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1. The White Carnation, an exclusive Alex Rider short story

As part of the Horowitz live event in June each participating school was sent a reading resource document to prepare fo the event. What’s even more exciting is that document contained an exclusive Alex Rider short story, The White Carnation.

The story can be downloaded in pdf format by clicking the link below:

Download an exclusive Alex Rider short story “The White Carnation”

The full reading resource file can be downloaded here:

http://www.alexrider.com/horowitzlive

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2. Anthony Horowitz Live

Anthony Horowitz took over YOUR English lesson!

He’s the author of the No.1 bestselling Alex Rider books and the Power of Five series. He’s responsible for getting a generation of kids reading, has constantly championed the importance of reading for pleasure and was granted an OBE for services to literature in 2014!

On Monday 16 June, Anthony Horowitz staged a takeover of your English lesson in association with the National Literacy Trust, from 14:00 to 15:00 Join us on 16 June from 14:00 – 15:00 for an interactive webcast with Anthony Horowitz, hosted by top TV presenter Barney Harwood! This was your chance to put your questions to Anthony and hear him read from Russian Roulette, the deadly prequel to the Alex Rider series, out in paperback 5 June. You can watch the full event above – it’s suitable for children aged 10+.

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3. Anthony Horowitz is taking over YOUR English lesson!

Anthony Horowitz is taking over YOUR English lesson!

He’s the author of the No.1 bestselling Alex Rider books and the Power of Five series. He’s responsible for getting a generation of kids reading, has constantly championed the importance of reading for pleasure and was granted an OBE for services to literature in 2014!
Now, Anthony Horowitz is staging a takeover of your English lesson. Join us on 16 June from 14:00 – 15:00 for an interactive webcast with Anthony Horowitz, hosted by top TV presenter Barney Harwood! This is your chance to put your questions to Anthony and hear him read from Russian Roulette, the deadly prequel to the Alex Rider series, out in paperback 5 June. This event is suitable for children aged 10+ and will also be available on demand a few days afterwards.

Sign up here to submit your questions for Anthony!

Russian Roulette is out soon in paperback!

Russian Roulette Paperback US Cover

Russian Roulette Paperback US Cover

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4. Russian Roulette Competition – Win a Playstation!

russianroulettecover400x641

Are you an Alex Rider superfan?

Think you know your Alex Rider missions? Test your knowledge with the Alex Rider superfan challenge, for a chance to win a PS3, a signed copy of Russian Roulette, and a set of the entire Alex Rider series.*

Take the challenge now at www.alexrider.com/roulette

(Please note – the challenge is best played on desktop/laptop PCs and macs.)

*Competition open to residents of the UK and Ireland only. Closes 30/11/2013.

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5. Avid Reader Interviews (Find out what children like to read)

I am very excited to present to you my first group of avid reader interviews. This is something that I've been planning for a long time. I believe the best way to find out what children like to read and ultimately what to write, is to observe, interview, and acknowledge their reading preferences. To start, I'd like to welcome 12 year old Eric, 9 year old Sophie and 7 year old Abbey.  
Name: Eric
Age: 12
What are you currently reading? I am Number Four

How many books have you read? 100+

Have you read a book that you just couldn't put down, if so, what was it called?

The Ishmael series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the Alex Rider series.

Do you have a favourite series? The Ishmael series

Who are your favourite authors? Jeff Kinney, and Michael Gerard Bauer
  

Which genre do you like to read the most? Action/Comedy

If you could turn any of your favourite books into a movie, which would it be?
It would be the Ishmael series.
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6. A SMALL CHRISTMAS SURPRISE…READ ON!

A SMALL CHRISTMAS SURPRISE…READ ON!

First of all, apologies to everyone who logs onto my website. I know I appear here far too infrequently. But if you took a quick look at my workload, you’d see that I’ve been horrendously busy this year. Here’s a list of the projects I’m working on right now:

DIRTY GOLD – a new eight-part series for ITV
FOYLE’S WAR – it’s not definite but we may be coming back in 2013 and I’ve already started the research
OBLIVION – the last part of the Power of Five (Gatekeeper) series
TINTIN 2 – the sequel to The Secret of the Unicorn
ARSENE LUPIN – an action film for Warner Brothers
ALEX RIDER – a short story for World Book Day

So although I know I ought to blog more often, sitting down at my computer is a bit of a strain. (Something exploded in my right eye a couple of weeks ago. I saw a doctor…well, I saw a blurry doctor. He says it’ll be fine if I rest a bit. Not easy.)

