Ah, Skulduggery, my old friend. Look how much you’ve changed my life. When you popped into my head six years ago (to the very MONTH) I had no idea what it would mean. Valkyrie came to me within sixty seconds of your arrival. In the next three minutes, I had China and Ghastly and Tanith and Bliss and Serpine- and suddenly I was writing a book. More than one, actually.
A nine book series. Thank GOD I envisioned this as nine books. What if I’d only envisioned it as a trilogy? Then it would have ended two years ago, and these characters who I love writing about would be finished, with no more stories to tell.
It isn’t JUST the nine books, though, because now there are a host of short stories I’ve written, and a lot more I’ve yet to write. These stories are a way for me to write about things or characters or ideas that I just don’t have the space for in the books. At the moment, these stories can only be found in the paperback editions, and while we’re looking into ways of making them available to everyone, for the moment the paperbacks are the only way you can own them. I’d love if there were a way for you to hand over a few cents or pence in a bookshop so you could take that short story home with you, but we can’t do that just yet.
However, next year you’ll be getting something a little special.
World Book Day is a worldwide celebration of reading and books. In Ireland and the UK it’s usually held at the start of March, while the rest of the world tends to hold it in April. I don’t know why it can’t be held on the SAME day, but there you go. To encourage people to pick up a book and start reading, a select few are sold for one pound, or exchanged for Book Tokens. They’re fairly small books, it has to be said, and so they’re REALLY a sort of extended short story… But even so, it’s a wonderful enterprise, and I’m honoured to have been chosen to write a BRAND NEW Skulduggery adventure for World Book Day 2012.
I’m writing it at the moment, actually, in between edits of Death Bringer. I’ve managed to get my publishers to agree to make it 15,000 words long- which is the most they could manage (the average Skulduggery short story is anywhere between 3000 and 5000 words). Frankly, I wanted to make it the longest book it could possibly be within the World Book Day limits because I want to make it worth your while to pick up. In terms of a page count, 15,000 words is roughly equivalent to 90 pages of the Mortal Coil paperback, so it’ll probably be around one sixth of the length of Mortal Coil. It isn’t a full length book, but it’s something cool and new and AFFORDABLE to add to your collection.
The story takes place a few months after Death Bringer and it’s called The End Of The World. Apart from anything else, it’ll be a nice way to bridge the gap between Death Bringer and Book Seven, which will be released in September 2012- as planned- and which is called, er… Dave.