Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Arbitrary Photos and a Point

Here is a photo of a kitten.

What a wonderful way to start off a post, eh? I'm going a little nuts here, all this snow is sending me a little bit around the proverbial bend. I'm doing a little work, although not TOO much on the run up to Christmas. I'm way ahead of schedule, though, and having a blast.

I managed to get all my Christmas shopping done, too. Well, most of it. Laura's present is being shipped over from the UK tomorrow, hopefully- that is, if the weather doesn't close the airports again. That's the only worry I have this year.

Every Christmas Eve, Laura and her sister Katie come over and we all sit at the kitchen table and they babble on in this weird sister-talk thing of half-finished sentences and references to things I know nothing about, and then we exchange presents. My presents to them are always AWESOME. Their presents to me usually consist of a jar of boiled sweets.

Oh look, here's one of my doggies!

Where was I?

Oh yes, Laura and Katie. So that's the tradition, that's what we've been doing for the past few years. I have Katie's present already bought and ready to hand over, so I'm just hoping that Laura's gets here in time. Also being shipped over are the presents for my mother and my sisters, but it's Laura who's the important one. The others will understand if their gifts arrive late. Laura is the only one who will look at me with those eyes...

Speaking of eyes, look at this! I'm fairly certain a reader in Australia (or possibly New Zealand) brought these to one of my events back in... in... well, whenever I was over there.

Check it out! It's Skulduggery and the Grotesquery!

Which reminds me- I'm going to read ten pieces of fan fiction this Christmas, just to spoil myself. So if you have any favourites out there, let me know- and yes, you may suggest your OWN fan fiction, it's not as arrogant as it sounds...

These pieces would, preferably, be on the shorter side. Obviously, I'm not going to be reading huge multi-part stories, because that would mean I'd have to miss Doctor Who on Christmas Day, and that is NOT going to happen AGAIN.

And look! Another picture! This time of a some truly odd people dressed as Skulduggery characters!


How are you guys going to be spending Christmas, by the way? We're doing some of our visiting on Christmas Eve, then the second half of visiting Christmas Day, and then mmmmmmm dinner...

After which, my cousins will be coming over to my parents' place, and we'll all play a game and eat turkey sandwiches. It's my job to pick a new game every year. We started off with poker, then decided that was clearly too grown-up for us, so this year we'll be playing Pictionary- the game of kings.

And these three little ladies will be joining the Landy clan for their first ever Christmas. The twins are dressed as the most coolest character EVER in the world (and being held on the knees of people I have never seen before), and little Sophie is dressed as some kind of... er... pumpkin... thing...

These pictures were obviously taken at Halloween.

My sisters do NOT dress their children like this normally.


If I don't post again by Saturday, then a big Merry Christmas to all my Minions, my Munchkin Army, and my Ninja Leprechauns. For those of you who don't celebrate Christmas, you all get a big cheery wave and a slightly awkward expression.

I will write again soon, if only to tell you what astonishingly disappointing present I get from my sisters this year...

Monday, December 20, 2010

No Movie News

Sorry for the title of this post, I just wanted to make sure that none of you start believing a story that's been reported in the papers saying that Johnny Depp is going to play Skulduggery. This is, to say the least, not true. The movie rights are back with me for the moment- meaning they aren't attached to any studio. Basically, I'm far too busy with Book 6 to even consider a Skulduggery movie right now. But who knows when I'll have news for you?

(And just to make sure, that was NOT a sly way of hinting at upcoming news, because there IS no news! None!)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The List

Okay then, here is the LONG list of UK cinemas in which the book trailer will be appearing. It’ll be shown in the pre-film adverts- so it won’t be part of the movie trailer section- at selected showings of Harry Potter and the new Narnia. We can’t give specific performance times or dates, unfortunately, so all you can do is HOPE that you pick a screening over the next two weeks where it’ll be shown...

For those of you who won’t get a chance to see it on the big screen, you have my commiserations. If it makes you feel any better- even I won’t be able to see it in a cinema. How much does THAT suck?

But for those of you who DO get to see it, come back here and tell me how it looks, okay?

