Friday, August 10, 2012

Derek Landy visits Upper Hutt

Yesterday Irish author Derek Landy visited Upper Hutt, he was co-hosted by Hutt International Boys School (HIBS) and St Brendan's School. The event was held in HIBS auditorium and students from the Hutt Valley, and perhaps a bit further afield, were welcomed by Kapa Haka performed by St Brendan's senior students. (Well done seniors, I've had some great feedback from other schools about your Kapa Haka.)

Derek began by talking about his life - from childhood till now, it took about nine minutes...  He filled in some of the rest of his talk telling us about his pets, his German Shepherd - who now lives with his parents, and two Staffordshire Bull Terriers that he adopted as older dogs.  He also told us how he became a Dog and Cat person after originally being a Dog person.  It was all the fault of this little grey cat who kept visiting him in his new house and staring at him as he was working on his next Skulduggery book. The cat kept visiting, and kept visiting and he noticed it was getting a bit thin, so he started to feed it (big mistake!) He didn't know if the cat was a boy or a girl, and he didn't ask. He soon found out when two cute wee kittens arrived.  Now he had three cats!  Derek soon discovered that cats can multiply a bit like rabbits if you're not careful and at one point he had 13 cats in his house. Lucky for him he managed to find homes for most of them with other people.

Derek is "World Famous" for his Skulduggery Pleasant series of books for children and young adults - and he has a few adult fans too I hear! We found out some interesting facts about the Skulduggery books and here are a couple that I remember from yesterday. 
  • It took him six months to write the first draft of the first Skulduggery Pleasant book, and in this first draft Tanith Lee was killed.
  • The only character that is based on a real person in some way is Skulduggery Pleasant who is based on Derek Landy  Stephanie/Valkyrie who is based on a martial arts student he knew - this helped him with how a teenage girl would react to things, he didn't know this since he was never a teenage girl.
  • There may one day be a Skulduggery Pleasant movie.
photo by Mr Lawrence
After question time those who were interested (and who remembered to bring their Skulduggery book along) were able to go and get a book signed by Derek.  A few St Brendan's students had books with them for signing - of course us adults were only in the photo with Derek Landy and the students to make up the numbers - Honest!

You can find out more about Derek Landy and the Skulduggery Pleasant books in my earlier blog post here


  1. i'm so disappointed i missed it, i was sick!
    thanks for the post, it sort of filled me in on what i missed!

  2. Sorry you missed it Meg. Hope you're feeling better soon.



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