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March 8, 2013

World Book Day aims to be ‘biggest book show on earth’

High browsers ... World Book Day

High browsers … World Book Day

Thursday’s event expects to reach more than half a million with star-studded event beamed to children around the globe.

By Alison Flood

Over half a million children from all over the world will gather to watch authors including Francesca Simon, Anthony Horowitz, Lauren Child and Tony Robinson celebrate the joy of reading on Thursday’s World Book Day.

Dubbed the “Biggest Book Show on Earth”, the hour-long event will take place in Queen Elizabeth Hall in London at 11am on 7 March, and will be broadcast live to cinemas around the UK, as well as shown live online. Children’s author and television presenter Robinson will host the event, Horrid Henry creator Simon will show how to bring characters to life, and Alfie author Shirley Hughes will explain the secrets of illustration.

“The target this year is for three quarters of a million children,” said Robinson. “I’m just about to go and sit in a quiet place and start to think about what I’m going to say. It’s the largest audience I’ve ever played to.”

“I’ll be talking about how to capture your ideas and plan your writing,” added Tom Gates author Liz Pichon, who will also be appearing on stage, along with Charlie & Lola creator Child and Cathy Cassidy. Last year half a million children from more than 75 countries watched the show, and organisers said that over 550,000 have already registered this year, with many thousands more expected to sign up by Thursday.

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May 15, 2012

Who’s helping who in the cover blurb game?

Filed under: Publishers — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 8:29 am

‘I even turned up on a self-help book I hadn’t read’ … Anthony Horowitz. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian

Few books now appear without enthusiastic recommendations from other authors, but does anyone really believe them?

By Anthony Horowitz

How many books can one man recommend? I sometimes feel that my name is on the cover of more books than I’ve actually written myself, which is worrying. I’ve endorsed children’s authors as diverse as Suzanne Collins, Meg Rosoff, Simon Mayo and the late, great Robert Cormier. I found the historian, Nicholas Rankin, to be “completely delightful”, and the poet, Roger McGough, “wise, funny and sad”. The thriller writer, Stephen Leather, delivered in my opinion, “a wicked read” although I notice I’ve been bumped off the front cover of the latest edition by James Herbert (“another great thriller with a devilish twist”), which I do find slightly hurtful. I even turned up on a self-help book I hadn’t read – the publishers took my name and helped themselves.

Authors promoting authors on book jackets is so widespread now that few books appear without them, a phenomenon gleefully mocked by Private Eye’s Backscratcher column, which is quick to point out where favours are being called in. There are three ways in which I find myself on other peoples’ covers.

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February 28, 2012

Anthony Horowitz: Do we still need publishers?

Anthony Horowitz. Photograph: Andy Paradise / Rex Features

At an event hosted by children’s booksellers The Book People last week, the author gave a talk questioning the role of the publisher in today’s literary world. This is an edited version.

The title of this talk is, “Do We Need Publishers Any More?”. I was going to call it “Thank Christ We Don’t Need Bloody Publishers Any More” – but I felt that sounded too partisan.

Relationships between writers and publishers are of course very strange and change all the time, rather like a see-saw.

I remember my first meeting at Walker Books. The first question they asked me – and I swear this is true – was what mug would I like my tea in: the one with the teddy bear, the tennis racket or the pink one with the flower? And when I left the building, they asked me if I’d be OK taking the tube on my own. I was 33. I was married with a child. But they clearly saw me as some sort of demented child myself.

Cut forward 20 years: I’ve grown up, and they’re nervous of me. There’s Alex Rider. I’ve created a brand. Walker also resent me ever so slightly because now I’m the one with the SMA powder and the changing table. To a certain extent, they need me and that’s probably tricky for a publisher who might find life so much easier without writers.

Meanwhile, across the river, I have my adult publisher, Orion – and they also have problems with me. Relations between us have been strained ever since they published my Sherlock Holmes novel, The Mouse of Slick, with no fewer than 35 proof-reading errors. Their proof-reader tried to kill herself. She shot herself with a gnu. Even so, we’re doing another book together … a story of murder, suspicion and revenge.

But the truth is, I have other options.

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November 23, 2011

Sherlock Holmes lives on screen and in literature

Buy this

By: Anthony Horowitz

One hundred and twenty-four years after his first appearance in print and 118 years after his frustrated creator threw him over Reichenbach Falls only to resurrect him by popular demand eight years later, Sherlock Holmes is very much alive.

You’d like evidence? There’s the upcoming debut on Dec. 16 of “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” the second movie in which Robert Downey Jr. portrays a steampunk version of the Great Detective.

Downey joins more than 70 other actors who have played Holmes in films. According to Guinness World Records, he has been portrayed on the big screen more than any other character. He has also had countless incarnations on stage and the small screen — my all-time favorite Holmes was Jeremy Brett in the British series “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” — and influenced other characters ranging from James Bond to Star Trek’s Spock and Picard and all the CSI investigators, not to mention legions of lone-wolf tough detectives who can handle criminals with their guns or fists but prefer to use their brains.

But Holmes was born in print and continues to live most robustly there. (Some of his most devoted fans believe he lived or even lives literally, but we’ll get to that.) more

October 29, 2011

Ranking Sherlock Holmes Stories? Elementary


Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz, tapped to write The House of Silk, the first authorized Sherlock Holmes adventure since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s death 81 years ago, shares favorite Holmes stories with us.

I fell in love with the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was 16. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created not just a great detective but an entire world. Just think: fog, hansom cabs, gaslight, Stradivarius, liquid cocaine… and before you even get to Baker Street you know exactly where you are.

When I was asked to write The House of Silk, I reread the entire canon and promptly fell in love with them all over again, and if I have one hope for my book, it’s that it will introduce a new generation of readers to these wonderful stories. Here are my five favorites.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              …read more

January 17, 2011

Horowitz to write Holmes mystery for Orion

Filed under: Publishers — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 11:35 am

17.01.11 | Charlotte Williams

Orion is to publish a new full-length Sherlock Holmes novel, written by Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz, after he was selected by the Conan Doyle Estate.

Jon Wood, deputy group publisher, acquired world rights to the as-yet-unnamed title through Robert Kirby of United Agents….read more

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