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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: The Power of Five, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. 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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2. 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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3. Competition Winner February

A little bit later than expected but we have a winner for last month’s competition “Where’s Anthony?”. The correct answer was of course, the pyramids in Egypt.

The first correct answer came from Sophie in Essex, UK. Congratulations Sophie, your prize is on it’s way!

Anthony was in Egypt on a research trip for the next Power of Five book. Keep watching this space for a new blog from Anthony coming very soon!

 

 

Anthony Horowitz, Egypt, 2009

Anthony Horowitz, Egypt, 2009

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4. FEBRUARY COMPETITON: WHERE IN THE WORLD…?

I have just got back from a very interesting and world famous location which will appear in the fifth book of the Power of Five series. I had this photograph taken. But where am I? The first correct answer posted on this site will win a signed typescript of BAD DREAM, a poem I have written for a collection of horror stories coming out later this year. I’ll post the full picture and a blog about recent events/developments in a couple of weeks.

All the best,

Anthony

 

Where is Anthony?

Where is Anthony?

NOTE: Please be very specific with your answer. You can enter the competition by adding your answer in a comment reply to this post. Remember, all comments are not automatically published, we do moderate them first. Please ensure that you use a valid email address so that we can contact you for your address details should you win the prize. If we cannot contact you by email the prize will go to the next correct entry.

THE COMPETITON IS NOW CLOSED. WE WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER HERE SHORTLY. THANK YOU.

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5. Necropolis Signing - Saturday December 13

Anthony will be in Waterstones, Piccadilly, London signing copies of ‘Necropolis’ the 4th book in his thrilling Power of Five series.

 

Link to Waterstones Events page

 

Please make sure to contact the venue before travelling.
Waterstone’s

203-206 Piccadilly,

London W1J 9LE

Tel: 0207 851 2400

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6. NECROPOLIS, NEW YORK AND A QUESTION: SHOULD I SUE DARREN SHAN?

NECROPOLIS, NEW YORK AND A QUESTION: SHOULD I SUE DARREN SHAN?

So here’s the latest news from the world of Anthony Horowitz…or Antoine Horwitzer as it seems I should now call myself. We’ll get to that in a moment.

But with Halloween just a week away, I’m about to hit the road as we launch NECROPOLIS, the fourth book in my Power of Five series. As you may know from my earlier blogs, this wasn’t an easy book to write…in fact I had to tear it up completely and start again. Yes, this is the book with my first heroine instead of a hero – Scarlett Adams – but that wasn’t the problem. The story takes place in Peru, London and Hong Kong as well as the mysterious dream world. All five of the main characters are present (that is – Matt, Pedro, Scott and Jamie as well as Scarlett). It was really difficult weaving all the action together what with explosions, chases, betrayals, fireworks, monsters, major criminal organisations, the sword ladder and all the rest of it.

That said though, I really do think it works and the first reviews have been great. If you haven’t read the first three books in the series – RAVEN’S GATE, EVIL STAR and NIGHTRISE – this one does stand more or less on its own as everything is explained in the first chapter. But for those of you who have read all the ALEX books and are waiting for the next one…do give this series a try. Strange to think that there’s only one more title and it will all be over.

Since I mention ALEX RIDER, you may have noticed that my publishers have produced a sort of Christmas special, THE MISSION FILES which will fit neatly into your stocking…if, that is, your stocking is large and rectangular. It’s quite a hefty book, full of envelopes, posters, code books and further information about some of the characters in Alex’s world. I also threw in a story that I originally wrote for a newspaper, CHRISTMAS AT GUNPOINT. It’s an early incident in Alex’s life before he became a spy and I’m glad that it’s now in book form.

And again, on the subject of Alex, I’ve finally started work on the eighth novel although I don’t think it’ll be out for quite a while. After much thought, I’ve decided to leave YASSEN (the book I was planning) to the very end of the series. This follows a whole series of school visits where people have been a bit half-hearted about the idea…and I do try to listen to what my readers say! So instead, I’m going to write a full-blooded Alex adventure which begins straight after SNAKEHEAD with Alex on a skiing holiday with Sabina, then moves to England and finally to Africa with a plot that includes GM crops, international aid and…well, I’m probably giving away too much already. Annoyingly, a school in East Croydon (I won’t mention its name) threw out the title which was going to be ENDURANCE POINT. But if anyone reading this likes the title, please let me know. I was quite fond of it…and titles are the hardest thing to think up.