Birmingham VUE
Birmingham AMC Broadway Plaza
Birmingham (Erdington) Showcase
Birmingham Empire
Coventry Showcase
Dudley Showcase
Walsall Showcase

Thurrock VUE
 Acton VUE
Watford VUE
Harrow VUE
North Finchley VUE
Dagenham VUE
Finchley Road VUE
Shepherd’s Bush VUE
Staines VUE
Croydon (Grants) VUE
Islington VUE
Fulham Broadway VUE
Romford VUE
Wood Green VUE
Westfield VUE
London Piccadilly Apollo
Wimbledon HMV Curzon
Chelsea Cinema
Bluewater Showcase
Newham Showcase
Bromley Empire
London Leicester Square Empire
Sutton Empire

Doncaster VUE
Sheffield VUE
Leeds (Kirstall Road/Cardigan) VUE
Leeds (THE LIGHT) Showcase
Leeds (BIRSTALL) Showcase

Hartlepool VUE
Stockton (TEESIDE) Showcase
Newcastle Empire
Sunderland Empire
Bolton VUE
Birkenhead VUE
Cheshire Oaks VUE
Manchester (South Quays) VUE (Red Cinema)
Southport VUE
Bury (The Rock) VUE
Altrincham Apollo
Liverpool Showcase
Wigan Empire

Bristol Cribs VUE
Bristol Longwell Green VUE
Bristol Orpheus
Bristol (AVON MEADS) Showcase
Bristol (CABOT CIRCUS) Cine de Lux
Cardiff VUE
Cardiff (NANTGAWR) Showcase
Swansea VUE
Merthyr Tydfil VUE
Cwmbran VUE
Port Talbot Apollo

Edinburgh (OMNI) VUE
Edinburgh (OCEAN) VUE
Livingstone VUE
Glasgow East Showcase
Glasgow (PAISLEY)
Clydebank Empire

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Book Trailer

Remember that little Book Trailer competition we launched a few months ago, with our friends at Waterstone's? Remember, we were looking for a minute-long ad to play in UK cinemas, promoting the books?

If you remember that, you may also remember the fact that we chose not one, but TWO winners- Liam Fitzpatrick and Danielle Drew- and combined their ideas to make the Best Thing Ever In The World ™.
Remember all that? Oh I AM glad. Because, drum roll please, the trailer is ready.

The reason that this was a “UK only” competition, and the reason the trailer will only be shown in UK cinemas (take a look on the blog tomorrow and there'll be a list), is simply because Waterstone's UK came to us with the proposal. But does that mean you minions living outside of the UK will never be able to see it? Pfffft. How unfair would THAT be? The fact is, we’re putting it online FIRST so that you, my faithful minions, will be able to devour it like the insatiable little zombie-readers that you are.

You’re going to need a bucket as you watch this, because your brain WILL melt. That’s an official health warning.

If you’re having trouble viewing from the blog, click here

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Word Count


Just a brief note to update you on how the work is progressing. So far, every book has been longer than the one before. The first book was about 75,000 words, and Mortal Coil was over 100,000. With Book 6, I'm planning on continuing that trend, but I don't know by how much.

I've been working away at the first section of the story, the first quarter of the book, dipping in an out of scenes and chapters... Even though, officially, I started this book on November 6th, a lot of things have been taking up my time, so I've really only been able to seriously write in the past week. And in the past week I've written almost 20,000 words. That's roughly a fifth of the book, and I've done it in six days.

I am on a ROLL.

Praise be to me!

Monday, November 29, 2010


And we have a winner...!

On Thursday night, I accepted the award for Best Children's Book of the Year (Senior) for Mortal Coil, to rapturous applause from everyone who loves me. Yes, fine, that means I was applauding myself as I made my way to the stage, but it still counts, dammit...

Here is the beautiful award on my mantlepiece...

I also picked up a SECOND award, for I am THAT brilliant- this time it was for the Book of the Decade thing I won a few months back. Here are BOTH awards on my mantlepiece...

Yes. I have a cool house.

Thanks to everyone who voted- it's because of you, my Minions, that the Skulduggery books do so well at things like this. And I just LOVE getting up on stage and making fun of everyone. Makes me so happy...

And, now that I've remembered how to post photos, I'll add a few random ones...