Anyway, here’s a quick Christmas update of what has been a fantastic year. And there’s a special Christmas present, as usual concealed in the text!

The big thing in 2012 was undoubtedly THE HOUSE OF SILK, my take on Sherlock Holmes. It’s my first successful adult novel – though anyone aged around 13 and over will quite possibly enjoy it. There’s nothing embarrassingly physical in it but it does have what critics might call “an adult theme” and it’s fairly violent. But I think it’s as pacey as an Alex Rider novel with plenty of action so do give it a try.

The reviews for the book were fantastic and for a brief time I was a number one bestselling author in Taiwan, which is certainly a talking point. But if you think I’m giving up writing for teens…no way! I’m about 160,000 words into OBLIVION which is the long-awaited fifth volume in my Power of Five series following RAVEN’S GATE, EVIL STAR, NIGHTRISE and NECROPOLIS.

I think it’s going to be a fantastic book though I should warn you that it has a pretty bleak conclusion…but then (like the title suggests) it is about the end of the wo

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7. Anthony Horowitz on BBC Radio 5 Live 06 April 2011

Anthony was on BBC Radio’s Five Live show today with Richard Bacon. Topics discussed included: Midsomer Murders, Stormbreaker the movie and the possibility of sequels, Scorpia Rising – the final Alex Rider book, a new TV series penned by Anthony and the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes novel.

Please note this recording contains a news broadcast.



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8. Anthony Horowitz on BBC Radio 5 Live 06 April 2011

Anthony was on BBC Radio’s Five Live show today with Richard Bacon. Topics discussed included: Midsomer Murders, Stormbreaker the movie and the possibility of sequels, Scorpia Rising – the final Alex Rider book, a new TV series penned by Anthony and the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes novel.

Please note this recording contains a news broadcast.

1 Comments on Anthony Horowitz on BBC Radio 5 Live 06 April 2011, last added: 4/8/2011
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9. Win an Alex Rider “Scorpia Rising” Backpack and Tshirt

Alex Rider Backpack and Tshirt

Alex Rider Backpack and Tshirt

This week Walker Books have got one really cool prize to give away, an Alex Rider backpack filled with a Scorpia Rising t-shirt, plus 10 temporary tattoos and 10 Scorpia Rising postcards for you and your mates. For your chance to win this, all you have to do is email alexriderinsider@gmail.com and tell us what you would do with your extra tattoos and postcards and why…

Closing date is Friday 30th March (Terms and Conditions of entry)

The end starts here…
http://amzn.to/scorpia



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10. Win an Alex Rider “Scorpia Rising” Backpack and Tshirt

Alex Rider Backpack and Tshirt

Alex Rider Backpack and Tshirt

This week Walker Books have got one really cool prize to give away, an Alex Rider backpack filled with a Scorpia Rising t-shirt, plus 10 temporary tattoos and 10 Scorpia Rising postcards for you and your mates. For your chance to win this, all you have to do is email alexriderinsider@gmail.com and tell us what you would do with your extra tattoos and postcards and why…

Closing date is Friday 30th March (Terms and Conditions of entry)

The end starts here…
http://amzn.to/scorpia

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11. Scorpia Rising – Trailers

The end starts here…

http://amzn.to/scorpia

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12. Alex Rider Author, Anthony Horowitz to write new Sherlock Holmes novel

When Alex embarks on his final mission in Scorpia Rising, Anthony won’t be putting his feet up and taking it easy. Read about what his next major project is, right here.

Anthony Horowitz, the BAFTA-award winning creator of Foyle’s War and author of the bestselling Alex Rider children’s series, has been chosen by the Conan Doyle Estate to write a new full length Sherlock Holmes novel which will be published by Orion in September 2011. The content of the new tale – and indeed the title – remain a closely guarded secret. The prologue is currently under lock and key at the Orion offices. The announcement of the new novel was made to the Sherlock Holmes Society on 15 January where Anthony Horowitz was the keynote speaker.

This brand new story is being written with the full endorsement of the Conan Doyle Estate; the first such time that they have given their seal of approval for a new Sherlock Holmes novel. Setting aside the numerous film and TV adaptations of the famous Baker Street detective, Anthony Horowitz has returned to the original books to produce a brilliant mystery novel, stripped back to the original style of Conan Doyle.

