Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Writing Year in Review

What a year that was...

2014 saw the final part of my EPIC nine-book series reaching the shelves, and there was much rejoicing. It was a bit of a scramble to get it written in time, as it generally is, but this book achieved everything I wanted it to achieve, and so I remain immensely proud of it. The ninth book, and the events that transpire within it, had been a secret I'd been keeping for seven years, and it was such a relief to get it out there. Sure, I didn't tie up every last plot thread — in some cases I just ran out of time, in others I decided to be mean and simply not resolve stuff — but it was a fitting send-off, I think.

The publication saw another astonishing Tom Percival cover, plus a very limited black edition which, as it turned out, was an extraordinarily clever bit of marketing by yours truly. It meant that the excitement that first morning was ELECTRIC as everyone rushed to search through each shop. That wasn't my original intent — I just wanted a cool black book — but to follow the tweets that morning as each copy got snapped up... that was awesome.

The reaction to the book was exactly what I wanted, also. True, there was some confusion over the chapters that ended mid-sentence, but all in all, readers understood what I was doing. And then to catch you all out right at the end....

... glorious...

The Dying of the Light got me back touring, of course, and we fit in the Requiem Ball and the Theatre of Shadows, and I once again visited New Zealand and Australia and met loads of enthusiastic readers. If ever my ego was in need of a boost...

And then I got home, and got to work on the NEW book.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Magically Pleasant

Christmas is coming...

My Christmas tree is up, the Nightmare Before Christmas decorations hang happily beside the boys from South Park, there are presents... Every time you turn on the MTV Christmas channel you're treated to "All I Want For Christmas" by Mariah Carey...

Soon it will be time for "Love Actually" to appear on TV. I do love "Love Actually", actually.

And to help you, my Minions, prepare for this holiday season, we at Skulduggery Towers have made for you a Christmas card that you can send out into the digital world. Because we're nice like that.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

How To Write Books Good, Part 3

Beginning the book:

  • Sit down at desk.
  • Open Word document.
  • Look at blank page.
  • Become anxious.
  • Decide that the problem is the font.
  • Change font.
  • Be much happier.
  • Look at blank page.
  • Make cup of tea/coffee.
  • Drink tea/coffee while looking at blank page.
  • Do not check Twitter/email/Facebook/Tumblr.
  • Check them a little.
  • Take a break.
  • Sit back down.
  • Write something.
  • Change font.
  • Be much happier.
  • Take out phone in case someone wants to ring you. 
  • Do not play Angry Birds.
  • Do not play it.
  • Play it a little.
  • Put phone away.
  • Delete what you have written.
  • Write something else.
  • Read back over it.
  • Shrug. Decide to fix it in the rewrite. 
  • Congratulations! You've started the book!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

How to Write Books Good, Part 2

Thinking up the character:

  • Look at your idea.
  • Wonder what kind of character would best suit that idea.
  • Come up with character.
  • Give character a name.
  • Scribble out name. Think of a better name.
  • A better name than that.
  • Look at the name you've picked. Realise "Johnny Rockjaw" sounds made-up.
  • Decide on a name. Decide name is fine.
  • Write character. Character is fine.
  • Character does what character is supposed to do.
  • At halfway point, character rebels.
  • Character starts telling you stuff. History. Backstory. Opinions. Stuff not in the plot.
  • Panic.
  • Character derails plot.
  • Plot crashes and burns.
  • Character emerges from wreckage, continues on.
  • Struggle to catch up to character. Character walking too fast.
  • Character behaving like real person.
  • Panic.
  • Who is more real? The writer who writes the character, or the character who writes the writer?
  • Experience existential crisis.
  • Have lunch.
  • Get back to work.
  • Congratulations! You now have your character!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

May Be Unsuitable/Distressing for Younger Readers

I stopped describing myself as a feminist a long time ago.

I was a teenager, I reckon, or at the very most early twenties. This was, what, 1994? I looked around at the world and I said to myself "Yep, I'm not gonna call myself a feminist anymore. What I'm going to do instead is treat people how they should be treated. Treat everyone equally. I'm going to live as though equality has been achieved, because hey, that's what gonna happen. It's inevitable. In fact, it's almost here. We have six years left until the twenty-first century, for God's sake. Equality is a stone's throw away."

And that's what I thought.

We had come so far as a culture, as a world, and I could only see this continuing. I could only see gender equality in our future. I could only see a world where racism and homophobia had staggered off into the corner to die a quick, indifferent death. I could only see a world increasingly populated by young people with young ideas, with young attitudes. No more bigotry. No more extremism. The future was open and free, and it was a beautiful place to live.

In many ways, I was hopelessly naive. In other ways, I wasn't. I was practical. I was logical. This was the future.

But then the future changed.

I don't understand the world anymore. I don't understand why it is the way it is. So many countries and continents seem intent on going backwards. Anti-gay laws abound in Africa. America's red states are spreading, blissfully ignoring the achievements of one of their most successful presidents. Extremism is rampant throughout the world. People are scared. Nationalism is rising. Conservatism is taking over. Our politicians are actively lying to us and our police forces, who are meant to protect us, the people, have become an army of corporate thugs.

And gender equality? What the hell has happened there?

It's as if the tide has gone back out, and it's washed away all the promise and potential that I thought we had achieved. I think we had achieved it, mostly, but the problem was that it hadn't been secured, it hadn't been nailed down, and it didn't take much for that tide to take it all away from us.

There are words I never wanted to use in this blog. Chief amongst them is rape. So I do apologise to my younger readers here, I sincerely do. But rape culture is spreading. A girl goes out to a nightclub and she is practically guaranteed to be leered at and groped. This behaviour is seen as normal. It's seen as unexceptional. This is something girls steel themselves for because they know it's coming and there's nothing they can do about it.

It's everywhere. It's accepted. A football player imprisoned for rape is allowed to train back at his old club upon his release. He's allowed once again to take his place alongside a team of men that tens of thousands of young lads look up to. What does this say to those young lads who have yet to form their own opinions on what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to girls?

