Friday, June 21, 2013


This day last week I was in Leeds. First, I visited the school in Huddersfield that had won the Skulduggery photo competition, and got chatting to a room full of highly amusing students. Then it was on to Leeds itself, to Waterstones, for an event, a question and answer session, and a signing that went on for, ahem, quite a while.

The following day we were in York, again at Waterstones, for a signing that AGAIN went on for longer than we had expected. Three hours in Leeds, four hours in York. Of course, some people (who shall remain nameless) chose to go to BOTH, which may explain the length...

I came back with the usual assortment of letters and notes (which I still have to go through), presents (including a garden gnome), and Skittles. Because I like Skittles.

It was so much fun, the Watersones staff were all ultra-cool, and everyone kept me grinning from beginning to end. So thank you everyone who made it out, and thank you to everyone who braved the long queues...!

So I got home on Saturday night, and I've been home for the last week, and I haven't done ANY work at all. Well, almost. Okay, so I did some businessy type stuff, but I didn't WRITE anything. Kind of. Okay, so I'm already planning the final Skulduggery book, and possibly a few other things, but that is ALL. I am taking a BREAK. Mostly.

So now that I'm taking a break, I can give a quick rundown on stuff I've been enjoying over the past few months...

Man of Steel: This was... good. It was a good film. Wasn't brilliant. I went to it with my mum, sisters and brother. My mum and sisters all thought it was amazing. My brother and I were more subdued— and seeing as how my brother and I are the only ones whose opinion I trust, I trusted us.

Dexter, season seven: Ah, the penultimate season of the serial killer hiding in plain sight. I always enjoy Dexter. Even the seasons that people say were weak, I loved. Only one more season to go, though, and then I'll have to say goodbye to one of my favourite characters. Will he be found out? Will he be arrested? Will he live? Will he die?

See, now I know how YOU guys feel...

Game of Thrones: Pure awesome. Not as awesome as the books, but awesome nonetheless. Jon Snow, Arya, Dany and Tyrion for the win.

Doctor Who: It'll be so sad when Matt Smith leaves. He's made a brilliant Doctor— childlike, impulse, excitable, yet so incredibly dark and lonely. And of course Jenna Louise Coleman is wonderful and gorgeous. (But Amy will always be my first love.)

Banshee: A weird one, this. An ex-con assumes the identity of a dead man and becomes the Sheriff of a town called Banshee. It has a lovely idea at its core that it hasn't managed to live up to, but I'm still watching. Definitely adults-only stuff, and even though the action does nod its head towards realism every chance it gets, it's still way over the top. Though I'm starting to question how no one has fired a sheriff who beats up suspects in front of the whole town...

True Blood, season five: Amazingly, this show gets better and better. It's moved away from its human/vampire love story beginnings and developed its own mythology. This is wonderful stuff, fantastically inventive, very funny, but again— adults only.

Assassin's Creed 3: errrr... I kinda stopped playing. All the Assassin Creed games are very repetitive, and I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to finish.

Resident Evil 6: Dreadful. Again, I stopped playing. It just wasn't FUN.

Skyrim: I stopped playing because I needed to write, but I do intend to go back to this. Oblivion was brilliant.

Metal Gear Rising: Awful. If I wanted a fighting game, I'd have bought a fighting game. I buy Metal Gear games because I want to sneak around and kill people when they don't expect it. (By the way, I've just seen the trailer for the next Metal Gear game, which looks like it'll fulfil every gaming need I could possibly possess.)

N0S4R2, by Joe Hill: Brilliant book. Loved every page.

The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beuke: I read this immediately after N0S4R2 and it did not suffer by comparison. Fantastic.

Annnnd I've just been emailed the edited copy of LSODM, so I shall be going through that this weekend, making last-minute changes and additions... and then it'll REALLY be done.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Progress Report

161,556 words. That's how long the book is right now. I wanted to have the edit done by tonight, but unfortunately that's not going to happen. I'm up at 6 in the morning to catch a plane to Leeds, so I'm about to hit the sack.

Oh, and for those of you who were pleading with me to keep LSODM as long as possible... you've got your wish. My editor Nick and my agent Michelle both got back to me, suggesting tiny changes here and there, but nothing that would shorten the book.

So the HUGE amount of characters stay in. The MASSIVE battles stay in. The HILARIOUS jokes and LIGHTNING-FAST wit stay in. Verily, it is a good day to be a Minion.

And I've just been chatting to Laura, who calls it the "deepest and darkest one yet". So I've got her all-important seal of approval, which makes me happy.

When it's out, when you've read it, I'll talk more about the writing of it, and the various problems I had to deal with in order to make it work. Everything from Book Two onwards has been leading up to LSODM, after all. Of all the books, this is the one I was certain about from the very beginning, in 2005, but it was one I was the most unsure about when I was actually writing it. So it comes as a relief to know it's actually good.

So... tomorrow I'm in Leeds— the tickets to which are now sold out— and on Saturday I'm signing in Waterstones in York at 11AM— and no tickets needed.

I'm been really quiet lately, on the Blog and on Twitter, and I do apologise for that, but I had to devote all my attention to the book. Now that it's (practically) done, I can get back to normal. Which'll be... er... nice.

I guess...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Word Count

Second draft is done...!

Laura was meant to come round yesterday to pick up her copy, but instead she's calling round tonight. While I wait for her to arrive, I've been going over the word counts to all the books so far. I'm very surprised by the first four books— for some reason, I thought everything I've written had been over 80,000 words. Apparently not.

Skulduggery Pleasant was 67,393 words.
Playing With Fire was 69,683.
The Faceless Ones was 69,689.
Dark Days was 77,335.

And now we see the numbers start to jump...

Mortal Coil was 104,000.
Deathbringer was 118,000.
Kingdom of the Wicked was 134,765.

And the second draft of Last Stand of Dead Men is coming in at a back-breaking 156,688 words. Basically, it's twice the length of Dark Days.

I don't know how long it'll be after the edit, but hopefully I'll be able to trim it down a little.

Ooh, Laura's here. Hold on a sec...

Okay, this is Laura, holding the manuscript of LSODM.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must chat to Laura about... stuff...