Issue 199 - February 201701 February 2017
Hi everyone, and welcome to the February issue of the Shanville Monthly. My latest book for adults, An Other Place, which was published under the name of Darren Dash a couple of months ago, is still picking up extremely strong reviews, and I have links below to a few of them. I've also released a new edition of the second Darren Dash book, Sunburn, with a stunning new cover, and you can find out more about that too. There's all the latest Darren Shan news as well, plus if you've ever wanted to see the big fight scene from Sons Of Destiny brought to life with Lego blocks, this is the newsletter for you!!! Oh, and there's a competition for my older fans!
A NEW SHADE OF SUNBURN
Who's afraid of sunburn?!? If you're not, you should be, and there's a book that explains exactly what it is you have to afraid of! It's called, of course, SUNBURN, and was the second book that I released for adults under the name of Darren Dash. It came out last year, but I recently re-released it with a revised cover. I'm very pleased with its new look -- which ties in nicely with the style of An Other Place and the revised The Evil And The Pure covers -- and I hope you guys like it too. (If you already have the book, there's nothing else different about it, except I changed the font, and corrected the spelling of Cyprus in one instance!) Sunburn is on sale through Amazon stores worldwide, either as a paperback or ebook. It's more straightforward that my other books for adults -- I basically just wanted to have some grisly fun with it -- so if you want a wince-enducing but tongue-in-cheek story about a Bigfoot type of monster in Bulgaria, this is the baby for you!!
While Sunburn was my second book for adults under the Darren Dash name, following on the heels of The Evil And The Pure in 2014, my third release came out a couple of months ago, and it's called An Other Place. The three books are completely different in style and tone -- the first is a thriller, the second a horror, the third sci-fi. The only thing that really unites them is that they're all incredibly dark. Each book has picked up loads of positive reviews, but An Other Place seems to be proving the most popular among reviewers -- much to my surprise, as it is a very strange book, and I was braced for a lot of negative feedback. But so far reviewers have loved it, with the latest glowing reviews coming from UK sci-fi mainstream publications, Starburst, SFX and This Is Horror.
Starburst gave the book 9/10 stars and said: "An Other Place sees an imaginative writer at the top of his craft. It brings to mind The Twilight Zone, yet even Rod Serling himself would have struggled to come up with an alternate world so completely off-the-wall and yet oddly meaningful as Dash has here." For the full review, CLICK HERE.
SFX gave it 4/5 stars and commented: "Its luckless hero moves from ghastly scenarios to even ghastlier scenarios with such horrid reliability that his story reads like extreme black comedy." For the full review, CLICK HERE and go to page 113.
While This Is Horror enthused: "For an author who predominately writes fiction for a younger audience, Dash handles the adult elements with ease. The story was full of some very weird and unique ideas and Dash handles the world-building in a competent manner. The development of characters was well done, and the descriptions were vivid. Dash is a skilled and proficient writer." For the full review, CLICK HERE.
As with my other Darren Dash books, An Other Place is on sale exclusively through Amazon stores worldwide, as both a paperback and ebook. You can learn a bit more about it by visiting my Darren Dash website: www.darrendashbooks.com And here are direct links to the UK and USA Amazon and Kindle pages:
If you live in another part of the world that has a local Amazon store, e.g Canada, Australia, France, India, Japan, Mexico, you can order the book through them -- although be aware that in some stores (such as Australia and India) it's only available as an ebook. If you live in a country that doesn't have a local Amazon store (or if you want the paperback and your local store only offers the ebook) you can order a paperback copy through your nearest store, e.g. USA or UK, as Amazon ship worldwide -- but I'm afraid shipping is likely to add a fair bit to the price.
NEW ZOM-B COVERS
If you're collecting the wonderful new UK paperback editions of my Zom-B books, you probably already know that books 7, 8 and 9 went on sale in their new format last month -- but if not, this will hopefully serve as a timely reminder. As I've said before, I absolutely love the new-look Zom-B covers, and the twelve of them are going to look so stunning together once they've all been released. (And if you turn them round and line up the back covers in the correct way, you'll find a bonus surprise!) You should be able to find or order the new-look books from any good book seller (along with the first six, which were released last year), or else you can order them online through a site like Amazon, Hive, Waterstones, WHSmith, Wordery, etc. For the release dates of the final three books in the series, CLICK HERE.
