Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Another year over, and what a year it was.

2012 saw me jetting around the world yet again, meeting lots of lovely Minions, some of which laughed, some of which blathered, some of which stared, and some of which hyperventilated and cried tears of unbridled joy. I expected nothing less.

It saw another Skulduggery book reach number one in the Bestseller chart, despite a few bookshops releasing it early and risking my wrath (which is terrible and frightening. Honest it us. You can ask anyone).

It was also a year of writing and looming deadlines. I started the year without a single word of KOTW written, but within three months or so I had a finished manuscript that is probably my favourite of anything I've produced so far. Then The Maleficent Seven turned out to be 20,000 words longer than I had anticipated, so when November came I was still writing the damn thing, instead of starting Book 8 like I'd planned. The good news, of course, is that TMS turned out to be a whole heap of fun, and I have a feeling you'll like it when it's released in... in... oh God, when is it released? March? I think?

The whole thing started, by the way, because of the speed you lot raced through Deathbringer. After a year of hyping yourselves up and building excitement, the book was released and suddenly you had another year to wait for the next one. And for some reason I began to feel guilty about that, so I decided  to release something small between KOTW and Book 8, and Tanith's little adventure was born.

Book 8 is progressing well, you'll be happy to know. 25,000 words so far, which is roughly a fifth of KOTW. I don't know how long the new one will end up being, but it'll PROBABLY be fairly substantial. There's a whole lot of war to get through, after all.

Of course, while 2012 brought with it great surprises and good news, it also provided no news at all on the movie front... at least no news that I can talk about. I've been writing the script myself (and it is AWESOME) and I'd have liked to be able to announce some kind of film deal before the end of the year. But things move slowly in Hollywood, and things move even slower because I'm extra-cautious after what happened with Warner Bros (still awesome people, by the way). So just be patient, and eventually I'll have something to say. Good things come to those who wait.

(Well actually, good things come to those who work really hard to make those things happen, but whatever.)

But as the year draws to a close, I like to remember the things that I've enjoyed.

2012, after all, brought us these guys

 And this lot...

And this...

... this...

... this...

... that...

Oooh and this slice of awesomeness...

And it brought us Haywire...

... and so more of Gina Carano...

... which is ALWAYS a good thing...

And it had Ronda Rousey defending her Strikeforce title...

AND moving to the UFC...

And 2012 gave us Michelle Jenneke, for which I am eternally grateful...

... and my dear beloved Jenna...

Further words about Jenna, I think, need not be spoken.

And so, as we wave goodbye to 2012 and welcome 2013 with open arms, I thank you for all your support. And I'm not just talking about the Minions who comment on this Blog, or the Minions who populate the Forums or the Facebook page or Skuldpedia or the Roarhaven page, or the Minions who obsess about Skulduggery on tumblr or have set up their own websites, and I'm not just talking about the astonishing artists and writers who frequent deviantART and those nutters who follow me on Twitter EVEN THOUGH I NEVER TWEET...

... I'm also thanking YOU, the many silent Minions out there who read this Blog but don't comment. Whenever I talk about how proud I am of the Skulduggery readers, I don't just mean the readers I know. I mean you, too.

So, thank you for everything, and I hope you all have an amazing 2013.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas, 2012

Ah, Christmas...

Every year, my family tell me they don't know WHAT they're going to get me, and every year we have a great big laugh about it. But every year I think ah, THIS is the year. This is the year when they DO know what to get me, but they're all PRETENDING they don't. They're all conspiring with each other, pooling their money and resources, going that extra mile to get me the thing that will make me happy, whatever it may be. It's all a surprise, I think to myself. It's all a wonderful surprise and on Christmas Day when I've handed them their really really expensive gifts and I'm standing to one side while they ooh and ahh and laugh and hug, they're suddenly going to turn around and say Derek, surprise! We have what you've always wanted!

And then they show me a parcel beneath the tree and I fall to my knees, and with trembling hands I slowly tear the paper and lo... the most perfect present ever in the history of the world. And I am happy.

This year my mother got me a dart board.

She got me a dart board because, obviously, she knows how much I secretly love darts. She has cleverly read between the lines during each of our many conversations throughout the year- conversations in which darts have not been mentioned one single time- and she figured out that what I really wanted for Christmas, the thing that will finally make my life complete, is a great big dart board.