These are home-made jackets worn by two girls who came to signings a few months ago, one in the UK and one in Germany... Sweeeeet.

And here are two pictures of kittens I used to have, before I found good homes for them...!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Most Popular Author Question EVER

“Where do you get your ideas?” is probably the most asked question a writer is ever going to hear. And it’s a completely understandable one. How did Stephen King come up with Christine, a homicidal car that kills its owners? How did JK Rowling come up with Harry Potter, a kid who goes to a school for wizards? How did Stan Lee come up with Spider-Man, Bob Kane come up with Batman, Shuster and Siegel come up with Superman?

And, more importantly, how did they take those ideas and turn them into a story?

Ideas are everywhere, and ideas are- generally speaking- nothing special. Everyone has them. Quite often, when it comes to writing, people have the SAME idea, at the same time. Why do you think Hollywood comes out with two volcano movies in the same season, or two giant asteroid movies, or two earthquake movies? Ideas float around, just waiting to be plucked from the air and developed into something special- and it’s this development that decides how good it’s going to be.

I could have thought of Skulduggery Pleasant, after all, and set it in a world OF talking skeletons, where everything is magic and the fantasy overtakes the reality. Who knows, it might even have been good- but it wouldn’t have been the Skulduggery we all know today.

So the important thing, the really important thing, is what you do with the idea once you have it.

BUT- that’s not what I’m going to be talking about today. I’m here to talk about the ideas themselves, and where they come from.

Clive Barker once described the inside of his head as an attic. And in this attic, the walls are covered with posters. These are posters of every movie he’s ever seen, every book and comic he’s ever read, every song he’s ever heard. There are posters from history, from legend, from fairyales and from dreams. There are posters from his own life, his own experiences. His attic is FILLED with these posters, and they’re plastered on top of each other and beside each other, layer upon layer upon layer.

And here and there, some of the posters get torn, and frayed. Posters get ripped. And when that happens, he gets to see part of the poster underneath, and a little of the poster underneath that. And so suddenly he’s looking at a book he once read when he was twelve on top of a movie he’s just seen, combined with a dream he once had about a song he once heard.

And THAT is where ideas come from.

Different elements of different things combine to make something new. Skulduggery Pleasant is not the first walking skeleton in fiction, after all. Off the top of my head, there is Ghost Rider, Jack Skellington, Death (from the Terry Pratchett novels), and a character from a video game called Grim Fandango. I was aware of all of these things when Skulduggery came to me, but the idea of him didn’t come from ANY of these things. The idea of him came from his name, which told me who and what he was. The name Skulduggery Pleasant told me he was a skeleton detective- I didn’t come up with a skeleton detective and then look around for a name.

Of course, the books have a lot more ideas in them than good old Skulduggery, and some of them I even know EXACTLY where the idea came from. Serpine’s hand, for example, came from the Nick Cave song “Red Right Hand”, one of the coolest songs ever written. Other ideas come into existence out of sheer necessity.

Valkyrie’s reflection, for example. I started writing the book, way back in 2005, and the reflection wasn’t a part of it. I was writing a story about a 12 year old girl who sneaks out of her house and ditches school in order to spend time with a skeleton and find out who killed her uncle. She was getting into trouble in school, and she was having arguments with her parents. Every time she returned home, they’d have another argument- and that’s not what I wanted at all.

I wanted her home life to be warm, and fun, and funny. I wanted her parents to be crazy in love, and a little bit crazy. But I could write about none of that, because they were all spending their time arguing.

So I got to roughly halfway through, and I realised this wasn’t working. I needed to do something. The first thing I did was to have this story all happen during the summer holidays, when Valkyrie wouldn’t have to go to school. This cut down on SOME of the arguments, but not all. I needed something else, something bigger. I needed her parents to NOT miss her when she was gone. I needed a stand-in, perhaps, I needed a... a reflection.

The moment I thought of her reflection taking over her life when she was gone, my problems were over. Now she could be gone for days on end, and no one would know. I came up with the rule that she absorbs the reflection’s memories because I didn’t want her to miss out on school-work, and also because it was an entirely logical move to make.

