Posts tagged Derek Landy

Meet Derek Landy in Christchurch this October

We’re excited to announce that Derek Landy, the author of the brilliant Skulduggery Pleasant series, is coming to Christchurch on Thursday 2 October.  Derek is coming to promote the release of the final Skulduggery Pleasant book, The Dying of the Light, at the Riccarton Primary School hall at 5:30pm on Thursday 2 October.  Not only will you have the chance to get your books signed, you can also hear him talk about his books and ask him your burning questions.  There will also be the chance to win some awesome prizes for those who come dressed as their favourite Skulduggery character.

In the lead up to Derek’s visit we’ll be featuring some videos of Derek talking about the ending of the series. You’ll also have the chance to win a copy of Armageddon Outta Here, the new Skulduggery Pleasant short story collection.

For details about the event and to get tickets check out the poster below.

 Derek Landy poster

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy

War has finally come. But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making. But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.

Last Stand of Dead Men is the second to last book in Derek Landy’s wonderful Skulduggery Pleasant series, and it sure is one tense, action-packed read.  The further we’ve been getting to the end of the series, the more dramatic the events of each book have been.  The magic world has been teetering on the brink of war for some time now and it’s in Last Stand of Dead Men that war finally breaks out between the Sanctuaries.  An epic magic battle ensues, with death and destruction galore.

As the front cover says, ‘no one is safe.’  The characters that we’ve come to love are caught up in the middle of the war and not everyone survives.  Heroes become villains, enemies fight together, some people aren’t who we thought they were, and others look completely different from the last time we saw them.  Derek also introduces us to new characters and creations, my favourite of which are the Warlock’s minions, the Wretchlings.

Last Stand of Dead Men is the darkest of the series so far and we see the darker side of Skulduggery coming out.  While it doesn’t have the same humour as some of the earlier books, the scenes with Scapegrace and Thrasher provide some light relief and had me laughing out loud.  One of the things I like the most about Derek’s books is his brilliant dialogue and there is plenty of this in this book.

Skulduggery will do anything to save Valkyrie and I certainly can’t wait until September next year to find out how it all ends.  Will Skulduggery save her or will Darquesse destroy the world?

Win a copy of Last Stand of Dead Men!

Thanks to HarperCollins NZ I have a copy of Last Stand of Dead Men to give away.  All you have to do to get in the draw is enter your name and email address in the form below.  Competition closes Friday 4 October.

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Derek Landy talks about Last Stand of Dead Men

War has finally come. But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making. But while this war is only beginning, another war rages within Valkyrie herself. Her own dark side, the insanely powerful being known as Darquesse, is on the verge of rising to the surface. And if Valkyrie slips, even for a moment, then Darquesse will burn the world and everyone in it.

The second to last book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, Last Stand of Dead Men, is finally here!  The last couple of books are going to be pretty epic and it will be really interesting to see how the series ends.  I’ll post my review very soon and there will be a copy to win.

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Enter the Skulduggery Pleasant Exquisite Corpse Competition

Are you a huge Skulduggery Pleasant fan? Well here’s the competition for you.

This is a new competition that HarperCollins and Derek Landy are running for all Skulduggery fans, to celebrate the release of The Maleficent Seven.  There are some awesome prizes up for grabs and it’s super easy to enter.  Read all about it below and enter your masterpiece.

INTRODUCING EXQUISITE CORPSE

“There are things, pieces of artwork, stories… creations. Objects that burn with an inner light. These things have power. They are fused with the magic imbued in them by their creators. They are fragments of their creators’ minds, of their very souls, fragments taken and cut free, wrenched loose, torn from them for all to see and then stitched together to form a patchwork world, a collage of dreams… an Exquisite Corpse.” Your Golden God, Derek Landy

Exquisite Corpse is our very first fan works competition!

We know you’re awesome. You know you’re awesome. We know that you know that you’re… you get the idea. But the thing is, sometimes it’s not enough to just know, sometimes you have to show everyone else. So, this is your chance. We’re looking for fan works, created by you, inspired by the Golden God himself. Derek, that is. And we’re going to have a theme. This month, unsurprisingly, the theme is Tanith Low. We love her. You love her. Get to it!

You can submit anything… well, anything you’ve created. It could be a poem, a drawing, a short story (under 1,000 words, please, we know how prolific you all get, and Derek needs a little time to, you know, finish Book 8), it could be a Haiku, a clay model, a photo montage. Anything you like, as long as it was inspired by Tanith.