A so-called comedian bases his entire persona around rape culture. A "pick-up guru" tours the world teaching men how to score with women by overpowering them. GamerGate happens. Twitter abuse happens. #NotEveryMan happens. Understanding is shunted off to one side. Sensitivity and empathy are ejected in favour of instant offence and vitriolic reaction. But if they'd listen, if these offended men would just listen, they could maybe understand why women feel threatened. And next time they go to step into an elevator that just has one lone woman inside it, maybe they'll think again, and wait for the next one. Because is a little inconvenience really worth the risk of making another human being worry when you're alone together? Is your pride worth that?

When I was younger, I assumed the world would continue to improve. I was wrong. I assumed I could act as if everything was okay, because everything would eventually be okay. I was wrong there, too.

So, I am once again describing myself as a feminist. It's only a big deal to me, but then it only has to be a big deal to me. It's a personal acknowledgement that if I want to change the world, I have to fight for it.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How to Write Books Good, Part 1

Thinking up the idea:
  • Think of an idea.
  • Lie in bed and think about the idea some more.
  • Dismiss idea.
  • Walk around house. Do menial tasks. Allow the mind to wander
  • When the mind has wandered around to an idea, stop doing menial tasks and pay attention.
  • Write it down.
  • Read it over.
  • Change it.
  • Lie down on sofa. Let idea form a story.
  • Dismiss idea. Hates idea. Idea is stupid.
  • Decide to write from the headlines. Switch on news. Read newspapers. Look for inspiration. 
  • Ebola, eh?
  • Brand new idea. A plague that wipes out most of humanity! The few survivors come together under some vague supernatural (religious?) pretence. 
  • But evil people have also come together! Drama! Conflict!
  • Realise your idea is The Stand, by Stephen King.
  • Read The Stand, by Stephen King.
  • Go back to original idea, decide it's good enough. 
  • Congratulations! You now have your idea!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Oh, Bloggy


Ah, my poor neglected blog. How I have ignored you. Once you were the apple of my eye (okay, not really — the name of this blog is what it is, after all), but then along came Twitter and suddenly you seemed somewhat clunky and... unwieldy...

But see? I have returned. I've been away a lot, I know. Work. I had that book to publish (which went really well, by the way) and then all those tours, including a trip to New Zealand and Australia to meet all those readers with funny accents.

My life has been somewhat chaotic as of late, and when things get chaotic, some other things suffer. You, it seems, are one of these things.

But I'll try to rectify that. I really will. I'm home now, after all, and settling back into normal life. What normal life will bring me, though, I have no idea.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Review Competition

A few hours ago I was sent the finalists for the Gordon Edgley Book Review competition, where people had to review books that they (or anyone else) had never actually read. These reviews were BRILLIANT. We got some of the best, most imaginative responses back, and it was not easy picking winners.

But picking winners is what I had to do, and so the winners are Patricia Snake, Sophie Carter, Ella Corkum and Katie Roberts-Malpass.

Huge congratulations to the winners, and a huge congratulations to EVERYONE who entered. You have kept me entertained...!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NZ Dates

Finally, we have the New Zealand details...



12:30 PM — Whitcoulls, Riccarton Mall — public signing

5:30 PM — The Children's Bookshop (in Riccarton School Hall)  — Talk, Q&A, Signing



12 PM — Whitcoulls, Queensgate Mall — public signing

5:30 PM — The Children's Bookshop, Wellington — Talk, Q&A, Signing



11 AM — Whitcoulls, Sylvia Park Mall — public signing

2:30 PM — Whitcoulls, Albany Mall — public signing

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ooooh ToS Registration Video...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Australian Tour Dates

NZ details to come as soon as I have them, but it's looking like I'll be visiting Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland from the 2nd to the 4th of October.



SUNDAY, 5 OCT, 3:30 PM: Readings, Carlton

Talk, Q&A, Signing.

MONDAY, 6 OCT, 4 PM: Dymocks (Westfield Shoppingtown)



TUESDAY, 7 OCT, 2 PM: Dymocks (Rundle Mall)


WEDNESDAY, 8 OCT, 11 AM: Brighton Performing Arts Centre

Talk, Q&A, Signing (Ticketed but free)


THURSDAY, 9 OCT, 11 AM: Westbooks

Talk, Q&A, Signing. (Ticketed but free)

6 PM: Dymocks, Garden City

Talk, Q&A, Signing. (Ticketed but free)

FRIDAY, 10 OCT, 10 AM: Dymocks, Morley

Talk, Q&A, Signing. (Ticketed but free)


SATURDAY, 11 OCT, 10 AM: Dymocks

Talk, Q&A, Signing.


SUNDAY, 12 OCT, 2 PM: Dymocks, George Street,



The Midnight Hotel end-of-tour celebration.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Theatre of Shadows

Minions! Operatives! With just over two weeks to go, the countdown to Theatre of Shadows has truly begun. There are only a few tickets left, so if you want to take part in an ASTONISHING ADVENTURE THAT WILL CHANGE THE WORLD* then please book now to secure a place in Dublin!

(*May not actually change the world.)

Today marks the launch of the Theatre of Shadows microsite: here you'll find galleries, an archive of all the messages so far in the hunt for Silas, and all the news to come. Just click the link ENTER THE DARKNESS from the main Theatre of Shadows page. We've built this specifically to include all the American, Swedish and Norwegian Minions — who until this point have been unable to register — in order to have a truly global experience.  There'll be heaps more to come, and for anybody not based in USA Sweden or Norway, don't forget to register for the online Theatre of Shadows Mystery here.

The microsite password will be changed regularly so keep on here. First one to get you started though is… RESCUE.

Wondering what on earth I'm talking about?

Theatre of Shadows is an immersive fan event like no other… on Saturday 27th September, those lucky enough to secure a ticket will be taken on an adventure inside the world of the books. I'll be there, along with the incredible LARP (Live Action Role Playing) specialists who have helped produce this madness. There'll be role-playing, problem solving and an amazing quest to tackle. The event is tailor-made by yours truly and I'll be writing a brand new short story, inspired and informed by YOUR participation, on the day! Which means the brave actions of ALL the Operatives – Live and Remote - stand a chance of entering officially into the Skulduggery history books.

