To introduce Bord Gáis Energy as headline sponsor of The Irish Book Awards, in 2010, we decided to launch a special one-off promotion to select the best Irish Book of the Decade (the decade being “the noughties” of course). A longlist of fifty titles ranging across all genres was selected by a panel of industry experts, and the task of choosing the winner fell to the Irish reading public who were invited to cast their votes online. At the end of a massively successful promotional campaign which attracted tremendous media attention, the surprise winner was a book of young adult fiction, Skulduggery Pleasant by the irrepressible Derek Landy, the first in a series which has proved a worldwide success story and a wonderful boon to Irish booksellers. The promotion more than vindicated our aspiration to showcase the cream of Irish writing in the first decade of the new century.
Derek Landy is the creator of the Skulduggery Pleasant series which includes “Skulduggery Pleasant”, “Playing With Fire”, “The Faceless Ones”, “Dark Days” and “Mortal Coil”. He doesn’t like to brag about all the awards he’s won, such as the Irish Book of the Decade, or the Red House in the UK, or all the other awards that he humbly displays on his mantelpiece. He is also far too modest to mention things like the first book being a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year, but would like to extend an invitation to Oprah to pop around one day for tea, in thanks for selecting his book for the Oprah’s Book Club Kids Reading List. Derek plays too many video games, reads too many comics, and watches too many movies. He lives in Ireland with too many cats and too many dogs. Occasionally he talks to real people, but only when he absolutely has to. He is also one of the most popular authors among the extended family of the Irish Book Awards.