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‘Demon Road’ author reveals secret behind rapid-fire dialogue: “My name is Derek Landy, and I have a stammer”


If you’ve read any of Derek Landy’s work, inlcuding MP! favourite, ‘Demon Road’, you’ll notice that the dialogue and humour are obvious strengths. Even reviewers rave about this talented writer’s use of dialogue, describing it as “wonderful” (Irish Times), “wickedly funny” (The Guardian), and “punchy” (SciFiNow). It seems odd to think that there was ever a time this man struggled to deliver his jokes.

Derek Landy recently told The Big Issue about his own stumbling block:  “My name is Derek Landy, and I have a stammer”. However, instead of lamenting this problem or claiming it to be the bane of his public life, Landy insisted that his stammer has actually made him a better writer.

He says, “I envied my friends, with their offhand mastery of a skill I never had. I tended to stand off to one side, the perfect comeback or one-liner or witty riposte bubbling silently in my throat, unable to emerge…”

However, Landy didn’t let that stop him from putting pen to paper. In fact, it was his marvel at the ease of others’ speech which inspired him to write dialogue just like it.

“If I have a strength as a writer (and I do), it is in my approach to dialogue…I value wordplay and rhythm and fluidity disguised as colloquialism. We all stammer in our own ways…but because of my stammer I was able to recognise these tendencies in others from a very young age. And they fascinated me.

…When it came time for me to create my own characters, such as the wise-cracking Skulduggery Pleasant, it seemed only natural that I give them a super power that I’d never had growing up, and that I’m only now experiencing for myself – not of Spider-Man’s agility or Superman’s strength or Wolverine’s claws, but of superlative speech.”

Read the full article here.

Get your copy of ‘Demon Road’ right here, right now.

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Written by Laura Fulton

Book Channel Editor at MaxPop! Have a thing for the sea and pretty paperbacks. Saved by amazing grace.

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