Award-winning author Derek Landy shows how one bright idea can unexpectedly turn into a writing career. Read about his journey and advice for all writers.


Derek Landy lives near Dublin, which also happens to be the main setting of his series, Skulduggery Pleasant. I wonder where he got the idea from… 

His Background as a Writer

First and foremost, Derek is a writer. Before he began writing the world famous Skulduggery series, he wrote the screenplays for a zombie movie, and then moved on to a thriller in which everyone dies at the end. 

The first novel of the series was published all the way back in 2007, with the thirteenth set to release sometime this year. The story follows a charismatic, well-dressed, Bentley-driving sorcerer detective. Oh, and he’s dead too.

People have wondered where he got such a wacky, yet brilliant idea for a children’s series. According to Derek, the idea just popped into his head one day. He wasn’t ever planning to write books, but suddenly, he was at his desk writing a kid’s book. Amazing.

Derek’s First Book Published

That was all the way back in 2006, with his first book released in 2007. What a journey he’s had since then. In between writing thirteen Skulduggery books, he also started writing a new trilogy some time in 2014, with the first of the trilogy released in 2015. It’s another personal favourite of mine – Demon Road.

Derek writes in a specific head space. He loves to write on his bed, his dogs curled up beside him, but he also needs to be in the right mood… happy. As I’m sure any writer, or aspiring writer will know, being in the right mood plays a big role in their style and overall work. 

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Derek Landy’s Writing Routine

Many have wondered what Derek’s writing routine is. Derek claims he goes to bed very late; sometimes around two or three in the morning, and wakes up sometime in the early hours to begin writing. He writes for a good few hours and takes a break. Sometime in the mid-morning he gets back to writing until he falls asleep. 

Now to me, that sounds like dedication. No wonder his books are so well-written.

When he isn’t writing he spends his time continuing to learn Kenpo Karate – an updated system of martial arts based on modern-day street fighting that applies logic and practicality. Before even writing the zombie movie and thriller, he taught many children the ways of Kenpo Karate.

Derek is also an animal lover, through and through. He currently houses a wide variety of cats, two German Shepherds, and two old, but loved Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

This just goes to show that your life can be normal, and suddenly an incredible idea will pop into your head. Follow that idea until its run its course. You may well just have a bestseller trapped inside your head, waiting to come out!

About the Author

Trent Meikle has been working on a writing career for the past few years. He wrote on the side while he worked his way through high school, and now he writes on the side while he works his regular job. Trent tries to write as often as he can, but when he does take a break, he likes to go out and see his friends and family, relax and find the latest binge-worthy show.