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Joseph Delaney Joseph Delaney is a retired English teacher. He has three children and nine grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events. His home is in the middle of Boggart territory and his village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker, which was laid to rest under the step of a house near the church.

Most of the places in the Spook's books are based on real places in Lancashire. And the inspiration behind the stories often comes from local ghost stories and legends.


April 10, 2014
Filed under: Uncategorized — Random House Children’s Publishers @ 11:00 am

A New Darkness is rising and we must act now. We need to build a Spook’s Army to fight against the Dark. Join us now – stand alongside fellow Spook’s fan on Facebook, or sign up to the email list to be the first to hear the news as we learn more about his new threat we face.

Be ready! There will be further instructions soon.

The Spook


February 5, 2014
Filed under: Uncategorized — Random House Children’s Publishers @ 1:53 pm

In December 2013 the final book in the Wardstone Chronicles, The Spook’s Revenge was published.

I was on a promotional tour in the Lake District (with Elaine and Sue from ‘Silverdell’ books in Kirkham) and in London with a host of other excellent booksellers. It was good to meet some readers that had been with the series from the beginning, some who had started recently and read all the books and others who are just at the beginning of the series but I hope will continue.

The questions I get from some readers can be very challenging, I feel like they know the series better than I do. I was often asked if I felt sad that the series has come to an end, and the truth is, no because the Wardstone series may have ended and there may have been some changes to the personnel but we haven’t said goodbye to everyone just yet. There are going to be at least three more spooks books before we say a final goodbye. The new series title is The Starblade Chronicles and there is a short extract of the first book ‘A New Darkness’ at the back of ‘The Spooks Revenge’. . So please read that to get an idea of what the new series is like. There is a new threat and it will take all Tom’s strength and courage plus the help of Grimalkin to deal with it.

So instead of relaxing in the sun somewhere I have been busy writing. I am approaching the end of a Spook’s spin off, provisionally titled “The Pig Witch’ (more about that below) then I go back to working on the second book in the Starblade chronicles (no title yet) and race against the clock to get enough time to complete a new science fiction series I am writing. The first of that Trilogy will be published in June 2015. All is going well but feeling the time pressure. Soon The New Darkness will return from its copy edit and no doubt will need more work!

‘The Pig Witch’ features ‘Will Johnson’ one of the early boys apprenticed to John Gregory and Snout, the pig butcher (he appeared as an adult in ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’) when he was a boy. It is one of the darkest spooks adventures I have ever written. It’s put me off bacon forever. I’ll just have to eat crumbly Lancashire cheese!

All the best for 2014, Joseph Delaney.


August 15, 2013
Filed under: Uncategorized — Random House Children’s Publishers @ 4:14 pm

Goodreads have now revealed the title & cover for the final book in the Spook’s series: The Spooks Revenge!

Once 5000 people have added the book to their Goodreads shelf, we will relrease the first chapter. So, if you want a sneak peek, visit Goodreads and help us reach 5000. You can also watch an exclusive video of Joseph Delaney talking about the book.


August 6, 2013
Filed under: Uncategorized — Random House Children’s Publishers @ 10:56 am

GLAMOUR

Some people think that being a writer is glamorous. I know that I once did. I dreamed of finally getting published and all the amazing fun that would follow. I imagined travelling to distant countries, staying in city hotels and seeing the sights.

Most of that came true and I do enjoy it but sometimes it can be hard work: having to grab a coffee and manage without breakfast to be in time to travel to some school event; attending a bookshop when hardly anybody turns up; spending a night alone in a strange town on a wet Monday; visiting a big city but seeing only the inside of your hotel room. So when you actually do live the life of a writer it’s not as glamorous as some people might believe.

The same is true of film-making. On April 30th I visited Vancouver, Canada, to watch the film of ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’/ ’The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch’ being made. The film is called ‘The Seventh Son’ and it is a good choice. After all you have to be a seventh son of a seventh son just to be eligible to become a spook’s apprentice.

They have created some amazing sets designed by Dante Ferretti. I was shown the preliminary models and artworks then, finally, the sets themselves. They are big and very convincing. I saw a walled city set in a huge muddy field. It was like a building site complete with heavy machinery and workers in hard hats. There was no glamour there.

That comes afterwards.

