Anyway, back to Dirk... In a nutshell, it's the story of what happens when the Lord of All Evil is defeated by the forces of good and banished to our world in the body of a 13-year-old kid. Oh, the ignominy! Whoever heard of a dark lord having the crusts trimmed off his peanut butter sandwiches? But even stripped of his powers, Dirk isn't going to take his exile on modern-day Earth lying down. Imagine a novel told from Tom Riddle's point of view - and with a style of crazed humour that will be familiar to anyone who used to enjoy Jamie's hilarious column in the old Warlock magazine.
The first book had a pretty drawn-out development process, as new projects often do. We plotted it in detail, Jamie went away and wrote a first draft, we then completely reworked the storyline, and Jamie wrote another draft before getting a full story analysis from Roz Morris (bestselling author who I had to foresight to marry so as to save the company money) which guided him in polishing it. Would you believe that all took nearly two years? What can I say? Perfection doesn't come overnight. Then the series took another year to sell, and even after that it went through a healthy process of thorough critiquing and editing from our UK publisher, Megan Larkin, at Orchard Books.
And now this lovingly polished jewel of dark brilliance is about to be unveiled to the world. The first book, Dark Lord: The Teenage Years just got a glowing review from Hazel Holmes over on the Chicklish site and you can pre-order it on Amazon. (Just don't look at the product description there as it contains a massive spoiler about the end of the book!) Freya Hartas, daughter of Leo and grand-daughter of John Vernon Lord (how's that for an artistic pedigree?), has produced a clutch of macabre illustrations as unique and tasty as devilled dragon eggs that perfectly complement the dry black humour of the text.
Now that the characters and scenario are all worked out, coming up with new stories is much easier. In fact, Jamie has already written the second book in the series, Dark Lord: A Fiend in Need, and is about to start work on the third, The Dirkest Hour. Orchard are planning a promotional tour, so if you keep an eye on your local bookshop window you may find that Jamie is coming to your town. (Hide the beer and sausages if so.) NBC are developing the Dirk Lloyd TV show. There are plans for apps and gamebooks and bunch of other stuff. And all for you, dear reader; all for you.
The UK books will be out in October with editions in Germany, Spain and the US to follow soon after. So there you have it - Dirk Lloyd is going to conquer our world. There's no use fighting it.