Book Talk: Derek Landy lauds the skeleton who stormed his life

Wed Oct 6, 2010 7:22am EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) - As a fan of horror movies, martial arts and detective stories, Derek Landy thought he was set for a career writing screenplays until a skeleton detective stormed his imagination -- and children's bookshelves.

The snappily dressed Skulduggery Pleasant popped into Landy's mind while he was traveling, and within months was down on paper in the first of the Irish writer's best-selling fantasy novels, "Skulduggery Pleasant," that was published in 2007 and was this year voted Irish Book of The Decade.

Landy, from County Dublin, has just released the fifth book in the series, "Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil," which follows Pleasant and his teenage sidekick Valkyrie Cain as they try to protect a known killer from an unstoppable assassin.

Turning his hand to children's books was quite a shift for Landy, who had written two films since being thrown out of art college, one about zombies called "Boy Eat Girls" and the other a thriller in which everyone dies called "Dead Bodies."

Landy spoke to Reuters about his life with a skeleton:

Q: You released both the fourth and fifth books in the series this year. How did you fit it all in?

A: "I stopped having a life. I had been promising myself a break for about a year or two, a break between Skulduggery books when I could do something different, but it hasn't worked out according to plan. But as it is, it is still fantastic and I am really enjoying it and nowhere near the start of burn-out."

Q: You have said this will be a nine-book series.   Continued...