I met Jeff Bridges who plays the Spook. He looked convincing. He believed that he was the Spook – I could see it in his eyes. Yes, he was the Spook! Then I watched him playing the same scene over and over again until he and everyone else, (especially the director Sergey Bodrov), was satisfied. There were a lot of people involved and each one of them knew exactly what to do. It was an action scene and the ‘Spook’ kept falling backwards against a pillar in danger of his life. He was covered in dust and he probably had bruises or at least aching bones the following day. It wasn’t glamorous. It was hard work.

The glamour comes later.

They started filming in March and will continue until the end of June. Then post-production will begin. They’ll spend hours, days, weeks and months, editing the film until each section is perfect. Then like a Pendle witch casting the spell called ‘glamour’ the film will come to life and the magic will be there.

It will differ from the first book somewhat. All films are adaptations and make changes. But I am convinced that it will be a great film.

I’m looking forward to it.

Best wishes,

Joseph Delaney.


October 31, 2012
Filed under: Uncategorized — Random House Children’s Publishers @ 6:50 pm

I have just reached the end of the ‘Slither Tour’. We started in Carlisle then moved through Kendal, Lancaster, (Witch Territory!), Brighouse, York, Scarborough and Whitby (Dracula Territory!).

I visited bookshops, talked to school groups and worked with a wide range of Booksellers ( Sonia from the ‘Children’s Bookshop’ in Huddersfield, Elaine and Sue from ‘Silverdell’ in Kirkham and Tony Higginson from ‘Formby Bookshop’). Additionally I did lots of events for ‘Waterstones’, including the Literature Festival at Lancaster and working with the dynamic Dave (the Drummer in a heavy-metal band called the ‘Eliminators’) who has now gone on to manage the Barrow Store.

It was hard work, tiring but very enjoyable and once again it was great to meet readers both old and new. But now it’s back to my writing!

I enjoyed writing ‘Slither’ because it featured a strange dark non-human mage with lots of new creatures and concepts new to the Wardstone Chronicles Series. It even has a glossary/dictionary of terms at the end of the story (information gathered by an ancient spook). The Kobalos mages murdered their own females long ago and now use human women for food and as slaves! So I thought it would be very interesting to introduce them to Grimalkin. She plays a big part in the book and is not too happy with them to say the least!

Now I am working on the third draft of ‘Alice’ which will be published in June 2013. I have also begun the final book in the series – ‘Spook’s 13’ which doesn’t even have a title yet! It is scheduled to be published in the same month as the film. ‘The Seventh Son’ which is based on the first book and stars Jeff Bridges and Ben Barnes and a number of other big stars.
But what will happen in the final book? Will Tom die? Will the Spook die? Will Alice finally go to the dark? I am still trying to work it all out! And I have to deliver the first draft to my editor by Christmas. So it’s a good job that the tour is finally over and I can get
back to work!

Best wishes,

Joseph Delaney.

Spook’s: Slither’s Tale


Filed under: Uncategorized — Random House Children’s Publishers @ 12:51 pm

Happy Halloween! To celebrate the scariest night of the year, Joseph has shared his top ten tips for writing horror for our brand new Totally Random website, featuring all our latest YA & teen fiction.

Here’s a taster:

(1)    A writer is nothing without ideas. Keep a notebook and write into it every story idea that comes into your head.

(2)    Read widely. You learn to write by reading!

(3)    Practise writing! Get into the writing habit. Too many people say they will write when they finally get the time to do so. They imagine they can do it on an extended holiday or when they retire. You need to make time to write on a regular basis.

Visit Totally Random to read the rest –  and then get to work on your own spooky story! Look out for Joseph’s next blog post about SPOOK’S: SLITHER’S TALE, coming later on today.

Joseph Delaney blog post


June 8, 2012
Filed under: Uncategorized — RH @ 2:43 pm

GLAMOUR

Some people think that being a writer is glamorous. I know that I once did. I dreamed of finally getting published and all the amazing fun that would follow. I imagined travelling to distant countries, staying in city hotels and seeing the sights.

Most of that came true and I do enjoy it but sometimes it can be hard work: having to grab a coffee and manage without breakfast to be in time to travel to some school event; attending a bookshop when hardly anybody turns up; spending a night alone in a strange town on a wet Monday; visiting a big city but seeing only the inside of your hotel room. So when you actually do live the life of a writer it’s not as glamorous as some people might believe.

The same is true of film-making. On April 30th I visited Vancouver, Canada, to watch the film of ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’/ ’The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch’ being made. The film is called ‘The Seventh Son’ and it is a good choice. After all you have to be a seventh son of a seventh son just to be eligible to become a spook’s apprentice.

