A News blog for Anthony Horowitz

News – June 2006

The film, the USA tour, Australia and more

As usual, its been far too long since I posted anything on my website but perhaps when youve read this, youll understand why. Everything is happening so quickly at the moment that a week seems to go by in a day.

Anyway, I’ll start with the biggest news which is the FIRST SCREENING OF STORMBREAKER which took place last Sunday (18th June) at the Odeon, Leicester Square one of the biggest cinemas in London. Around 2,000 people squeezed in the line had started two hours before the doors opened. It was a really hot, sunny day and expectations couldnt have been higher.

I arrived at 10.00am with a stomach like a washing machine. I don’t know why I was so nervous. Id seen the finished film and really liked it. And this was by and large a friendly audience. A few journalists, yes, but a lot of friends, Walker Books, cast and crew etc. I suppose this was the first real test of Stormbreaker, the film. People wanted to enjoy it and if they didnt, theyd do their best to pretend. But you cant fake enthusiasm. Id know before the lights went back up what they really thought.

Well, I dont think it could have gone any better than it did. There was a lot of applause and cheering at the end and everyone was milling around outside the cinema afterwards (rather than running to catch the tube which theyd have done if theyd been embarrassed by what theyd seen). The adults liked it as much as the kids. And everyone liked different things although they were all blown away by the extended chase sequence that opens the film. My own favourite scene, just so you know, is the last encounter between Alex and Yassen Gregorovich (brilliantly played by Damian Lewis).

I spoke to a couple of journalists and they also gave the film a thumbs up, so all being well we really could be in with a chance this summer. We open the week after Superman which was made for about five times as much money as us but maybe well be able to hold our own. I cant wait to hear what everyone thinks of it and Ill be watching this website nervously!

Im writing loads of different articles for the newspapers now (watch out for a bizarre interview with a German journalist, Marjorie Schultz in the Sunday Telegraph) and Im vaguely aware that theres about to be an explosion of Alex Rider related stuff. The action figures Alex, Sayle and Yassen arrived last week and made me smile. Ive seen some OK T-shirts. And theres loads more on the way

When I last posted a message I was on my way to the USA tour which was actually a lot more successful than I thought it was going to be. The two hillbillies and their dog Rex didnt show up but I met hundreds of people all over America in New York, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Richmond VA, Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and so on. People seemed much more aware of the Alex books than the last time I was there and although it was still pretty gruelling eleven flights and fourteen cities in two and a half weeks I had a really good time. ARK ANGEL, which was the book I was promoting, actually made it to number one on the New York Times bestseller list while I was there much to the relief of my USA publishers who must have spent thousands sending me all around the country.

I finished the tour in New York and promptly flew all the way back to the west coast to start research on NIGHTRISE, the third book in my POWER OF FIVE series.

I wonder how many of you have read RAVENS GATE and EVIL STAR? Im about to start work on a new Alex Rider but in the meantime, why not take a quick look? I think the series is really gathering pace and the third book is like nothing Ive ever done. Im going to post the first chapter some time soon.

I hired a convertible and drove through the deserts of Nevada and the mountains of California, researching it. It was a completely awesome week. Everything that I needed for the new book simply fell into place including a visit to a town called Auburn which features in the final chapters and which turned out to be exactly as I had imagined it even though I had never been there before. I also visited two prisons a juvenile hall called the Jan Evans Centre in Reno and a much more daunting, maximum security prison just outside Las Vegas. I talked to a of the prisoners there they were aged from fourteen to eighteen and many of them appear in NIGHTRISE. I even got to have lunch with them and have to say the food wasnt at all bad. Better than school food, anyway.

The supervisor at the Las Vegas prison was a very attractive lady called Audrey Fetters. If I put that in a book, youd think Id made it up.

Im just finishing NIGHTRISE now and as soon as its done and the publicity for STORMBREAKER is out of the way, Im off to Australia to start researching SNAKEHEAD. Im quite nervous about starting work on the new book because expectations are now so high where Alex is concerned. But Ive got a good story, I think about people smuggling in Thailand and Australia, with Alex going under cover as a refugee. Did you know that half the people being smuggled around the world are under the age of eighteen? The book feels a bit dark at the moment (its such a grim subject) and Im going to have to work hard to lighten it up.

And theres also the screenplay of POINT BLANC. Of course, the second film wont get made if the first one isnt a success so please go and see it and take your parents, your aunts, your neighboursor why not your entire school! But if we are going to shoot it, were going to need snow which means either March/April or Oct/Nov 2007. Thats not as far away as you might think.

Off now to Lancashire to pick up an award. Sunday Im at Buckingham Palace for the queens 80th. A Blue Peter party on Monday and the opening of the Stormbreaker exhibition at the Royal Armoury in Leeds on Wednesday. You see what I mean about busy?

Ill post again once the film has opened. July 21st. And Im getting nervous again

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