Ask a child under the age of about fifteen about “Skullduggary Pleasant” and just wait for the grin… followed by a breathless inundation of praise for a series of books that has just hit number seven! How could I have not heard of this before?
I was fortunate enough to be informed about the awesomeness of Skullduggary Pleasant by a young lady in my homeschool writers’ class and was sold enough to pick up a copy of the first book at the Uni Bookshop. Opening it to the inside cover, I read “Before writing his children’s story about a sharply dressed skeleton detective, DEREK LANDY wrote the screenplays for a zombie movie and a murderous thriller in which everybody dies.”
I laughed. Then read on…
“As a black belt in Kenpo Karate he has taught countless children how to defend themselves, in the hopes of building his own private munchkin army. He firmly believes that they await his call to strike against his enemies (he doesn’t actually have any enemies, but he’s assuming they’ll show up sooner or later).
“Derek lives on the outskirts of Dublin, and the reason he writes his own biography blurb is so that he can finally refer to himself in the third person without sounding pompous or insane.”
Wow… being that hilarious in his biography, I couldn’t wait to read the story itself, and so I turned to the first page…
“Gordon Edgley’s sudden death came as a shock to everyone – not least himself.”
Needless to say, the rest of the book is equally awesome. A young girl discovers a world of magic and danger with the guidance of an irreverant skeleton detective (who I am sure is a fictional incarnation of Derek Landy himself).
I loved the first book and fully intended to get myself the next one when my mother told me this author I’d been raving about was coming to town. Well, I went right out and bought the entire series and told my whole Writers’ Guild they should come along. It was awesome fun to wait in line with such passionate young fans to get my copies signed. Derek had the same humor in person that I loved in his books – teasing, warm and hilarious. He took the time to talk with every fan and take pictures, staying well after the official end time so that he could see everyone (it was a really long line!)
If (or perhaps when) I am a ‘famous author’, I want to be just like him!