Mother, I think it is safe to say you have excelled yourself this year. Well done.

My brother and sisters, meanwhile, all got together and arranged an aircraft simulation lesson- where you sit in a cockpit thingy and take off and land a plane without actually, you know, being IN a plane. Well, they ALMOST did that. What they ACTUALLY did was hand me a piece of paper with all this written down. They got me a SUGGESTION for Christmas.

Now, to you, this mightn't sound that bad. You might be thinking hey, they didn't know if Derek would be interested in this, so they suggested it, and if he seemed agreeable, they'd go off and book it. And this, dear Minion, would a reasonable thing for you to think.

Unless you remember a few years ago where my sisters told me that what they were going to do for me that Christmas was renovate my bathroom. Oh wow, said I. A bathroom renovation, just what I've always wanted. A bathroom renovation as done by two pregnant women with no prior history of bathroom renovations, nor indeed any relevant knowledge of said undertaking. I just couldn't get any luckier.

And if you remember that, you may also remember that they never actually got around to doing it.

And you may also remember that last year, in some feeble attempt to make up for it, they got me a bath mat and towel. For Christmas. Between the two of them.

It wasn't all terrible disappointment and quiet tears when no one was looking, because today was also the day of Doctor Who and The Snowmen!

I'm not entirely sure who the villain was or what the logic was, and I thought Richard E Grant could have been used SO much better, but it was fast and funny and Matt Smith is great and Jenna Louise Coleman is... is...

Jenna Louise Coleman is just so PRETTY.

I know, I know, I have a history with Amy Pond. We were close. We were even in love, for a while. But times change. People change. They move on. I've moved on. I love Amy, I do, and she will always have a special place in my heart...

But Jenna Louise Coleman is just so PRETTY.

I... I think I love Jenna Louise Coleman. I think THAT is what I got for Christmas.

God (or whatever random deity you might acknowledge) bless us, every one.

Monday, December 24, 2012

It was Christmas Eve, babe...

... in the drunk tank, an old man said to me, won't see another one, and then they sang a song, the rare old Mountain Dew, I turned my face away, and dreamed about you...

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and you have lots of laughs and get the biggest smiles when people open the presents you've given them. And for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas... hey, it's a day off school, right?

Oh, and Skulduggery was very happy to hear that the Americans kept up their side of the bargain. Nice going, fellas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Wayyyyyyy too busy to write a proper Blog thingy- you'll be happy to know that I am 13,320 words into Book 8- but can I just ask why I have so many Twitter followers?


I don't even know how to re-tweet. Or do anything.

I also only follow two people- Gina Carano, who rarely tweets, and Ronda Rousey, who only stops tweeting when she's asleep.

In fact, on the run-up to her UFC debut in February, Ronda and her mum have organised this cool "feed the hungry" competition. Basically, you log on, answer some questions, and for every answer you get right, the advertisers on the site donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Program. It's free, it's fun, you're helping people AND you're proving how much smarter you are than your fellow Minions.

How could you resist?

Go to Ronda's mum's blog (her mum is a Judo blackbelt... how cool is that?), follow the link and try your luck.

Also, for all you Twitter people, could you take a picture of the Ronda Rousey mention in chapter 52 of KOTW and send it to her? I would, but I haven't a clue how. My genius lies in other areas. Like cookies.

And on an unrelated note...

Big congratulations to Em and Chase.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Button

This story- which I had intended to be REALLY REALLY short and funny and quirky- eventually became a little longer. And a lot less funny. But this is it.

And it will come down at midnight, Irish time, on the 22nd...

And it has now been taken down... only to reappear in the Skulduggery Pleasant Collection of short stories and novellas, available... um... some time in the spring of 2014...

Friday, December 14, 2012

The End Is Nigh

How are we all?

Are we all nervous? Terrified, even? Are we all dreading December 21st, the last day on Earth as predicted by the Mayans? Although, as Jon Stewart pointed out on The Daily Show, the Mayans haven't exactly got the best track record as far as predicting the end of civilisations go... to wit, the Mayans...

But I digress.

So how will you be spending the last day on Earth? Will you be surrounded by loved ones? Will you be sobbing into a tub of ice cream? Will you, in fact, forget all about the end of the world because you still haven't got your Christmas shopping done?