Once you've registered and are heading into battle: remember to leave a REFLECTION behind to keep friends and relatives quiet. Our shiny new Reflections Hall of Fame app is now live on Facebook. I want to see your preppiest, most saccharine outfits and expressions people! Remember — you Reflections are the goody-goody two-shoes version of you, so smile, be happy, and be the "perfect" version of you that you can be! If you'd like to share these as your profile pictures then all the better. Mention #TheatreofShadows so that other Operatives will know you're in on the secret.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fun Times


What a few days.

The Requiem Ball was beautiful chaos. People came in ballgowns and jeans and tuxedos and T-shirts, but everyone was wearing a mask, and everyone was equal. The Bleeding Heart Crypt was where the first book was launched, way back in 2007, and so it was a fitting venue to see off the final part of the series. I laughed, I chatted, I posed for selfies, and then I signed.

And it was a good day.

The signings in Ringwood and Bournemouth were great fun, and of course Bluewater was as manic as ever (five and half hours of signing books and chatting to people... yikes...). On Sunday I did my first event for this tour, and I read out a few bits that had been cut from the first book, all those years ago. And then I signed for a few more hours.

And the response has been exactly what I was hoping for. The one thing that was so vital to me was to give the series a fitting end — an ending it deserved. My mission was to both confirm and confound your expectations, and by what I've been reading online, it looks like I've succeeded.

And the most awesome thing? The lack of spoilers. Sure, there are spoilers out there, but most people have been really considerate of others. Even in the Spoiler Zone to this very blog, folks are content to talk AROUND the subject, rather than address it directly. This is HUGELY appreciated.

The book has been selling really well, from what I hear. I loved the excitement generated around the Black Edition — minions were waiting for stores to open and then rushing inside, trying to find those hidden tomes. It was, in a word, awesome.

And now I'm wrecked.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

TDOTL Spoiler Zone

You all know the drill.

This comments section is ONLY for people who have read the final book. Even so, when you comment, try to be subtle about it. I'm always astonished that people will happily go reading stuff that has SPOILERS written all over it, and they have no idea what they've wandered into...

The Dying of the Light

The final book.

The last Skulduggery.

I've been writing these books since 2005, so for me it's been nine years of living with these characters, in this world. I knew saying goodbye was not going to be easy...

But I haven't had to say goodbye yet. Not really. I wrote the book. I edited. I went through it again and again. I decided on covers, on approaches. I approved tour schedules and special events. I prepared. I tweeted. I blogged. I kept busy. I kept looking forward...

But now... now (most of) the preparation is done. I just have to turn up now, and talk, or sign, or talk and sign, and meet people and go places.

It's going to sink in NOW. I can feel it.

No more Skulduggery Pleasant.

I'm going to give my usual "No Spoilers" speech now. So, like, no spoilers, people. The comment section above is for spoilers, not this one.

But even outside of this blog, please be considerate of your fellow Minions. Don't go blasting spoilers on Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr. Be subtle about it, and if you can't be subtle, go LOUD with the spoiler warning.

And when I say spoiler I don't just mean" "Oh my god, I can't believe THIS CHARACTER did THAT to THAT OTHER CHARACTER!"

I also mean spoilers in a more general sense. For example, saying things like: "Derek, I can't believe you did that! I'll never forgive you! How could you?? That was my favourite character!!"

Or: "I'm so delighted! I loved it and the ending was just what I wanted!"

You have friends, Minions, who know your hopes and dreams. They know your favourite characters. They know what you're dreading. So don't confirm any of these things when you comment, even if you make sure not to get too specific. If you love the book, tell me. If you hate the book, tell me that too. But keep in mind that other people will be reading, and if you give away what kind of ending the book has, you've just cheated them out of finding out for themselves.

I love your enthusiasm. Your enthusiasm makes these books what they are. So while you're being considerate of your friends, be sure to revel in your enthusiasm, and your excitement, and your dread, and your horror, and your happiness and your despair.

I hope you like it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

TDOTL Trailer

This time next week, many of you will have the final book in your hands. Most of you will be reading it. Some of you will be finished it.

I am so utterly delighted with the book and how it turned out — I really think it's the best one of the series — and so I am thrilled with the trailer that artist extraordinaire Tom Percival has come up with.

The clocking is counting down...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Back Cover

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the Harbinger of Doom, the Apocalypse Kid, the Hostess with the Mostess (blood on her hands), the World-Breaker...


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Black Edition

Ladies and gentlemen, for those who haven't heard, head over to the Waterstones site for a very special special edition announcement...

This is something I've had in mind for years — a super supreme limited edition of only 1000 copies— the Black Edition. Those lucky few who have managed to get your hands on a proof copy of the first book should recognise the design we're echoing, bringing the whole thing full circle...

We're working with Waterstones on this, and so the Black Edition will only be available in their shops. You won't be able to preorder these. You won't be able to reserve one online or in person. Not even Waterstones STAFF can preorder these for THEMSELVES! On the day of publication, they will be put on the SHELVES — not on a table, not in the store window, not on a table out in front, but on the SHELVES. So you'll have to go hunting for them.

We already have 5000 copies of a Special Edition that comes signed, with that stunning cover, but the Black Edition will NOT be signed, and there will be a ONE PER PERSON policy. Basically, we're torturing you. We're making you choose.

The fact is, because there will only be 1000 printed, and so each store will only get a limited amount of copies, the chances of YOU, individual Minion, managing to snag one is pretty low. Because there is no way to guarantee that you get one, you're just going to have to be EXTREMELY lucky. Oh, and you should also check Twitter that day, because the stores will be tweeting how many copies they've got left. Until they tweet, there is no way of telling how many copies a particular store will have received.

Ooooh I can't wait to get mine....

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Note From Nadir

I'm watching.

I'm watching you scramble, all confused. "But this one is HARD!" "But where do we even START?"

You make me laugh. Call yourselves sorcerers when you can't even identify six of the most well-known magical alphabets in the world?

Time is a-ticking, and are awaiting your responses EVER so anxiously.

I've decided that if you can't figure out where I am in the next three days, I'm going to kill one of you. Because I know who you are.

And I'm watching.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This Just In...


Um, hi.