Not only did the reflection solve a load of problems, it also offered up LOADS of story opportunities. It changed the course of the series, as you have all seen. The reflection is changing- it is growing. I know plenty of you have your own theories about what will happen to the reflection and I totally understand why you would think that. So far, you’re all WRONG, but I totally understand why you’d come to that conclusion...


Now, when you get to the sixth book in a series, coming up with ideas is totally different to writing the FIRST book. Most of the elements are already there- they already exist. But you still need new ones.

Such as the whole Death Bringer thing. I’ve had that in mind for YEARS, and over that time, it’s changed. The more I wrote about Necromancers, the more I examined their powers, the deeper I got into their philosophy, the more I changed who and what the Death Bringer was. I needed certain things to happen to certain people in certain ways, and the ideas flowed from that.

Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention. If you truly NEED something, you WILL find a creative way to do it.

Er, hopefully.

The honest truth is, there is no satisfactory answer to the most popular author question ever- and I don’t think there needs to be. People ask me it all the time, like they’re waiting to hear the secret, like once they KNOW where the good ideas come from, they’ll be able to write that amazing book they know they’re capable of.

But the idea isn’t the important thing. The important thing is the work, and the effort, and how you take that simple little idea and turn it into something special. And all THAT will only happen when you actually sit down and write the thing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Approach

It is Awards time again, and you can vote for your favourite Irish book of the year here-

This year I’m going up against my good friend Sarah Webb and the wonderful John Boyne, so it’s going to be close. I’m also up against Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick- I haven’t met her yet, but I’ve heard great things...

Now, even though you are my Minions, and you would die horribly for my own amusement- which I DO appreciate- feel free to vote for whatever book you prefer. It doesn’t have to be mine.

There, now that THAT’S over, I can tell you what I’ve been thinking about for the past few days. I’ve been trying to figure out what the new book IS.

The first book was an adventure, through and through. Young girl snatched away from her ordinary life into a world of sorcerers and vampires and ancient gods… Yep, that’s adventure.

Playing With Fire was a monster movie of a book. You had the Grotesquery being reanimated, you had the Torment turning into that huge spider, you had a fight between the two and lots of running and screaming… Yep, monster movie.

The third book, of course, that was the Whodunnit- that was the murder mystery. Aside from everything else going on, there was a killer stalking teleporters, and a (possibly) surprise twist at the end… Definitely a Whodunnit.

Naturally, Dark Days was a revenge flick. That’s pretty obvious.

Mortal Coil was my Invasion of the Body Snatchers- a fantastic movie that I loved when I was a teenager. It’s also my version of The Thing, possibly the best horror movie of all time.

But what, I’ve been wondering, is the next book going to be? What handy little label can I give it? What approach should I take? And the more I thought about it, the clearer it got, and now, NOW, I have it.

The next book is the culmination of all the Necromancer stories and plots and themes, and so in one corner, we have the Death Bringer, and in the other corner, we have the person who has returned simply to DESTROY the Death Bringer- we have Lord Vile. Two hugely powerful people with astonishing levels of magic, battling it out. We’re talking tidal waves of darkness. We’re talking people being punched through buildings.

Add in the fact that now the twins know magic exists, and are making normal life tough for Valkyrie, and now she’s doing everything she can to protect her secret identity from the rest of her family.

Hugely powerful people. Secret identities. MASSIVE battles.

The next book is, let’s face it, the darkest superhero story you’re ever going to read. With a bucketload of horror.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Call For Typos


Just flicking through the books to remind myself of some details/dates, and I stumbled across a typo. I know there are a few in the books- it's kind of inevitable when the deadlines are this close together- but by the time the new paperback editions are published in April, I want all these typos to be fixed. Which is where YOU come in, my Minions.

I know that most of you have read these books a few times because you're, you know, insane and everything.  Have you noticed the typos? Can you remember where they were? There are a few glaring ones, mistakes that I just should have caught, but for whatever reason I didn't. Care to help?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lesson One

I have found myself thinking about the next Skulduggery book a LOT lately, thinking about which of the story strands are going to intertwine and pay off, and which of the strands are going to continue into the next three books. Last week I wrote a five page scene where Valkyrie, consumed by rage, breaks into a police station and beats the hell out of a prisoner. Obviously, I’m not going to tell you what DRIVES her to do something this extreme, but the fact is I wrote it, and that can only mean one thing:

I am now writing Skulduggery Pleasant Book Six.

