DESPITE achieving worldwide success with his popular Skulduggery Pleasant series of books, Lusk-born author Derek Landy has rooted himself in north Fingal and sees no reason to leave. Now living in Rush, the landscape of this part of the world has inspired his writing and the isolation of growing up in rural Fingal has fuelled his imagination. Derek admits that growing up in a then much more remote Lusk as a teenager had its disadvantages and led to a certain amount of isolation as a youth. But isolation can be a useful thing for a writer. 'It was pretty remote. When I was younger I didn't like that at all but these days I love that sense of Isolation,' Derek told the Fingal Independent. He began his education at the tiny Corduff National School and daydreaming in class, where he admits he was 'easily distracted', he began weaving stories and sewing the seeds of the successful career as a children's author he now enjoys. Although he was not always happy to be so isolated, in the end it helped. 'I suppose it suited me because I never needed people and I was always happier on my own which kind of helps. I basically lived in my imagination.' Now he values the rural setting of his home near Rush and said about it: 'Where I am is away and apart and out on its own and for a writer that's really what I like and everywhere from around here from Skerries to Balbriggan and up to Malahide and Swords, I do feel at home here. I can't really see myself moving too far away.' Apart from his own home, The Red Bank restaurant in Skerries is one of the author's favourite haunts and in Turvey Avenue he can sometimes be seen taking part in martial arts classes and his love of the Krav Maga fighting style has turned up in his books. Derek revealed that the geography of one of the towns where his Skulduggery Pleasant books are set is based on Rush. Valkyrie, one of the central characters of the books, lives in
Haggard, a town that Derek says is closely based on Rush. He said: 'The town in which Valkyrie lives in the books is called Haggard and basically it is Rush and the geography is pretty much exactly Rush from the pier to the back roads and how they link to the main roads.' Derek has just released the seventh book in the nine-book Skulduggery Pleasant series, and is on a book-signing tour around the country and the world. He recently signed in Swords and says he looks forward to these event to meet his readers, who 'get taller each time'. The new book in the series is out now and is called Kingdom of the Wicked, and although we are only two books away from the end of the series, Derek says he is in the dark as much as the readers as to how it is all going to end. When the books stop, it seems that movies will not be far behind and the local author revealed to the Fingal Independent that he is putting the finishing touches to a Skulduggery film script. After a false start in Hollywood for the project, Derek took charge of the script himself and now several studios are interested in bringing these globally popular characters to the big screen.