Wednesday 12th October
Review by Gabriel Brown
An Evening With Anthony Horowitz was by far my favourite event of the festival thus far.
Anthony Horowitz delivered a fascinating talk, alongside chair, Professor Simon James. His answers showed Horrowitz’s enduring passion for writing, and it was incredible to be given a glimpse as to how his mind works.
A particularly memorable moment was how Anthony spoke about ideas. He says that he generally has 20 to 30 ideas a day, with 29 or 30 of those actually being rubbish. His example was that he once had to wear an amplifier microphone, but he thought about how the microphone could perhaps not convey his speech but actually his thoughts. He continued to speak about how ideas can slot into your head in terms of their form; he can usually tell what would work as a novel, compared to a short story or a play etc.
Horowitz also talked about his new book, taking the audience through some of its narrative complexities. Apparently the whole narrative of the book can be solved from the first page, for example. He went on to read out a short extract, despite confessing that he prefers to not read from his work.
A main topic that the talk focused upon was Alex Rider. Probably Horowitz’s most well known series, he unexpectedly announced its return to the excited audience!
He talked about how, recently, he has worked on some Alex Rider short stories and improved them, including Alex in Afghanistan, where the titular protagonist is sent to find Tony Blair’s weapons of mass destruction. He destroys them, of course, which is why they were never there. His short stories reminded him how much he liked the character, and now he’ll be moving with his audiences; where he was once writing for people who were 13, he will be now and re-meeting them at 24/25, with stories Moriaty, and Magpie Murders.
The overriding feeling from the talk was that Horowitz had missed the character, and felt that he owed it to fans of the series to do another. He believes it to be the best and told us that the story will be set just five weeks after book nine, Scorpia Rising.
The whole event was truly fascinating and really interesting, and the reveal of a new Alex Rider was amazing!