A quick message on the day before I leave for Australia. I hope youâ€™re all having a good summer and â€“ despite the heat â€“ GOING TO THE CINEMA! (More about that in a moment).
This Saturday, Iâ€™ll be in Bangkok, having a couple of daysâ€™ rest on my way to Perth which is where my book tour of Australia starts.
It seems like the right place to think about Alex 7 â€“ or Snakehead as everyone now knows itâ€™s called. Iâ€™ve already worked out the plot and Iâ€™m starting to think about the action which will include a chase through Bangkok. But what sort of chase? On the river or on the roads? By boat or on foot? Or how about stealing a tuk-tuk, one of the motorised rickshaws (and death-traps) that crowd the city? Hopefully, Iâ€™ll get some ideas as I walk around.
Iâ€™m thinking of throwing Alex into a cage fight too, although Iâ€™m not sure how heâ€™ll survive it. So Iâ€™ll head for one of the main stadiums on Saturday night and see what itâ€™s like.
Iâ€™ll be in Sydney in about a weekâ€™s time which is where Chapter Two of Snakehead takes placeâ€¦somewhere called Darling Harbour. One of the things I really like doing when I write the Alex books is to walk round the locations and plan everything on the spot. The chapter involves three bank robbers, a speedboat and â€“ of course - Alex. Iâ€™ll take a tour in the morning and write it in the afternoon.
That only leaves about 80,000 words to goâ€¦
The reason that I can start thinking about Alex again is that I have just finished my new book, NIGHTRISE â€“ the third in the â€śPower of Fiveâ€ť series that began with RAVENâ€™S GATE and EVIL STAR.
I think NIGHTRISE is very different from anything Iâ€™ve ever done. For a start, itâ€™s longer. For the first time Iâ€™ve broken the 100,000 word barrier (but donâ€™t worry â€“ itâ€™s still shorter than a Harry Potter and itâ€™s probably as long as Iâ€™m going to get). Iâ€™ve already posted stuff about my recent trip to America which really helped the book to take shape. The heroes are two Indian â€“ or Native American â€“ kids. Scott and Jamie Tyler. Twins. They have telepathic powers and get sucked into a conspiracy involving a huge international business, Nightrise, and a plan to assassinate the next president of the USA.
The book includes time travel, some very bloody battle scenes, a prison breakout, a torture scene, several monsters and a re-appearance by a villain from the last book. Matt and Richard also appear and, as you know, I introduce my first heroineâ€¦a girl called Scar.
By the end of this week, as Iâ€™ve done before, Iâ€™ll have hidden
the first chapter somewhere on the website. If you find it, let me know what you think!
And now news about the film of Stormbreaker.
The premiere in Leicester Square was completely insane. Iâ€™d expected about 500 people to turn up but in fact there were more than 2000. Most of them had come to see Alex Pettyfer, of course â€“ not me. But Iâ€™m not complaining. It was a boiling hot evening and going up the red carpet felt like a bit of Hollywood in London. There were dozens of photographers and TV cameras. I even got my picture in OK magazine!
Then, five days later, the film was released all over the UK. I tried not to read any of the reviews because film critics can be a pretty miserable bunch and anyway who really cares what they think? But from what Iâ€™m told, most of them liked it, some of them loved it and there was only really one who really hated it (someone who clearly had his head so far up his own bottom Iâ€™m surprised he was able to see the film at all).
Since then, itâ€™s been a pretty nerve-wracking business. You probably donâ€™t know this â€“ I certainly didnâ€™t â€“ but when a big movie opens, the producers and the money people track seat sales every day of every week and know exactly how well the film is doing all the time. In other words, when you buy a ticket, they know!
So far Stormbreaker has done very well â€“ although the competition from Superman and Pirates 2 has been strong. The hot weather has also kept some people away from the cinema. The last time I saw the producer, in fact, he was sacrificing chickens in the hope of rain. But people are still going and the film is still showing on screens all over the UK. The summer has six more weeks to run. And most important of all, word of mouth has been really great.
Which is to say that most of you seem to have liked it! I have to say, thatâ€™s a huge relief. And if you did like it, can you recommend it your friends, family, neighbours, passing strangers, paramedics, tourists etc? I really hope weâ€™re going to make Point Blanc next year but it all depends on the box office.
Stormbreaker starts to open across Europe next month and then comes the big one â€“ the New York premiere on October 3rd. These days, a film has to succeed in America if itâ€™s going to succeed worldwide. Iâ€™m going to be travelling around the USA with Alex Pettyfer throughout September doing publicity and stuff. Keep an eye on my calendarâ€¦
Thatâ€™s it for now. Weâ€™re making lots of changes to this website and I hope you approve. Thanks to Xero in Ireland who never rests. And HHQ in London. And everyone who has been to see the filmâ€¦