Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spoilers Ahead!

The time has come...

Death Bringer is trickling into some shops ahead of schedule... I was in my local bookstore today and there it was- out two days before it should be. I glared at the book, and the book blushed, for such is the power of my glare.

The official launch is today- Wednesday- in Dublin. And then Thursday it is finally, and officially, unleashed.

So the comments section for THIS blog entry are reserved for MILD SPOILERS. There is to be NO casual conversation here- that's what the previous entry is for. THIS entry is for discussions about the book. Even so, try to exercise SOME caution, because you just KNOW that someone is going to stumble onto it by accident, or they're going to pop in before they've FINISHED and then they're going to be horrified that the ending is now ruined for them...

So. If you haven't read Death Bringer, continue using the previous comments section. But once you have read it... discuss it here.

And now I'm going to bed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Short Stories

Hello, my Minions.

Can you feel it? Can you? The 1st of September is approaching. According to that wonderful Countdown Clock on the Skulduggery website, there is- at the time of posting- FIVE days, TEN hours, and FOUR minutes. Of course, by the time you read this, the time to wait will be even shorter- and growing shorter every moment.

(Unless you’re re-reading this at some stage AFTER the 1st, in which case, yayyy it’s already out! Woot!)


All of you folks who came to the Edinburgh event have been fantastic, I have to say. I wasn’t OVERLY worried that someone would release spoilers, but the chance for someone to say the wrong thing or give the wrong hint (coughSwindlercough) was always there, lurking around the edges of every Blog and Facebook comment. So, my thanks to you, my Minions, for remaining loyal and true, and allowing your fellow readers the same chance you had to experience Death Bringer without ANY spoilers.

I have seven days until my tour begins, so I’m trying to cram as many things into this coming week as possible. I enjoy every tour when I’m out there, and it’s a great chance for me to meet the people from this Blog and the Facebook page and the Forums, so that always makes me smile. The downside of touring is the travelling, the hotels, the airports, the car rides, and the fact that you have to put your life on hold for a few weeks.

It’s like a holiday, without the relaxation or the parties.

But hey, it’s fun nonetheless.

This coming Wednesday is the official Skulduggery launch, in Eason’s Bookshop in Dublin. I have no idea what to expect. Most book launches are relatively quiet affairs, attended by friends and family, with a few other writers turning up to wish you well. When I was told that Dave from Eason was planning a launch, however, I got a chill. Because Dave... Dave doesn’t DO quiet.

The only thing I know about it is that there will be readers there, whom I BELIEVE have already entered a competition (I sincerely don’t know anything about it).  Apparently, he’s also planned a “surprise”. Oh dear God. I’ll keep you informed as best I can.

Now then, when we brought out the new paperback editions, I didn’t want you guys to buy a SECOND copy of a book you already owned just because they had (admittedly awesome) new covers. I knew there were some lunatics out there who would buy the new editions just for Tom’s artwork, so I wrote a few short stories just to give them something extra. Of course, THEN the problem became how to make those stories available to the people who DIDN’T feel the need to have multiple copies of the same book. You know- relatively SANE people.

So now, at last, two of the short stories that have previously appeared in the new paperbacks are now available on the website at, as well as being available on iBooks and Kindle, for the very reasonable price of NOTHING AT ALL. I love when things are free, because it means EVERYONE can afford it, and you don’t have to worry about loose change in your pocket. The Lost Art of World Domination takes place after Skulduggery Pleasant, and Gold, Babies and the Brothers Muldoon takes place after Playing With Fire. The other short stories will be released over the next few months.

And I’m going to go now, because I have things to do. Things! To do!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ahh, Edinburgh...

Wow… yesterday was a long day.

It’s been a long week, actually. Aside from normal things like writing, I’m also busy with other stuff that nobody else is interested in but me- planning out a new kitchen, planning on having the floorboards put down in the living room... God, it’s all so domesticated. Isn’t the moment when you put in a new kitchen the moment you finally grow up and become an adult? It’s all so tediously dull and boring that there really is no other excuse for it.

Still, at least I have people like YOU to keep me young.


