Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Die Horribly Winner! (And finishing a book)

I have just pressed SEND.

By pressing SEND, I have emailed off the completed book to my agent and editor. It will now be sent to the copyeditor who, amongst other things, will be checking for grammar and spelling mistakes that I've missed but, more importantly, will be ensuring that everything I've written makes sense.

She will be checking facts and figures and timelines, scouring her notes on the other books to make sure I haven't contradicted myself... A good copyeditor in invaluable, and I have a great one.

It's done. I wrote the two Scapegrace chapters that I'd left until last. Oh, and I ALSO included the winner of the Die Horribly competition...

It took me until last night to pick a winner. I was sent 30 finalists out of everyone who entered. Of those 30, I quickly whittled it down to 15. Then, not so quickly, down to 10. Then it took me ages to narrow it down to 5. Then 3.

There were some great entries. Lots of funny reasons why people reckoned they should be the reader I pick to kill horribly in the book. But I needed something specific. I needed something that would fit in with what I'd written. And there was only one reader who fit PERFECTLY.

So congratulations to Lewis Holmes, from the UK. You shall have the distinct honour of being Horribly Killed in The Dying of the Light.

Lewis' death was the last thing I had to write. Now it's all over. Sure, I'll be sent the copyeditor's notes to approve, and there'll be a little more fiddling around between now and printing time, but...

... but it's over. I have finished writing Skulduggery Pleasant.

I think I need to lie down now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


And I am finished.

Well, "finished" is maybe the wrong word. There are still two short chapters to write — detailing Scapegrace's little adventure - but basically, essentially, that's it. I'm done. I've just sent the official first draft of The Dying of the Light over to Nick, my editor, and Michelle, my agent. They've both read a rough version a few weeks ago so I know there's not going to be much in the way of changes when I start editing next week. Which is a relief. And word count, you ask? Word count?

Well, at the moment, before the edit and missing two little chapters, the word count stands at 153,193.  I can't find the exact count, but I think LSODM was about 161,000, so it'll be pretty close in size. I genuinely thought this would be a much smaller book, closer to Dark Days in terms of length. My editor, however, knew the word count would just explode once I started to do what I planned. The book is, he has told me, "hugely ambitious". So there's that.

And I'm glad it's taken me this long to write it, to be honest. I'm glad TDOTL is going to be a heavy, substantial book. It is the end, after all. It deserves to be weighty.

It has still to hit me, by the way. The fact that this IS the end. I think when the edit is finished it'll occur to me that there'll be no more Skulduggery books. Not exactly looking forward to that moment.

On a cheerier note, I've seen Tom Percival's rough sketch of the cover, and it will literally KILL YOU with feels.

Which, now that I think of it, probably isn't a cheerier note at all.

We have such cool ideas for the coming year, plenty of AMAZING events to announce, and I can't wait to let you all in on what we're planning. The next two days, in fact, I will be spending in a massive meeting about those very same events.

The Year of the Requiem is gonna ROCK.