Archive for Scary

Skulduggery Pleasant

Over the Summer holidays the Library had a Summer Reading Film Competition. It was aimed at teenagers but one of the entries was a great book trailer for Skulduggery Pleasant.

Skulduggery Pleasant is a very popular series about a girl who discovers her dead Uncle, who she thought was a horror fiction writer, actually was telling true stories about his battle against evil. The eighth book in the series, Last stand of dead men, has just been released, but if you’d like to start from the start, you can check out the full series on our catalogue.

The author of Skulduggery Pleasant, Derek Landry, visited Christchurch in 2012 and we interviewed him on our blog. We’ve got a lot of other great articles and videos about the Skulduggery Pleasant series on our blog too.

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Meet Joseph Delaney in Christchurch

If you love The Spook’s Apprentice series come along and meet Joseph Delaney in Christchurch this Wednesday (20 February).  You can come and meet him at Upper Riccarton Library, from 7:00-8:00pm on Wednesday 20 February.  He’ll talk about his books, you can ask him questions, and even get your book signed.

It’s a free event but you need to book a space.  Just call the library on 03-941-7923 to book.

To find out more about Joseph Delaney and the Spook’s Apprentice series, visit www.spooksbooks.com

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Guest Author: Joseph Delaney’s Top 5 Scariest Creatures in the Spook’s Stories

Joseph Delaney is the author of one of my favourite series, The Spook’s Apprentice.  It’s seriously creepy and full of all sorts of horrible creatures.  As the Spook’s Apprentice, Thomas has to keep the County safe from the evil that lurks in the dark.  The latest book in the series, Spook’s: Slither’s Tale, has just been released, and to celebrate Joseph has joined us today to talk about his Top 5 scariest creatures in the Spook’s stories.

The Haggenbrood

This creature is used in ritual combat to determine the outcome of disputes between citizens of Valkarky (See ‘Slither’).  It has three selves which share a common mind and they are, for all intents and purposes, one creature. It is fast and ferocious with fearsome teeth and claws.

Grimalkin

This is the witch assassin of the Malkin Clan (See ‘The Spook’s Battle’ and also ‘I am Grimalkin’). She is deadly with blades and stores powerful dark magic in the thumb-bones that she cuts from her dead enemies with her snippy scissors in order to wear around her neck.

The Bane

This creature from ‘The Spook’s Curse’ is trapped behind a silver gate in a labyrinth of dark tunnels under Priestown Cathedral. It is a shape-shifter with a terrible power; the Bane is able to press a victim so hard that his blood and bones are smeared into the cobbles.

Golgoth

This ‘Lord of Winter’ from ‘The Spook’s Secret’ has the power to plunge the world into another Ice Age. If summoned from the dark he can freeze you solid and shatter you into pieces like an ice stalactite falling on to a slab of rock.

Morwena

She is the most powerful of the water witches (See The Spook’s Mistake). Fathered by the Fiend, she has a blood-filled eye which is usually closed, the lids fixed together with a sharp thin bone. But anyone she gazes upon with that eye is immediately paralyzed and she is able to drink that victim’s blood at her leisure.

Best wishes,
Joseph Delaney

Reserve your copy of the latest book in the Spook’s Apprentice series, Slither’s Tale, from your library now.

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My favourite seriously spooky authors

Some of my favourite stories are ones that creep me out and send a chill down my spine.  When I was a kid there weren’t many authors who wrote horror stories or ghost stories.  R.L. Stine’s books were about the creepiest I could find and he’s still writing them today.  If you look up R.L. Stine in the library catalogue, you’ll find we have 97 of his books in the library!

If you like horror stories, ghost stories or stories about the supernatural there are now lots of authors who write these stories. Some of my favourite seriously spooky authors are:

Who are your favourite seriously spooky authors?

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October is Seriously Spooky Month on the blog

If you like ghost stories, horror stories, things that go bump in the night and all things supernatural, you’ll love Seriously Spooky Month on the Christchurch Kids Blog this month.   It’s Halloween on October 31st so we thought, what better way to celebrate than have a whole month of spookiness.

