Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Maleficent Seven

Ah, Tanith...

Who would have thought you'd be the star of your own book, six years after I had the White Cleaver stab you through the back? Not I, certainly. When I first started writing, I had no plans for you beyond that fight scene. But fate— and my agent— intervened, and you stayed alive, and I am so glad you did.

Now here you are, heading up The Maleficent Seven, going on sale today (in the countries where it IS going on sale, obviously). I had envisioned this as a tiny little book, just a fraction longer than The End of the World, which would keep my precious Minions from gnawing their own arms off in anticipation of the next Skulduggery instalment. But yet again, things did not go according to plan. Yet again, you surprised me. And when I looked up, TMS had morphed from a novella into a book. It's still pretty short, as books go, but it's a lot more substantial than originally intended.

Now then, what public engagements do I have before me to celebrate this launch? Well, this afternoon, between 5 and 6, I have a, er, "twinterview"... is that what they're calling it? Seriously? Anyway, I'll be answering a load of questions that came with the hashtag #AskDerek. Apparently.

Then on Friday I'll be heading into RTE in the morning for the show Elev8, where I'll be talking with the beautiful Diana. And a bloke.

Then on Saturday I have signings in Easons in Blanchardstown at 11 and Easons Dundrum at 3.

On April 5th, there's a public signing in WHSmith in Guildford at 1PM, and my only EVENT at the Stratford Picture House at 5.

On the 6th, I'll be signing in WHSmith in Brent Cross at 11, and Waterstones in Bury St Edmunds at 5.

On the 7th, there is a signing in Waterstones in Norwich at 12.

And that's it. I'm not really sure where the proposed Milton Keynes signing went. Dammit.

Over the next few months I'll be making appearances in Derry, the Hay Festival, Leeds, Wicklow, and Dublin. Further details will be announced closer to the time.

Let's see... anything else...? Oh! Those of you signed up for the newsletter should be receiving a very cool email shortly. For those of you who aren't, keep an eye on the snazzy new Skulduggery website. Pay attention to a little competition called Exquisite Corpse.

I have to get back to work now. This book will not write itself— no matter how much I might want it to.

PS The Comment Section on THIS post is the ONLY Comment Section where you can discuss TMS! As usual, try not to be TOO spoilery when it comes to details. If you liked a certain bit, don't mention names or EXACT details- anyone else who has read the book will know what you're talking about. Remember that there are always oddball Minions who will read the spoilers before they read the book, and then get really, really mad with you for spoiling it...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stratford Picture House

You may have noticed me being pretty quiet over the last week or so, and for this I have a very good reason. I am writing a book. I'm over 115,000 words in but DEAR LORD I'm at that stage when I don't know if it'll EVER be finished. I'm supposed to be filling in the blanks right now- linking up scenes and sequences and getting the chapters in order and writing any little bits that I've left empty. But I'm still no closer to the end. How can this BE?

But before I get back to work, I have been asked to remind you all that my event at the Stratford Picture House on April 5th is the only public event I'll be doing for The Maleficent Seven. For those of you who don't know what a public event IS, it's basically me on stage yapping and answering questions for an hour, and then we go on to have a signing. All other appearances for TMS are just signings.

I've been asked to remind you about this because apparently there are lots of tickets available. Well, I'm ASSUMING there are lots of tickets available. The words used were "it's been slow to book", which means roughly the same thing. Maybe it's because it's the Easter holidays or it's the start of a weekend, but usually events pretty much sell out in a very short space of time. So Harper Collins publicity people are all going "uhhh... what's happening?"

Oh, and for those of you who have already booked tickets, don't you fret. If it IS a smaller crowd than usual, it just means the event will be more of a casual chat between all of us. And also you won't have to wait in line for hours.

But, uh, for all you others... book a ticket. Or something.

I'm getting back to work now. But before I do, two pictures of cats.

One cute.

One scary.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sobs. And Moffat.

She's engaged.

Alexis Bledel. She's... engaged.

Long time Minions will know of my love for Gilmore Girls. They will know of my love for Alexis Bledel. They will know we are destined to be together.

