The action-packed life of Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is a multi-talented writer. Not only has he written books for children and teens, but he has also written for TV (Foyle’s War, Poirot and Midsomer Murders) and delved into the world of James Bond and Sherlock Holmes. Today, he lives a very comfortable life thanks to the millions of sales of his books worldwide, but his life didn’t start off so great. Anthony had an unhappy childhood but he found himself in books. Stories helped him to escape. In his dormitory, which he describes as a horrible place, he told stories to the other children to cheer them up. He created Jimmy and Edward who had Willard Price-type adventures. The books that Anthony has written for children are his attempt to relive his childhood and be the child he wanted to be. Anthony commented on how his childhood has affected his writing saying:

You either have 19 million sales or a happy childhood.

The Alex Rider books were the books that put Anthony on the map. The creation of Alex Rider came out of the Iraq war and the lies that the Secret Service were telling. He has spent “15 years being the biographer of a 14 year old boy”,’ but he hinted that he may eventually write a book about a 28-year-old Alex Rider whose life is messed up after all his missions. Such a book hasn’t been written about a children’s character before, and Anthony seems intrigued by the idea. Anthony says that he tries to write books that have a seriousness of intent. He believes that children’s books need to have good language and he tries to write well.

In the past few years Anthony Horowitz has redefined himself as an adult writer. He wants to step back and let someone else take his place as a writer for children. Robert Muchamore has been doing this with his Cherub series and Anthony has welcomed this series as it keeps encouraging his own fans to read. He has gone on to write two Sherlock Holmes novels, House of Silk and Moriarty, and is working on his untitled James Bond novel.

Anthony Horowitz has this advice for young writers:

  • The more you read, the more you will write.
  • Get outside, have adventures, do something illegal
  • You have to believe in yourself!

I’ve read some of Anthony Horowitz’s books for children and teens but I’m certainly going to add his Sherlock Holmes books to my to-be-read list.

Horowitz and Gleitzman and Walliams, oh my!

Some of the biggest names in the children’s literature world are descending on Auckland next week for the Auckland Writers Festival.  I’m lucky enough to be going to the festival and I’m incredibly excited about meeting my literary idols.

There is a brilliant line up of children’s authors coming to the festival this year and some really big draw cards – Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz, the hilarious David Walliams, Australian author Morris Gleitzman and the creator of Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey. All of these authors have a huge number of young fans all over the world and I’m sure their sessions will be sell-outs.

Cover of Eagle strikeCover of Mr StinkCover of NowCover of Captain Underpants and the revolting revenge of the radioactive robo-boxers

I’m especially looking forward to David Walliams session. I loved his TV series, Little Britain, and was sceptical when he started writing for children, but his stories are hilarious. His style of story is very similar to Roald Dahl, with lots of laughs and characters that make you squirm. If your children haven’t tried his books yet they are well worth a read. They are especially great for reading aloud and will have you and your children laughing out loud.

I love having the chance to hear authors talk about their books and it’s fantastic that the Auckland Writers Festival have managed to get such big names over here in little old NZ.