So, yesterday. Monday. I got up at five. It wasn’t that bad, getting up at five. I was brushing my teeth and it was just getting bright outside and I was thinking to myself, “This getting up at five lark, it’s really not so bad as I’d thought.” I was halfway down the stairs when I fell asleep. Not sure how I fed the dogs or the cats, but the next thing I knew I was in my car. Time sure flies when you’re sleeping.

My flight was at 6:50, and I got into Glasgow at a little before 8, where I was whisked off to the Harper Collins building and told to sign 2300 brand new copies of Death Bringer. I took a moment to look at the book- it was the first time I’d seen it- and make sure the dedication and the blurb was right. Oh it’s a nice book. Oh it’s a BIG book. 603 hardback pages, compared to Mortal Coil’s 572. AND the print is slightly smaller, so we’ve crammed more words onto each page, so in reality Death Bringer is... er... well, a lot more than 31 pages longer.

So I signed the books in record-breaking time- thanks to the six or seven people around me who unpacked the books, opened the books, slid them to me to sign, slid them away, stacked them, packed them up again, and hauled them back to the warehouse- all in one continuous motion. It’s quite something, seeing something like that. And they always ask me if I’m doing okay, if my arm is sore, if I need a break- but the fact is, I’m the only one sitting down, so I’m quite rested while they’re all running around frantically. Oh it’s good to be the writer.

Once that was done, Sam and I (Sam being my publicist extraordinaire) got in a car for the hour-long drive to Edinburgh. We got there at twelve, had lunch, strolled over to the Festival.

I love the Edinburgh Book Festival. It’s so PACKED full of things and events and writers and all these people, all of these people of different ages and backgrounds and styles who come here just because they love books. The staff are so cool, real chatty and approachable, and the whole thing has a wonderful air of friendliness to it.

We went into the Author’s Tent- which is a fabulous marquee of hidden delights and forbidden pleasures- where I met Skulduggery artist Mister Tom Percival, who was over to do his own event. Tom is, as you know, the writer/illustrator behind Tobias and the Super Spooky Ghost Book and the upcoming A Home for Mr Tipps (both amazing picture books for a little brother or sister, if you have them. Or, you know, even if you don't. They're still AWESOME).

I also met up with Charlie Fletcher, author of the Stoneheart trilogy. I’d been on stage with Charlie a few years ago, when the first Skulduggery books was released, so it was nice to catch up. We know some of the same people, and we were talking movie rights and options until we were pushed onstage, where Charlie introduced me to the five hundred or so people packed into the tent.

It was a good event. Every event at a festival tends to be a good event, but this was especially good. The hour passed before I knew it, and then I was signing. Most writers for young people are taken to the Children’s Signing Tent, apparently, but because of the massive amount of people that turned up, I was taken to the MAIN Signing Tent, and signed for three and a quarter hours. In that time, I was given pictures (thank you all!), a story (thank you Zoe!), and seven- yes, SEVEN- hugs. I also met a few people who either read or comment on (or both) this Blog- Mhairi, NJ Maverick, Sarthacus and... and... argh... Doggy Bone Girl Person... (fine, that is not her ACTUAL name, but it’s close... kind of...)

By the end, I had to seriously speed up, because I had a flight to catch, but I managed to see everyone, chat to everyone, and sign all their books. Some of these people were waiting for over three hours, for God’s sake- I couldn’t just LEAVE them there. (Besides, they looked dangerous.)

When I got to the airport, though, I was told my flight had been delayed for an hour and half, which meant I could have stayed and had a long chat with EVERYONE. Curses!


I got home at eleven. My dogs were still alive (the cats hadn’t eaten them). I was tired. Oh boy was I tired. But I glanced at this Blog, and the Facebook page, and at our friends over at Skulduggery Forums, just to make sure that no one was posting spoilers. And of course, no one was.

But reading over the Facebook comments, it made me grin when I saw the gradual change in people who weren’t able to make it to Edinburgh. Before the Festival, everyone was saying “Don’t post spoilers! If you post spoilers I will kill you!”

