better than them. And we HAVE to be better than them. It's hard when they hurt us and we lose loved ones, but naked aggression isn't the answer. Turning on innocent people who simply happen to share the religion that fanatics claim as their own isn't the answer. (And ISIS and their like are NOT true Muslims or representative of Islam, any more than the Westboro Baptist Chursh are true Christians or representative of what Christianity is really about.)

     

    Like my friend, I felt I had to do SOMETHING in the wake of the bombings. I felt I had to write something that dealt with what I was seeing, that focused on the dangers of letting ourselves be manipulated by fearmongers, a book that would say to readers, "Be careful who you trust. Don't put your faith in fanatics of ANY kind. If you walk the paths of hate, you become a servant of hate, and that can only make for a hateful, destructive world."

     

    Zom-B was the result of that day. It was my way of trying to reach my young readers, to encourage them to look through the webs of hysterical lies that many people were (and are) peddling, to always question and stand up against those who tell us to hate and fear. Ten years later, I'm near the end of the series, but I remember the start of my journey as if it was only a few weeks ago, the shock I felt, the dismay I felt, the pain I felt, the worry I felt. The world's still in a dark, dangerous shape ten years down the line. I suspect that won't change much over the next ten years. But haters CAN and WILL be defeated, with love and tolerance and commonsense. We HAVE to work to build a world where love is stronger than hate, where nothing can turn us into the monsters we despise. Otherwise the hatemongers have won, and even if he crush them, what good is there is being simply the strongest monsters standing on top of a pile of corpses?

     

     

    IT'S A WRAP

     

     

    And that's it for August. I hope you're all enjoying the summer (or the winter, depending on which part of the world you're in). It's been pretty miserable weather here in Ireland, but I've been having fun anyway, monitoring the growth of little Dante (pictured above, in worryingly demonic mode!). He's crawling like crazy now, as if training for an Olympics crawling event, so we're having to babyproof our house, which means I'm even busier than usual. It can be tricky juggling fatherhood with writing, but as I said at the start of this newsletter, I'm working on ideas for a new book, and hopefully I'll get to start that this month -- if I do, it will be the first time I've worked on the first draft of an original book since Dante was born, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything still works! Either way, I'll be back here at the start of September with all the latest news and updates, plus more info about Zom-B Fugitive, which goes on sale next month -- HURRAH!!! 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.