Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas, minions!

My Christmas morning got off to a terrifying start.

Christmas Eve, you see, is the night when Laura and Katie come over. It's become sort of a tradition around here. They come over, we exchange presents, they go away with something really really expensive and I stay at home with something really really cheap. Usually a mug of some kind. But this year, Laura excelled herself. "What do you get the man who has everything?" she wondered. "Oh, I know. A Pac-Man alarm clock. Obviously."

So I naively set the alarm when I went to bed, planning on being up for about ten on Christmas morning. Nothing like a nice lie-in, I figured.

So there I was. Asleep. Dreaming of fluffy things you dream of when you're asleep. And then... oh dear God... The loudest, most abrupt alarm call ever blasted into my ear, the Pac-Man theme HAMMERING my tender, tender ear-drums as I woke suddenly and violently, thrashing about to visions of giant yellow circles chasing me through a maze.

Thank you, Laura. I am now terrified of my alarm. Thank you so much.

An hour later I was at my parents' house, ignoring everyone except my little niece Sophie, to whom I presented a huge Mickey and Minnie Mouse...

Presents were exchanged, and for once I got GOOD stuff. My mother dragged the heaviest punchbag you could buy into the living room, dumped it on the floor and gestured that it was for me before collapsing into a very dignified heap of exhaustion. My brother and sisters got me a smaller punchbag (the cheap kind) but that's okay. They did their best. And let's face it- it's a darn sight better than the bath matts they got me last year.

Then there was some visiting of the relatives, a part of Christmas I used to hate but now I enjoy (well, mostly). I usually use it as an excuse to just talk about me and how great I am. My aunts and uncles and cousins love that. They say they don't, but I know they do. I read between the lines. It's one of my gifts.

Then it was back to the parents' place, where my OTHER nieces joined us, and we had Christmas dinner and I got to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special. I actually didn't think it was the best Christmas Special they'd ever had, even though Matt Smith is now officially my favourite Doctor ever, but it was saved by a wonderful final scene with Amy Pond. I love Amy Pond. Amy Pond rules.

And then I came home, and signed 13 copies of Death Bringer.

When my publishers sent me the books to sign for the competition winners they neglected to send me any copies of the latest book- so if any of you winners have received your prizes yet, you will have noticed you're one book short! Fear not- I am on the case, and will be personally sending you the latest book as soon as the Post Office reopens.

I've also been going through the entries to the Australia/NZ competition. I have a few possible choices for the female Australian character, but the NZ male character still hasn't been decided. Kiwis, you have a week to dream up someone new before I have to choose. Granted, I haven't gone through ALL of the entries yet, so I may have missed the perfect male character, but you still have a chance to win- so get to it!

And so, to end this Blog entry, I figured I'd post two more pictures of my cats. This is one of them, in a box.

And this is another one, who has found a fantastic new sleeping place in my sock drawer.

Merry Christmas, my loyal minions.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Er... has just been pointed out that maybe the important post, the COMPETITION post, may be slightly overlooked because it is no longer the "new" post. So I'm just posting again to make sure that you read the one below the one below this.

Oh dear God I've just overcomplicated a simple situation, haven't I?


Usual Chatter Here

Because I have nothing to actually SAY in this post, I will instead put up some amusing pictures.

And finally, because some of you noticed the Game of Thrones book in my Iron Man pic...

ANOTHER Competition??

London had Justin Bieber turning on its city's lights. Dublin had Michael Buble. And who did my neighbouring village Donabate have to turn on THEIR Christmas lights last Saturday evening? Why, they just had international superstar author Derek Landy drop by to ROCK. THEIR. WORLD. 

And verily, their world was indeed rocked.

I was surrounded at all times by a pack of chattering girls, led by my very good friend Molly, whom I had met at the Twilight premiere a few weeks ago. 'Tis a small world indeed. A small, odd world. Filled with small, odd girls, who wouldn't stop talking.

But that's not why I'm here to talk to you today. Specifically, you people with the funny accents. Even more specifically, you people with the funny accents from Australia and New Zealand. I am here to tell YOU people that, good Lordy, we are running ANOTHER create-a-character competition just for you- because I am a kind and gracious Golden God.