So... Silas is busy right now. He's just, like, got stuff to do. He told me to give you guys the next few questions. So, like, here I am, to...

Sorry. I'm sorry. I guess I'm kinda nervous. All you folks paying attention to what I've got to say. Heh. I've never been famous before. I've only killed, like, four people. My ultimate aim is to kill 85 people, because then my bodycount will be in the 80s, which is, like, my favourite year for movies.

Silas wanted me to give you these clues all relating to serial killer movies, but I don't like them. I know, technically, I am one, and obviously I'm one of Silas's followers, but... but those movies scare me. So I've changed it, a little, and now all these clues are from 80's movies. Yay! So, uh, I'll begin before Silas comes back and figures out what I'm doing.

First of all, I want you to figure out how many letters in the thing that Goonies never say. Then I want you to multiply that by the year Marty McFly travels back to.

Got that? Good.

Now divide that by the number of letters in the place E.T. assured Elliott he will be.

"Elliottttt..." man, that movie made me cry.

Anyway, once you've done that, subtract the number of candles that Molly Ringwald had to deal with. With me so far? Keep that total.

Now get the difference between the year that we watched Darth Vader tell Luke the truth about his lineage, and the year the Lost Boys slept all day and partied all night. Divide that difference into your total, which brings you to a new total.

Clear? Good. 

Now you're gonna have to multiply something. First number is the amount of Ghostbusters there were before they started hiring. The second number... heh. The new Star Trek film has an actor playing Khan with a ridiculously long name. But how many letters in the name of the actor who ORIGINALLY played him? When you have it, multiply those two numbers, and subtract from your total.

Now I want you to find out how many Krptonian criminals turned up to face Christopher Reeve's Superman, how many rules you have to obey if you want to own a Mogwai, and how many times you must say Beetlejuice's name if you want him to appear. Then multiply all those together, and subtract from your total once more.

Oh this is FUN.

How many letters in the missing word: "Bueller? Bueller? ____?"

Subtract it from your total.

How much time has passed for Indiana Jones between Temple of Doom and the Last Crusade? Add this number to what Daryl Hannah was in Splash, and subtract from your total.

And what you get, is the next number.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Taunts From a Serial Killer

Those of you participating in the Theatre of Shadows, you're going to have to keep a very close eye on this blog and — it seems a certain serial killer has started hijacking pages, and is divulging some hints as to his whereabouts.

The following has been sent out to all Theatre of Shadows registrants...

My friends,

Many of you have spotted the facebook incursion on Sunday from escaped fugitive Silas Nadir. He’s taunting us. We need your help now more than ever.
The first clue to Nadir's location arrived  late last night and we set our three top code-breakers  to solve the puzzle.
This morning, they were each found dead in their homes. On the wall beside each body was scrawled "Silas 3, Sanctuary 0."
And so we must call upon you.
Time is of the essence. Before they were killed, our code-breakers worked out that the clues seem to point to an unusual sequence of numbers. They managed to fill in not one space before Nadir found them:  ? ? . ? ?, leaving us four spaces to fill for now. 
Teamwork between Operatives is always encouraged, and we'll be monitoring the facebookblog and twitter constantly so that the best Operatives receive just rewards.
Remember Nadir's promised us three clues: so to throw him and his accomplices off the scent, the next clue will be sent out to all those registered to Theatre of Shadows.  If you haven't already – be sure to sign up for free as a matter of urgency. Operatives in the US, Norway and Sweden we know that registration is an impossibility for you right now: rest assured we will need you for the third clue. You are crucial too. 
Here’s the first clue:
1.    Take the number of letters in my magical discipline (here's a hint, idiots — it's a two-worded ability), then multiply that by the age of the Jitter Girls. Add to this the number of rooms in the Midnight Hotel and then subtract the age of a sorcerer named Petrichor. With me so far? Keeping up?  Now put in a decimal point (do you know what that is?), then the amount of damns I give about any one of you, and follow this with the maximum number of Dead Men there is at any one time. Now subtract   the number of babies stolen by the goblin brothers. Whatever their names are. Ugly little critters, the lot of them. Not as ugly as the babies, though.
And that's all he's given us to fill in  ? ? . ? ?. The Sanctuary’s resources are stretched so terribly thin… please help us find Nadir before he can kill again.
And be wary. He found our first code-breakers. He could find any of you, too.
Yours in magic,
Grand Mage Erskine Ravel

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Little More Detail

Right, some more detail as to the TDOTL Ireland/UK tour...

28th August: Requiem Ball in London. Tickets can only be won. Keep an eye out for details how.

29th August, 11AM: Waterstones, The Furlong Centre, Ringwood — signing.

3PM: Waterstones, West Mal Castlepoint, Bournemouth — signing.

30th August, 1PM: Waterstones, Bluewater — signing.

31st August: Dun Laoghaire, Dublin —  fan event and signing.

5th September, 6:30PM: Village Books, Dulwich — fan event and signing.

6th September, 11AM: WHS, Midsummer Parade, Milton Keynes — signing.

3PM: WHS, 30-40 Fargate, Sheffield — signing.

7th September, 12 Noon: Waterstones, Emerson Chambers, Newcastle — signing.

11th September, 4PM: Easons, Galway — signing.

13th September, 11AM: Easons, Donegal Pl, Belfast — signing.

14th September, 2PM: Easons, O'Connell St, Limerick — signing.

19th September, 6P: Hodges Figgis, Dublin — signing.

27th September: Theatre of Shadows, Dublin — MASSIVE fan event and signing.

To those readers who want to come along to the Dublin event on the 31st of August — do you have any suggestions as to what it could be..?  I'll do the usual question and answer thing if we can't think of anything special, but it'd be nice to have some sort of theme, like the event I did about movies that have influenced the books...

Any ideas, tweet them to me. I command you.

Friday, July 18, 2014


Okay then, here are the locations and dates for my Ireland/UK tour.