Next week I’m touring York, Leeds and Manchester and looking forward to heading north. I was at university at York but don’t ask what I got up to there as it’s all lost, fortunately, in the haze of time. All I can remember now is that it had the world’s biggest duck pond and you could be expelled – or sent down or whatever – if you killed and/or cooked a duck. Not that they were particularly tasty. I was once told off by the Archbishop of York for climbing half-way up the Minster (it was in scaffolding at the time) but I hope they’ve forgotten and forgiven this by now.

Immediately after that, I’m off to New York where a play of mine, MINDGAME, is opening. I hope no parents will bring their children, thinking it will be the theatrical equivalent of an Alex Rider book as it’s full of bad language and insanely violent. One of the characters actually gets killed twice. The play stars Keith Carradine who was great as the detective in DEXTER 2 (one of my favourite TV programmes). It’s being directed by a man called Ken Russell who was the UK’s most famous film director when I was in my teens…I absolutely loved his films. He’s now about seventy, very eccentric (you may have spotted him on Celebrity Big Brother for a short time) and I have absolutely no idea how the play will do. It opens the day after the American elections…so fingers crossed.

And finally to Darren Shan. I don’t know how many of you have been reading his DEMONATA series. I must say I’ve been enjoying it. But Volume 8, WOLF ISLAND, has just come out and I notice that there is a character in it called Antoine Horwitzer. Any ideas who that could be? In the story, he’s a sort of mad scientist type and at first (page 64) he seems pleasant enough. Shan describes him as: “a tall, handsome, tanned man…his hair looks like a film star’s, thick and carefully waxed into shape.” But it soon becomes clear that he’s untrustworthy and arrogant and by the time you get to page 194…well, I won’t spoil the ending but it looks unlikely that Antoine will be appearing in Volume 9.

Anyway, my lawyers have studied the book and the bad news for Darren Shan is that they agree it’s definitely defamatory…which is to say that I could win millions from him in court. The good news is that I’ve decided not to sue. If there’s one piece of advice that everyone should stick to in their life it’s AVOID LAWYERS. This is good advice even for lawyers. However, I will be having my revenge. Next year, I have a third collection of horror stories coming out. The title (at the moment) is: AAAGH: TEN UNUSUAL WAYS TO DIE and one of the stories is called THE MAN WHO KILLED DARREN SHAN. I have started re-writing it. Out go all the compliments about CIRQUE DU FREAK and THE DEMONATA. And instead…

Next Halloween, Darren. Wait and see.

Anthony Horowitz

28 October 2008

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7. SUMMER – MADNESS IN SCOTLAND AND TEA WITH TERRORISTS

Here’s a quick blog to wish everyone a happy summer holiday with, hopefully, a bit of sunshine (and, of course, a good book…but that goes without saying).

So far I’ve managed a week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which might well crop up one day in an Alex Rider novel. It’s a horrible place. Boiling hot but no real sun due to the clouds of sand blowing in from the desert. Too much concrete. And a couple of skyscrapers that could have come straight out of someone’s bad dream. I was there as a journalist to visit a weird “prison for terrorists” where I drank tea with a suicide bomber who had managed to blow himself, and nine other people, apart. Somehow he survived. You can read all about it in the Sunday Telegraph on-line.

Then I went up to the West Coast of Scotland and stayed on a tiny island called Eilean Shona which would also make a good setting for a bad guy in an Alex book…complete with ruined castle, caves and basking sharks. It’s very private. Trespassers could be shot and nobody would know. During my time there I managed to kayak a reasonably impressive 14kms in three hours and swam every morning in water which must have been about zero degrees. My voice is now very high.

I’m writing this back in London and here’s what I’m doing for the rest of the summer…

COLLISION is a five-part TV series which I’ve written for ITV and which will be shot this September. It’s going to feature the largest road accident ever filmed and I’ve asked the producer (ie my wife) if I can feature as one of the victims. We’ll see.

NECROPOLIS is now being printed and it’s a bit of a monster at 105,000 words. It was fairly exhausting to write and when it was finished I decided it wasn’t good enough and wrote the whole thing again. It comes out in October and it looks as if I’ll be in Manchester, Leeds and York promoting it.

FOYLE’S WAR is returning. This is my other TV series which got cancelled last year by some idiot at ITV but which is being brought back “by public demand”. More murder mysteries set during the second world war.

HORROR STORIES. There’s another set on the way. My publishers have come up with a great idea for the look of the book which will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before, but so far we haven’t got a title. Their suggestion: DIAL H FOR HORROR. But that’s a bit lame. I wanted to call it: AAAAGH! At least it would come first on any alphabetical list. But perhaps you can do better. Twelve stories incuding a psychopathic massage chair, a lethal TV reality game show, a bloody French exchange, the murder of Darren Shan and a snake in a bed. Do send in any thoughts!

