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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. More here.

Anthony Horowitz - live webchat Tuesday 10th November, 12 - 1pm

(126 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Nov-09 11:14:10

International best-selling children's author Anthony Horowitz is joining us for a live webchat on Tuesday 10th November between 12 and 1pm. Crocodile Tears, the eighth book in the Alex Rider series will be published in November, and 'Collision', Anthony's new 5-part drama series is soon to hit the screens on ITV1. If you have a question for Anthony, or you have a fervent AH fan at home, post your advance questions on this thread or join us next Tuesday.

PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Mon 09-Nov-09 17:11:54

From my 8 year old son:

What's the trick to getting a good title? I like yours very much, they are exciting.

DS2 has dyslexia and struggled to elarn to read, so cheers for getting him excited about books.

PercyPigPie Mon 09-Nov-09 18:25:10

Hi Anthony

My 8 yr old has two questions: could you please write a book about what Alex does in his spare time and when is his birthday?


anthonyhorowitz Mon 09-Nov-09 18:42:21


kizzie Mon 09-Nov-09 18:52:56

from 10 year old DS (he LOVES your books! - thank you for getting him so interested in reading fiction.)

Where do you do your writing and do you have to be in total peace and quiet or do you like listening to music when you are working?

Thanks - DS will rush home to read this tomorrow smile

playdoughfree Mon 09-Nov-09 19:43:41

Hi Anthony

My ds1 (11) would like to know which of your book characters is most like you?

pointydogg Mon 09-Nov-09 19:53:50

AGree with stewie re the pigeon-holing of children's books into boy camp, girl camp. Drives me nuts.

pointydogg Mon 09-Nov-09 20:00:35

Here's a question. Kids love the violent black humour of Edward Eliot (I-didn't-get-where-I-am-today-Dad), especially his grim public school day tales.

Did your own public school experiences influence how you approached your own children's education?

RTKangaMummy Mon 09-Nov-09 20:27:37






Kangaboy is going to write a question for me to ask on his behalf tomorrow while he is at school


PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Mon 09-Nov-09 22:34:52

I am asking a second question but it is for asecond child if that is OK? (still wroks out at 0.5 q'sper Peachy son LOL)

'Dear Anthony, I am nearly ten and want to write books when I grow up. I write lots and lots already at home about monsters and mythology, but what is your best tip for someone like me?'

Thank you

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 09:56:55


RTKangaMummy Tue 10-Nov-09 11:46:04

Hello Anthony ~ I really enjoyed COLLISION last night ~ very interesting idea

I have a question from my son, Kangaboy who is a huge Alex Rider fan

In Alex Rider who/what is your favourite character/gadget also if you could have a gadget, what would it be and why?




anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 11:53:54

So here I am at the extremely impressive offices of Mumsnet in rain-swept Kentish Town (N. London). Quadruple height ceilings, very industrial, steel girders and grey carpets. Just been given tea and custard creams (not my favourite biscuits) and looking forward to the start of the chat...

RTKangaMummy Tue 10-Nov-09 11:57:30

Welcome to MN


anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 11:59:07

RT Kanga - so glad you enjoyed Collision and thanks for mentioning it. Answers for your son. My favourite character is Alex, of course - although I like Yassen too. My favourite gadget was the exploding bubble gum (Bubble 07) but for myself I might choose the mosquito cream (ask him - he'll know what I mean).

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 12:03:40

Two answers for Peachy. Titles are tricky - and no mistake! Sometimes they come easily (Snakehead fell into place when I came across the name in a book about eastern gangs). But sometimes they can take ages. Crocodile Tears, for example, had about a dozen titles before I came up with the one on the cover and even now I worry that nobody knows what it means. I just look for powerful words that collide in a meaningful way. Ie Storm + Breaker. Or Skeleton + Key (which has several meanings).

To your second child (Happy 10th Birthday). My advice to you as a young writer is as follows. Read! The more you read, the better you'll write. Write! A little every now and then - don't stare at a blank page. Writing should be fun. Get out and have adventures. You need something to write about. And most important of all - believe in yourself. Never give up! Good luck...

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 12:05:27

Kizzie - I can write anywhere, just about. My favourite place to write though is Orford in Suffolk where the views of the River Alde endlessly inspire me. Generally, I like to have noise around me, to feel connected to life. I do sometimes listen to music but it has to be the same music (Vivaldi or Chopin) which I play endlessly. I can't have words in my ears - so no songs.

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 12:07:17

What an interesting question, M&M's 8-year-old has asked! Actually, Alex doesn't have a lot of spare time as he's always so busy saving the world. But left to himself he would play football, go on long bike rides and - of course - he would read! His birthday is meant to be February 13th (when my second son, Cass, was born). But when you read Crocodile Tears you may see that I've slightly mucked it up...

VinegarTits Tue 10-Nov-09 12:07:50

I would complain about the biscuits Anthony

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 12:08:48

Jackstarbright? Is that really your name? Nice to start this session with a questioner who sounds so familiar!

Disappointing answer though as there are no immediate plans to make a film of Point Blanc. Stormbreaker did very well in Europe but for reasons that are beyond me, had no proper distribution in the USA – and the sad truth is that you can't make large scale films without American finance.

After Crocodile Tears comes out, we'll see, but frankly I'm not holding my breath.

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 12:10:27

Edward Eliot was largely based on my father, Pointydogg! I'm not sure he'd have been amused. My children had a fairly different education to mine although I did send them to private schools. Not sure if I should feel guilty about this. They went to a nice day school in Hampstead until they were 13, then went to boarding school. But in their case - unlike mine - it was a choice that they made with me. I just woke up one day and found myself in the misery of Orley Farm and that was that. Also they enjoyed their school days, unlike me. Does this all sound a bit defensive? I think my boys are great so should have no regrets...

PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Tue 10-Nov-09 12:10:39

(Just to say thank you for your reply, they went off to school hopeful today and will be so chuffed; writing is everything to ds1 and he has aspergers so this will mean the world).

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 12:11:24

Thanks, Vinegar! This is definitely the last time I do Mumsnet (unless they get Jaffa Cakes).

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 12:13:02

Peachy -

Say hello to DS1 from me! Hope school was OK

anthonyhorowitz Tue 10-Nov-09 12:14:13

Playdoughfree - I'm afraid that none of the characters are really like me, apart from Tim Diamond, the dim detective in my Diamond brothers books. Sorry to disappoint your 11-year-old but I'm nothing like Alex Rider. Much older, for a start.

RTKangaMummy Tue 10-Nov-09 12:14:42

Thankyou for the reply ~ he will be so chuffed with your reply smile

I would like to ask a question from me but I don't want to take your time away from the other MNetters children so answer their questions first smile

I grew up just outside Hastings and I wondered what made you chose Hastings for Foyles War?

I also love something I saw about Midsomer Murders that when you couldn't think what to do next you killed someone grin ~ deffo the most dangerous place in the country to live


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