28th: Publication day! Requiem Ball (London)

29th: Waterstones, Ringwood — 11AM — signing

Waterstones, Bournemouth — 3PM — signing

30th: Waterstones, Bluewater — 1PM — signing

31st: Dun Laoghaire — details to be confirmed — fan event and signing


5th: Village Books, Dulwich — 6.30PM — fan event and signing

6th: WHS, Milton Keynes — 11AM — signing

WHS, Sheffield — 3PM — signing

7th: Waterstones, Newcastle — 12 NOON — signing

11th: Easons, Galway — 4PM — signing

13th: Easons, Belfast — 11AM — signing

14th: Easons, Limerick — 2PM — signing

19th: Hodges Figgis, Dublin — 6PM — signing

And then, of course, on the 27th, we're all going to be dragged into the Theatre of Shadows...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

To Clarify...

Poor Aby and Cory and everyone over at the Skulduggery Facebook page. They've been hit with a barrage of questions about the Requiem Ball and they've been so great about it, but I finally felt sorry for them and decided to clear up a few things here.

Let's see now, what kind of questions have they had to deal with...?

"Why is the Requiem Ball in London? Derek's from Ireland. The books are set in Ireland. HELLO??"

This is absolutely true. However, in Ireland we have the Theatre of Shadows. In London we have the Requiem Ball. That's just the way it is.

"The Facebook page has a competition to send them a picture of the mask we'd wear to the Ball! Do we have to make it or just design it?"

Either. If you win tickets you'll need to be wearing a mask — one you make or one you buy, it doesn't matter — but for the competition you just have to design it yourself. And the mask can be as simple or as ornate as you like — as practical or as bizarre. It can cover your whole face or part of your face. You can buy a mask and alter it. It's up to you. You don't even have to be artistic — you just need to be passionate. The deadline is August 10th and there's only one entry per person.

"How many tickets do we get if we win?"

Everyone who wins gets two tickets — but those under the age of 18 can get an extra ticket for a parent/guardian.

"I can't make it to London for the Ball! But can I enter anyway, just for the Event Pack?"

Yup. There'll be lots of you in this particular boat — not only in Ireland and the UK but also all around the world — so don't be afraid to enter.

"It's not fair that all the events are always in Ireland and the UK."

Actually, it's pretty fair when you think about it. Harper Collins UK publish me in Ireland and the UK, so naturally they can only organise events for their own territories. They've been wonderful, actually, in doing their best to include as many people as possible. I hate leaving anyone out, I'd love every competition to be open to everyone and for every country to have cool stuff happening, but that's up to the many publishers who release my books across the world — and there are close to 40 of them.

"How many individual tickets are there?"

Approximately 120.

"Would we have to make our own way there?"


"Is there any age limit?"

No upper age limit, but anyone under 18 would need a parent or guardian to accompany them.

There will be other opportunities to win tickets — the Facebook mask competition is merely the first — and it's a pretty cool one.

Friday, July 4, 2014

TDOTL: Shadow Edition

Dun dun dunnn!!!

Behold the alternate cover. Gasp. Swoon. Wet yourself. Is it not brilliant? Is it not OMINOUS?

For more information, check out this guest blog I wrote for Waterstones here:

(In other news, the Minions who have signed up for the Theatre of Shadows will be receiving an email on Saturday afternoon, around about 4 PM, detailing what the whole thing is about.

Here's a hint: it's AWESOME.

You can sign up at any time here

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Armageddon Outta Here Is, Um, Here


I cannot BELIEVE they've let me use that title!

Ladies and gentlemen, the collection I've been promising you, the book that scoops up all those little short stories and provides you with some brand new ones, has been unleashed. There won't be a Spoiler Zone post because it's not one of the "book" books, but even so, try to limit the amount you give away about the endings.

Of the new stories included, I'm finding it hard to pick a favourite. The Horror Writers' Halloween Ball is the most out-and-out comedy of the lot, but Across A Dark Plain is a WESTERN, for god's sake, and it was SO much fun changing my writing style slightly to convey that mood.

But I think Get Thee Behind Me, Bubba Moon is probably my favourite. Much like The End of the World (which is also collected here), it's told from the point of view of an outsider, in this case a middle-aged American man. I didn't mean it to be quite so long, but it grew from a short story to a novella before I knew what was happening. The tone of this one is different, too — until a certain pair of intrepid detectives wander in with their bickering and their jokes...

Anyway, I hope you like it. I hope you ALSO like the sample chapter from The Dying of the Light. It is VERY well written, if I do say so myself.

Oh, and speaking of TDOTL, tomorrow I shall be revealing an awesomely cool limited edition alternative cover.

And it ROCKS. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Armageddon Content

Oh, and for all those who have been asking me to release a chapter from The Dying of the Light early, like I did with a few of the other books, Armageddon Outta Here is the only place you'll find it, right after all the previously published short stories, the rare short stories, The End of the World, and brand new stories featuring the Dead Men, Gordon Edgley, Valkyrie and vampires, and a story-that-turned-into-a-novella, Get Thee Behind Me, Bubba Moon.

Oh, and this is for the people who like their videos to fit their webpages a little bit better...


AOH Trailer

Book trailers are a tricky thing. When they're done badly, they're a little cringey and vaguely embarrassing. But when they're done right, they're AWESOME.

And because we have the incomparable Mr Tom Percival working on our trailers, we pretty much fit into the awesome category every single time.

I love the fact that it's time to release this. We have other stuff yet to be released/announced, such as what EXACTLY the Theatre of Shadows is and how it can involve everyone around the world. We're always trying to find ways to include our far-flung readers in the fun, and I think we've come up with something special.

But enough from me... Behold the awesome.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Requiem Ball

Ooooh we have such plans for you...

The next few weeks and months are going to be choc-full of announcements and reveals. In a matter of DAYS, for example, you'll be finding out more about this "270914" thing, and after that you'll be getting all kinds of juicy goodness. But TODAY, my Minions, is the day I announce something that has been in my head for YEARS.

I am proud, excited and absolutely delighted to announce that a special, exclusive gathering will take place in London on publication day, August 28th. I give you...

The Requiem Ball.

This is an invitation only get-together — a party, if you will — with 120 places up for grabs in very special competitions for  Ireland and UK readers. You'll get the details of these competitions and other ways to nab yourself an invitation over the next few weeks, so keep an eye on this blog.