And ALEX 8…

I’ve had second thoughts about telling Yassen’s story, which was going to be the subject of this book. I’m thinking of leaving that to number nine. Instead, I’ve got the beginnings of an idea set partly in the UK and partly in Africa. Alex hasn’t been there yet. But it’s very early days. I plan to start writing in October/November for delivery in spring 2009. The challenge is always the same. How to make the book better than the last one. Only two more Alex Riders after this one and that’s it!

Finally, a goodbye to Horowitz HQ. This site has been run for the past three years by my assistant, Cat Taylor, who- for her own, mad reasons – has decided to leave. She says that working for me is something she will never forget…at least, that’s what her therapist tells her. But the website will continue. And I will still look in from time to time and answer questions as they arise.

That’s it. Have a fantastic summer.

Anthony Horowitz

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8. APRIL. ANOTHER BIRTHDAY. ANOTHER BOOK…

I visited HHQ today and I was asked to write something for the website as I haven’t posted for a while. Actually, “asked” is the wrong word. Strong-armed, intimidated, bullied even. I’m going to have to avoid this place.

And what have I got to offer today? I’ve just emerged from a dark room for the first time in weeks which means that I haven’t seen anyone or done anything. But, on the other hand, I have a new book!

Weighing in at 108,000 words (the longest yet but still not quite Harry Potter standards, you’ll be glad to hear)

NECROPOLIS is volume four in the Power of Five and although my two editors haven’t got their hands on it yet, I think this series is going from strength to strength.

I’ve probably told you this already but the book is in three parts, the first narrated by Scarlett, the second by Matt. The last part – the shortest – is told by me. It’s a very dark book, quite gruesome in places (until the editors have had their say) and very different to anything I’ve ever done. My visit to Hong Kong was really inspiring and the city comes over more horrible than you would believe – which is a bit unfair as I actually quite enjoyed being there.

The editors are getting it on Wednesday. I’m then fleeing to Suffolk where I plan to hide out for the rest of May. Limpy (the dog) will be with me. Do say hello if you happen to see me around Orford!

Three other things to mention about this month.

I had a great tour of Scotland and the North of England. This was my “sorry, I’m not visiting prep schools” tour and I found myself in some unusual places, starting with a really great crowd at Everton Football Ground (I know…I don’t support them either). I met a bunch of youth offenders there…at least, I think that’s what they were. They all seemed bright and pleasant to me. I couldn’t help but wonder how they’d got into trouble. I suppose it can happen to anyone.

I was also at Howdenhall Secure Unit in Edinburgh where I met some “looked after children” which is what you’re supposed to call them but again, we had a good time together, interesting questions…all in all the place was a lot nicer than my own prep school – no beatings or cold showers for a start.

And a quick hello to Roycroft Unit in Newscastle. Not somewhere I’d want to spend too much time in myself to be honest but I hope you’re still going to your book group and maybe even reading some of those books I left behind.

Moving on…

I had another birthday. Anyone who has read Granny knows my feelings about old age. The only good thing was getting an iPhone from my dear wife as a present. This is the most fantastic device. Well, I’m not going to do advertising for Steve Jobs just both my sons are massively jealous so it’s done the trick.

And I went to Paris for the day. Also celebrating (if that’s the word) twenty years of being married. We had dinner half-way up the Eiffel Tower which was amazing…until the bill came, when I was tempted to throw myself off.

Things to look out for…

THE ALEX RIDER MISSION FILES. I saw the roughs of Walker’s latest extravaganza last week and it looks pretty good. I wrote quite a lot of it myself and if you never read it (in the Daily Mail) you’ll find an early chapter in the life of AR.

HORROR STORIES. They’ve been put on hold. I have too many books at the moment and don’t want to look like I’m just churning them out. They’ll probably come out next year.

MORE FOYLE’S WAR. Just thought I’d mention it. Due to the stupidity of the men in suits, they cancelled my detective series, then changed their minds. I’m now working on a new series, set in the month after the war. This may be of interest to your parents and/or grandparents.

YASSEN. That’s not the title – I’m still working on it. But I hope to head off to Russia later this year to research Alex 8.

NECROPOLIS. Out October.

No more tours for a while, thank goodness. And now a quick escape from HHQ.

Anthony Horowitz

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9. WAITING FOR SNAKEHEAD (AND GOING MAD IN AMERICA)

As usual, it’s been far too long since I last posted but I’ve had a weird summer, even by my standards. I started writing this in a hotel in Los Angeles – the third time I’d been here in as many months. I’m finishing it a week later in Wiltshire (about to leave to talk at the Bath festival…is there any town in England now that doesn’t have a literary festival? Still, it should be fun).