I wasn't planning on running another competition quite so soon, but after talking to my publishers I decided to squeeze one last contest into the final few weeks of 2011, and it's all to do with The End Of The World, which is being published in Ireland and the UK in March as part of World Book Day. Now, I'm sure all of you know just how much I love synchronicity, how much I love releasing books at the same time across the world, so we have arranged for TEOTW to be released in Australia and New Zealand at the same time, and it was decided that it should include a brand new and exclusive short story featuring two characters that you guys will have to come up with.

Readers elsewhere need not worry, of course, as this bonus story will be collected along with all the other short stories 'n' stuff sometime soon (or soonish...). And readers in Ireland and the UK will also get a few pages of bonus material in the back of TEOTW, just for being you...

But I digress.

The competition! The deadline is tight, my Australiminions, my New Zeali...minions.... (I'm not sure that works... ahem...). The deadline is 11.59 PM on New Year's Eve in whatever Time Zone you happen to be in, and not a second after!

Because we have this tight schedule, I'm going to give you a few pointers which might improve your chances of winning- pointers which look a lot like ten rules you MUST OBEY.


1. Readers from Australia- I need a female character from you lot. Readers from New Zealand- I need a male character from you. 

2. There will be ONE winner from each country. 

3. Be practical when giving them their powers. I couldn't use some FANTASTIC characters from the other competitions because their powers would either have needed some heavy-duty explanation, or the characters were just TOO DAMN POWERFUL.

Restrict yourselves to a discipline of magic we've already seen in the books. Don't make your character someone who can do both Elemental and Adept magic. Don't make your character half-unicorn. Don't make your character Skulduggery's long lost brother. Who is also half-unicorn. Who can do both Elemental and Adept magic.

Be practical!

4. Post your entries HERE, in the Comments Section, which is now off-limits to everyone else! (The Blog entry accompanying this one will be for the usual chatter.)

5. You can post as many times as you want.

6. Before your entry, write this: "I hereby give my Golden God, Derek Landy, full rights to take this character and adapt it into his brain-explodingly brilliant work."

7. Understand that I might have to tweak your character in order to get the best fit for the story.

8. I can't think of an eighth rule. 

9. Oh, oh! I thought of one!

10. Bring me... a shrubbery. 

Friday, December 2, 2011


Brrrrr it's getting cold...

After a bizarrely warm November, it's starting to get pretty cold indeed around these parts. Christmas decorations are everywhere. Shopping queues are getting longer. This morning I heard "Merry Christmas (The War is Over)" on the radio- the first Christmas song I've heard in 2011. And a few days ago I posted a TON of cards and letters to readers who had written to me- so it is OFFICIALLY close to Christmas. I can now safely announce it.

You may rejoice.

And the competition winners may ALSO rejoice, because the books I have to sign have finally arrived. I'll sign them all this weekend, have them ready to be picked up on Monday or Tuesday, and then hopefully you'll be getting your prizes over the next few weeks. It'd be cool if you could get them BEFORE Christmas, so that's what we're working towards.

There's still a lot of work going on in my house. I'm getting one of the rooms refurbished- COMPLETELY redesigning it- as well as the kitchen redone, and that's been going on since the start of October. Basically, it means a lot of noise and hassle and interruptions, so I haven't been able to focus on Book Seven, which I really would have liked to have started by now. But hey, I'm not worried. My house is going to RULE when it's all finished, because finally I'll have a proper place to store my toys.

A lot of you may not know this, but I love toys. I collect movie memorabilia and props and stuff, and also comic-book statues. To give you an idea of the kind of things I'm talking about, here are a few action figures...

... and a rather large Iron Man (I've put a book beside him to give you an idea of scale)...

Oh, and here's a 12 inch figure of Sweeny Todd about to give a 12 inch Ichabod Crane a very close shave...

Boy oh boy do I love toys...

As you can imagine, my place is full of equipment boxes right now, so I'm going to leave you with a picture of one of my cats- Pooper- doing what cats love best: clambering into cardboard boxes for no apparent reason.