Friday, 16 March 2012

First Impressions: Anthony Horowitz

What are you working on at the moment?

Number one on my desk is the return of Foyle's War. It's 1946, the war is over but the cold war has begun and Foyle is recruited by MI6. I'm also fi nishing a novel, Oblivion, and writing the next Tintin fi lm. I always have two or three projects on the boil.

When were you at your happiest?

When I was 18, my last term at school. It was a glorious summer and I believed that anything was possible.

What is your greatest fear?

Dying before I get to the end of one of my novels. When I travel, I leave notes for my publishers, outlining what happens next... just in case.

What is your earliest memory?

A spider in my pram. I know it sounds unlikely, and I may be hallucinating, but I'm sure it was there... even though I must have been less than a year old.

Who has been your greatest influence?

My influences have mainly been literary: Dickens, Fleming, Doyle, Trollope. My wife is certainly a positive infl uence on my lifestyle... what I eat, how I dress, etc.

What do you most dislike about yourself?

Where do I begin? My age, probably. Crossing 50 was a deeply unnerving experience and I'm horrifi ed by the way time speeds up as you get older.

What is your most treasured possession?

The Mont Blanc fountain pen with which I've written most of my books.

What trait do you most deplore in others?

Intolerance.

Do you have a fantasy address?

221c Baker Street.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

All of it. At the same time, we obsess far too much about appearances so I try not to let it bother me.

What is your favourite book?

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

What is your favourite film?

The Third Man, directed by Carol Reed.

What is your favourite record or piece of music?

Vivaldi's Gloria.

Your favourite meal?

Boiled eggs and toast.

Who would you most like to come to dinner?

Tony Blair, Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson. I believe the three of them did so much damage to the country that it would be interesting to ply them with drink and see if I could actually get under their skin.

Which historical character do you most admire?

Queen Elizabeth I.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you?

I briefly had a stalker who threatened to kill me, my children, etc. In the end the police got involved.

Do you believe in aliens?

Absolutely. I spend a lot of time near Rendelsham Forest in Suffolk where a major UFO sighting took place. I keep hoping one will land as I drive through. The question is, will I be brave enough to climb in?

What is your secret vice?

I am certainly not going to answer this question on the back page of The Lady. My very well known vice is an addiction to chocolate.

Do you write thank-you notes?

Of course – and notes, not emails. On the other hand, when I give presents to young children, I only do so on the condition that they don't write thank you notes as they take away so much of the pleasure of the occasion.

Which phrase do you most overuse?

Fight.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

I think I'd like to move out of Clerkenwell, where I live most of the time. I'd like a house on the river.

What would you like your epitaph to say?

The End.

Anthony Horowitz is patron of EACH (East Anglia's Children's Hospices) www.each.org.uk



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