First things first. SNAKEHEAD. Just after I got back to England, there was a familiar thump at the front door as a large, heavy package arrived from Walker Books. It was the finished book! I know I’ve been writing for years and years but the excitement is still the same when the actual book arrives and this one looks amazing. 399 pages in total, making it the longest yet. SNAKEHEAD has got a fantastic cover – silver snake skin with a green snake’s head. It’s also the first Alex book to arrive in hard cover.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure about it and had lengthy discussions with Walker but they insisted. JK, Darren Shan and all the other authors come out in hardback first and they want to go down the same route. The downside is that the book is a bit more expensive. The upside is that it makes a better Xmas gift (hint hint) and lasts longer in libraries. I don’t know. The paperback comes out in April if you want to wait…and it’s got an even slinkier cover: pitch black.

Right now I’m in that queasy situation when I’m worried that the book is no good at all, that I’ve made a terrible mistake, that everyone will hate it. I think all writers feel the same way in the weeks before publication. I have to remind myself that I loved it when I finished it four months ago – and Walker thought it was the best one yet. But even so…

At the end of the day, you’re the ones who’ll decide. I just can’t wait until the book is finally in the shops!

This summer we finally started living in our new place which is slap bang in the middle of London in an area called Clerkenwell. Charles Dickens (my favourite author) used to live round the corner so that’s not bad but otherwise I’m not at all sure about city life. My new office is on the sixth floor and although I can see St Paul’s and the Old Bailey there are no trees and the only birds are pigeons. I hate pigeons! I never knew they made so much noise. They’re ugly. And they poo everywhere- all over the astro turf which is now my back garden. I may have to bring out my air rifle. The only danger is that I’ll miss and hit workers in the office opposite.

Which brings me to America.

Last year I wrote the last episode of my long-running series, Foyle’s War. I’ve got a couple of things I’m writing for ITV and the BBC but the truth is that there’s not a lot happening in the UK. Then I met an American agent. He took me out for lunch and spent the next three months hounding me with emails and phone calls, trying to persuade me to work in America.

So – I travelled out there and promptly got offered a lot of jobs and ended up working with someone called Darren Star (he wrote a huge show called Sex in the City). Anyway, after watching about 1,000 hours of American TV, I came up with an idea for a police series about an Albanian detective working in Los Angeles. The title is “Raffik”. And the reason I was in LA this summer was that I was “pitching” it to the main American TV networks.

Pitches are very strange. Basically, it’s an exercise where you sell your idea to the network. The networks have the power and the money to make the series happen.

Pitches all happen around the same time so you get dozens of teams wandering around LA, going from office to office, trying to get their shows made. You see them in the street, in the lifts (sorry…elevators), walking down the corridors. When you go to a pitch, you go with about half a dozen people so you look a bit like an upmarket criminal gang. The pitch lasts thirty minutes. You explain the idea, describe the characters, tell the story and then the executives (suits) ask a few questions before they throw you out and invite the next lot in. I’m told you’ve got less than a one in fifty chance of selling your idea.

Which makes it all the more strange that my idea has been “picked up”. The Fox network want me to go ahead and write the screenplay and if that goes well I’ll be back in Los Angeles next year, shooting it.

My only worry is – when am I going to find time to write my next book? It’s the fourth volume in THE POWER OF FIVE series. It’s called NECROPOLIS: CITY OF THE DEAD and it’s set in Hong Kong. Yes, it’s the one with a girl (Scar) as the main character. I also have to go out there to do the research. Right now I barely have time to get down to the local newsagent. I don’t know. I keep hoping things will get a little quieter. But they never do.

And it doesn’t help that I’m also working on a secret book. My publishers know nothing about it and ask me tearfully what it is. I think publishers need to suffer a little bit. I’ll reveal all next year. It should be finished by Christmas.

November is going to be quite a month. I’m already flying to Dublin to launch SNAKEHEAD in Ireland and to Antwerp for a book fair. I’m also at bookfairs in Denmark and Sweden. I’ve got a couple of school visits, a signing in Waterstones, Piccadilly (PLEASE come…I’d hate to sit there all on my own), plus a couple of TV appearances, including one with Richard & Judy which should be fun. Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson are also going to be there – and you’d be surprised how well we all get on.

So there it is. The September blog. I’m always amazed how many people read these things and I suppose I should be careful what I say. Except I’m not. Anyway, if there’s anything too rude, my assistant – HHQ – will strike it out even if I don’t want her to. I have to say that she really is a complete

All the best,

Anthony Horowitz
Los Angeles – 15th September

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10. WAITING FOR SNAKEHEAD (AND GOING MAD IN AMERICA)

As usual, it’s been far too long since I last posted but I’ve had a weird summer, even by my standards. I started writing this in a hotel in Los Angeles – the third time I’d been here in as many months. I’m finishing it a week later in Wiltshire (about to leave to talk at the Bath festival…is there any town in England now that doesn’t have a literary festival? Still, it should be fun).