We’ll be highlighting the scariest books we have in the library, having some seriously spooky competitions, and we’ll be joined by some seriously spooky authors, including Joseph Delaney (author of the Spook’s Apprentice series).

Join us for Seriously Spooky Month if you dare!

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Derek Landy heads Down Under this week

Derek Landy hits New Zealand this week!  If you’re a huge Skulduggery Pleasant fan like me you’ll be itching to meet Derek when he comes to Christchurch on Friday.  You can meet him at The Children’s Bookshop this Friday (10 August) at 4:30pm.

In 2010 I got the chance to interview Derek Landy, author of the Skulduggery Pleasant books.  He is a really cool guy and very funny.  I asked him lots of questions about his characters, his inspirations and writing.  Read the interview to find out the answers to these questions and more:

  • How do you come up with your names?
  • Was Skulduggery’s sidekick always going to be a girl?
  • What specific books, movies and music inspire you?
  • Would you consider making a Skulduggery Pleasant movie?

The latest Skulduggery Pleasant book, Kingdom of the Wicked is out now.  You can reserve your copy at the library.

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Doom Rider

This year, I’ve got something new and exciting coming out: Doom Rider! With my Dead Trilogy done, I wanted to do something different, but stick with a dark, horror-esque story line. This actually started out as little more than a note at the end of an email to my editor. I didn’t really think anyone would take my idea seriously. A kid who’s been murdered a 1000 times and finds out he’s the first rider of the apocalypse with the power to destroy the world? Really?

From the off, I didn’t want to do something comic. The Apocalypse Riders are great fun to send up, but I wanted to do something serious. And I also wanted to play with the whole notion of free will verses destiny in a world where religion holds sway.

The blurb goes like this: Seth Crow has lived a thousand lives, and in each one he’s been murdered before he turns thirteen. And now he’s being hunted again. But this time it’s different … Enter Lily, who tells him of his fate: Seth is CONQUEST. The first of the four riders of the Apocalypse. And people want him dead, before he can fulfil his destiny. Seth’s only hope lies in finding the other riders – Strife, Famine and Death. Together the fate of the world will be in their hands. The Apocalypse is coming. And the only ones who can save the world, hold the power to destroy it.

Sounds a riot, doesn’t it? And it really is! When I do school visits I get asked, “What’s the best book you’ve written?” I always hope it’s the next one that’s out, as I’m always trying to improve what I do. So if you enjoyed my Dead Trilogy, trust me, you’re gonna just LOVE Doom Rider! It’s out in July so keep an eye on my website (www.davidgatward.com) as I’ll be keeping it up to date with news, perhaps even a competition or two…

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The Dark

And then came book 2… And what a blast it was! Having set up Lazarus with a pretty nasty beginning, this was where I could let things get really out of hand. so I did. This is the blurb: “Lazarus Stone has been killed, resurrected, and attacked by demons. He’s all that stands between our world and the Dead. But things are getting complicated: he’s alone in the land of the Dead, his best mate Craig is missing, and he’s no idea who – or what – tricked his dad into trying to bring back his long-dead mum. Oh, and he’s wearing a corpse’s clothes. Life, he might think, couldn’t get much worse. But it will…” Writing The Dark was a steep learning curve, as most books seem to be. Here though I was seeing just how far and dark I could go, but also wondering all the way if I could sustain Lazarus’s story not just for book 2, but on into book 3.

When I do my school visits I often explain that the best way to think about a story is this: in the first part, get your character into a tree, thus presenting them with a problem – how to get down again. Then, to make the story interesting, it’s my job as a writer to do everything I can to make their journey back to the ground as difficult as possible. So throw stones at them, spears, rockets, try to chop the tree down, burn it, kidnap their family, train a flock of flesh-eating crows to take up residence in the tree…

Essentially, what I’m saying is that to make a story interesting, I have to make sure it’s nigh on impossible for a character to achieve a purpose. So that’s what I do in The Dark: I throw everything I’ve got, and a little bit more, at Lazarus. And through it all he gets stronger, more determined, and we can’t help but want to keep turning the page to find out what happens next…

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Skulduggery Pleasant: The End of the World by Derek Landy

Everyone’s favourite skeleton detective is back in a mini-adventure.  The End of the World is a shorter story that Derek wrote for World Book Day in the UK and we’re also lucky enough to get it in New Zealand too.

