I was gifted the first book in the series by a bookseller (thank you Harry @ Dymocks Bendigo) who promised I’d love it. He said there weren’t many children’s novels that could hold his attention but Skulduggery had done the job. I’ve subsequently read the first three books to the Little Dragon as bedtime stories. I’m a tad dirty he’s tackling the fourth by himself and I’ll have to wait in line. These books work for young readers 8 and up, male or female. They’re violent, funny, action-packed, trippy and chock full of fantastic bad guys.
Here’s a little of the wisdom Mr Landy shared on Saturday:
1. When writing, make every chapter your favourite. Put your best jokes, action and dialogue into the chapter you’re working on and have fun with it. When you’re done, try and make the next chapter your new favourite, topping your previous effort.
2. Write the fun bits of your story first. Then, when you have to write the boring bits that connect the plot together, try and make them more fun than the fun bits. That way you get a book that doesn’t have any dull bits.
3. Young people considering writing as a career should give up and look for other opportunities. That way they don’t become competition to existing authors and steal our sales. (Hey, he was smiling when he said it.)
4. Writers have fantastic lifestyles. Mr Landy sleeps until noon, plays video games and then sits down to write at approximately 2pm. If he’s on a roll, he might write for eight hours straight. (This lifestyle was a big selling point to the Little Dragon until he remembered I need a real job to fund my book-writing habit.)
5. As god of your fictional universe you can do anything you like. Mr Landy said he killed off popular character Tanith Low in Book 1 but was persuaded by his publisher to give the feisty Ms Low another chance so the story didn’t end on too much of a bum note. Mr Landy accepted this suggestion and Ms Low survived. Mr Landy now holds a grudge against his character and has ensured she almost dies in every subsequent book.
6. There are going to be nine books in the series. Ms Low is going to spend a lot of time in rehab.