But you know I'd never leave the rest of you out of the action COMPLETELY, so we're going to have 250 party packs, jammed full of goodies, ready to send to you so that you can throw your own simultaneous Requiem Ball Parties at home. There'll be loads of stuff to download, whichever far-off country you're in, be it Ame-rica (am I pronouncing that right?) or Burkina Faso (yes, we notice EVERYTHING).

The Requiem Ball is basically my thank you to all of my Minions, for creating such a fun, creative, and frankly down-right crazy community around these books. I want to bring everyone together for one almighty celebration for the final book, and it's going to be EPIC.

Friday, June 20, 2014


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Dying of the Light

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you what is probably the best cover Tom Percival has done yet...

Monday, June 16, 2014

In Case You Missed It...

Hello Minions.

In case you missed it on my Twitter page, @DerekLandy, I shall repeat what I have twittered-tweeted-whatever, here...

Are you ready for the Year of the Requiem to kick into high gear?

End of the week, the mystery deepens.

You think you might know the identity of Prisoner 270914, but do you have any idea of the danger you, yes YOU, are in? And how much YOU will be needed to stop him?

This Friday, will you take one step closer to finding out?

But tomorrow... TOMORROW we have something you've been waiting for. You've been waiting a LONG time for this. Since the series began... since you started your journey...

Tomorrow, at 4PM on my blog, I will reveal the cover to The Dying of the Light.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

error error error error error error


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Die Horribly Winner! (And finishing a book)

I have just pressed SEND.

By pressing SEND, I have emailed off the completed book to my agent and editor. It will now be sent to the copyeditor who, amongst other things, will be checking for grammar and spelling mistakes that I've missed but, more importantly, will be ensuring that everything I've written makes sense.

She will be checking facts and figures and timelines, scouring her notes on the other books to make sure I haven't contradicted myself... A good copyeditor in invaluable, and I have a great one.

It's done. I wrote the two Scapegrace chapters that I'd left until last. Oh, and I ALSO included the winner of the Die Horribly competition...

It took me until last night to pick a winner. I was sent 30 finalists out of everyone who entered. Of those 30, I quickly whittled it down to 15. Then, not so quickly, down to 10. Then it took me ages to narrow it down to 5. Then 3.

There were some great entries. Lots of funny reasons why people reckoned they should be the reader I pick to kill horribly in the book. But I needed something specific. I needed something that would fit in with what I'd written. And there was only one reader who fit PERFECTLY.

So congratulations to Lewis Holmes, from the UK. You shall have the distinct honour of being Horribly Killed in The Dying of the Light.

Lewis' death was the last thing I had to write. Now it's all over. Sure, I'll be sent the copyeditor's notes to approve, and there'll be a little more fiddling around between now and printing time, but...

... but it's over. I have finished writing Skulduggery Pleasant.

I think I need to lie down now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


And I am finished.

Well, "finished" is maybe the wrong word. There are still two short chapters to write — detailing Scapegrace's little adventure - but basically, essentially, that's it. I'm done. I've just sent the official first draft of The Dying of the Light over to Nick, my editor, and Michelle, my agent. They've both read a rough version a few weeks ago so I know there's not going to be much in the way of changes when I start editing next week. Which is a relief. And word count, you ask? Word count?

Well, at the moment, before the edit and missing two little chapters, the word count stands at 153,193.  I can't find the exact count, but I think LSODM was about 161,000, so it'll be pretty close in size. I genuinely thought this would be a much smaller book, closer to Dark Days in terms of length. My editor, however, knew the word count would just explode once I started to do what I planned. The book is, he has told me, "hugely ambitious". So there's that.

And I'm glad it's taken me this long to write it, to be honest. I'm glad TDOTL is going to be a heavy, substantial book. It is the end, after all. It deserves to be weighty.

It has still to hit me, by the way. The fact that this IS the end. I think when the edit is finished it'll occur to me that there'll be no more Skulduggery books. Not exactly looking forward to that moment.

On a cheerier note, I've seen Tom Percival's rough sketch of the cover, and it will literally KILL YOU with feels.

Which, now that I think of it, probably isn't a cheerier note at all.

We have such cool ideas for the coming year, plenty of AMAZING events to announce, and I can't wait to let you all in on what we're planning. The next two days, in fact, I will be spending in a massive meeting about those very same events.

The Year of the Requiem is gonna ROCK.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Year of the Requiem

Ladies and gentlemen...

When I start writing Book 9, I had a title in mind. And it was a good title. It was a glorious title. It echoed a phrase we'd already seen in the books themselves, and it was cool, and haunting, and awesome...

But for some reason, it wasn't a "Final Book" title.

I don't know why. Some titles suit the last book of a series. Some suit the first. This title — my lovely, glorious title — suited the first.

I'm not going to tell you what it was, because I do plan to use it at some stage — and I never let a good idea go to waste.

But suddenly I had a problem. I needed a new title.

I needed a new title that sounded like a final book. I needed a new title that fit alongside Kingdom of the Wicked and Last Stand of Dead Men. I needed something almost... poetic.

And so I came up with this.

Friday, April 11, 2014


As you all know, today is the day the title of Book 9 is announced.

Except it isn't.

Nope, now that day will be Monday, because there's something else that I want to talk about instead, something a little more important than a book title.

I've been working hard these past few months. I write the occasional blog entry, I've barely been on twitter, I've barely glanced at the Forums or the Facebook page. I'm writing, and I know you understand that, and I appreciate your patience. It's not going to be for very much longer, either. I'm planning on finishing the book next week. I have a lot to do, but I reckon I can do it.

But something has happened in my absence. Something troubling. Not on the twitter page — everyone there is funny and enthusiastic. Not on the Facebook page — everyone there is supportive and astonishingly excitable. Not on the Forums, either — they argue, debate, discuss, and at no time do they ever let these arguments spill over into anything else.

Nope, the trouble is here, in the Comments section of this blog.

Most of the Minions who comment here are my kind of people. They're weird. And I mean, unashamedly odd. I've always been so, so proud of you guys, because I look around at other fandoms and I see everyone sniping at each other and divisions forming and I'm comforted by the fact that none of that happens here.