First things first. SNAKEHEAD. Just after I got back to England, there was a familiar thump at the front door as a large, heavy package arrived from Walker Books. It was the finished book! I know I’ve been writing for years and years but the excitement is still the same when the actual book arrives and this one looks amazing. 399 pages in total, making it the longest yet. SNAKEHEAD has got a fantastic cover – silver snake skin with a green snake’s head. It’s also the first Alex book to arrive in hard cover.

(more…)

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11. NIGHTRISE, SNAKEHEAD ETC ETC

Once again HHQ has been cracking the whip for an update so here it is – a few days before I leave for South Africa on my latest book tour. My son has asked me to bring him back a Zulu mask. My wife has asked me to bring her back a Zulu. Is this worrying?

So, NIGHTRISE came out about a month ago and went straight to number one in the best sellers list. I only mention this because if Snakehead does the same next November, then I’ll have done it three times in a year which may be a world record. (And there’s even a fourth book coming out in December…a Diamond brothers novella called “The Greek That Stole Christmas.”) It’s been quite a year and it’s still only June!

Anyway, I’m glad to say that the response to Nightrise has been terrific. How are you getting on with the competition? A signed typescript is sitting in front of me and it could be worth a quid or two on eBay – especially if I get eaten by a crocodile or something in S Africa. Curiously, I was in Hay-on-Wye last week…the whole place is full of second hand bookshops and I saw copies of my earlier books on sale for around £100. Collectors items, apparently. So crack those keys and win the prize. There’s only one typescript left in the world.

I now have a title for the next volume (4) in the Power of Five…although if you don’t like it, I can always think again. It’s going to be called CITY OF THE DEAD. Most of it is set in Hong Kong, as you know, and I hope to go out there later this year for research. I’ve got about 50% of the book in my head. Did any of you guess what Scar’s secret power is? There are clues in NIGHTRISE. It’s going to make a great final chapter with devastation on a massive scale…in fact I’m really looking forward to writing the end of the book which is always a good sign. It makes me keener to start writing the beginning.

I don’t know when I’ll get to HK though. I’m in S Africa for ten days – Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg and then four days after I get back, I’m off to Los Angeles. A big agency, William Morris, has just taken me on and the idea is to sell a series to American TV. We’ll see. The series is called THE ENEMY and it’s sort of a cross between The Matrix and Lost. Remember…you heard it here first.

My son – Cass (aka fonos) is coming with me to LA. He finishes his GCSE’s next week. I hope it’s going well – this is a message for those of you out there in the middle of exams. If Cass gets more than three b’s, he’s leaving home. Not voluntarily. He’s doing some work experience with me and then we’re going to Las Vegas. I still love magic and Lance Burton is one of the best magicians on the circuit. So a last bit of fun before the results come in.

SNAKEHEAD is now finally and seriously finished. The final page count is 398, making it the longest Alex so far. With two pages of acknowledgements it breaks the 400 mark! It comes out in November, but in hardback. I’m not sure I’m happy with this idea but it was Walker Books who wanted to do it and who am I to argue? Hopefully, the shops will discount it – and the paperback will follow in April ’08. This is the time when I always worry about a book but – I know I’ve said this before – I’m fairly confident about this new one. I’ve read a few extracts at school visits and the response has been good.

Apart from the books, you may have caught me on TV or the radio. I’ve done a show called NEWSNIGHT REVIEW a couple of times. It means talking about books and plays – it’s filmed live at 11.00pm on a Friday. I appear on a book quiz quite soon too…look out for it. It’s on BBC3. I won’t tell you if I won or not but at least I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself.

FOYLE’S WAR is finished. I don’t know if anyone cares or not but I wrote seventeen two-hour films over the last six years so it’s been a big part of my life. My wife, Jill Green, was the producer. Not sure what we’ll talk about now that it’s gone.

Well, HHQ have read this and they must have OK’ed it because here it is on the site. I’ll blog again when I get back from LA, hopefully with stories to tell.

Anthony

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12. The Nightrise Treasure Hunt

The AnthonyHorowitz.com Exclusive Nightrise Competition

Matt escaped Omega One. He and Pedro escaped Salamanda’s fiendish plot, but only barely. Can you survive the new adventure of NIGHTRISE?