The End of the World focuses on Ryan, an ordinary boy living in an ordinary world.

Or so he thought.

Ryan holds the key to a powerful weapon that could destroy the world.  He’s being pursued by a gang of insane sorcerers who will do anything to get a hold of the key.  His only chance for survival rests with Skulduggery Pleasant and his teenage partner, Valkyrie Cain, and we all know how things work out when Skulduggery gets involved.

This short Skuduggery adventure packs the same punch as the longer stories and is full of the magic, action and humour that you love about the Skulduggery books.  The coolest thing about this story is that it kicks off in a library.  Imagine, you’re choosing your books or reading quietly in a corner when fireballs start being thrown around, shelves go flying and Skulduggery and Valkyrie come storming into the library!  That would be the BEST DAY EVER!  As well as the main story, there’s also a bonus short story featuring the winners of the Australia/New Zealand character competition.

Derek Landy is coming to New Zealand in August so don’t forget to enter the competition to go in the draw to meet Derek in person.  Also, make sure you enter our Free Book Friday competition this week for the chance to win a copy of The End of the World.

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Are you Skulduggery’s biggest fan?

If you answered yes to the question above you just might have the chance to meet Derek Landy, the creator of Skulduggery Pleasant, when he comes to New Zealand for his 2012 Down Under Tour in August.  If that isn’t enough, you’ll also get a complete set of Skulduggery books, signed by Derek.  All you have to do to have the chance to meet Derek Landy is go to his website and answer these two questions:

  1. Gordon Edgley is, amongst other things, a horror writer and uncle. He is also dead. Stephanie, his beloved niece, is saddened by this unexpected event. In the first Skulduggery Pleasant Book you are introduced to the rest of Gordon’s family. Name the other family members who make an appearance in the sample chapter on the website.
  2. Tell them in 25 words or less why it should be you meeting Derek Down Under.

What are you waiting for?  Go to www.skulduggerypleasant.co.uk to enter.  You can also listen to a FREE audio book of the very first Skulduggery Pleasant book on his website.

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Why Horror?

Whenever I do a school event, I always ask this question: “How many of you have watched films your parents don’t know about/would disapprove of?” And you know what? Every time I ask it, I get a sea of hands in the air!

Horror is kind of dangerous, isn’t it? Whether reading it or watching it, we’re scared to find out what happens next, but we can’t help ourselves. I can imagine it’s been like this since we humans first started telling stories round fires outside caves. Why? Well, if you’ve just hunted a mammoth and barely survived with your life, you’re going to tell a great story and have loads of listeners on the edge of their seat! But if you come back and say, “Yeah, well, it was easy really,” and that’s about it, no one’s really going to want to listen, are they?

We like a good tale. We also like one that’s exciting, scary, dangerous, weird, exhausting… And I’ve always preferred books that make me nervous to find out what’s going to happen to the point where I’m breathless as I turn to the next chapter.

I remember as a kid creeping downstairs in the middle of the night, so as not to wake the parents, to watch a horror movie on TV, because I really don’t want them to know that I’d just seen a head explode in full-blown technicolour, and some terrifying demon launch itself at the next hapless victim, claws dripping in blood…

So that’s why I write horror. I want to write the kind of stuff that you hope to god your parents don’t find under your bed or in your school bag because, at heart I’m still 12, sitting up watching late-night splatter fests, and hoping my parents don’t find out. And you know what? I’m just fine with that.

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March Star Author – David Gatward

Our magnificent March Star Author is British author, David Gatward.  David is the author of three incredibly creepy horror stories called The Dead, The Dark, and The Damned, as well as a stand-alone book called The Cave.