Anthony Horowitz says: “I fell in love with the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was sixteen and I’ve read them many times since. I simply couldn’t resist this opportunity to write a brand new adventure for this iconic figure and my aim is to produce a first rate mystery for a modern audience while remaining absolutely true to the spirit of the original”

Anthony Horowitz is a TV screen-writer and is the creator and writer of ‘Foyle’s War’, ‘Midsomer Murders’ and ‘Collison’, as well as adapting many of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels for the ITV series. He was awarded a BAFTA for ‘Foyle’s War’ and Foyle was recently voted ‘The People’s Detective’ in the ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards, an award voted for by viewers. His new five-part drama series ‘Injustice’ will be shown on ITV1 in May. Anthony Horowitz is also the author of a string of bestselling children’s books, including the Alex Rider, The Power of Five and The Diamond Brother series. The ninth and final Alex Rider book, Scorpia Rising, is published on 31 March.

Text Content: Orion Books

http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/news/anthony-horowitz-to-write-new-sherlock-holmes-novel



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13. Scorpia Rising – Trade Advertising

Scorpia Rising - Trade Ad

Scorpia Rising - Trade Ad

Your eagle-eyed admin has been keeping close watch on the book trade press and found this ad for Scorpia Rising. The publicity machine will very soon kick into high gear for the final installment of the Alex Rider series due in March 2011.

Final cover art is not available yet but Amazon have a pre-order page with temporary cover listed:

http://amzn.to/scorpia

Stay tuned…..

X

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14. What’s Hot in November, 2010? Author Events, Best Selling Kids’ Books, and More …

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: November 2, 2010

Here’s the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases, the bestsellers, and kids’ book events.

THE HOT SPOTS: THE TRENDS

Fall Books for Kids: 2010

Interview with Lian Tanner, Author of The Keepers Trilogy

2010 Children’s Choice Book Awards Nominees

Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online

20 Sites to Improve Your Child’s Literacy

THE NEW RELEASES

The most coveted books that release this month:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth

by Jeff Kinney

(Ages 9-12)

Hero Hero

by Mike Lupica

(Ages 9-12)

Pegasus Pegasus

by Robin McKinley

(Young Adult)

Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider) Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider)

by Anthony Horowitz

(Ages 12 and up)

You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together

by Mary Ann Hoberman

(Ages 4-8)

THE BEST SELLERS

The best selling children’s books this month:

PICTURE BOOKS

Llama Llama Holiday Drama Llama Llama Holiday Drama

by Anna Dewdney

(Ages 0-5)

It's a Book

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15. Thrilled to Death : Anthony Horowitz interviewed by NPR

In our series Thrilled to Death, suspense writers talk with us about their work, and then recommend the books they love.

Author Anthony Horowitz loves nothing more than when a young fan asks him to sign a battered copy of a book in his Alex Rider series — young adult fiction featuring a skateboard-riding teen spy. The series’ ninth and final novel, Scorpia Rising, will be published in April 2011.

Click below to hear the interview (8 mins)

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16. TWO MORE CHAPTERS AND IT’S FINISHED…

I can’t believe it’s July. I’m sure the last time I looked out of my window in Clerkenwell, it was January and there was snow on the dome of St Paul’s, pigeons shivering on my balcony, dead Christmas trees at every corner and 30% off everything in the shops including (it had been a bad year) the shopkeepers. I’ve been working so hard this year that my social life has given up the ghost and that’s sad because the ghost was my only friend. And what have I got to show for it? Well, quite a lot, now you mention it.

Let’s start with the main news. The ninth Alex Rider novel is two chapters from the end! As usual, visitors to my website are going to know more about it than anyone else – including my publishers who haven’t seen a word of it yet. So…

SCORPIA RISING starts in the British Museum in London. Then it moves to a place called the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, in the middle of the Sahara desert, where we meet Kalid Aziz Al-Kazim who is without doubt the nastiest villain I’ve ever created. He worked for Saddam Hussein when he was fourteen. He graduated to Al Qaeda. Now he’s in business for himself. There are actually three villains in this book. One of them is what you might call an old friend – brought back by popular demand. The other is a teacher at an international school in Cairo which is where Alex is sent after an assassin in London tries to…but I mustn’t give too much away.

From Egypt we go to the River Seine in Paris where our old friends, Scorpia, are having a high-level meeting. Then we’re in Gibralter. And finally – in Chapter 7 – we catch up with Alex in England. He’s fifteen in this book and you’ll see almost at once that everything has changed, particularly his relationship with Jack.

