Man for all media: A conversation with Anthony Horowitz, television writer and children's author par excellence | Arts
Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

Friday, November 20, 2009

Man for all media: A conversation with Anthony Horowitz, television writer and children's author par excellence

Posted by on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 8:39 AM

Celebrated, protean British writer Anthony Horowitz visits Quail Ridge Books & Music Sunday, Nov. 22. (Photo by Des Willie)
  • Celebrated, protean British writer Anthony Horowitz visits Quail Ridge Books & Music Sunday, Nov. 22. (Photo by Des Willie)

Anthony Horowitz is considered one of the top television dramatists in the UK, as the mind behind such shows as Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, numerous adaptations of Agatha Christie's Inspector Poirot tales and, most recently, Collision, currently airing on PBS' Masterpiece Contemporary (the miniseries concludes at 9 p.m. on Nov. 22; Part One encores at 2 a.m. on Nov. 21, for those with insomnia or TiVo).

But his biggest success hasn't come from his reality-based dramas but a series of children's books about a teen spy: Alex Rider, a teen James Bond-style secret agent whose latest adventure, Crocodile Tears, was just published in the States on Nov. 17. Horowitz will appear at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh on Nov. 22 for a signing-line ticket event at 2 p.m.

The series, which started with 2000's Stormbreaker, pits 14-year-old Rider against a variety of spies, terrorists and evil billionaires; it'll end after 10 books when the character turns 15. "I've aged 10 years to my character's one," says Horowitz in a call from England. "It really doesn't seem fair."

Horowitz had written numerous children's books before the medium hit the big time with J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. "It was a backwater, it was something you didn't really do, but I was drawn to it because I loved story," he recalls. "Children's books have always had a sort of purity I've always liked-you can literally cut to the chase and get on with the action."

He's written more than 50 books for both older and younger readers, along with his TV work, the feature film The Gathering, and the play Mindgame, which was directed by gonzo filmmaker Ken Russell in an Off-Broadway production last year (Horowitz will only describe working with Russell as "memorable").

How does he stay so prolific? "The discipline in my life is being able to stop writing and get out and doing other things and having a life," Horowitz says. "I'm passionate about what I do, and when you're by yourself like I am, seven hours is a long time, and you can get a lot done."

He approves of how American television has adopted the more complex, long-form plotting of British TV: "I think in many respects, American television is now leading the world. It's not hard to see why: American television has come of age. You have directors as good as Steven Soderbergh and Barry Levinson doing these shows, wonderful actors, and huge, cinema-sized budgets, which of course you can't get over here. American shows like The Wire, Lost and 24 are the shows we're talking about over in Britain, even more than most British TV shows."

He admits that Collision owes a debt to Lost in its use of flashbacks, though he might not need to worry about American TV overtaking the UK: The New York Times' rave review of Collision said the series "raises an old question: Why are the British so much better at this sort of thing than we are?"

Horowitz says that books give him fewer restrictions than TV: "I can destroy the world, I can visit other worlds, and I don't have to worry (about budgets). He considers it a "golden age" for children's literature and looks forward to writing the further adventures of his teen spy: "I find Alex endlessly fascinating. It's a journey I haven't tired of, ever."


Tags: , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts



Twitter Activity

Comments

Nice write up. Love the twists and turns and I hardily agree with the ultimate statement (and Camus since I …

by Perry on As the Durham Bulls Enter the Playoffs, We Wonder: What Exactly Is the Value of a Minor-League Championship? (Arts)

Just saw this last night. Did Rubin say that being around the Avetts would make life "matter" or just that …

by Drew Rhys on Full Frame: An Avetts Agnostic Finds Some Faith in May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers (Arts)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

Nice write up. Love the twists and turns and I hardily agree with the ultimate statement (and Camus since I …

by Perry on As the Durham Bulls Enter the Playoffs, We Wonder: What Exactly Is the Value of a Minor-League Championship? (Arts)

Just saw this last night. Did Rubin say that being around the Avetts would make life "matter" or just that …

by Drew Rhys on Full Frame: An Avetts Agnostic Finds Some Faith in May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers (Arts)

She made me a peanut butter and banana sandwichwithout bread. Now that's art.

by Geoff Dunkak on ADF Review: Queering Objects and Decoding the Body in Cherdonna's Clock that Mug or Dusted (Arts)

Maybe the lack of young people in attendance is partly because of the way the NC Gay and Lesbian Film …

by Jonathan H on A Twenty-One-Year-Old Finds a Welcoming Space at the Twenty-Two-Year-Old N.C. Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Arts)

I agree that the vocal work is incredible! And, I thought that the well-made and beautifully-designed set really supported the …

by Judy Dove on Theater Review: Dogfight's Regional Premiere at NRACT Is Rich in Emotion But Meager in Staging (Arts)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation