Anthony Horowitz Introduction
I’m so late to the Anthony Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates / Horowitz Party (let alone Alex Rider) party that it ended before I got there. But as Blanche Deveraux aptly said…
THIS INTERVIEW DOES NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS.
However, when The Twist Of A Knife was released, I finally got dressed to be fashionably late to Anthony Horowitz’s party. Please see the summaries and my overview of Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates (linked).
According to the New York Times, Anthony Horowitz is “The most original and best spy-kids author of the century.” After binging the Hawthorne and Horowitz series in just over four days, I can honestly say that there are no lies detected in that sentence. I’m going to stop there and jump into the interview because I have a Hawthorne and Horwitz series review posting tomorrow, March 25th.
I want to thank Anthony, and his assistant, Tess for coordinating this interview during a very busy time for Horowitz. It was kind and gracious, and I’m psyched!
P.S Anthony has just started work on a fifth Horowitz and Hawthorne Investigates. The title is Close to Death. See the title of a POSSIBLE book below.
Anthony Horowitz Interview
- What does it mean that you’ve created more mysteries than any other living author? That is quite an achievement! Do you think it reflects on you as a person, at all?
I have never said this. I have probably described more murders than anyone else…in books and on TV. It just proves I’ve been writing murder mysteries for a very long time!
2. As far as the multitude of mediums you work in:
A) What has been your favorite
B) What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment
C) What do you feel strongest/weakest in?
I love all my writing equally but novels are in some ways the most rewarding medium because they are entirely mine and not collaborations. I am proud of the Alex Rider series which has been credited with helping to introduce a whole generation to the pleasures of reading…and I love meeting 30-year-olds who once read my books. I never feel weak when I am writing. This is not a boast. I may make mistakes and occasionally worry about what I have written but self-confidence is any writer’s most vital defense.
3. Where did this idea come from to include yourself as a character in a series come from?
When my publishers asked me to write a detective series, I began to think of ways I could subvert the shape/structure of a whodunnit. By putting myself inside the book I realized that I shifted the perspective from one of power (the all-seeing narrator) to near helplessness (the sidekick) and this seemed to be both entertaining and novel. My publishers were very nervous at first but now they love the relationship!
4. How hard (or what is it like) is it for you to write yourself? Especially when the character you are interacting with is not real? That must be some kind of mental gymnastics! Especially in terms of the banter/deadpanned humor.
I never use words like “hard” or “difficult” because I believe that writing should flow and that it should be an enjoyable process. Nor do I think of Hawthorne as “not real”. He is totally real to me when I am writing. How else could I describe him? And the banter and humor flow arise out of this. The only mental gymnastics come in constructing the plot!
5. Billy Joel had a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 1982 and he talks about how it irrevocably changed his career and life. Did your accident have the same impact?
One day I may write a book about this. The title (you’re the first to know) will be THE DECIDERS. It was a pivotal moment in some ways and a painful one – it took me five months to recover. But in a strange way it left me healthier and stronger as if my body took the opportunity to do a total repair job. I still have the motorbike…but ride more slowly.
If THIS HAPPENS… YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!
6. What is your favorite contemporary author/book(s) (You are not allowed to say you or Charles Dickens- contemporary being your peers)?
I love the work of Sarah Waters (Goodreads Link) and I’m waiting for her next one. She combines brilliant stories, fantastic surprises, and a narrative that often echoes Dickens and Wilkie Collins. In popular fiction, Robert Harris is a superb storyteller. Stephen King continues to astonish. Don Winslow is the master crime writer. And several Japanese authors – Keigo Higashino, Seishi Yokomizo, Natsuo Kirino, and Soji Shimada – are extraordinary.
7. If this series were to make it to theaters or TV, would you play yourself?
The writer in the Hawthorne novels is a version of myself and though slightly exaggerated in some areas is 100% accurate. But he is only the narrator, the sidekick. I have been careful not to be the centre of attention. I cannot act so would not play myself.
8. What have been the things said about you/your work that has made you most proud and most despondent?
“My son never read anything until he read Alex Rider. Now he can’t stop reading.”
“I guessed the ending.”
On a side note- Anthony Horowitz’s appreciation for what his work has done for students finding a love for reading,
really touches me, as an educator (specializing in reading) for 15 years.
About Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz Bio Courtesy of his official website, linked below.
Anthony is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in the UK – and is unique for working across so many media. Anthony is a born polymath; juggling writing books, TV series, films, plays, and journalism. Anthony has written over 50 books including the bestselling teen spy series Alex Rider, which is estimated to have sold 21 million copies worldwide and has been turned into a hugely successful TV series by Amazon Freevee. A third series has just been filmed and the fourteenth Alex Rider novel, Nightshade: Revenge
will be out later this year.