Apparently, Alexis was the only one who did not know this.

I shall now weep manly tears and sniffle into manly hankies.

In other news, it emerged that my interview with Steven Moffat WAS recorded, and you can listen to it here

Monday, March 18, 2013


I love German book fairs.

Every single one I've been to has been PACKED, and while that does tend to slow things down as you're trying to walk from one gigantic hall to the other, you really don't mind all that much. All these people crammed in around you are book-lovers, for god's sake. How annoyed can you actually be?

Over the weekend, I was at TWO German book fairs. The first one was in Cologne, on Friday evening, and I was up on stage with Rainer, the actor who does the German audiobooks, and Margarete, the translator. We've been doing this together for a few years now, so we're all quite comfortable with the process. The main difference between events in Germany and events everywhere else (apart from the need for a translator) is the emphasis put on the audio book. Rainer is as integral to the show as I am, and his readings make up half of our time on stage. The event in Cologne went wonderfully, and we had a really receptive audience, and I even spotted some familiar faces in the queue.

Once I'd finished signing, we went back to our hotel, where we had a very nice meal attended by the weirdest waiters I've ever encountered. One was tall, one was short, and they looked so alike that I started to suspect that they were the rejects from a batch of clones some mad professor had concocted in a dark and dingy lab. They were both wearing ill-fitting suits, both had the same type of glasses, and they both stood around and stared into space in the corners of the room while we were waiting to place our orders. So incredibly ODD.

Thankfully, we managed to escape the restaurant before they could kill us and harvest our organs to replace their own failing ones, and I got to my room and got into bed and put my head on the most deadly pillow the world has ever known. It was so big and so soft that when I put my head onto it, the whole thing folded up on either side and tried to suffocate me.

Convinced that the clone waiters were hovering outside my door, waiting for me to die, I slept without a pillow that night. I also slept sideways, because the double bed I'd been given was, in actual fact, two single beds pushed together, and I kept slipping down between them. Who knows what was waiting for me if I had slipped all the way? Scorpions? Tarantulas? Really lazy ninjas? Or maybe just a hole in the floor and a twisting slide that would deliver me to the mad professor's Experimentation Table of Doom?

I survived the night. Barely.

The next morning, we got a train to Frankfurt and then a plane to Leipzig. No attempts on my life were made during this time.

Leipzig Book Fair is half book festival and half comic convention. There are all these people dressed as Manga characters roaming around, chatting on their phones, browsing book shelves. Also, all of Germany had had a pretty bad winter, and there was piles of snow everywhere and it was pretty damn cold— and in the middle of it all you have these really cute German girls walking around in bizarre costumes that don't really cover a whole lot. They must have been FREEZING.

We did our first event, and although we only had a half an hour, it went very well. Such a huge crowd. The signing went on forever, and it was so cool seeing that many people wanting me to scrawl my signature over whatever they had.

The moment we were finished there we got in a car and drove to a graveyard. Because that's what you do once night falls, obviously.

We went to a huge sarcophagus-type place and we yapped in front of 200 people, doing our best to ignore the deep hole behind us with the old coffin. So just an average Saturday night, then...

Once that was done with, we went to dinner with a bunch of other people, including American author Maggie Stiefvater, and I sat at a big table with a bunch of people speaking German all around me. Best night EVER! Well, not quite. But Maggie is a funny lady.

Then I got back to my hotel. This time, my bed was a proper double bed, but the waiters had obviously followed me from Cologne because those damn pillows tried to drown my head again.

Sunday was my last day there. It was also Saint Patrick's Day.

(That's St PADDY'S Day, in its shortened version. Not St PATTY'S Day, as some Americans insist on calling it...)

I had an interview to do in the morning, and then I had two hours off before my event, so I went wandering through the halls. It was all so incredibly strange, and wonderfully so. It made me wish that Irish book festivals were like this. Imagine if The Mountains to the Sea festival had hundreds of teenagers walking around dressed as characters from comics and books. That would ROCK.

