Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Oh, Woe Is Me

It's not easy writing a book.

I mean, it's easier than mining coal. It's easier than most factory work. It's probably easier than a lot of office jobs as well.

But STARTING to write a book... those first few inches you have to push that boulder till it hits the edge and starts to roll downhill... THAT'S the hard part.

Not as hard as teaching, granted. Or working on a farm. Or being a doctor or a nurse or a cop or a fireman. I doubt it's as hard as construction, either, or carpentry, or plumbing, or engineering.

But STILL...

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Forgotten Trail competition

Back in 2013, I ran a little competition.

The competition had nothing to do with me or Skulduggery — it was all to do with an educational video game designed to teach you maths and have, you know, actual fun while you do it. Incorporating historically accurate aspects of Native American tribal life and culture, the game was called Spirit Lake, and the competition was to find someone to become a character in it, using your name and likeness. Here's what I said about it at the time:

"And if this works like they hope it will, this could be the beginning of something huge. This could revolutionise teaching, and learning— not just in America but across the world— and it could be just the thing that's needed to help struggling students make that singular, all-important leap. This could change people's lives." 

The competition was a great success. I got in some hilarious responses, and also some heartfelt ones, and while it was not easy to pick a winner, a winner I did pick. 

And now I'm going to do it all over again.

These same awesome people — people who include the mother and sister of my personal (Twitter) friend, UFC champion Ronda Rousey* — have another game in development, called Forgotten Trail. 

SO — if you like the idea of having a video game version of yourself teaching kids maths across America, give me your reasons why. In no more than thirty words, explain why you should win, and send your entries to skulteams@hotmail.com. You can enter as many times as you like, you can be any age, from any country, and the winner will be announced at the end of July.

Good luck!

* Yes, Ronda does count as a friend**.

** By friend I don't, of course, mean someone I've ever actually met, but that's not what's important here***.

*** What's important is that we're PALS. Some might say buddies. Kindred spirits, perhaps. I might even go so far as to say I've taught her everything she knows****.

**** I haven't ACTUALLY taught her everything she knows, but she knows that I would have, if ever I knew something that she didn't already know. Such as writing*****.

***** Although seeing as how Ronda's autobiography has made it to the New York Times bestseller list — a list I have yet to ACTUALLY grace — this probably isn't the best use of my, or her, time. But even so, I am sure there are PLENTY of things I could teach her. Though probably nothing useful or, you know, not-imaginary, like unicorn-taming, or yodelling******.

***** I'll shut up now. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Ladies. Gentlemen. Minions.



We're still working on it, still altering and changing the little details, still tweaking... but I really wanted to get it out before it's leaked.

And let's face it, it is BRILLIANT.

You can start trembling now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Sorry for the delay — was caught up in my Demon Road rewrite and lost track of time!

But now the moment you've been waiting for, with thanks, as ever, to Mr Tom Percival, artist extraordinaire...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Demon Road

It was with much glee that I watched your reactions to the video yesterday.

As for those who cursed me for drawing it out so long, all I can say is... "heh." It amuses me to torture you, have you not learned this yet?

Over the coming weeks and months you'll be finding out a lot more about Demon Road, but I figured I'd answer a few questions now.

For starters, this is NOT the cover.

This is just a nifty holding image we give out so that people can pre-order if they want to. Hence the following link: http://www.pages01.net/harpercollinspublishersltd/DerekLandy-DemonRoad/

The ACTUAL cover, and the new cover artist, will be revealed in due time.

The release date is, as you can see, the 27th of August. Yesterday we said the 28th, but we figured out a way to get it to you a day earlier, and we took it.

Demon Road is both the name of the first book AND the name of the overall trilogy.

It WILL be a trilogy.

The books will be released 6 months apart. This is the way the publishing industry is going, to be honest — especially for children's books/YA. It's a hectic, bruising schedule, which will mean I'm gonna be overworked for the rest of the year, but hey... I'm quite looking forward to it, actually. I always felt bizarrely guilty for making you wait a year between Skulduggery books, so I'm going to see if this way is better.

Ah yes, and it will be Young Adult as well. There's nothing in it (yet) that is amazingly inappropriate for younger readers — maybe a word or two, slipping into older territory — but it's just the overall feel of the thing.

I'm TRYING to write shorter books. I was aiming for a Dark Days length, roughly 80,000 words. I have to write three of these books this year, and I can't have them spiralling out of control like Skulduggery did. I'm currently at 91,000 words. Hopefully I won't go above 100,000, which is roughly where Mortal Coil was. Hopefully.

Right now, I've only signed a contract with Harper Collins UK, which will publish the books in Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and Canada. Over the next while, I'll be signing with foreign language publishers also — but for most of them, I'll need to show them the finished book. Harper UK trust me enough to sign a contract with what they've already seen of the book as I'm writing it.

There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't be published in America as well.

Oh, and yes, I will be touring with Demon Road, but it's far too early to say where.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Yay! Fun!

As a treat, and to help you pass the time until I announce the title of the new book, the kindly folks at Harper Collins have come up with something that thrills me to the very core — a throwback to my childhood love of video arcades and all things Space Invaders...


Unbelievably awesome...