Saturday, April 2, 2011

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is a rock star among kid lit authors. His fans are legion. Reluctant readers are known to sit up through the night to finish his newest book. And yes, I am a fan. (Can you tell?) Anthony arrived early, signed presolds and stock, posed for photos, made a video, and was generally one of the most charming men I have met. Maybe I should stop gushing now. He worried about how his hair looked (!), worried about the crowd size (will I have enough time to talk to them all?), and laughed when I asked how much of his biography was true (because, well, see what you think).

A little background: Anthony Horowitz's life might have been copied from the pages of Snicket or Dahl. Anthony’s father was "a fixer for Harold Wilson" (a British prime minister) and a very secretive man. When threatened with bankruptcy, he withdrew all his money, deposited it in under a false name, and died shortly thereafter. So the money was never found. That shaped Anthony's view of things. At the age of 8 he was sent to a boarding school where he told stories of revenge to entertain his peers and found solace in the escapism of the James Bond films. And for his 13th birthday his mother gave him a human skull. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

Anthony has been writing professionally since the age of 20. In addition to the Alex Rider books, the Power of 5 series, The Diamond Brothers series, and the Horowitz horror books, he also writes for TV (think Foyle’s War among others) and has been chosen by the Conan Doyle Estate to write a new full length Sherlock Holmes novel.

We had about 350-400 people in the audience (the largest turnout for his tour apparently), all eager to hear about this last Alex Rider book and why he decided to end the series that they all loved so well. He talked about violence in books, the gadgets he so loved, why he wanted Smithers to be so different to Q, why Sean Connery was the best Bond, why Roger Moore was too old to be Bond by the time he starred in Octopussy, and why 14 year olds are the coolest people on earth. They adored him. They had so many questions. And he charmed us all. Friendly, engaging, entertaining, funny, and oh so charismatic, he posed for photos and took his time with each and every fan. Did I mention that he’s killed off all the teachers he loathed in his books, that he’s depicted as a skeleton on the cover of one of his books, that he loves The Hunger Games, and is grateful to JK Rowling for revitalizing the world of kid lit.

I'll post video soon. And yes that's me dressed as a spy - with Matt who was dressed as security. So much fun! Am now waiting to get my hands on the Sherlock Holmes title.

1 comment:

Michael Offutt said...

I feel bad. I had no idea who this guy is. However, now I do and thank you for introducing him to me.