SCORPIA RISING has a very twisty plot with a lot of surprises, not all of them pleasant. A few more things… You will come across the Smithers’s last gadget and learn something about Smithers that you never knew before. You will see Alan Blunt in a completely new light. One character who has been in all eight previous books will die. The ending is fairly shocking. And when you get to the end you will be in no doubt at all that this is THE LAST ALEX RIDER BOOK EVER. (Well, I’m still going to write about Yassen and I do have one surprise up my sleeve, several years down the line – but this is the last in the series.) I’m really pleased with the way it’s turned out. I think it’s the best of the lot – perhaps the best book I’ve ever written.

Oh yes – and as a way of saying sorry for taking so long to blog, I’ve done something special. The first chapter of the new book, which nobody in the world has yet read, is hidden somewhere on this site. Just follow the clues…
What else to tell you about this year?

JANUARY – I came back from Antigua where I’d been on holiday. The high point of the month was appearing on a political show on the radio called “Any Questions”. I was sick with nerves and didn’t sleep for a week. Every day I read ten newspapers and magazines. All in all it was a terrifying experience but it went well and they said they’d ask me back. I also judged a poetry competition for Fairtrade chocolate company – Divine Chocolate. They gave me so many bars of chocolate for doing this that I have been eating it ever since and have become enormously fat. Well, not enormously. But I’ve got to stop! I can’t take any more…

FEBRUARY- I was meant to go to Cairo to research the Alex Rider book but a volcano blew up somewhere and I couldn’t leave. Instead, I visited the Royal Ballet School in Richmond Park which was a lot of fun. Can you imagine being a ballet dancer at fourteen? It must be tough, particularly if you have feet like mine. But the kids I met were really nice, very talented and muc

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17. Scorpia Rising Gadget Competition

Gadget Academy Competition

Gadget Academy Competition

To celebrate 10 years of Alex Rider we’ve teamed up with the Young Times to set you a very special challenge.

Your help is needed to create a new gadget for Alex Rider’s 9th and last mission, Scorpia Rising. Alex Rider’s gadgets, supplied by MI6 operative Smithers, are one of the best-loved elements of Anthony Horowitz’s books and have helped him out of all sorts of scrapes. Now Walker Books and Young Times are offering readers the once-in-a-lifetime chance to design a gadget for Alex!

The winning gadget will feature in Anthony Horowitz’s 9th Alex Rider novel, out Spring 2011, and will be made into an illustration and featured in the Young Times. The winner will also receive a copy of the book and a print of their gadget design. There will be runners up prizes too of an e-reader loaded with the first three Alex Rider books and free Stormbreaker ebooks.

To find out more about the competition visit The Times website or go straight to the Alex Rider Gadget Academy www.gadgetacademy.co.uk to submit your entry. Grab your copy of The Times today and you can also read an exclusive interview with Anthony Horowitz.

Good luck with your mission.

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18. Crocodile Tears is out in paperback!

Spy update * Top secret * Spy update * Top secret * Spy update

Amazon.co.uk Widgets

Crocodile Tears is out in paperback!
The most action-packed Alex Rider adventure yet, Crocodile Tears, is out now in paperback and as an ebook or from the app store. Get your copy at www.alexrider.com. Want 30% off? Enter the code WALKER30 at the checkout when you place an order on the Walker website until 31 December 2010.

Plus, our two fantastic competitions to celebrate 10 explosive years of Alex Rider are still open. You could win a taste of the action with a two-week adventure holiday in Australia by entering at www.alexrider.com/australia or win one of five PSPs and a set of games by recruiting a new agent to the world of Alex Rider www.alexrider.com/newrecruits.

Visit our You Tube channel to watch Anthony Horowitz give a sneak peek behind the scenes of Crocodile Tears, http://bit.ly/c6p5nx and get the brand new fan pack, full of cool downloads http://bit.ly/bw031K.

Hunt down your special edition
Not only can you now buy Crocodile Tears in paperback, but there are two different editions to collect. As well as the new bronze edition, we’ve produced an exclusive red cover which is only available in WHSmith, so you can choose which you’d like to add to your collection, or treat yourself to both! It’s only available while stocks last, so track down your copy today!

Exclusive Anthony Horowitz stories for your gadgets
For the first time ever you can read three exclusive horror stories by Anthony Horowitz on your Nintendo DSi. The stories are available on EA FLIPS and you can download them now from the DSIWare service http://bit.ly/a05lzZ. Watch out for the publication of More Bloody Horowitz this September http://bit.ly/b1OrRk.

Meet Anthony Horowitz
Anthony will be at the Cottesloe Theatre on London’s Southbank to talk about the Alex Rider series and his other work on Wednesday 23 June at 6 p.m. This will be followed by a book signing. You can find out more details and book tickets here http://bit.ly/cuxrjr.