There's a lovely mention for An Other Place (the book for adults that I recently released under my Darren Dash name) in this YouTube video by a young lady -- Captain Wendy, no less!! -- recapping her favourite 30 books of 2016. It comes near the end, starting about the 5 minutes 20 seconds mark -- but that's because she saved her top three books until the end of the video, and An Other Place is one of those Top Three -- hurrah!!! You can check the whole video out by CLICKING HERE.
Meanwhile, I was very pleased to see Dutch fan Odette choose An Other Place as one of her top reads of 2016, over on a list that she put up on Goodreads. As I've said before, I didn't know what sort of a reception An Other Place would get from readers, but given how weird and different it is, I was braced for the worse. So it's a nice surprise - and a huge relief - to see it getting incredible feedback like this! To see Odette's full list (along with lists by other Dutch readers) CLICK HERE.
SONS OF LEGO
I LOVE this lego sculpture of the big showdown in Sons Of Destiny, as Darren and Steve lock horns, egged on by the malevolent Mr Tiny. It was created by 10 year old Build It Benny, whose dad Ron shared it over on my Twitter page, along with photos taken from a few other angles -- if you want to check them all out, go have a look at @darrenshan on Twitter.
SHAN ON TOUR
I'm not doing many events at the moment, since I'm between projects and don't want to go on the road without a new book to promote. That said, I'll be doing occasional, one-off events while we're waiting for the next Darren Shan book to come along, such as the Sci-Fi Weekender festival in North Wales, an epic coming-together of fans of sci-fi, fantasy and horror, featuring authors, film and TV stars, and a whole lot more. It's held over the space of a couple of days, and I'll be doing a few different events while there, on Friday March 31st and Saturday April 1st. For more information about the Sci-Fi Weekender, click here: http://www.scifiweekender.com/
THE GINGER EXECUTIONER!
Ginger Nuts Of Horror listed a fetive guide of 50 YA horror books that they recommended to parents looking to buy the perfect book for their gore-intrigued son or daughter. I was delighted to see The Thin Executioner in among the mix -- as many of you already know, it's my favourite out of all my books, so I get an extra special buzz when other people love it as much as I do! To read what the reviewer had to say about it, CLICK HERE. Lord Loss also made the list (it was in three parts), and to check out that entry, CLICK HERE.
"Books connect people. Even if we have a language barrier we can connect to people. Whether it be talking about a series we disagree with or seeing how two different version of the same book can be worded differently. It's nice to know that books can make incredible bonds with people."
A nice sentiment, and nicely worded -- but it's not mine. That's a few lines from a TwitLonger tweet by a Twitter fan of mine called @Inusoragirl who made friends with a Japanese boy on a hospital ward when she spotted him reading one of my books. It's a really nice post, about the power of books and how you can make new friends in the unlikeliest of places. To check the whole piece out, CLICK HERE
As I said near the top of this newsletter, I've released a new edition of Sunburn, my second book for adults under the Darren Dash banner. Because I'm not touring much at the moment, it will be a while before I sign any copies of these for fans at signings or events. However, I did sign three proof copies on the last day of January, and these are the only copies of the book that I signed in the month of its release. (I didn't even sign the two proof copies that I kept for myself!) I added a little handwritten note to each book, as you can see in the photo above, verifying that fact -- and that's the first time, to the best of my recollection, that I've ever done that. If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning one of these three extremely rare books, read on.
Please note, you must be 16 years or older to enter this competition, and your entry will be accepted as proof of your age.
1) Answer this question: "The Evil And The Pure was the name of the first Darren Dash book. Sunburn was the name of the second Darren Dash book. What is the name of the third Darren Dash book?"
2) Send your entry to: email@example.com
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, Thursday, February 9th, 2017.
(5) This competition is open to everybody aged 16 years or older, 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 Friday, February 10th, 2017. 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, although entrants aged 16 years or over will be added to the Darren Dash mailing list, unless they request not to be added.
(10) My decision will be final.
IT'S A WRAP!
And that's it for February. Let's finish the newsletter with a rare haiku. I was walking home from the theatre in London in January (went to see Nice Fish, which failed to float my boat, despite starring my favourite actor, Mark Rylance) and noticed all the red lights on cranes and buildings as I was strolling across the Golden Jubilee footbridge (a bridge which features in my Zom-B books, and which also inspired me to write my new YA series a few years ago, which I'm still hard at work on) and it prompted me to come up with the following: Red eyes claim the night/ Breeding bloody in the sky/ Demons will descend. Assuming the demons don't claim me, I'll be back here next month to share all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x