But I've been away. I've taken my eye off the game. And now I'm seeing behaviour that could be classed as bullying.

You all know my stance on bullying. I will not abide it. The blog, twitter, Facebook, Forums... ANYTHING associated with me must have zero tolerance for bullying. I just won't have it.

The Minions who comment here, I want you to think about the comments you leave. If you never say anything negative about anyone, step over here beside me. I like you. You can be my friend. But if you think about the things you say and you're frowning to yourself? Then I'm probably talking to you.

Harsh words are one thing. We all argue. We all have harsh words. But if all you have, for one particular person, are harsh words? If you CONSISTENTLY say negative things about one PARTICULAR person? Then that's bullying. And that has to stop.

I'm not naming any names. I don't want the bullies to be, in turned, bullied by people who are annoyed they won't get the title until Monday. I don't want recriminations. But what I do want is for you to realise that we're all here because, to some degree, we're all the same.  We each have enough in common, as people, as individuals, to love the same things. Do you realise how wonderful that is? To KNOW you have something in common with all these other people?

I have never called Minions "my fans". I will call them fans of the books, fans of the characters, but they're never MY fans. They're never fans of ME. Because we're all the same. I'm not better than you, just because I'm the writer and you're the reader. I have enough in common with each of you to know that, if we met, we'd get along. We'd find SOME common ground.

You're on a train. You see someone in another seat reading a book you LOVE. And you instantly smile, because you have connected with that person. So look around. See all the people who comment and the people who tweet and blog and post... there are your people. These are your friends.  Let the harsh words fade away. Wipe the slate clean. Start fresh.

Where I train, in the most brutal form of fighting there is, we have a rule, and it's quite simple. We're training to fight and hurt and break and smash. On the street, we're animals. We're horrible. We're violent. We're nasty. But in the club, when we train, the rule is: Be nice or go home.

So be nice. Being nice is so much NICER than not being nice. Try it and see, and then you can come over here and stand beside me, and you can be my friend too.

But don't make me angry. You wouldn't like what I do to your favourite characters when I'm angry.

Friday, April 4, 2014


Glory be.

Tom Percival has blessed us with another stunning cover for Armageddon Outta Here, and this time it's something extra-special — a wraparound masterpiece...

We're going to release this as a poster for the bookstores, and we're planning on making it available to you guys too — hopefully along with all the other posters. I'll keep you, ahem, posted...


Oh, and as for who exactly everyone IS on that cover... you'll just have to read the stories to find out.

Friday, March 28, 2014



Out on July 3rd!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Oooh FUN!

My editor has read the first (rough) draft of Book 9, and he loves it. I'm on the home stretch now — the end is in sight (in more ways than one). Over the next two or three weeks my head is going to be down and I'm going to working hard to fill in those gaps, to link up those scenes, to write those missing chapters. Right now I'm at 100,000 words. The end result will PROBABLY be about 120,000 words — maybe just slightly shorter than KOTW. Of course, in order to finish the book, I'll need to pick a winner of the Who Gets to Die competition we ran ages ago, and then that lucky reader will get to meet their grisly end...

And because I, and therefore WE, are on the home stretch, this blog is going to be choc-a-block with announcements and reveals over the next few weeks. By the end of THIS week, for example, we'll be revealing the cover for the Armageddon-Outta-Here short story collection. Next week, we'll reveal the full, WRAPAROUND cover for the collection (it's awesome). And the week after that? We'll be revealing the title for the ninth, and last, Skulduggery Pleasant book.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Here We Go...

I had meant to write a well thought-out, reasoned, logical-yet-impassioned blog entry about this... but I still haven't figured out how to do that. So I can tell that this little entry is going to be, y'know... slightly rambling.

I want my nieces to grow up in a world where they can do anything they want to do.

Obviously, right? That's what we'd all like. Duh.

What I don't want is for them to grow up and have their options curtailed by their gender. What I don't want is for their attitudes towards men and women, boys and girls, their own selves, to be decided by a society, and a media, that is slanted.

Big Books for Boys are about adventure and exploration. Big Books for Girls are about makeup and looking pretty.

My niece Becca is 4. Becca loves pink. She loves princesses. She wasn't BORN loving pink and loving princesses — she learned that. She learned it from the people around her, from the TV she watches, from the other kids at the school-type place she goes to. And you can see it. You can see it happening. People go up to her and the first thing they say, the FIRST thing, is "Oh, don't you look ADORABLE!"

Boom. Now she thinks that her physical appearance is THE most important thing about her. Now whenever she's wearing a new dress she always runs up to me and says "Derek, look at my dress!"

I don't want my nieces thinking their looks are the only things that matter. For their birthday, the twins got a big dollhouse. It is, admittedly, awesome (if you like dollhouses). And I knew they were getting the dollhouse, so I went to buy them dolls. I bought them a princess doll and a mermaid doll, because Becca loves princesses and Emily loves mermaids. But I also got them an Annikin Skywalker doll, with lightsaber and sound effects, and an Iron Man doll. So now Iron Man has tea with Princess Barbie (and by all accounts, he's loving it) and the future Darth Vader (spoiler alert) sits awkwardly on the couch with Mermaid Barbie.

I buy them toys for boys because I don't want them limited by what toy companies tell them they can be.

(Er, not that a princess, a mermaid, a Sith Lord or a super hero is an achievable goal anyway... well, maybe the super hero...)

And then I start thinking about my books because, well, my books are awesome and deserve to be thought about. I think I've done well, all in all. The decision to have the main character be a teenage girl wasn't a decision at all — it's just something that fit. I've also worked very hard to refrain from idealising Valkyrie. Having a female main character but treating her like she's this flawless wonder is as damaging and disingenuous as the very things I've been trying to avoid. But treating her like a real person? Giving her an ego, an arrogance, a selfishness that we'd all have in her situation? That's FAIR.

But I've also failed, in certain ways. I've given in, without even thinking. Val is pretty, for a start. Was that necessary? No, not really. I could have made her plain. I could have taken away the height, the slimness, the little dimple when she smiles... But I didn't. Yes, the pretty fictional character is based on my pretty real-life friend, but I could have changed THAT aspect, right? Only, I'm as biased as anyone else. I like beauty. I like a pretty face. I like Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey. I admire them as people, as fighters, as athletes — but would I pay them this much attention if I didn't also appreciate how they look?

