Thursday, December 1, 2011

Anthony Horowitz

We had the great pleasure of hosting Anthony Horowitz last week for The House of Silk. Yes, he was chosen by the Conan Doyle Estate to write this new Sherlock Holmes novel and it is fabulous.

A little background: Anthony Horowitz's life might have been copied from the pages of the Brothers Grimm. Anthony’s father was "a fixer for the British prime minister, Harold Wilson" and a very secretive man. When threatened with bankruptcy, he withdrew all his money and deposited it in under a false name. When he died, he had told no one so the money was never found. That shaped Anthony's view of things. At boarding school 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 (Foyle’s War anyone?)
So what did he tell us? That he set himself some rules while writing a Holmes mystery. No lovers, no famous walk-ons (like Jack the Ripper, or Freud, or Queen Victoria), and it was to be narrated by Watson in the same kind goodhearted, admiring tone of the originals. He himself was never going to be seen in a deerstalker hat and pipe. He wanted to write something a little more shocking and dark, a little more modern, with a little tristesse that befits Watson writing from a retirement home. He wanted it to be a little more analytical as befits the times – so there is a discussion of child poverty for example.

The multi-talented Anthony Horowitz seems to excel at everything he touches. He is one of the most charming authors I’ve ever met and it is always a pleasure to hear him discuss his projects. He says he would like to do more Foyle’s War episodes but not in peace time, so maybe a prequel. And he’s unlikely to write more Sherlock Holmes mysteries sadly. Says maybe he’ll turn to another 19th century thriller next but wouldn’t give us a clue. As you can see, I’m such a fan girl!

Finally, here's video of Anthony talking about The House of Silk.

1 comment:

Danmark said...

Horowitz has done such a good job of emulating the voice and mannerisms of Watson, the tone and style of a Victorian adventure tale that it does take a little while to get used to the rhythm of the tale. My suggestion is to persevere, let yourself adjust to the style. As with all mysteries there's generally a slow start as the elements and facts of the case are put in place. The House of Silk with the reader being swept along at breakneck speed.