If you’re in Ireland, you can also see Anthony at the West Cork Literary Festival where he will be reading from his books on Wednesday 7 July at 2.30 p.m. You can find out more here http://bit.ly/9ZNxbX.

This document is for your eyes only. Destroy all evidence after reading.

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19. HERE I AM IN KENYA (WELL, GLEN STRATHFARRAR, REALLY)

 

 

Anthony in Scotland

Anthony in Scotland

 

 

I haven’t put a blog on the site for a while and as usual I’m sorry – but as usual I’ve got an excuse. Alex Rider 8 – or CROCODILE TEARS as it now officially and definitely called.

I was actually really happy with the title when I thought it up because it fits the book exactly, it hasn’t been used by anyone else (as far as I know) and it somehow fitted in really well with the other seven books. The problem started when a guy at Walker Books (no names…but he’s tall and smooth-looking and he’s a published author himself, his initials are MS and I’m going to do for him in my next book) complained that he thought the title was “soft”. He wanted something like “death” or “bullet” or “hell” in the title and he was worried that boys would be put off a book that had “tears” on the front cover.

He also said that nobody knew what “crocodile tears” meant. Is this true? Curiously, my American publisher had never heard of the phrase either but then he thinks Tooting Common is the name of an Egyptian pharaoh. Anyway, here is the first page of CROCODILE TEARS as it will appear in its entirety:

 

crocodile tears: fake or hypocritical tears. From the belief that crocodiles will pretend to cry in order to attract their victims…and will then cry for real as they devour them.

So that’s sorted that out.

The book does have crocodiles in it, by the way. Part of it takes place in Kenya which is where I happened to be last Christmas. I spent five very happy days in Larsen’s Camp in the Samburu National Reserve and you’ll find a version of it in the new book. I also saw loads of crocodiles out there – in fact I’m going to paste another photo that I took myself into this blog to show you just how close I got. I should warn you (I’m trying not to give too much away) that Alex gets a lot closer.

 

Crocodile Tears?

Crocodile Tears?

 

 

Not bad – eh? Whenever I look at this picture, I find myself thinking about my sons.

Anyway, now to explain the heading of this blog. I’ve just got back from an amazing five-day visit to Scotland. The first part of it was organised by the Scottish Book Trust and I found myself talking to around 10,000 Scottish kids live on the net. I was interviewed a couple of times – by The Scotsman (the main paper in Scotland for all those south of the border) and by a radio show called The Book Cafe. All good publicity for Necropolis which came out in paperback last week.

Then I went up Arthur’s Seat with my wife, which was fun. I had dinner with my son, Nick (he’s studying Chinese at Edinburgh University).

But the best part of the trip was the train journey from Edinburgh to Aberdeen – which was so beautiful (passing through the Cairngorm National Park) that I didn’t do any work as I’d planned but just gazed out of the window. I then killed a day in Inverness before meeting a brilliant man called Kenny Dempster who’s a civil engineer with Scottish and Southern energy and who drove me up to the Monar Dam which is what you can really see behind me in the photograph.

CROCODILE TEARS ends with a huge climax at a dam in Kenya and I needed to examine one at close quarters – and I couldn’t get any closer than this. Kenny showed he how the whole thing worked and I have to say that as I clambered around it the whole last chapter of the book came tumbling into my head. That’s why I so love visiting the places I write about. Somehow the truth is always more exciting than anything I could make up…or perhaps I should say that the truth underpins the fantasy and makes it more believable. Anyway, I wish I could describe Glen Strathfarrar in the book because it was also awesome and beautiful with red deer everywhere and snow still visible on the mountain peaks, even in May.

I wish I could also describe the slice of lemon cake that I had at the cafe just outside Beauly on the way back as that was pretty nice too. But we don’t do lemon cake in Alex Rider books. And the dam, as I have explained, is in Kenya.

Progress on the book? My computer is telling me 69,455 words – and I reckon it’s going to be finished at around 90,000…so I’m nearly there. I’ve been really worried about this adventure. After all, it’s the eighth in the series and I was beginning to wonder if I could invent any more chases, gadgets, fights, whatever. But I say for sure that this book has more action than any of the others. It’s probably the most violent (until my publishers get their hands on it). And it has the single most frightening chapter I’ve ever written. As a matter of fact, I finished that today.

Other news…

I’m off to Hay-on-Wye tomorrow for the book festival, which is always fun. When it rains, the entire festival turns into a huge bog. Writers have been known to get sucked in, never to be seen again. We also start shooting the third, and possibly the last episode of Foyle’s War tomorrow. TV drama is getting more and more difficult as nobody has enough money to make it any more…but if this is the end of the series, at least we’re finishing on a high.