Simply email it – or a picture of it – to us at skulduggery@harpercollins.co.uk.

Derek will judge the entries, and then one lucky fan will WIN the chance to be featured in our newsletter and on the Skulduggery Pleasant website, as the creator of the Exquisite Corpse Work of the Month! Everyone who enters will get an exclusive The Maleficent Seven themed poster, plus we’ll also send the winner a signed copy of The Maleficent Seven.

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked

Kingdom of the Wicked is the latest installment in the very popular Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.  I had been very eager to read the seventh book, and so as soon as I got my hands on my new copy, I sat down and began to read feverishly.

From the very first page it is obvious that this book is going to be even better than the previous one.  Skulduggery and Valkyrie have got their hands full, as numerous mortals across the city are suddenly gaining magical powers, and are dreaming of a man named Argeddion.  They start to investigate, and so begins a new adventure, full of hideouts, evil teenage sorcerers, and lots of fighting.

Valkyrie is still struggling to keep control of her evil half, Darquesse, and her reflection is becoming more life-like by the day.  When Valkyrie is given a temporary power (or perhaps curse), the trouble- and adventure- increases. The plot thickens and twists as the book progresses, more challenges being thrown at Skulduggery and Valkyrie as they strive to defeat the evil Kitana and her friends, Doran, and Sean.

Kingdom of the Wicked introduces you to many new characters and takes you to various new locations, such as the magical gaol (fit with the ultimate security system), the Alps (home to not-so-friendly Abominable Snowmen) and a couple of different dimensions (really).  It is packed with the humour, adventure, and originality that made us all fall in love with the Skulduggery Pleasant series in the first place.

I was intrigued by Mr. Landy’s development of the magical world, overjoyed to have new characters to love or hate, and ecstatic to be reunited with my favourite characters.  As usual, Mr. Landy’s wit and humour had me rolling on the ground laughing.  One of my favourite “funny characters”, Desmond Edgely (Valkyrie’s dad), continues to amuse readers with his antics (although I don’t think Valkyrie finds them as amusing):

“’The great hunter-gatherer has returned victorious,” he announced. “I bring the womenfolk newspapers, fresh milk and bread.  The newspapers led me on a merry chase, but the bread and fresh milk didn’t stand a chance.’

‘Well done, dear,’ Valkyrie’s mum said.

Her dad sat.  ‘And I’ve also found Stephanie a new boyfriend.’

Valkyrie choked on her cereal and her mum looked up sharply.

‘You’ve done what?’”

Vaurien Scapegrace returns, providing even more laughs.  If you haven’t read the series, Scapegrace is (at this point in the series) the head of a zombie, who was once a murderer wannabe.  I’m sure you can already tell that Scapegrace, like so many of the characters, is a very unique person, who adds even more flavour to the addictive taste of the book.

All of this is just a hint of the experiences promised, should you choose to read the latest  Skulduggery Pleasant adventure.   I will warn you though; once you begin reading, you will never want to stop!

By Tierney, age 13.

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Romy’s interview with Derek Landy

My golly, it was amazing!

Thank you so much for organising the interview with Derek for me. Also big thanks to Harper Collins and The Children’s Bookshop.

It was the best day of my life meeting him in the bookshop. I am ever thankful!

So, my interview was very long but very interesting.  I had to transcribe the whole thing but here it is!

Warning! (Spoilers included)

 

Me: What was your inspiration to write?

Derek: Wow, what a first question. Ho, I don’t know because I was always a writer, because when I was a kid, always writing. It kind of just bled into my teenage years, always writing, and my twenties. I taught myself to read by reading comics. Anything that told a story I loved and basically, if you are a writer, you reckon you might be a writer then you are a writer. It’s not something that occurs to you when you’re 27. It’s a burning passion.

 

Me:How did you come up with ideas?

Derek: The titles are a cross between being really simple and really, really difficult. Like Skulduggery Pleasant, the first book, just nice and easy. The Faceless Ones I knew starting out that it would be called that because that’s what the story’s about. Dark Days was kind of tricky, that took me a while. Mortal Coil, well I knew instantly and Death Bringer, again it’s about the Deathbringer. Kingdom of the Wicked, this occurred to me about a few weeks into writing it and the only title that, I’m not happy with is Play with Fire, which was originally called Praising Cain and that’s what I wanted it to be called but the American publishers were worried that it was too much of a biblical reference. They didn’t want to annoy any religious people, so they said can we not call it Praising Cain and I said but that’s what it’s called.
I didn’t like their title; they didn’t like mine so I just said Playing with Fire. And Oh! We love that! And I mean yeah, it was ok. So if I could go back I would change only one title and that was Playing with Fire.