They have created some amazing sets designed by Dante Ferretti. I was shown the preliminary models and artworks then, finally, the sets themselves. They are big and very convincing. I saw a walled city set in a huge muddy field. It was like a building site complete with heavy machinery and workers in hard hats. There was no glamour there.

That comes afterwards.

I met Jeff Bridges who plays the Spook. He looked convincing. He believed that he was the Spook – I could see it in his eyes. Yes, he was the Spook! Then I watched him playing the same scene over and over again until he and everyone else, (especially the director Sergey Bodrov), was satisfied. There were a lot of people involved and each one of them knew exactly what to do. It was an action scene and the ‘Spook’ kept falling backwards against a pillar in danger of his life. He was covered in dust and he probably had bruises or at least aching bones the following day. It wasn’t glamorous. It was hard work.

The glamour comes later.

They started filming in March and will continue until the end of June. Then post-production will begin. They’ll spend hours, days, weeks and months, editing the film until each section is perfect. Then like a Pendle witch casting the spell called ‘glamour’ the film will come to life and the magic will be there.

It will differ from the first book somewhat. All films are adaptations and make changes. But I am convinced that it will be a great film.

I’m looking forward to it.

Best wishes,

Joseph Delaney.


October 27, 2011
Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:44 pm

I hope you enjoyed my Halloween webchat today – there were some great questions. My tour has just about come to an end with the return of my publicist, Linda, to her home in New Zealand. However, I still have a few more local events between now and Christmas.

So it’s back to my writing, concentrating on finishing the first draft of ‘Slither’ (more news about that soon) and completing the fourth draft of ‘The Spook’s Blood’ which is will be published in June 2012.

I have enjoyed the ‘Grimalkin Tour’ and for those who have not yet read it why don’t you look at the new video trailer? I repeat that it is not a spin-off as is firmly in the main story arc. When Grimalkin finishes her story, Tom continues narrating his adventures in the June book.

Well now I must get back to work. Have a very scary Halloween and don’t gaze into the mirror too long after dark! Grimalkin might be staring back!

Best wishes,

Joseph Delaney


October 25, 2011
Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:49 pm

What are YOU doing this Thursday evening from 6-7pm? If you’re a true Spook’s fan, you’ll definitely want to be taking part in the 3rd annual Spook’s Halloween Webchat with Joseph Delaney. Everyone is welcome. There will be a very special Spook’s Halloween newsletter going out tomorrow with more details, so do sign up now if you haven’t already…

Hope to see you there.


October 13, 2011
Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:12 am

The first week of the book tour was hectic. The intention was to visit new areas so we started in Bristol with Waterstone’s and then visited a school with Chepstow Books before touring South Wales for the first time. All went well and despite living out of a suitcase, staying at a different hotel every night, it was enjoyable to meet so many readers for the first time and also bring the series to the attention of new audiences.

After Wales we visited a London school before catching the train to Paris. I have talked to French children before but this was the first time I had answered questions in a school there. I had an interpreter but the questions were sometimes difficult and probing – those French children were experts on the books! But I’m sure through a misunderstanding that I answered one of them incorrectly. So here I’ll put the record straight.

How can Bony Lizzie be described as the ‘aunt’ of Alice and then later said to be her ‘mother’? So do the books contain a serious mistake?
I won’t say too much, not wishing to spoil the story for new readers but those familiar with the Wardstone Chronicles will understand. There is no mistake!

On my return to London I met my editor, Ruth Knowles, and we discussed the development of the series. By now most of you will know that the Wardstone Chronicles is scheduled to end with the publication of the final book in October 2013. So will Tom Ward and the Spook die? Will Alice survive? And what about Grimalkin – what will be her fate? The answer is that even I don’t yet know the answers to those questions. I ‘discover’ the plot and allow the story to tell itself. So we must all wait and see!

The first night after leaving London I was awakened in the middle of the night by the hotel fire alarm. I spent half an hour outside waiting for the fire brigade to check if it was safe to go back to bed. They found no fire but there had been a mysterious triple fault on the alarm system. No doubt it was the invisible boggart that follows me around sometimes causing posters to fall off classroom walls whilst I am speaking!
So the tour continues. I’m off to visit witch country in Pendle now and then head north to Bill Arkwright territory north of Morecambe Bay!

Best wishes,
Joseph Delaney