And then I have a load of trips. China, Greece, America…all for different reasons. I’ll explain more when I come back.

In the meantime, have you noticed my page on TWITTER? I really enjoy twittering as it’s so short and easy and I can do it wherever I happen to be, using my iPhone. I try to make it amusing. Anyway, do take a look at my page or whatever it is you call it, if you want to stay up to date.

Enjoy the good weather. Good luck to all of you doing GCSEs or A-levels. I hope you’re doing more revision than my son, Cass.

May 2009

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20. Hour 14.5

Hours Read: 8
Books Read: 3.5
Pages Read: 879

Stormbreaker (An Alex Rider Novel) Anthony Horowitz

After his uncle, his only living relative, is killed under suspicious circumstances, Alex Rider discovers that he was really a spy for M-16, and killed shortly before stopping something big. M-16 decides to press Alex into service to finish the job. Alex doesn't want to, but is blackmailed into it.

He is sent undercover to a computer facility building the new Stormbreaker, a revolutionary new laptop that is going to be given to every schoolchild in England. Alex knows something's not right about the scene. He also knows that Herod Sayle, the owner and mastermind, and his band of cronies (straight from any spy movie, although Mr. Grin might be a little more Joker-esque) are probably onto him as well.

I do really enjoy the teen-spy-novel genre. I tend to enjoy the ones staring girls more (I'm a sucker for a romantic subplot) but this one was very, very good and if you like teen spies, check it out. (Although, you probably have. This is like, the first/biggest/main teen spy series, and I don't know why I haven't read it before now.)

Here's a really striking quotation-- something that I think a lot of teen spy heroes feel (all in trouble with the law, though many tricked into breaking the law so there's something to hold over them) and with no families, etc (exception being Gallagher Girls and The Squad):

In the end, the big difference between him and James Bond wasn't a question of age. It was a question of loyalty. In the old days, spies had done what they'd done because they loved their country, because they believed in what they were doing. But he'd never been given a chance. Nowadays, spies weren't employed. They were used.

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21. A BRIEF BLOG BEFORE THE LONG, HOT SUMMER

Just a few words before I pack my bags and head off to the South of France. I’m going to be there for a month and the original plan was to finish CROCODILE TEARS there in peace and quiet…but as you may know, that’s all changed.

The book is already finished – and in second draft. And the big news is that my publishers in the UK and the USA have decided to release it early. They want it in the shops in the run-up to Xmas which of course (as usual) has put a lot of pressure on me to deliver. The publication date is November 12th. As soon as the book is out, I’m flying to the USA for a ten-city tour which means planes, limousines, hotels, shopping malls, media escorts, sandwiches, signings, miles and miles of freeways, local radio stations and distant branches of Barnes & Noble. Not entirely my idea of fun and always pretty exhausting. The only good bit is meeting the booksellers and chatting to American readers but it’s always such a rush that in the end it just becomes a blur.

Anyway, enough complaining. The main thing is that (I think) the book has really worked. It’s probably the most violent and action-packed AR yet – though that may change once my various editors get their hands on it. The violence, I mean. My favourite things in it are a greenhouse full of poisonous plants, a nasty journalist, a climax that really does throw everything you could possibly imagine at the page and a last chapter which I actually planned about five years ago.

I’m trying not to give too much away.

Now I’m in that strange, nervy time between finishing a book and waiting to see it in the shops. Whenever I get to the last word, I always think that it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. Then the doubts set in. By the time publication day arrives, I’m convinced it’s no good at all. But you know what I’ve always said. Each book has got to be better than the one before and that, at least, is what I’ve tried to do with CT.

Incidentally, the early publication of CT means that my collection of horror stories, MORE BLOODY HOROWITZ won’t now appear until 2010. So you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out what happens to Darren Shan.

A few other bits and pieces about 2009 so far…

I’ve just got back from an amazing trip to China where I was a guest of Dulwich International College in Shanghai. I’d never been to China before and didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did. It’s all so strange…communist government, capitalist society – this vast region that has only recently connected with the rest of the world. I loved the people I met (very open, very friendly), the incredibly brash and innovative buildings (high point was the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing) and the foreign-ness of it all.

