Greetings, minions. It is I. You may weep with joy or cry in fear, the choice is yours.
I take it, by the way, that you approve of Mr Tom Percival’s back cover? Is it not creepy? Is the character not intimidating? Is it not utterly, utterly fantastic? Tom contributes so much to the Skulduggery Pleasant look, and his work is hugely important to the series as a whole and how it’s presented to you, my minions.
Would the books be as good without Tom? Oh sure, they’d still be brilliantly written by a wonderful, yet wrathful, golden god, but the covers are a mind-blowingly vital part of the book. I think, in the hands of a lesser artist, some of you might not have been intrigued enough to pick up that first copy... Who, out there, picked up Skulduggery for the first time simply because of the sheer Derekosity (that’s my new word for awesome things) of the cover? You see? My minions have TASTE.
My minions also have many opinions as to who that mysterious character IS. A few of you are completely right, a few of you are completely wrong, and a few of you are completely weird.
Bliss is DEAD! He’s DEAD and he’s not coming back! Accept it and move on!!
Oh, and if you were expecting me to TELL you who he is, allow me a moment to laugh at you.
Okay, moment over. All your questions will be answered when Mortal Coil (man, I love that title. It’s Derektastic!) is released in September.
Do you know what else my minions have, aside from great taste and opinions? They have questions. They have lots and lots and lots of questions. Oh yes. It seems that whenever I spend a Blog entry answering questions, I get approximately three hundred MORE questions in the comments section, and so I am forced to answer THEM in the NEXT Blog entry, and thus risk incurring even MORE questions. You see what a vicious cycle we’ve locked ourselves into?
Sigh. Let’s see, what have you been yapping about...?
Corporal Wolf asked if people can reference Skulduggery in their own stories. This is absolutely fine, so long as those stories aren’t then put on sale- for instance, referencing, or even using, Skulduggery characters in fanfiction is fine, but this is not the case if you write a book or a short story you want to get published. My advice, however, is to do whatever you want, and then if you’re lucky enough to have one of your stories printed/published/sold, you can go back in and change Skulduggery’s name to something else, so you won’t infringe on copyright.
On that subject, ThreeBooksInTheFire asked if I read fanfiction, but unfortunately I have a policy where I just don’t. However, when I’m finished the books I plan to spend a few days going through some of it, just so I can go “oooh look, they guessed what was coming...!” or “oooooh, look, they were WAY off...!”
Lenka... I’ve decided I don’t much like your teacher.
Alexia wants to know what I drive- I drive an Audi A5. (black, of course) and a 1966 Ford Mustang (white).
Oh, and I chose the name Sanguine because a derivative of the word used to mean “bloodthirsty”...! Plus, the word itself sounds lazy, doesn’t it? It sounds a like a lazy, arrogant drawl, and that suits Billy-Ray PERFECTLY.
Lady Kandraker- apparently I’m heading up to Belfast in September as part of my Irish tour- I better see you there, or your golden god WILL be angry.
I’m not even going to give my OPINION on the Skulduggery/Valkyrie pairing. Basically, whatever happens in the books, happens. And whatever doesn’t, doesn’t. Yes, I am going to make you all suffer with curiosity.
Oh, and Tim Burton is a wonderful director, even if Alice in Wonderland was a dreadful film. I just wish he’d stop adapting and remaking stuff, and do something ORIGINAL again.
Minnie Miracle- most of your questions will be answered in the books themselves, and as for the ones that aren’t answered, well... they were never meant to be answered...!
Avotica, details on the winning character in the competition will come out when I’ve finished writing him into my edit of Mortal Coil. I’ve just written two new chapters in which he stars, and he’s turning out to be a LOT of fun to write about.
Avotica also asked what my favourite book would be. Hmmm... okay, I’d have to say Mucho Mojo, by Joe R Lansdale. More recently, it’s been the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie- violent, foul-mouthed fantasy books where everyone wants to kill everyone else. Also, absolutely hysterically witty.
As I said above, I thought Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was terrible. I would have MUCH preferred to see an adaptation of the American McGee version. That game was WEIRD.
As for your other questions, they will be answered in the books, not here. Sorry.
Myazaki films are amazing. Spirited Away is just.. wow...
Owen, you get the same response as Avotica and Minnie Miracle- these questions will be answered in the books!