 

Me: What are the joys of writing?

Derek: The fact that, I don’t have a boss. Because that’s a big thing. So no one could tell me what to do. But writing it’s also the only thing I can do. I was incapable of doing anything seriously, I’m not a serious person and I’m not a highly responsible person either. So, I’m just living for myself because just like all writers are self-centered because we have to be, we have to ignore people and just live in our heads which suits me fine because I hat people, they’re weird and they talk funny! And I’ve got my cats and dogs and I can understand them, I can understand animals and the fans who are a certain type of animal themselves.

 

Me:What character is most like yourself?

Derek: Well, Skulduggery is like me. He’s charming, witty smart, suave, debonair, dangerous, unpredictable, cool and yes narcissi. A lot of people ask am I like Gordon. And no, I’m not like Gordon, I mean Gordon’s like an uncle, a doddery old uncle, and especially because when I started the first one I had no intention of having a char like Gordon but it’s not that when I started writing I became more like him, he has become more like me as he’s gotten older.

 

Me: Any tips for young writers?

Derek: This is one piece of advice I give to everyone who asks me this. If you knock me off the bestseller charts I will hunt you down and kill you with a spoon. That’s my one tip and other pieces of advice include ignore everyone, literally ignore everyone else. You write what you want to write. When I wrote Skulduggery Pleasant I didn’t have a contract I wasn’t paid I didn’t have anything and because of that I just put in anything really, monsters, murder mystery, and there’s fights, there’s comedy there’s this, this and this. If I had looked around at books that are all pretty out there I wouldn’t go oh no I can’t do this because nobody’s done it before so I can’t do it. I just wrote what I wanted to write. And what I wanted was to put everything into one. So that’s what I did. Basically, you write what you want to write and forget about everyone else.

 

Me: At Age 12, where did you see yourself?

Derek: In the mirror.
Oh! I see, I see, what I saw myself doing in the future.
Writing. Either that or an artist because I wanted to work with comics but I wasn’t that good of an artist, I got kicked out of art college, but writing was the one thing that stayed with me.

 

Me: Was there any other purpose of Skulduggery Pleasant other than entertain and amaze?

Derek: No, I didn’t write it as any type of career move, I didn’t write it to educate or teach valuable lessons. I’m not concerned about things like that but there is no message. The only possible message that could be derived from it is how to be a good person. Because Valkyrie is based on a real person and I think she is a decent person and so Valkyrie and Skulduggery behave how I reckon people should behave. So it’s just to be a good person, to be strong and honourable, stick up for a little guy no matter what.
That’s my message. I’m just trying to make the world a better place!

 

Me: What’s the best thing about writing?

Derek: That fact that, you get to do as a career what you would be doing as a hobby. That put simply.

 

Me: Why Tanith?!

Derek: Because I the first book, I was going to kill her off, but my agent told me I couldn’t do that so we made a deal, I said Ok we’ll keep her, but so long as I can torture her in every book since. So, she’s been shot, stabbed, thrown off a building, she’s been nailed to a chair. And really, being possessed is just an extension of that, it’s the logical conclusion. And I have the right to kill her in the last book if I want to.

 

Me: Would you consider making Skulduggery Pleasant into a movie?

Derek: I would consider it, it was with Warner Brothers then the writers wrote back and we’re working on the script with some great people, but I cannot guarantee that a movie will be made and that, if it is made that’ll be any good. And as for who would play Valkyrie and Skulduggery, just an open audition for Valkyrie, around the world. And personally, I think I should play Skulduggery. Just motion capture me, CG, personally, I think I should play all the part. Skulduggery, Valkyrie, I could play the furniture, the trees. Just, they can do amazing things with computers.

 

Me: Are you going to write another series?

Derek: Yes, now, I don’t know what it’ll be. The Skulduggery books: There’ll be nine books in all, and then many people’s lives will be over and end in sorrow but after that I don’t know. I will obviously continue to write but whatever my next series will be it is going to have to tick all the boxes that Skulduggery Pleasant did so it’s going to have the horror, the action, the fantasy, the fun. Characters that speak really fast and annoy people. So I don’t know what it is yet but when I write it, it’ll be bloody brilliant.

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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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