London had Justin Bieber turning on its city's lights. Dublin had Michael Buble. And who did my neighbouring village Donabate have to turn on THEIR Christmas lights last Saturday evening? Why, they just had international superstar author Derek Landy drop by to ROCK. THEIR. WORLD.
And verily, their world was indeed rocked.
I was surrounded at all times by a pack of chattering girls, led by my very good friend Molly, whom I had met at the Twilight premiere a few weeks ago. 'Tis a small world indeed. A small, odd world. Filled with small, odd girls, who wouldn't stop talking.
But that's not why I'm here to talk to you today. Specifically, you people with the funny accents. Even more specifically, you people with the funny accents from Australia and New Zealand. I am here to tell YOU people that, good Lordy, we are running ANOTHER create-a-character competition just for you- because I am a kind and gracious Golden God.
Readers elsewhere need not worry, of course, as this bonus story will be collected along with all the other short stories 'n' stuff sometime soon (or soonish...). And readers in Ireland and the UK will also get a few pages of bonus material in the back of TEOTW, just for being you...
I wasn't planning on running another competition quite so soon, but after talking to my publishers I decided to squeeze one last contest into the final few weeks of 2011, and it's all to do with The End Of The World, which is being published in Ireland and the UK in March as part of World Book Day. Now, I'm sure all of you know just how much I love synchronicity, how much I love releasing books at the same time across the world, so we have arranged for TEOTW to be released in Australia and New Zealand at the same time, and it was decided that it should include a brand new and exclusive short story featuring two characters that you guys will have to come up with.
But I digress.
The competition! The deadline is tight, my Australiminions, my New Zeali...minions.... (I'm not sure that works... ahem...). The deadline is 11.59 PM on New Year's Eve in whatever Time Zone you happen to be in, and not a second after!
Because we have this tight schedule, I'm going to give you a few pointers which might improve your chances of winning- pointers which look a lot like ten rules you MUST OBEY.
1. Readers from Australia- I need a female character from you lot. Readers from New Zealand- I need a male character from you.
2. There will be ONE winner from each country.
3. Be practical when giving them their powers. I couldn't use some FANTASTIC characters from the other competitions because their powers would either have needed some heavy-duty explanation, or the characters were just TOO DAMN POWERFUL.
Restrict yourselves to a discipline of magic we've already seen in the books. Don't make your character someone who can do both Elemental and Adept magic. Don't make your character half-unicorn. Don't make your character Skulduggery's long lost brother. Who is also half-unicorn. Who can do both Elemental and Adept magic.
4. Post your entries HERE, in the Comments Section, which is now off-limits to everyone else! (The Blog entry accompanying this one will be for the usual chatter.)
5. You can post as many times as you want.
6. Before your entry, write this: "I hereby give my Golden God, Derek Landy, full rights to take this character and adapt it into his brain-explodingly brilliant work."
7. Understand that I might have to tweak your character in order to get the best fit for the story.
8. I can't think of an eighth rule.
9. Oh, oh! I thought of one!
10. Bring me... a shrubbery.