Anthony is also an acclaimed writer for adults and was commissioned to write two new Sherlock Holmes novels The House of Silk and Moriarty. He was commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write continuation novels for James Bond with Trigger Mortis and Forever and Day, published in 2015 and 2018 respectively. A third novel in the series With a Mind to Kill was published in May 2022.
Anthony’s award-winning novel Magpie Murders was published in October 2016 to critical acclaim and was serialized on BritBox at the beginning of 2022 with Lesley Manville in the lead role. It will be televised on the BBC in 2023. The sequel, Moonflower Murders, will begin filming in September 2023. His new series featuring Detective Hawthorne and a sidekick called Anthony Horowitz has four books so far: The Word is Murder, The Sentence is Death, A Line to Kill, and the recently published The Twist of a Knife. Anthony has just started work on a fifth: Close to Death.
Anthony is responsible for creating and writing some of the UK’s most beloved and successful television series including Midsomer Murders and he is the writer and creator of the award-winning drama series Foyle’s War, which was the Winner of the Lew Grade Audience award for BAFTA.
Anthony was awarded a CBE in 2022 for his services to literature
Anthony Horowitz’s Hawthorne and Horowitz Series
When it is said that Anthony Horowitz is prolific, it is no joke. There isn’t enough room for me to list all novels. Since my review is focused on the Hawthorne and Horowitz series, that is the information I am giving. However, please look at Anthony Horowitz’s website for extensive information on all novels, articles, and further information. There is even a store!
Anthony Horowitz’s The Word Is Murder (Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates#1)
New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime novel, this time writing a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes.
One bright spring morning in London, Diana Cowper – the wealthy mother of a famous actor – enters a funeral parlor. She is there to plan her own service.
Six hours later she is found dead, strangled with a curtain cord in her own home.
Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric investigator who’s as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. Hawthorne needs a ghost writer to document his life; a Watson to his Holmes. He chooses Anthony Horowitz.
Drawn in against his will, Horowitz soon finds himself a the center of a story he cannot control. Hawthorne is brusque, temperamental and annoying but even so his latest case with its many twists and turns proves irresistible. The writer and the detective form an unusual partnership. At the same time, it soon becomes clear that Hawthorne is hiding some dark secrets of his own.
A masterful and tricky mystery that springs many surprises, The Word is Murder is Anthony Horowitz at his very best…
Pub Date: June 5, 2018
Goodreads Link: The Word Is Murder (Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates #1)
Anthony Horowitz’s The Sentence Is Death (Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates#2)
“You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late…”
These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer. Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.
Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?
Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne >and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.
But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…
Pub Date: May 28, 2019
Goodreads Link: The Sentence Is Death (Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates #2)
Anthony Horowitz’s A Line To Kill (Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates #3)
When Ex-Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, are invited to an exclusive literary festival on Alderney, an idyllic island off the south coast of England, they don’t expect to find themselves in the middle of murder investigation—or to be trapped with a cold-blooded killer in a remote place with a murky, haunted past.
Arriving on Alderney, Hawthorne and Horowitz soon meet the festival’s other guests—an eccentric gathering that includes a bestselling children’s author, a French poet, a TV chef turned cookbook author, a blind psychic, and a war historian—along with a group of ornery locals embroiled in an escalating feud over a disruptive power line.
When a local grandee is found dead under mysterious circumstances, Hawthorne and Horowitz become embroiled in the case. The island is locked down, no one is allowed on or off, and it soon becomes horribly clear that a murderer lurks in their midst. But who?
Both a brilliant satire on the world of books and writers and an immensely enjoyable locked-room mystery, A Line to Kill is a triumph—a riddle of a story full of brilliant misdirection, beautifully set-out clues, and diabolically clever denouements.
Pub Date: October 19, 2021
Goodreads Link: A Line To Kill (Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates #3)
Anthony Horowitz’s The Twist Of A Knife (Hawthorne and Horowitz Investigates#4)
‘Our deal is over.’
That’s what reluctant author Anthony Horowitz tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne in an awkward meeting. The truth is that Anthony has other things on his mind.
His new play, Mindgame, is about to open in London’s Vaudeville theatre. Not surprisingly Hawthorne declines a ticket.
On opening night, Sunday Times critic Harriet Throsby gives the play a savage review, focusing particularly on the writing. The next morning she is found dead, stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger which, it turns out, belongs to Anthony and which has his fingerprints all over it.
Anthony is arrested, charged with Throsby’s murder, thrown into prison, and interrogated.
Alone and increasingly desperate, he realizes only one man can help him.
But will Hawthorne take his call?