I don’t really have much choice in these matters. I just seem to start without realising it, and eventually I stop and look around and go “Oooooh, I’m writing a book, so THAT’S what I’ve been doing for the past few days...”

It’s not like the timing is convenient for me, either. I have a couple of short stories to write for various things, I have to rewrite a horror-comedy script I wrote last year, and it looks like I’ll be working on at least one brand new script over the next few months (none of this Skulduggery related). And now, aside from all that, I’m apparently writing the next book, too.

I’m going to do my best to document the stages of writing as I reach them, in order to explain how I write. I know there is a bizarrely large proportion of you, my Minions, who are also writers, and I keep getting asked to give out tips, so hopefully, in the writing of this book, I’ll be able to respond to those requests.

This doesn’t mean, by the way, that this accursed Blog is going to turn into a writing class. The fact is, most of my time will be spent sitting at this desk, tapping at this keyboard, writing words just like these, and that’s not exactly going to be exciting reading. So the Blog will continue as normal, but a certain section will be taken up trying to explain what I do, and how I do it. And along the way, I might even leak some little tidbits about what what you can expect to happen to poor old Skulduggery and Val...

So, what is the first thing I do when I start a book?

A lot of this work has been done years ago, when I planned out the series. I knew that certain things have to happen in certain books, and I wrote it all down and I keep going back to it, taking bits out or adding bits in. It changes as I go, of course it does, but fundamentally it remains the same.

So, for Book Six, I have certain things that have to happen. Let us take, as an example, the first segment of my plan for Playing With Fire, which I think all of you have read. Very simply, I would have opened up a Word document and written:

Val more powerful.

Guild new Grand Mage. Doesn’t like Skul or Val.

Vengeous escapes. Meets Dusk.

Plans for Val’s family reunion.

China tells Skul/Val about the Grotesquery.

Val meets Echo-Gordon- tells her about the Torment.

Vengeous searching for Vile’s armour.

And that’s how I go on, literally keeping it that simple. Very short sentences that I just need to glance over. I don’t show this to anyone, by the way. I don’t show it to my agent or my editor- not even to Laura- because this is the roughest of rough outlines. Each one of those lines can be changed around. Maybe we know about the Grotesquery from the very start of the book. How will that affect everything else? There’ll certainly be more momentum, because once our heroes know what the threat is, it’ll be full steam ahead. But maybe I don’t want that. Maybe I want a few fun, bizarre chapters to start off with, and then BOOM- they’re told what’s at stake once all the subplots (the family reunion, China’s revelation that she used to worship the Faceless Ones) are established, and THEN they take off.

Occasionally I’ll already have some chapters written- like the Valkyrie breaking into the police station scene- so I don’t mind flitting from the start of the book to the middle to the end, and back again. I’ll link it all up later. Right now, I just want to start the book having fun.

The outline will grow as I go. The deeper I get into it, the more notes I’ll be making, and so eventually my nice and simple approach won’t work anymore. For every point, there’ll be a few lines, explaining why and what and how. But for now, at this early stage, I can get away with broad outlines, because not everything has been decided yet.

This is really useful for building enthusiasm for the book you’re about to write. You’ve put down enough notes to form a bare story, and you can suddenly see how these elements can be chopped and changed to make something better. 

My advice is, don’t spend a lot of time on this. Keep it short. Keep it simple. Don’t waste all your enthusiasm and all your excitement on this part- keep all that for the actual writing. Which is what I’m going to do right... 


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Look at these! My mate Gregor Ruigrok (pronounced Greegor Rug-Rock) carved these for Halloween! The first one is Michael Jackson from Thriller...

The second is Bub from the original Dawn of the Dead...

And the third is the witch from... from... oh God, what's that Disney film...? Anyway, it's the witch!

And the last pumpkin was carved by my good friend Katie, who decided to show us what a drunk pumpkin looks like. Thanks, Katie.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


You broke the internet AGAIN??

You do these things just to annoy me, don't you? It's because you're all evil, that's what it is. All my minions are evil.