We did our event, signed for an enormous amount of people, and then I was whisked off to the airport to catch my first flight. I arrived back to my front door a little under eight hours later, tired but happy to be home, and looking forward to spending a night with my head on a pillow that doesn't try to kill me.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

World Book Day Yay!

Okay, about to get in the car and drive to Kildare for my event with Alex Barclay, but I was checking my emails and wandered onto the Facebook site and saw this...

I hope Karina Hauge doesn't mind me posting her picture here. I just thought...

... wow...

A signed book to the first Minion who gets Skulduggery tattooed on their FACE!


And since posting this I've received one or two messages from young and impressionable Minions who are saving up to do just that...

Don't! It was a JOKE!

Getting a tattoo is a decision that stays with you YOUR ENTIRE LIFE!

The last thing I want is to be in the middle of a signing somewhere and an angry mother hauls her son/daughter up to me and says "Look! Look at my daughter's face!"

I'll nod and smile politely, because I am a polite person, and I will say something along the lines of, "What a lovely young lady she is."

And then the mother will start shaking the poor girl. "She has. A tattoo. Of your character. ON HER FACE."

And I'll peer closer. "Is that what it is? I thought it was a freckle."

"It takes up her ENTIRE face!"

"I thought it was a big freckle. Are you going to sue me now?"


And that's when the ninjas attack.

I may be letting my imagination run a LITTLE bit wild, but you get the idea.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

World Book Day

Just to let you know that World Book Day is this Thursday (well, it is in this part of the world, anyway) and to celebrate Alex Barclay and myself will be holding two events. The first, in Kildare, is pretty much sold out, but the second one is in Easons in O'Connell Street, Dublin, at 6 PM. We'll be there, talking about... stuff... and books... and writing... and, er... annnnnyway...

Because this is somewhat last minute, I'm not expecting that many people to turn up to the Dublin event, which means it'll be a lot more casual and chatty than usual. If you're interested, get in touch with Easons to reserve a place, and we'll see you there.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Book Eight

And the title of Book Eight IS...

Actually hold on, we'll get to that in a moment. I have another 15 minutes before I have to post this entry, at 9 PM, and I'm going to use that 15 minutes, dammit. Because I did things today! Things that deserve to be blogged about!

Well, I did ONE thing that deserves to be blogged about. This afternoon I interviewed Steven Moffat, head of all things Doctor Who and Sherlock, on stage at Trinity College, Dublin. I'm pretty sure it wasn't recorded, though, so you're just going to have to take my word for how brilliantly it went. I've never interviewed anyone before— I'm used to being the one interviewed— so it was very interesting to sit in the other chair for a change.

Mr Moffat turned out to be everything I'd hoped he would be— he's a nice guy and he's FUNNY. It was such an informal, casual conversation that it made asking him questions a breeze. I love the shows he makes, as did everyone there, and it was so cool to be able to talk to him about them and not feel like  a total nerd.

And for those of you who are wondering, yes, I DID ask him for Karen Gillan's phone number. NO, he did not give it to me. But I think I broke him down sufficiently that all it'll take is one more chance encounter, and then wa-heyyyyy!


Okay, I now have seven minutes until I have to post this entry.

Oh, I'll be doing two publicity events in Ireland on March the 7th. At 10:30 AM in the Riverbank Theatre in Kildare I'll be interviewing (because I do it SO well) Alex Barclay on stage about her new book Curse of Kings.

Later that day, back in Easons in O'Connell Street at 6 PM, Alex and I will be doing... er... some sort of event. We haven't a clue WHAT we'll be doing, to be honest, but it'll be brilliant, and it'll be funny. I swear. Probably.

At both events, we'll be signing whatever you want signed.

Two minutes!

Okay then, here we go. This title has been in my head for years. EVERYTHING in the series has been leading up to Books Eight and Nine, and this is really where it all starts to build to the (hopefully epic) conclusion.

Prepare yourself for horror! Tragedy! Hilarity! Fights! Blood! Quips! Magic! Everything that makes life worth living!

Ladies and gentlemen, coming at the very end of August, I give you

Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men.