Have you ever wanted to own your very own piece of Anthony Horowitz history? Here’s your chance – complete this fiendishly difficult quest (well, it was set by Xero)   and you could win a signed copy of the original printed Nightrise manuscript,  or one of three signed recorded books of Nightrise on CD. Continue at your own peril….

We’ve been working on this one for quite a while so it WILL be difficult : ) But the prize is worth it! As the title says it’s also exclusive, it’s only open to members of the messageboard. The competition is open to any member anywhere in the world so there’s none of that “UK only” nonsense!

Get your brain in gear. The first clue is now online…

Click here to participate 

Note: You must be a registered member of the Anthony Horowitz Messageboard to enter this competition.

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13. Feeling Psychic? : A Nightrise Game

Well today is the day. Nightrise is officially available in the US and in other countries around the globe.

Walker Books have created another site to get you in the right mindset (if you’ll pardon the pun! ) for Nightrise.

Visit

http://www.findyourtelepathictwin.com/

and you can try to read Anthony Horowitz’s mind AND try to find your telepathic twin (like Jamie and Scott Tyler)!

Have a go! Get your friends involved, find out if they are truly psychic or just plain psycho!

Discuss it on the messageboard here.

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14. April 02, 2007. Nightrise Released

Power of 5 Website

Well the day is finally here. Nightrise, the third book in the Power of 5 series is in shops now. To celebrate the release, Walker Books have redesigned the Power of 5 website. There’s lots of cool new features, downloads, screensavers and other goodies.

Check out the new Power of 5 site

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15. Get Ready …for Nightrise!

Nightrise 02.04.07

The third book of The Power of Five series hits the shops on Monday April 2nd. Just a few days left, if you need the exact hours minutes and seconds check out our Nightrise countdown on the home page:

Countdown to Nightrise

So we’re declaring April, Official Nightrise Month on AnthonyHorowitz.com!!! Keep your eyes on the news section for some great competitions with some VERY special prizes. You’ll hear it here first!

xero (13th member of the Nexus!)

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16. FEBRUARY: NIGHTRISE, WALKER BOOKS AND SNAKEHEAD

My long-suffering assistant, HHQ, has asked me to drop a newsletter onto the web site to bring everyone up to date with what’s going on.

So first the big news. Alex Rider 7: SNAKEHEAD is finished and although I probably shouldn’t say it, I think it’s my favourite in the whole series.

As you all probably know, it opens in Australia a few days after Alex has splashed down from outer space. Alex is picked up by the SAS and taken to their headquarters at Swanbourne, Perth. He is then recruited by Australian intelligence and sent under cover to Bangkok to gather intelligence on a snakehead – a gang – run by the sinister master criminal, Major Winston Yu.

What Alex doesn’t know is that Yu is also working for Scorpia…yes, they’re back and dare I say it that this time they’re nastier than ever. Yassen Gregorovich also makes an appearance in the book and there’s a character called Ash who knows some nasty secrets about Alex’s past and the way his parents died. This is certainly the most personal Alex Rider book to date.

If any of you come to the Oxford Literary Festival on 21st March. I’ll be reading a chapter. And of course I’ll post a secret chapter on this site some time later this year.

Anyway, my publisher read it yesterday and she loved it which is a good start as she’s a tough woman to please. In fact I had a big meeting at Walker Books last week which was followed by lunch and some of the most rubbery pancakes known to man (it was Shrove Tuesday) and they went through some of the plans for this year which begin with the launch of NIGHTRISE this April.

You may have noticed that the Diamond Brother books have been repackaged and I’d be interested to know what you think of the new covers. I like them. They’re quite young and cartoony but fun and certainly more lively than the last ones. I’ve also written new introductions for them so if you find yourself in a bookshop, have a quick read (no need to buy the book…nobody minds). The intros are short and they made me laugh anyway.

There’s a new Diamond Brothers novella coming out in October – THE GREEK THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS. I adapted it from a radio play I wrote a couple of years ago but I’ve also expanded it and added some extra jokes. I still plan to write another full-length novel with the Diamonds one day.

SNAKEHEAD comes out in November – in time for Xmas. And what’s great is that I’ve already got an idea for the next one. The only slightly odd thing is that Alex won’t be in it… Remember you heard about it here first!

Not much else to say. I’m not doing many school visits this year because of my usual insane work overload. I’m in Andover and Devizes quite soon though. And I’m doing lots of festivals including Oxford, Bath, Hay-on-Wye (why?) and Edinburgh. You can keep track of my movements on the calendar designed by the ever-brilliant Xero.

Finally, just in case you’re wondering. I’m working on the screenplay of POINT BLANC, currently on the third draft. The producers still hope there’ll be a second Alex Rider movie. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.