Well, I suppose we needed a new blog entry anyway- a special Halloween themed one... So use the comments section wisely, my wicked minions, and tell me what you did, who you dressed up as, and did you get any tricks or, indeed, treats...

Sunday, October 24, 2010


A lot of people are asking where they can buy Skulduggery placemats, and the answer is NOWHERE! My sisters actually breached copyright to get them made, but because they had the permission of my publishers, they're not being sued...

I'd love to sue my sisters. That would be FUNNY.

Wouldn't make me too popular around Christmas time, though...

Post-Birthday Blog

My cats are all around me.

They’re twisting around my feet and jumping onto the desk, nudging my hand, and then dropping to the floor again. I think they do this to remind me that I’ve known them the longest- much longer than I’ve known those silly dogs in the kitchen. Groomer, bless her little soul, has acquired the unsettling habit of falling asleep behind the computer monitor. At least once a week I’ll walk in here, sit down, start answering emails or writing blogs, and half an hour later a little puzzled head will pop out from behind the monitor and give me a fright. Or worse, I’ll be writing away and I’ll suddenly sneeze, and this will freak her out completely and she will LAUNCH herself out from behind the monitor and I’ll jerk back and generally have a heart attack. Oh what fun cats are.

It was my birthday yesterday. I would get depressed, but the fact is I seem to be improving as I get older, so I really don’t mind. I also got these pictures texted to me, first thing in the morning.

I am the worst person to buy a present for, because everything I want I already own, but even so, my family managed to get me some nice surprises. My mother got me the coolest aftershave ever- for those moments when I have to be grown-up. My dad got me a bag of Wine Gums, because he knows what I like. My brother got me a DVD of a film I had loved when I was a teenager but had completely forgotten about- Vamp. And my sisters...

My sisters, and let’s be honest here, do not have the best track record for buying me presents. I think we all remember the “Fix Your Bathroom Up” fiasco, and the “Curtain Rail” debacle, and to top it all off, last Christmas’ “Bath Mat” embarrassment. So, what did they get me, you ask?

We were all sitting around the table, and my nieces were being hilariously cute as always, and my sisters gave me the present they had bought (with the assistance of their husbands, naturally). Smiling politely, I unwrapped it. I was actually holding it upside down, but even so, there was no disguising what it was.

“Ah,” I said. My sisters were looking at me eagerly. “It appears,” I continued, “and bear in mind that I could be wrong, as I haven’t turned it right-side up yet, that you have, in fact, got me some placemats for my birthday.”

They nodded, delighted with themselves. I was perplexed. Only five minutes earlier, they had assured me that they had finally found me a present I would regard as cool. But placemats? Those square things you put on your table for the plates to sit on? How on Earth would I find THAT cool?

And then I turned them over.

“Huzzah!” I cried. “Skulduggery placemats!”

And there was much merriment (yayyy) and verily, it was a good day.

So now I am 36, and a much better person than I was a few days ago. I feel that 35 was merely a rehearsal for 36- that the last 35 years were just to prepare myself for being who I am now. Finally, I am the age I was born to be.

Thank you all for your birthday wishes, you crazy lunatics. I see that you continue to ignore my calls for less comments, which is how it should be. Minions should be allowed to babble every once in a while. It’s only healthy, after all.

So, what will I be doing for the next year, I wonder? I plan to start the next Skulduggery book sometime in November, and I’m going to take the opportunity to keep you all informed about the writing process. I know there are plenty of writers out there who have been asking for tips, so all my tips will be explained over the course of writing Skulduggery 6. Wow... the sixth book. The end of the second trilogy. After that, only three more books to go. All of those plotlines and themes and stories will have to be tied up, as it all rushes towards the final, epic, conclusion.

Kinda scary, to be honest.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My God. You broke the Blog.

Did you know there was a 5000 comment limit on this Blog? I didn't. Of course, I never thought it would ever MATTER what the limit was, as the idea of reaching it was just so silly...

And now you've reached it.

Okay fine, you haven't actually BROKEN the blog, but still! I got an email from my agent a few minutes ago, and it simply said- "Five THOUSAND comments!"

So I came on here, realised what you'd all done, and I wept, for now my publishers will be jumping for joy and clapping their hands, because we have reached a landmark moment... And it's all down to the fact that you're all insane.

