‘Desolation’, the second book in Derek Landy’s brilliant ‘Demon Road’ trilogy, hit the shelves earlier this month. Watching Amber grow into her demon self and be badass with Milo is just our cup of tea.
We chatted to Derek Landy about the trilogy and inspirations.
You’ve talked about the ‘Demon Road’ trilogy as a love letter to the films and TV shows you grew up with – can you tell us some of your favourites? Well, I was raised watching the old Hammer films and the old Universal horrors, like ‘Dracula’ and ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘The Wolfman’. I’d watch them late at night when everyone else had gone to bed. When I was about 12, I was introduced to American horror, films like ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘Re-Animator’, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, and all of the classic 70’s and 80’s horror movies. That’s how I was raised, that’s how I was brought up. Watching movies, reading Stephen King, reading James Herbert. Then, in my teens, the ‘X-Files’ started and it took me along even crazier routes.
Have those movies influenced you as writer? Absolutely. I started out writing scripts, so I’ve always been a very visual writer, and I see scenes very cinematically. Growing up, I just absorbed the tropes of horror movies, and now it’s how I think, it’s how I structure scenes. These films were hugely visceral experiences, hugely traumatic for the characters who were put through the wringer each and every time. I think anyone who has ever read my books would agree that I continue this tradition quite happily…!
On the Desolation Tour your recently screened some of your favourites – can you tell us a bit about these? On the tour, one of the films we showed was ‘Gremlins’, the kind of 80’s family horror that was so very prevalent back then, a style that you don’t really get anymore. The beginning of the third book in the ‘Demon Road’ trilogy is essentially my riff on that kind of tongue-in-cheek gentler kind of horror — although not too much gentler. The chance to show it to a new audience was just too good to pass up.
We’ve seen that you’re a big memorabilia collector, did this love for movies develop into that? Oh yes. Collecting props and costumes from favourite movies is an elaborate hobby, I admit. I mean, we all have hobbies, we all have things we collect, or things we’d like to collect. I’m in the lucky position of being able to indulge that side of myself. I suppose it’s a way to connect on a very basic level with the stories that have shaped me over the years, and influenced me as a writer.
Does anything you’ve collected influence your writing? Do you ‘use’ them when you’re cooking up ideas for inspiration? The individual props themselves don’t influence me, but I have very purposefully surrounded myself with props and statues and posters and memorabilia that speak to me on a creative level. They energise me, to be honest.
What would your dream collectible from ‘Demon Road’ be? To be honest, the things that I would love to arise from the books are the kind of things I collect. I want a model of Skulduggery Pleasant and I want a model of Demon Amber. My German publishers have one in prototype that I must have. The whole idea just fills me with enthusiasm.
Already read it? Tell us what you thought at @maximumpopbooks!
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