Good golly... I leave you alone for a few days and WAR breaks out!
First of all, your golden god is pleased that you have managed to sort out your differences. The comments section should be a friendly environment, a community, a place for you all to argue about who loves me more. Let’s face it, that is the only argument worth having, is it not?
Of course, the debate all started with a very simple question- how old is Skulduggery? There’s a bit of misleading information that’s been circulating the internet for a while- namely his year of birth.
When I set up the Skulduggery Bebo page, the Year of Birth counter would only go back to 1906- because for NORMAL people, there’s not much point in having any earlier options available. It wasn’t a box in which you could input whatever year you wanted- you had to tick the years available. Unfortunately, what has happened since then is that various publishers and websites take the 1906 year as the ACTUAL year of his birth, without checking with me first.
But rest assured, Skulduggery is over 400 years old. I’m not going to give any specifics here as to exactly when he was born, or when he died, or how long the war lasted, because those are details to be given out in the actual books themselves.
Speaking of ages, Flaring asked “If Skulduggery was in his sixties when he died- but looked in his thirties... then why is Tanith in her eighties and looks in her twenties?”
The answer is easy- because Tanith is very young-looking for her age...
Naomi made an excellent point, about the magical war coinciding with mortal wars. When mortal wars- such as WW1- broke out, it gave the sorcerers free reign to fight in the open in certain countries. This has always been in the back of my mind, but I don’t know if we’ll be seeing any examples, or hearing any stories, of this in the books themselves.
Now, onto movie questions. We are STILL in script mode, trying to make it better and better, and until we get the script right, there will be no decision taken on whether the movie will go ahead. What you’ve got to keep in mind is that this process could go for another few YEARS- or we could end up with a great script in a few months- or we might NEVER get a script that everyone likes...!
If and when it IS made, however, it WILL be live action- NOT animated. There will, of course, be a huge amount of special effects work, but it will be real actors on a real set. As for how Skulduggery himself will be rendered, I don’t know yet. Neither do I know what actors will be involved, or what director will end up making it. I do have my wishlist, but I’m not sharing it with anyone...
As for any video games, or indeed other cool stuff like toys and T-shirts, that’s all wrapped up in the movie stuff. Basically, if the movie goes ahead, we’ll probably get those things as well. If not, er... we won’t. Occasionally there’ll be some merchandise that will be given away to promote a new book, but these things are all free, and only a limited quantity will be available. There were some cool torches a while ago, and some keys rings and T-shirts, so my advice is if you EVER see any of those things, GRAB THEM WHILE YOU CAN!
There have been a few questions about writing, about whether or not to plan your outline before getting down to work.
I have a vague outline before I begin- I write down the things I need to happen in terms of moving the story forward, and also I write down what the characters have to go through. A lot of it I keep in my head, where it rolls around and changes and gestates and mutates, and only when I write those scenes or those chapters does it actually begin to take shape.
It’s a fun way of working, because it’s very loose and it allows me space to improvise and do whatever I want... Hold on, dumb dog is barking about something...
Okay I’m back. Sherlock was barking at his tail, from what I can see. It probably took him by surprise. (He’s not very bright.)
Where was I? Yes, writing. For the series as a whole, I know what has to happen in every book. I don’t know the PLOT of every book, but I know what each one is about. For instance, I might have a note beside Book Six, which would be something like “Valkyrie learns X about herself, while Skulduggery tracks down Y, which will lead to Z.”
I think you’re probably going to need to plot out MOST of your story when you’re starting out as a writer. When I was writing Skulduggery, however, I had a few years of writing scripts under my belt, and because of that I had developed a natural rhythm for telling stories. But until you find that rhythm, you’re going to need all the help you can get to take the story you want to tell and present it in its leanest, most economic and effective form.
Irresistibly Evil- that story you’re working on sounds pretty interesting... If you have writer’s block, you just have to relax. I like the fact that you’re watching loads and reading loads- that’s how I deal with something like that. I take long walks, daydream, let myself be encouraged by other movies and books, and eventually you’ll settle back into your rhythm.
Now for some of the more RANDOM questions you’ve asked...
The back cover will be presented once Tom has finished with it...! Trust me, it’s awesome. It gives us our first look at the Big Bad of Mortal Coil.
My favourite colour, er, blue.
I have never eaten a tim-tam. I’m not even sure such a thing exists.
I’d love if Skulduggery turned into a comic- but because I love comics so much I’d have to get involved in that process in a huge way, and I’m not sure I have the time at the moment.
The Bentley is BLACK.
Rachel- I haven’t yet decided on whether or not the Bentley has made its last appearance. If I can find a replacement car that’s as cool, no problem, but if I can’t...
Skyril, I swear, New Orleans would be my first port of call if ever I get down Louisiana way!
Hiya Josie- that’s right, I never DID reply, did I? Okay, I’ll have to find that letter and write you a reply.
There aren’t any werewolves in Skulduggery’s universe YET... I did have one character who was KIND of a werewolf but I cut him out. He MAY reappear, so that’s all I’ll say about him.
Roisin asked if I was born awesome or did it develop over time- the answer is a bit of both. I was born awesome, and I’ve just gotten progressively awesomer.
Pirates or ninjas? Ninjas. DEFINITELY.
Elly! Happy belated birthday!
As far as I know, there are no plans to release Dark Days in the States. That doesn’t mean it’ll never happen, just that we haven’t signed a contract yet. If I were you, I’d bite the bullet and order it from Amazon UK...
Vampires have last names, yes they do. We just haven’t heard them yet.
Ally Pally asked a few questions...
Yes, I watch Glee.
No, I don’t watch Britain’s Got Talent.
I get recognized in public SOMETIMES- not often, thank God. Fame, even the small amount I have, is not as nice as you might think.
I have a perfectly fine house- if it were any bigger I’d be rattling around in it like a pea in a tin can. Or, er, something.
Oh, and the Caramelldansen is HILARIOUS.