Ambiguity, I have quite a Concrete Blonde collection around here somewhere... Two of my favourite songs, apart from the cover of Everybody Knows, is The Ghost of A Texas Ladies Man- which is something I keep playing whenever Billy-Ray Sanguine appears- and Bloodletting, which is a song I always imagine playing if ever Dusk and Caelan meet up again...
Irresistibly Evil, Skulduggery uses a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver- and it’s not the snub-nosed version. He doesn’t use a .357 or anything of that power because it would mean he’d never be able to shoot to wound- every shot would cause a limb to fly off...
Jessica, there were so many requests to go to NZ’s South Island, but my schedule didn’t allow it. But hey, you wouldn’t have been there ANYWAY, right? So next time!
Vampirefreak- I don’t know who the oddest person I ever met was. Can’t remember. The people in my family are pretty odd... My favourite animal is a dog, my favourite bad guy is Scapegrace, and my favourite Disney character is Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty.
Parhelia, I took your advice and visited Genesisnx’s page on Deviant Art- http://lonelyone.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2plm74 and I found the pictures AMAZING. Thanks for recommending it.
Speaking of Genesisnx, the forum, at http://skulduggeryforums.co.uk is BRILLIANT. Genesisnx, you have no idea how thrilled my publishers are that you went ahead and did this. Finally, you all have a chance to discuss the things you want to talk about- well done! (By the way, you’re exactly right- being a vampire is an affliction, not a power. There ARE sorcerers who have been turned into vampires, so THEY keep their magic, but most of the vamps we’ve seen so far started out as mortals, so they have none.)
I’ve also seen Cluainn Fhada’s forum, over at http://skeletondectiveftw.ipbfree.com. Also, Cluainn? Your violent disposition makes me grin. I like your style.
Even though I don’t become a member of things (I’m a lone wolf, me), I’ve visited http://mrxpleasant.proboards.com and I’m liking what I’ve seen.
Captain Sparkler- who has a FANASTIC picture at http://i449.photobucket.com/albums/qq218/junebug_95_shizzle/flameflameflame-1.jpg - asked about how I come up with names for the characters. Some of them- China, Ghastly, Tanith, Bliss and Serpine- came to me within minutes of thinking up Skulduggery. But ever since then, I’ve had to work on it.
Basically, whenever I hear an interesting word or name, I write it down in a notebook. I COLLECT these kinds of things, because I know I’m going to need them sooner or later.
For instance, I needed a taken name for Stephanie, and I didn’t have one. I had spent MONTHS trying to come up with the perfect name- I had already passed the point in the story where she decides on what it is, so I now had a great big blank space where her name should have been. I was getting close to the end of the book, and nothing was working.
So I flicked through the names I had collected, and among them was Valkyrie. And I thought- “oh”. I thought, “oh, this could work- this could be good.” Apart from anything else, Valkyrie sounds a lot like Valerie, so it SOUNDS like a normal name but isn’t. So now all I needed was a second name that fit, and it was then that I heard the phrase “raising Cain”, which meant to make trouble, and suddenly I had my character.
Acacia Volt (wonderful name, by the way) obviously wants Clarabelle and Sharon- Finbar’s wife- to play a bigger part in the books. I love writing Clarabelle, and she’s going to make another appearance or two in Mortal Coil, but as for Sharon- I don’t know... I quite like the fact that she’s always mentioned but never seen...
Ah, and that isn’t snow on the covers, that’s um... Okay, I actually don’t know what that is- ask Tom! As for the highlighted paperbacks, I don’t think we’re going to continue that, unfortunately. It’s really expensive, and now everyone’s doing it, so I think we’re going to stop before it becomes boring.
The audiobook of Dark Days is out now, but we’re fixing up a few mistakes, and so the mistake free version will be out in a few months. Oh, and I’m not going to say what happens to Guild!
Penguin- I’m sure I’ll get around to writing a “Tips on Writing” entry in this accursed Blog, sooner or later. In the meantime, you just focus on following that yellow brick road.
Happy belated birthday, Fiona!
Hollies, if my neighbour’s house went up in flames I would rush to the rescue. Well, eventually. First I’d Blog about it.
Tara- how are the exams going??
Nerdy Skeleton- “It’s your mom”. Genius. Poor comic genius.
Skyril- I doubt we’ll ever find out Skulduggery’s given name. Oh, and my nana says hi back.