Of course, I was just a dip-my-toe-in-the-water tourist. Maybe you picked up some of my Tweets. The Forbidden City, the terracotta warriors, the Great Wall etc. But the trip was huge fun. My favourite thing – an extraordinary spectacle in a huge square in Xi ‘An. Late at night, thousands of people getting themselves drenched by powerful jets of water spraying out of the ground as classical music boomed all around and multi-coloured spotlights cut through the darkness. Everything was synchronised, the fountains exploding in time to the music. All this in 40 heat! I just loved it. Anyway, here’s a picture of me in the Bird’s Nest. Just for the hell of it…

 

Anthony Horowitz in China

Anthony Horowitz in China

 

 

This summer has also seen the completion of the new series of Foyle’s War. The last time I blogged, I mentioned that it might be the end of the road for Foyle – and I was a little horrified to see the story picked up by the tabloids. So let me say here that no decision has been made and I have no idea if I’ll be writing it next year or not. What matters is that the new series is really, good I think. Really well directed. And interesting stories including the Russians in England, segregation in Hastings and a weird organisation called the British Free Corps (British soldiers in Nazi uniforms). If you live in Suffolk, watch out for a charity screening this October, at the cinema in Aldeburgh. I’ll be there!

We’ve also screened Collision a couple of times. That’ll be in ITV in November or December and I’m really excited about it as it’s so different to anything I’ve ever done. And that’s it. I’m off to Marlborough today for my son’s last day at school (and no more school fees, thank God!). By the way, he’s got a great blog that’s worth checking out: cass for questions is the name. I like it, anyway. I’m spending quite a bit of July in Suffolk, probably working on the book once my editors have savaged it. I’ve got one more TV series to write this year but that’s just about it which is just as well as I’m pretty knackered.

I hope you all have a great summer and for those of you waiting for exam results, fingers crossed (Cass doesn’t seem to fazed…but then he revised extremely hard for at least one afternoon).

Have fun…

Anthony Horowitz

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22. Summer (or winter) reading…

Take a look at this evocative article written by Sally for Canada’s The Globe and Mail.

She brings alive the joy of summer-reading and discusses Moomin-creator Tove Jansson’s modern classic, The Summer Book.

Sally also poses the question, “What are you reading this summer?” - has this been a time for reducing those piles of must-read books in your household? And if, instead, you are emerging from winter-time, has there been some opportunity to escape into a good book?

In our family, Little Brother has been as voracious a reader as ever; and it has been a relief to find Older Brother with his nose in a book at every opportunity too. Discovering Anthony Horowitz’ Alex Rider series, as well as various graphic/cartoon books has definitely helped here…

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23. Anthony Introduces Crocodile Tears, the latest Alex Rider book

Anthony introduces the latest Alex Rider adventure, Crocodile Tears in a short video which also includes a brief tour of his office – check out that cool secret doorway!

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24. MY BLOG FOR NOVEMBER. IT’S GOING TO BE A BUSY MONTH!

I promised Olivia – my whip-wielding assistant – that I would write a quick blog before next month gets underway and here it is. The clocks went back today and it feels that winter has finally drawn in. And there’s my old winter coat stretched out on the sofa in my office with my old dog stretched out on top of it. The sun is setting and it’s only 4.00pm! As usual, the year has gone past like an express train (not the most brilliant of comparisons but I’ve just stepped off the Eurostar from Paris so trains are very much in my mind). And why was I in Paris? Read on. Although actually, I’m not entirely sure myself.

I went to Paris for a reunion of secret agents who worked for the SOE, the Special Operations Executive in the second world war. I wrote about the SOE a few years ago in an episode of Foyle’s War and developed a huge admiration for them…they were incredibly resourceful and brave. Nowadays, the survivors are extremely old but still as sharp as knives…in their case the Fairbairn-Sykes double-edged commando knife with eight-inch blade that was developed for their use. I listened to a talk by a saboteur who must have been almost ninety but looked thirty years younger. I also met a lady whose job was to “seduce” SOE agents and see if she could get information out of them. If she succeeded, they were sent home. It was bizarre because I actually created such a character when I was writing Foyle…and here she was for real!

While I’m on the subject of TV, next month COLLISION is being shown on ITV, starting on a Monday and ending on a Friday. I’ve mentioned this programme before and here it is again but I’m really proud of it and hope it’ll do well. When you make TV programmes, so much can go wrong. You get the wrong director or the weather’s bad or you run out of money or whatever. But this time everything went perfectly and I honestly think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. You can expect to read quite a bit of it in the month ahead and there are going to be some big posters too. Let’s just hope it pours with rain so people stay in and watch.