He had his first book published aged 18 but it’s taken many more years and life experiences to lead to writing The Dead. Seeing two ghosts, being mistaken for a homeless person and almost drowning have given David plenty of food for thought, but it’s his family who’ve been a big inspiration. Now living in rural Somerset with his wife and two boys, David writes full-time and hopes to see ghost number three very shortly.

Thanks for joining us David!  We look forward to reading all about you and your books.

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I Am Grimalkin book trailer

I Am Grimalkin is the latest book in the Spook’s Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney.  Watch this seriously spooky book trailer and reserve your copy at the library now.

We hope you’ve enjoyed Seriously Spooky Month here on the Christchurch Kids Blog.  Thanks to our seriously spooky authors, Joseph Delaney and Barry Hutchison for joining us on the blog.

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Win Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer

This week on the blog we’re going to have an interview with the seriously spooky author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, Derek Landy.  You’ll find out how Derek comes up with his character’s names, whether Derek would like to see a Skulduggery Pleasant movie, why he wanted to be a writer and what books and movies inspire him.

We have a copy of the latest Skulduggery Pleasant book, Death Bringer to give away this week.  To get in the draw, all you have to do is tell us: Who is your favourite character in the Skulduggery Pleasant series and why?  Leave a comment on this post with your answer, your name and email address (so that we can contact you if you win).  Competition closes Friday 28 October.

See below for terms and conditions        Read the rest of this entry »

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Win a set of Invisible Fiends books by Barry Hutchison

This week we’ll be joined by seriously spooky author, Barry Hutchison, author of the creepy Invisible Fiends series.  The series is about a boy called Kyle whose invisible friend he had when he was younger comes back to try and kill him.  They’re some of my favourite seriously spooky books and are great for anyone who likes the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.  On Wednesday Barry Hutchison will be joining us on the blog to talk about what he was scared of when he was a kid.

We have a set of the first 3 Invisible Fiends books (Mr Mumbles, Raggy Maggie and The Crowmaster) to give away this week.  To get in the draw to win all 3 books, all you have to do is tell us: If you had an invisible friend what would its name be?  Leave a comment on this post with your answer, your name and email address (so that we can contact you if you win).  Competition closes Friday 21 October.

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Seriously Spooky Guest Post: Joseph Delaney

I got my idea for the Spook’s Apprentice series when I moved to the village of Stalmine in Lancashire. It has its own boggart, ‘The Hall Knocker’, which was exorcised by a priest who laid it to rest under the doorstep of a cottage. So boggarts are important in the books!

My son’s first house when he’d just got married was in Hamlet Road in Fleetwood. It was a creepy house badly in need of decoration and it had a bad feeling about it. Strange things began to happen which culminated in a weird event. One night Stephen and his wife were in bed upstairs when they heard a tremendous crash from the kitchen below. The doors were locked and they thought they might have an intruder/burglar.

Nervously, they went downstairs to find a pan in the middle of the kitchen floor; inside it was half a cup. The other half of the cup was yards away near the door. Not only that, the cup was cut into two perfect halves as if a laser beam had sliced it. The cups and pans had not been next to each other and there was no explanation for why they ended up on the floor like that. They had no children (at that time) nor pets that might have caused that and the doors were locked. Nobody human had entered the house!

One explanation is that it was a poltergeist. If so I think that’s what boggarts are. They move things; break thing, make raps and bangs in the night. So the name ‘Hall Knocker’ is a good one for the Stalmine Boggart. You can imagine hundreds of years ago similar kinds of phenomena happening at the big house at the top of the village. The stories would have been passed down through the generations as folk tales, eventually being written up. There are different names for such things in different parts of England but in Lancashire (the County) we call them boggarts!

 

Best wishes,

Joseph Delaney

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Spook’s Destiny book trailer

If you love stories that are creepy and action-packed, with brave characters that fight to protect humans from monsters that live in the dark, then you’ll love the Spook’s Apprentice series.