I'm as bad as anyone, but the thing is, I'm trying NOT to be.

So while you're digesting all this, and figuring out if what I'm saying has ANY relevance to ANYTHING, I want you think about Captain America: Winter Soldier. You all know what a huge comics fan I am. Most of you know that I own the shield he used in the first movie. I am REALLY looking forward to the sequel, and nothing will stop me from going to see it.

But seeing as how I'm talking about how women are valued primarily on their looks, I'd like you to take a peek at the posters released. Here's Cap, looking pensive...

And Nick Fury, also looking pensive...

And here's Black Widow, looking... wow.

Is that it? Is that her only worth?

In some ways, I'm old fashioned. I believe in old-fashioned things. I believe men should be strong. If they can't be strong physically then they must be strong morally. I believe men should hold the door for women, should stand up from the table when they walk over, and they should, when possible, pay for dinner. I also believe that men and women are equal in every way that's important.

So when I ask "Is that her only worth?", I'm not asking that from a feminist's perspective. I'm asking it from a man's perspective. The Black Widow is a secret agent, a spy, an assassin, and a hero... so why can't she be pensive in a series of pensive posters? Why does she have to adopt the sexy pose?

If any of my nieces grow up to be a secret agent, a spy, an assassin or a hero, I'm going to be as proud of them as if they grow up to be a princess or a mermaid. But I'm going to have to insist that they be given the opportunity to be WHATEVER they want to be, and those kinds of opportunities begin with me — the writer, the creator — and with you — the reader, the consumer. Don't settle for less. Don't settle at all.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ah, Darquesse...

Those lucky Minions who made it to the Imagine festival last week got the LSODM paperback early, but I couldn't let them be the ONLY ones who get to marvel at Tom Percival's back cover, so here you go...

Isn't she lovely? Isn't she wonderful? Isn't she precious?

The paperback will be released for everyone else on the 27th of March, and because we are very, very smart people, we will be releasing the paperback of The Maleficent Seven, which takes place BEFORE LSODM, on the 8th of May. 

Just to confuse you.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Apparently I'll be appearing at the Imagine Festival in London this Monday, the 17th. I had a blast last year, where I showed clips from movies, but I'm not entirely sure what I'll do this time. I might read from one of the new short stories. I'd read from the ninth book, but there is nothing from the early sections finished, and anything read from later on would be a spoiler, so...

Oh, and speaking of Book 9, I have just reached the 75,000 word mark. Judging by this, the finished book will be at least 100,000 words, which is Mortal Coil length, and could be longer. LSODM will stay the longest, I reckon, simply because of the massive amount of characters involved. But because most of those characters are now DEAD, Book 9 allows me a smaller, more intimate story — while remaining as heart-rendingly traumatic as anything I've written before.

And speaking of heart-rendingly traumatic, I've actually written the last few chapters. Not to completion, of course, but I've written enough to know what happens, and how it ends, and who lives and who dies, and all I can say is...

I am MEAN.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

This Is A Blog Entry

all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy


Work is progressing. December and most of January was taken up with short stories. I still have to edit them. I'll have to do that soon, over the next few days... But I'm also back on the book. Writing away. Skipping chunks and writing important bits. I'm on the final confrontation now, making sure everything fits together. Even though there is a lot more writing to do, loads of gaps to fill in and storylines to link up, I am TECHNICALLY writing the end of the book at the moment. Will I finally get to find out how it ends? Or will I leave that blank also, to be finished off when everything else is complete?

I don't know. I really don't.

I have, maybe, another month of writing ahead of me before the first draft is done. Every morning I wake up, lie in bed for an hour (yes, it is good to be a writer) and think about the sequence I need to write that day. Then I'm up and writing. There is very little time to think about other things, such as writing blogs or tweeting, and I know you understand that, but I do want to thank you all for your patience. I don't like being silent for this long — but soon, I won't have to be.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Working Hard...

Well then.

As you  know, I've been writing. Writing, writing, writing. You don't get to do an awful lot of other things when you're writing. Well, sometimes you do, but not when you have deadlines like these. The short stories I'm writing, all of them, need to be delivered by Wednesday. The first draft of Book Nine needs to be delivered by the middle of next month.

To say I am a tad busy would be something of an understatement.

Of course, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and why would Jack want to be a dull boy? I've been doing things. Reading things. Watching things.

Take this evening, for instance. This evening I watched the last Sherlock of the current season. The first episode of the season was oddly character-driven, at the expense of the central mystery, but I didn't mind that in the least. The second episode, the wedding episode, was hilariously sublime. And the final episode, having Sherlock face off against a truly unique villain... well. It was just wonderful stuff.

And I've been reading. Stephen King, mostly. Going over his early works. His classics. When I was a kid, I went straight from The Three Investigators and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King and these wonderfully violent and detailed Gold Eagle books like The Executioner and Able Team and Phoenix Force, books that gave you diagrams of the weapons they used at the back of the book. Basically, I graduated from kids books to horror and action. And after a few Stephen King books like Cujo (the first King book I can remember reading) I went on to James Herbert and Shaun Hutson — overtly violent and brilliantly horrific.

And now, after all this time, I'm going back to Stephen King, and loving it all.

Recommendations? Read The Stand. Then read It. Two MASSIVE books. You won't be sorry.

So these things have been my break from the writing. Christmas, for me, was mostly about the short stories. But there was one story...

It started off fine. Exactly as I planned. It would be a new kind of story, something I hadn't really tried before. It would probably end up as one of the longer stories of the collection, though, but not by much.

I thought.

I have just finished it. Half an hour ago, I finished it. At the moment, before edits, it is over 20,000 words long. That's twice as long as The End of the World. So you'll be reading through Armageddon-Outta-Here (haw!), and hopefully enjoying the stories, and then you'll get to this brand new novella, a good, solid chunky story, and I think this story alone will make the collection worth the money.

I think. I hope. Right now I'm far too tired to form a coherent opinion. All I know is, I've been working hard. And it's not over yet.