And at more or less the same time (I don’t have the exact dates), I’m setting off on my CROCODILE TEARS tour which takes me to Edinburgh and Birmingham before I head back to London and finally – at the end of the month – Dublin. If you’ve ever been to one of my talks, you’ll know that usually I just walk onto the stage and answer questions for an hour. This time, we’re doing it rather differently. It’s going to be more of an interview with clips from STORMBREAKER, COLLISION and FOYLE’S WAR. The interviewer is a journalist/presenter called Paul Blezard who does a brilliant job. He could make a study of thirteenth century paint drying techniques sound interesting. There’ll still be time for questions from the audience – but it makes it all a bit more varied and, more to the point, less work for me.

I will, of course, be signing copies of CT – and the publishers have come up with a special stamp that’s unique to these events. And I can catch up with my family on the way. My son, Nick, is at university in Edinburgh and my mother-in-law lives in Birmingham so maybe they’ll come along and heckle.

Then I’m off to America, which I mentioned in my July blog. The cities have now been chosen and include Boston, Detroit, St Louis, Raleigh, Atlanta and Washington DC. So many flights! I’ve begun to worry about my carbon footprint which may surprise you but I’ve been researching global warming for my next book – the last in the Power of Five series – and the facts do seem to be rather alarming…which is probably the understatement of the millennium. I’ve also joined something called 10:10 which is a rather smart campaign by The Guardian to get everyone to cut their emissions by 10% in the year 2010. Normally I don’t join campaigns. God help me if I become a do-gooder in my old age (actually, He likes do-gooders so He probably will). But it seemed hard to refuse this one. Apart from anything else, I’ve noticed the water getting closer and closer to my little house in Orford. I used to live beside the sea. Now I seem to live in it…at least some of the time.

And here’s something else that I’ve joined. I’ve become a judge for Divine Chocolate who are running a poetry competition. You have to write a poem (which can be rude, funny, sad, serious, whatever) called “If I owned a chocolate company” and the winners will receive large quantities of chocolate, book tokens and a recording of the poem by me. Since I have a stammer and a lisp, this may not be the best part of it, but I’d say otherwise it’s definitely worth a go. It was my friend, Anne Fine, who introduced me to the competition and I have to say I do absolutely love the chocolate and I suppose I ought to mention (doing good again) that it’s a Fair Trade product and so worth supporting. You can find more details on their website:

http://www.divinechocolate.com/news/showNews.news77.aspx

I recently judged a short story competition too. The quality of the writing was very high but I have to say that a lot of the entries were rather depressing. Subjects included suicide, self-hatred, cancer, autism and disability…and those were some of the more cheerful ones. I met the winners at a reception at 10 Downing Street and that was rather depressing too. G. Brown looked worn out and miserable. Not surprising, I suppose, given the bashing he gets in the press. Anyway, if you want my advice, if you do write poems, you’ll find something cheerful to say. But then how could owning a chocolate factory not be fun?

Finally, while I’m away, I’m going to be tweeting again. I joined Twitter last year and twittered or tweeted every day for a while but then I got fed up with it. I thought it was getting a bit naff what with people like Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry even twittering when they tied up their shoelaces. But my American publisher insists that it’s worthwhile and my son Cass is currently on the road in Australia and he may pick up some of my messages so as from today, I’ll be sharing my own trivia with the world once again. If you’re interested, you can follow me on tour.

The next time I write a blog, it’ll be Christmas. In fact, in half the shops in my area, it already is. Sometimes, I’m tempted to throw bricks…

Happy Halloween!

Anthony Horowitz

25th October 2009

This is a picture, my son, Nick, took when I was in Kenya, researching Crocodile Tears. And its not a long-distance lens! He managed to snap them moments before they attempted to snap him.

This is a picture, my son, Nick, took when I was in Kenya, researching Crocodile Tears. And it's not a long-distance lens! He managed to snap them moments before they attempted to snap him.

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25. Missing you



Author Anthony Horowitz tweets "In Bungay. The first copy of Crocodile Tears has just rolled off the presses and into my hot and sweaty hands..."

This bit of news made me so happy.

It occurred to me that I have missed Alex Rider.
Odd to miss literary characters, but there it is. I miss Harry, and Hermione and Ron. Every once and a while, I find myself wondering how they are, what they are doing. Did they get a flu shot?

I have many series that I follow with interest but there are some characters that I feel very personally about, like I've spent time with them which, in a way, I have.

Hokey smokes Bullwinkle, as I was writing this a review copy of Crocodile Tears arrived at my front door. Oh happy weekend!!!!

Nice little video from Anthony Horowitz talking about the book. He has a secret door to his office. I've always wanted one of those.




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