I hate February. It’s cold and drizzling and my new pad in Clerkenwell is half-finished and I’m not even sure that the half that’s finished is as nice as the half that isn’t. My sons are up to their necks in exams, Lucky (the dog) refuses to answer to his new name and all in all I’d much rather be skiing. But I think it’s going to be a great year…

Anthony Horowitz

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17. BACK FROM THE USA – SOMEHOW I SURVIVED

In case you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything in a while, I’ve just got back from an eight-week trip around the world.

I’d say I’m home except we’ve just sold it. Goodbye Crouch End! From now on I’m going to be living in Clerkenwell which is a really old part of London – Fagin (Oliver Twist) lived close by and when I wrote Raven’s Gate, I put the HQ of the Nexus in the same street. Trains rumble past every few minutes and ghosts hang around the corners. I have a new study which I’ve built on the top floor and while I work I’ll be able to look at St Paul’s and the Old Bailey. There’s not much green around although I have got my own lawn on the roof…even if it is made of plastic.

Not sure how I’m going to exercise the dog but I’m experimenting with a treadmill and a hanging bone.

Anyway, the world tour had its high points and its low points.

I started in Bangkok where I was researching Alex 7. I found some great locations in the Chinese area – where Alex has to live, pretending to be an Afghan refugee – and also on the river. Expect filthy water, mouldering buildings, vicious Thai criminals and lots of rats! I also saw some stomach-churning food on sale in the streets. Most of it actually seemed to be made from churned-up animal stomachs. Maybe Alex will have to face up to a bowl of entrail soup. We’ll see.

Then I went to Perth and visited Swanbourne which just happens to be the headquarters of the Australian SAS. Also very useful for the book although sadly they wouldn’t let me in. Well I’ll have my revenge when I portray the whole lot of them as a bunch of cissies.

I did a couple of school visits before heading off for New Zealand, then back to Melbourne and Sydney, probably my two favourite cities in the world. Alex walks round Sydney Harbour in Chapter Four and I made loads of notes in the sunshine, watching the ferries pull in and out, occasionally smashing into the jetty in a cheerful, Australian sort of way. I also did the famous bridge walk while I was there. Amazing views particularly as night fell and a storm closed in. It was like watching the end of the world.

I got back home in September but I was only there a few days before I had to head off to Canada and the Toronto Film Festival for some early screenings of Stormbreaker. The film went down really well although I felt a bit weird being there. Actors and directors go to film festivals but the truth is that nobody is terribly interested in writers and as far as I could tell I was the only writer there.

By now I was travelling with Alex Pettyfer and his mother (who will soon find herself in one of my books…you wait and see). It was the beginning of a four-week Odyssey – and very odd it was too. We went to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Saint Louis (home of the world’s biggest arch – so big it looked faintly ridiculous although I have to admit it’s very impressive too), Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC and New York.

The best thing about the tour? Seeing so many different cities, standing on the grassy knoll where President Kennedy was assassinated, staying in some pretty classy hotels (my bedroom in Washington was so enormous I actually managed to get lost in it…no kidding), the weather, art galleries, the International Spy Museum in Washington, seeing Little Miss Sunshine at the cinema, writing the first episode of my new BBC TV series in the evenings, cheap T-shirts and – definitely – getting back to the UK.

The worst thing? Well, almost everything else, really. Being asked two thousand times where I got the idea for Alex Rider from. All that travel! Airports and security systems. Suitcases and passports. Packing and unpacking. Doing TV interviews at 11.00am in the morning and knowing that nobody was really watching apart from bored housewives and kids missing school.

Was it all worth while? Well, the film opened in America last week but on a very limited number of screens. I don’t really understand why. It’s still possible that Stormbreaker will do well in the USA just as, if you strike a match in a rain forest, there’s always a chance you’ll start a fire. But I can’t say I’m very optimistic. Which is a shame because we screened the film loads of times in the USA and all the audiences I spoke to seemed very enthusiastic.

Anyway, it’s all behind me now. I’m back, working on Chapter 5 of Snakehead and look out for a brand new Alex Rider short story in the Daily Mail close to Christmas. It’s called “Christmas at Gunpoint” and takes place on a ski resort (Gunpoint, Colorado) the year before Ian Rider died, before Alex became a spy.

I’ve also finished – really finished - Nightrise and I still think it’s one of my best books with a lot of things in it that are going to surprise you. Well, they surprised me. That comes out next April. Only two more books and the series is complete. The next one is set in Hong Kong and I’ll be heading that way early next year.