Or will you be reading a very special end-of-the-world short story as posted on this very Blog- a short story that will ONLY be available on the 21st and 22nd before being taken down-  in which Skulduggery and Valkyrie track down the cause of the world's destruction and do their very best to avert it? A short story called "The Button"?

Hmm? Is THAT what you'll be doing?

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Maleficent Seven



Ladies and gentlemen and Minions of dubious gender, I give you the cover- with text and without- to The Maleficent Seven.

Rejoice, puny humans, for the ArtGod Percival has delivered his most brain-smashing cover yet.

And the world is a happy place.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Molly's Blog Post

Okay FINE, so we're all waiting for the Tanith cover... It's looking like a Friday reveal right now- so long as we suffer no more delays. Believe me, once you see it you'll know it's been worth the wait. Tom's best cover. Ever.

Speaking of awesome covers, take a look at these.

Isn't that brilliant? There is literally nothing about this cover that I do not love. And there's more!

I know Suz Korb is a Blog-reader and she's commented a few times, but just take a look at these books she's written. And the titles! Pulpy, trashy, and so much FUN.

You know that old saying, never judge a book by its cover? That's not always applicable. People who judge my books by Tom's covers know exactly what they're getting- awesomeness on a page. And if a writer has enough taste to approve these covers, as Ms Korb obviously does, then that bodes very well for what's inside. From what I know, they're all available online.

Okay, I didn't actually intend to show all of these covers, but once I started I just couldn't stop.

This Blog post, by the way, is for a girl called Molly, who I met today in Forbidden Planet in Dublin. There I was, perusing the shelves, building up the stack of comics in my hand, and then I hear a "Excuse me, can I ask you a question?" from right beside me. I turn, and there stands a fifteen-year old in a really odd hat. 

She was, as you can imagine, overjoyed at meeting me. We talked about her nonsensical love of all things Transformers (except the movies- she has issues with the movies) and her appreciation of Batman and how she never could get into Wonder Woman. That led to a conversation about lassoes, and then to a conversation about lassoing horses, and then to a conversation about how cowboys don't lasso horses, they just run after them when they want to catch them. Bless her, she has a small brain. 

So this is a Blog post for Molly. Happy birthday Molly. 

I've been watching some movies lately. I saw The Amazing Spider-Man last week. Not as bad as I'd been led to believe. I quite enjoyed it, in fact. Andrew Garfield didn't have to cry NEARLY as much as Tobey Maguire, and of course Emma Stone is just divine. I could watch her in anything.

The Dark Knight Rises is out now, of course, but I'd already seen that in the cinema. Not perfect, and some of the story just refuses to make any kind of sense, but a fitting end to the trilogy. I am in awe of Christopher Nolan's ability to generate atmosphere, and then use that atmosphere to make the audience dread what is about to happen.

I've been playing games as well. Just finished Hitman: Absolution. Awesome stuff. I want to play it again and not fire a single shot. Now that's a challenge...

I had been playing the new Assassin's Creed game, but got bored.

Dishonored, however, is a game that did not bore me. The thought and the imagination that went into building that world is staggering. Loved it.

Basically, I've been fitting as much as possible into the last few weeks because I think I've started Book 8... It's all very random at the moment, very casual, just writing a few bits and pieces, a few scenes here and there... but yeah... I think I've actually started. I had a look at the plot a few days ago, to remind myself of what's in store. I've already got it planned out to a degree- I did that a week or two after finishing KOTW- and wow. A LOT happens in this book. Like, SERIOUSLY. It's going to take a lot of planning on my part. War is like that. Complicated. Got to remember who's on who's side and where they are and when certain things take place and who's around when certain people DIE HORRIBLY.

Be warned. There will be horror. There will be slaughter. There will be betrayal and hatred and love and there WILL be blood.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tanith Cover REVEALED!

I hope you're all as thrilled with Tom Percival's artwork as I am!

Let's say no more about it!

(Other than to say, perhaps, that this may not be the FINAL artwork, and that maybe the art department need a FEW more days to tweak the colours, and that maybe, possibly, this piece might not even be by the hand of Mr Percival.)

(But let's face it, it's hard to tell the difference, right?)