As for me, my Krav Maga course is over tomorrow, and I shall return to my normal life, in which I can complain about Blogs and I only have to train once or twice a week, instead of every single day... Normal service will be resumed shortly.

In the meantime, try not to break the internet, okay?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Short Post

This is a small little entry, in a desperate attempt to stop the comment section from growing any larger... Sifting through 3000 comments by you oddballs is not an easy thing to do...

I'd post another blog, but I am SERIOUSLY tired... I've just started a 14 day highly intensive course at my Krav Maga school, a course that takes up 10 hours of every day... And this is what I do instead of a holiday... Actually, this IS my holiday...

I'm on holiday! Yayyyy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tobias, the Lonely Ghost

What’s this? What’s this? A blog entry that isn’t about ME? Has the world gone INSANE?

Yes. Yes it has. But I’m sure you don’t mind. Most of you were already nuts long before this...

Tom Percival, the wonderful cover artist for Skulduggery, has his own book out for younger readers- "Tobias and the Super Spooky Ghost Book". I could tell you a bit about the story, I could tell you that Tobias is a lonely ghost who sets out to play some scary tricks on the girl who has just moved into his house, but what’s the point of that? Just look at this cover!

Isn’t it awesome? Now, yes, some of you may be thinking that it’s a tad too young for Skulduggery readers (it’s aimed at 3-5 year olds), but I’m fairly certain that fans of Mr Percival are looking at this right now, just itching to get their greedy little hands on it.

Good God, I think I’ve just realised what I’m going to buy for my nieces for their first Christmas.

Yes, fine, they’re still only a few months old, but STILL! This can be the first book on their shelves! Oh I like that. I like that idea. It’s a gloriously fun book, and perfect for preparing them for Skulduggery a little further down the road. 

I am seriously going to be the best uncle ever.

For those of you who are interested- and I know there are many- you should pop over to Tom’s site- -  and take a wander around. And to celebrate the release of his first book, I’ve asked Tom to draw a piece of Skulduggery “fan art”, in the Tobias style.

Be prepared for an overload of Skulduggery cuteness.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Look! A New Entry!

I’m not even going to mention the amount of comments in the last entry.

In a few days, I’ll talk about the tour and the events and how well it all went, but right now I’m going to talk about how much I’m hurting.

Your Golden God is bruised.

I have recently returned to martial arts, and the main thing that I’d forgotten about it all is how much it HURTS. Getting thrown around a room is SORE. Getting punched is ANNOYING. Being strangled is NOT FUN. At the end of every session I limp out to my car, panting and perspiring, with every part of my body complaining very loudly indeed.

God I’ve missed it.

I used to train in Kenpo Karate. I got my black belt, became an instructor, began to train others. I loved it, for the most part. Yes, there were aspects of the style that were totally unrealistic, techniques you would never attempt on the street, but all in all, it was a nice, effective martial art.

Then I stopped training, and became lazy, and put on weight and lost my fitness. But I was still a blackbelt, and it was always uppermost in my mind when I came to write the Skulduggery books. I wanted the fights to be as realistic as possible. I wanted them to be entertaining, sure, but I was determined to show the consequences. You might notice, as the books progress, that the fights get harder and meaner. Valkyrie gets some real injuries- injuries that I’ve suffered myself. I didn’t want to give the impression that a teenage girl can go up against a grown man and emerge without a scratch. The reality is, that’s not going to happen. If she does win, she’s going to be battered and bloody. If she doesn’t win, it’s going to be much, much worse.

So my training played a big part in my writing, because my passion for martial arts never went away. I always wanted to get back into it. I wanted to train again, but I was older now, and I didn’t want to suffer through egotistical instructors- which are a BIG problem in any club you go to. And then I found my ideal match.

Actually, Krav Maga is not, technically, a martial art. It’s a fighting system, developed by the Israelis and now taught around the world. It is BRUTALLY effective, wonderfully economic, and it doesn’t matter what shape you’re in, or what size or age you are- it’s designed to help YOU defend yourself.