Finally, there’s the new design of this website. I hope you like it as much as I do. My thanks to Xero in Cork, S.Ireland who put it all together and, of course, HHQ who run it and occasionally beat me around to get me to write a couple of pages like this. I do drop in from time to time for what it’s worth and try to answer your posts…even from fonoS who is clearly a prat. (The clue is in his name)

All the best,

Anthony Horowitz

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18. Australia, Nightrise, Alex 7 and the release of Stormbreaker

A quick message on the day before I leave for Australia. I hope you’re all having a good summer and – despite the heat – GOING TO THE CINEMA! (More about that in a moment).

This Saturday, I’ll be in Bangkok, having a couple of days’ rest on my way to Perth which is where my book tour of Australia starts.

It seems like the right place to think about Alex 7 – or Snakehead as everyone now knows it’s called. I’ve already worked out the plot and I’m starting to think about the action which will include a chase through Bangkok. But what sort of chase? On the river or on the roads? By boat or on foot? Or how about stealing a tuk-tuk, one of the motorised rickshaws (and death-traps) that crowd the city? Hopefully, I’ll get some ideas as I walk around.

I’m thinking of throwing Alex into a cage fight too, although I’m not sure how he’ll survive it. So I’ll head for one of the main stadiums on Saturday night and see what it’s like.

I’ll be in Sydney in about a week’s time which is where Chapter Two of Snakehead takes place…somewhere called Darling Harbour. One of the things I really like doing when I write the Alex books is to walk round the locations and plan everything on the spot. The chapter involves three bank robbers, a speedboat and – of course - Alex. I’ll take a tour in the morning and write it in the afternoon.

That only leaves about 80,000 words to go…

The reason that I can start thinking about Alex again is that I have just finished my new book, NIGHTRISE – the third in the “Power of Five” series that began with RAVEN’S GATE and EVIL STAR.

I think NIGHTRISE is very different from anything I’ve ever done. For a start, it’s longer. For the first time I’ve broken the 100,000 word barrier (but don’t worry – it’s still shorter than a Harry Potter and it’s probably as long as I’m going to get). I’ve already posted stuff about my recent trip to America which really helped the book to take shape. The heroes are two Indian – or Native American – kids. Scott and Jamie Tyler. Twins. They have telepathic powers and get sucked into a conspiracy involving a huge international business, Nightrise, and a plan to assassinate the next president of the USA.

The book includes time travel, some very bloody battle scenes, a prison breakout, a torture scene, several monsters and a re-appearance by a villain from the last book. Matt and Richard also appear and, as you know, I introduce my first heroine…a girl called Scar.

By the end of this week, as I’ve done before, I’ll have hidden the first chapter somewhere on the website. If you find it, let me know what you think!

And now news about the film of Stormbreaker.

The premiere in Leicester Square was completely insane. I’d expected about 500 people to turn up but in fact there were more than 2000. Most of them had come to see Alex Pettyfer, of course – not me. But I’m not complaining. It was a boiling hot evening and going up the red carpet felt like a bit of Hollywood in London. There were dozens of photographers and TV cameras. I even got my picture in OK magazine!

Then, five days later, the film was released all over the UK. I tried not to read any of the reviews because film critics can be a pretty miserable bunch and anyway who really cares what they think? But from what I’m told, most of them liked it, some of them loved it and there was only really one who really hated it (someone who clearly had his head so far up his own bottom I’m surprised he was able to see the film at all).

Since then, it’s been a pretty nerve-wracking business. You probably don’t know this – I certainly didn’t – but when a big movie opens, the producers and the money people track seat sales every day of every week and know exactly how well the film is doing all the time. In other words, when you buy a ticket, they know!

So far Stormbreaker has done very well – although the competition from Superman and Pirates 2 has been strong. The hot weather has also kept some people away from the cinema. The last time I saw the producer, in fact, he was sacrificing chickens in the hope of rain. But people are still going and the film is still showing on screens all over the UK. The summer has six more weeks to run. And most important of all, word of mouth has been really great.

Which is to say that most of you seem to have liked it! I have to say, that’s a huge relief. And if you did like it, can you recommend it your friends, family, neighbours, passing strangers, paramedics, tourists etc? I really hope we’re going to make Point Blanc next year but it all depends on the box office.

Stormbreaker starts to open across Europe next month and then comes the big one – the New York premiere on October 3rd. These days, a film has to succeed in America if it’s going to succeed worldwide. I’m going to be travelling around the USA with Alex Pettyfer throughout September doing publicity and stuff. Keep an eye on my calendar…

That’s it for now. We’re making lots of changes to this website and I hope you approve. Thanks to Xero in Ireland who never rests. And HHQ in London. And everyone who has been to see the film…

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