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Win The Spook’s Destiny by Joseph Delaney

This week we’ll be joined by seriously spooky author, Joseph Delaney.  Joseph is the author of the Spook’s Apprentice series about Thomas Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, who becomes apprenticed to the local Spook.  It’s one of the creepiest series I’ve read and I got to meet Joseph a couple of years ago when he was in Christchurch.  On Wednesday Joseph will join us to tell us about the Spooks series.

We have 2 copies of the latest Spooks book, The Spook’s Destiny, to give away.  To get in the draw to win a copy, all you have to do is tell us: Who is your favourite character from the Spooks series?  Leave a comment on this post with your answer, your name and email address (so that we can contact you if you win).  Competition closes Friday 14 October.

See below for terms and conditions.     Read the rest of this entry »

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer by Derek Landy

If you’re a huge fan of Skulduggery Pleasant like me, you’ve been waiting a whole year to find out what happens next to Skulduggery Pleasant and his side-kick Valkyrie Cain.  We were left wondering whether Valkyrie’s dark side would show her head and there was a feeling of impending doom.  Death Bringer doesn’t disappoint and there are plenty of thrill, chills and surprises to keep you on your toes.

Even before I started the story, Derek’s dedication made me crack up so I knew this book was going to be great.  The story starts with you meeting Melancholia St. Clair, a young Necromancer who Craven has chosen to be the Death Bringer.  Who and what the Death Bringer is is revealed throughout the book.  We’re reunited with Skulduggery and Valkyrie when they question a reporter who has been trying to dig up information about some strange disappearances that have occurred recently.  It appears someone is trying to cover up the truth about the Death Bringer and The Passage, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie are determined to get to the bottom of it.  When they discover the truth they must do anything they can to capture Melancholia and stop The Passage.

Death Bringer is a huge book with so much packed into it and I didn’t want it to end.  Skulduggery and Valkyrie face some terrible truths in this book and the line between good and evil is blurred.  You discover more about Skulduggery’s past and get inside Valkyrie’s head.  Because we’re getting close to the end of the series (only 3 more books to go), the story is getting darker and there’s less focus on some of the minor characters.  There’s still plenty of Derek Landy’s humour shining through though and a couple of parts had me laughing out loud, especially this part when Skulduggery meets a family travelling through Roarhaven.

“Ah,” Skulduggery said, “yes.  Very rude man, that shopkeeper.  All’s well, though?  No harm done? Excellent.”  He crouched at the car window and looked in.  “What a lovely family you have.  What a charming family.  They’re all lovely.  Except for that one.”  His finger jabbed the glass.  “That one’s a bit ugly.”

One of my favourite parts has to be the fight between Fletcher and Caelan.  It’s shows you exactly what Derek thinks of Twilight and some of the insults they throw at each other are classic.  Some of my favourite characters are back too, including Vaurien Scapegrace, the decomposing vampire and his follower, Thrasher.  There are also some great new character names including Dexter Vex, Melancholia St Clair and Oblivious.  If you’re a fan of Skulduggery Pleasant make sure you reserve your copy of Death Bringer at the library now, or if you haven’t read any of the series make sure you get your hands on the first Skulduggery Pleasant book.   Recommended for 9+      10 out of 10

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Win Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer

The thrilling sixth book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy, Death Bringer, has just been released in New Zealand.  Skulduggery is one of my favourite characters and the series keeps getting better and better.  If you haven’t already read the first 5 books you should rush to your library or bookshop and get them right now.  Each of the books in the series are packed with thrills, chills, action, battles and plenty of laughs.

Thanks to HarperCollins New Zealand we have 2 copies of Death Bringer to give away.  All you have to do to get in the draw to win a copy is to tell us what you love about the Skulduggery Pleasant books.  It could be a particular part of one of the books, a favourite character, or even your favourite quote.  Leave a comment on this post with your answer, your name and your email address (so that we can contact you if you win).  Competition closes Friday 9 September.

See below for terms and conditions.  Read the rest of this entry »

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