So I’ve been training in Krav Maga for a few months now, and loving every bruise and scrape that I get. The people I train with are cool, the instructors have no ego, and everyone is there to learn and have fun while doing it. I just got back from a class about half an hour ago, and I’m about to go and have a shower, but I realised I hadn’t posted a new entry in AGES, and this was on my mind, so I figured I’d give you an entry you wouldn’t be expecting.

I think that everyone should know how to defend themselves. Lads, you need this knowledge and these skills because violence is a part of life now. There are ALWAYS thugs out there and, unless you’re very lucky, one of these days you’ll be dragged into it. You need to learn how to defend yourself and you need to learn to be one of the good guys.

Girls, you need those skills and that knowledge for the exact same reasons, plus a whole lot more. You need to be formidable. You need to be able to save yourself AND save others.

Look around, visit a few clubs, try out a few styles. Join a club that’s friendly, get a few mates to join with you. Have fun. Get some exercise. Learn how to throw a punch and defend against one. I want my Minions to be unstoppable fighting machines, dammit.

Next entry, I shall talk about the tour, and address the MASSIVE amounts of comments that have been building up in my absence. Also, there’ll probably be more jokes in the next entry, too.

(One final thing: is anyone else disappointed with the new Spider-Man game? And is anyone else enjoying killing zombies as much as I am in Dead Rising 2? Just wondering...)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh Boy...


Good golly.

Do you know what it's like to read 1662 comments in one go? My brain is fuzzy. You people are insane.

I'm home for two days, and then the Irish tour kicks off on Monday. I was meant to get home yesterday, but missed my connecting flight and had to spend the night in Frankfurt, when all I wanted to do was go home and cuddle my doggies...

I'll write a more detailed blog later, but this tour has been amazing. Met so many people, and so many of YOU, my Minions, from both this Blog and the Bebo page, turned up to say hi...

You're all thoroughly weird, of course, but in a good way.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The German Tour... and Paperbacks!


First of all, most of you have been very good about posting no spoilers in the comments section, so thank you for that. But a few of you have let some things slip, which is bad. BAD MINIONS!


Got the German schedule. It’s only two days, I’m afraid- not the week or two that I usually spend travelling around. The Australia/NZ tour and then the UK/Ireland tour at the start of the year meant a LOT of time away from home, so I told them I wanted everything condensed for this one. Astonishingly, they listened... probably because they realize I’ll have to start the new Skulduggery book before Christmas, and they want to keep me happy.

But I am NEVER happy.

Anyway, the German schedule --

Thursday 9th September:
11 AM
Museen Dahlem, Kunst und Kulturen der Welt, Lansstr.8, 14195 Berlin

6 PM
Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus, Friedrichstr. 90, 10117 Berlin 

Friday, 10th September:
4 PM
Katharinenschule in der Hafencity, Am Dalmannkai 18, 20457 Hamburg

Jammed in between these three events are the usual amount of travel time and media stuff, but as usual I just list the events that the public can pop along to.

With all of the signings, of course, in Germany, the UK and Ireland, I am happy to sign whatever you bring with you- time permitting. Obviously if the queue is insanely long and we have to run off to the next event, I won’t have the chance to do so, so we’ll tell everyone that I’ll only be able to sign one or two things. But usually there’s enough time for me to sign everything.

Oooh, and a few of you have seen the new design for the Dark Days paperback. The whole idea behind this new design is basically to have fun with the covers. The hardbacks will continue on as before, but the paperbacks will have a brand new image, every time, featuring Skulduggery in a cool pose. We figure most of you will be buying the hardbacks- or trade paperbacks, which are hardback sized but with the softer covers- and so you can keep that consistent cover design for your collection. But when the smaller paperbacks come out and replace the hardbacks on the shelves, we wanted a new approach to entice the readers who have never picked up a Skulduggery book.

And for the next few weeks, the only place to find these covers is over with our friends at

By the way, for those of you who miss Valkyrie’s presence on the covers, I completely agree with you. I miss her too. Which is why Mr Tom Percival is working on a series of cool Valkyrie images for the backs of the books. I can’t wait for these, because we’ll really be able to see how much she grows up and changes in Tom’s artwork. And I'll also be able to get a few framed. Yay!

Alright then, I will blog once more before I head off on tour, and then I’ll do my best to blog again once I’m actually ON tour.

I swear.