Skulduggery Pleasant author Derek Landy was in Cork yesterday where he spent eight hours meeting fans in what was a record-breaking length book signing for the author.
By lunchtime on Saturday, the queue to meet Landy was back as far as McDonald's, snaking all the way up through Waterstone’s bookshop and back again toward the front door.
Officially, the book signing was due to begin at 2pm, but Waterstone’s was already jammed when Landy slipped in the back door just after 1pm, to a warm round of applause.
Waterstone’s bookseller John Breen reckoned that during the signing, which lasted over eight hours, more than 300 people lined up to meet the writer, with many waiting over five hours for a chat.
First in the queue was Andrey Wilkinson, from Cambridgeshire, who had flown in with his parents Nataliya Wilkinson and Andrew McLeish, getting up at 2am to catch a Ryanair flight from Stanstead.
Nataliya, who is originally from Ukraine, said Andrey had always wanted to meet his favourite author, so two weeks before he turns 13, this was an early birthday present.
“He was pretty cool,” Andrey said, “He signed my books, and he answered all my questions, and he was really nice.”
At one point, a bemused Taoiseach Micheál Martin walked into the packed bookshop – “I only dropped in to pick up a couple of books,” he told The Echo – and obligingly posed for photos with Skulduggery Pleasant fans and signed some hardbacks and paperbacks.
But whatever glamour might attach to a visit from the nation’s Taoiseach, there was never any doubt as to the star(s) of the show; with every reader, Landy was warm, friendly, and funny, giving each as much time they needed, a kindness which no doubt added to lengthy wait times for everyone queuing behind them, but which in turn made that wait all the more worthwhile.
“I don’t tend to stop when I’m signing,” the author told The Echo before the event.
“Yes, I’m sitting down for five hours, six hours, but everyone else is standing for four hours, five hours, so if they make the effort to come, then they deserve every ounce of your enthusiasm and energy and good humour.”