Once again HHQ has been cracking the whip for an update so here it is a few days before I leave for South Africa on my latest book tour. My son has asked me to bring him back a Zulu mask. My wife has asked me to bring her back a Zulu. Is this worrying?
So, NIGHTRISE came out about a month ago and went straight to number one in the best sellers list. I only mention this because if Snakehead does the same next November, then I’ll have done it three times in a year which may be a world record. (And theres even a fourth book coming out in December, a Diamond brothers novella called The Greek That Stole Christmas.)
Its been quite a year and its still only June! Anyway, I’m glad to say that the response to Nightrise has been terrific.
How are you getting on with the competition? A signed typescript is sitting in front of me and it could be worth a quid or two on eBay especially if I get eaten by a crocodile or something in S Africa.
Curiously, I was in Hay-on-Wye last week the whole place is full of second hand bookshops and I saw copies of my earlier books on sale for around £100. Collectors items, apparently. So crack those keys and win the prize. Theres only one typescript left in the world.
I now have a title for the next volume (4) in the Power of Five, although if you dont like it, I can always think again. Its going to be called CITY OF THE DEAD. Most of it is set in Hong Kong, as you know, and I hope to go out there later this year for research. Ive got about 50% of the book in my head. Did any of you guess what Scars secret power is? There are clues in NIGHTRISE. Its going to make a great final chapter with devastation on a massive scale in fact I’m really looking forward to writing the end of the book which is always a good sign.
It makes me keener to start writing the beginning. I don’t know when I’ll get to HK though. I’m in S Africa for ten days Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg and then four days after I get back, I’m off to Los Angeles. A big agency, William Morris, has just taken me on and the idea is to sell a series to American TV. We’ll see. The series is called THE ENEMY and its sort of a cross between The Matrix and Lost. Remember you heard it here first. My son Cass (aka fonos) is coming with me to LA. He finishes his GCSE’s next week. I hope it’s going well this is a message for those of you out there in the middle of exams. If Cass gets more than three b’s, he’s leaving home. Not voluntarily. He’s doing some work experience with me and then were going to Las Vegas. I still love magic and Lance Burton is one of the best magicians on the circuit. So a last bit of fun before the results come in.
SNAKEHEAD is now finally and seriously finished. The final page count is 398, making it the longest Alex so far. With two pages of acknowledgements it breaks the 400 mark! It comes out in November, but in hardback. I’m not sure Im happy with this idea but it was Walker Books who wanted to do it and who am I to argue? Hopefully, the shops will discount it and the paperback will follow in April 08. This is the time when I always worry about a book but I know I’ve said this before I’m fairly confident about this new one. I’ve read a few extracts at school visits and the response has been good.Apart from the books, you may have caught me on TV or the radio. I’ve done a show called NEWSNIGHT REVIEW a couple of times. It means talking about books and plays it’s filmed live at 11.00pm on a Friday. I appear on a book quiz quite soon too look out for it. It’s on BBC3. I wo’nt tell you if I won or not but at least I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself.
FOYLE’S WAR is finished. I dont know if anyone cares or not but I wrote seventeen two-hour films over the last six years so its been a big part of my life. My wife, Jill Green, was the producer. Not sure what we’ll talk about now that its gone.Well, HHQ have read this and they must have OK’ed it because here it is on the site. I’ll blog again when I get back from LA, hopefully with stories to tell.
My long-suffering assistant, HHQ, has asked me to drop a newsletter onto the web site to bring everyone up to date with what’s going on.
So first the big news. Alex Rider 7: SNAKEHEAD is finished and although I probably shouldn’t say it, I think its my favourite in the whole series.
As you all probably know, it opens in Australia a few days after Alex has splashed down from outer space. Alex is picked up by the SAS and taken to their headquarters at Swanbourne, Perth. He is then recruited by Australian intelligence and sent under cover to Bangkok to gather intelligence on a snakehead a gang run by the sinister master criminal, Major Winston Yu.
What Alex doesnt know is that Yu is also working for Scorpia, yes, they’re back and dare I say it that this time they’re nastier than ever. Yassen Gregorovich also makes an appearance in the book and there’s a character called Ash who knows some nasty secrets about Alex’s past and the way his parents died. This is certainly the most personal Alex Rider book to date.
If any of you come to the Oxford Literary Festival on 21st March. I’ll be reading a chapter. And of course I’ll post a secret chapter on this site some time later this year.
Anyway, my publisher read it yesterday and she loved it which is a good start as she’s a tough woman to please. In fact I had a big meeting at Walker Books last week which was followed by lunch and some of the most rubbery pancakes known to man (it was Shrove Tuesday) and they went through some of the plans for this year which begin with the launch of NIGHTRISE this April.
You may have noticed that the Diamond Brothers books have been repackaged and I’d be interested to know what you think of the new covers. I like them. They’re quite young and cartoony but fun and certainly more lively than the last ones. I’ve also written new introductions for them so if you find yourself in a bookshop, have a quick read (no need to buy the book nobody minds). The intros are short and they made me laugh anyway.
There’s a new Diamond Brothers novella coming out in October THE GREEK THAT STOLE CHRISTMAS. I adapted it from a radio play I wrote a couple of years ago but I’ve also expanded it and added some extra jokes. I still plan to write another full-length novel with the Diamonds one day.
SNAKEHEAD comes out in November in time for Xmas. And whats great is that I’ve already got an idea for the next one. The only slightly odd thing is that Alex wont be in it! Remember you heard about it here first!
Not much else to say. I’m not doing many school visits this year because of my usual insane work overload. Im in Andover and Devizes quite soon though. And I’m doing lots of festivals including Oxford, Bath, Hay-on-Wye (why?) and Edinburgh. You can keep track of my movements on the calendar designed by the ever-brilliant Xero.
Finally, just in case youre wondering. I’m working on the screenplay of POINT BLANC, currently on the third draft. The producers still hope there’ll be a second Alex Rider movie. We’ll see. I’ll keep you posted.
I hate February. It’s cold and drizzling and my new pad in Clerkenwell is half-finished and I’m not even sure that the half that’s finished is as nice as the half that isn’t. My sons are up to their necks in exams, Lucky (the dog) refuses to answer to his new name and all in all I’d much rather be skiing. But I think its going to be a great year
Anthony HorowitzNo comments