But once there were actually people out there who were reading the book, some of the comments changed slightly... “Ok, ok, could you post ONE spoiler? Just one little spoiler, that’s all I ask... Nothing big, nothing major, just one teensy weensy spoiler, just to satisfy me until I can get the book myself...”

Thankfully, all that appears to be happening is that people are showing the back cover, and the blurb on the back. They’re not even giving away the dedication, or the Author Biography thing.

So, to the people who have the book, thank you very much for not posting spoilers. Now, it’s not going to be easy over the next two weeks, because curiosity is a powerful thing, and some people on this Blog, and Facebook, and the Forums, and all over, will be begging you for JUST ONE LITTLE SPOILER- but you must resist. Giving one person a spoiler could spoil it for EVERYONE- so I’m asking you once again to stay strong, no matter how much they plead or cajole or threaten... 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Death Bringer Tour

Here you are, my Minions, all of the Ireland and UK public events are listed below. In between all these, I’ll be doing a lot of school events, but these are the ones where anyone will be able to attend.

As usual, whole sections will be missed out, because every year I try to visit different regions. So if I’m not going to be anywhere near you this year, I’ll probably be there in 2012. Maybe.

Sept 3rd
10 AM, WHS Brent Cross, London- public signing.
3 PM, Waterstones Bromley- signing.

Sept 4th
1 PM, Glenearn Community Campus Hall, Perth, Scotland –event.
6 PM, Waterstones, Stirling, Scotland - event.

Sept 5th
5:30 PM, Waterstones, Sauciehall St, Scotland – event.

Sept 7th
1 PM, Seven Stories, Newcastle – event.
4 PM, Waterstones, Blackett Street, Newcastle – signing.

Sept 8th
3:30 PM, Waterstones, Meadowhall Centre, Sheffield – signing.
7 PM, Waterstones, Pescod Square, Lincolnshire – event.

Sept 9th,
3:30 PM, Waterstones Cambridge – signing.
7 PM, University of Hertfordshite, Hatfield – event.

Sept 10th,
10:30 PM, Muswell Hill Children;s Bookshop, London – signing.
3 PM, Waterstones, Bluewater, London – signing.

Sept 11th,
4 PM, Mountains to the Sea Festival, Dublin, Ireland – event.

Sept 15th,
11:30 AM, Tallaght County Library, Dublin – event.
4 PM, Easons, Newbridge – signing.

Sept 16th,
10:30 AM, Liberty Hall, Dublin – event.
4:30 PM, Easons, Swords, Dublin – signing.

There'll probably be two more signings around Ireland on the 17th, but I don't know where yet.

Oh, and on the 15th and 16th of October I'll be at the Frankfurt Book Fair!

You can bring whatever you have and I'll do my best to sign everything. Naturally, if the queue is huge and time is running out, I may only be able to sign one thing per person, but I'll try my best. If you're lucky, only half a dozen people will actually turn up and then we'll have LOADS of time to chat! Oh, and if this "one book per person" rule comes into effect, try not to take it personally.

When I was over in Australia I'd been signing for two or three hours and I was seriously running out of time, so we announced that I'd only be able to sign one book per person in order to get through everyone. Now, all the people standing in the queue were very cool and understanding about it, they didn't mind one little bit...

... apart from this one particular boy.

I'm sure he regrets it now, but he started to stamp his feet when his mother told him that no, Derek couldn't sign everything. And then he started whining. And then he started crying. And his face was all red and blubbery and I was trying to explain, as quickly and as kindly as possible, that I just didn't have the time, but he kept stamping his feet in front of EVERYBODY and I was trying my best not to break out laughing. The poor little lad. So I said fine, okay, and I scrawled my name on his books and his mother took him away, hanging her head in shame. 

It was, and I really don't want to be mean here, hysterically funny, and even remembering it now has me laughing...

So, beware of this rule! As more and more people read the books, and as more and more books are released, I obviously don't have the time I used to. But if everything goes according to plan I should have plenty of time to sign, doodle and- most importantly for me- chat to you guys while I'm sitting there. 

Oh, and hugs are encouraged (time-permitting).