Anthony Horowitz


Prolific Author Anthony Horowitz OBE was born in Stanmore, Middlesex, on 5April 1955 From an early age Horowitz enjoyed reading books from his father’s library. At the age of 8, Horowitz was sent to Orley Farm, a boarding preparatory school in Harrow, Middlesex. There, he entertained his peers by telling them the stories he had read. Horowitz described his time in the school as “a brutal experience”. At age 13 he went on to Rugby School, a public school in Rugby, Warwickshire, and discovered a love for writing. Horowitz’s mother introduced him to Frankenstein and Dracula. She also gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. From the age of 8, Horowitz knew he wanted to be a writer, realizing “the only time when I’m totally happy is when I’m writing”. He graduated from the University of York with a lower second class degree in English literature and art history in 1977, where he was in Vanbrugh College. Horowitz’s father was associated with some of the politicians in the “circle” of prime minister Harold Wilson, including Eric Miller.Facing bankruptcy, he moved his assets into Swiss numbered bank accounts. He died from cancer when his son Anthony was 22, and the family was never able to track down the missing money

IMG_5645Anthony Horowitz published his first book, The Sinister Secret of Frederick K Bower, in 1979. This was a humorous adventure for children. In 1981 his second novel, Misha, the Magician and the Mysterious Amulet was published and he moved to Paris to write his third book. In 1983 the first of the Pentagram series, The Devil’s Door-Bell, was released. This story saw Martin Hopkins battling an ancient evil that threatened the whole world. Only three of four remaining stories in the series were ever written: The Night of the Scorpion (1984), The Silver Citadel (1986) and Day of the Dragon (1986). In 1985, he released Myths and Legends, In 1988, Horowitz published Groosham Grange which won the 1989 Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year Award and was partially based on the years Horowitz spent at boarding school. Its central character is a thirteen-year-old “witch”, David Eliot, gifted as the seventh son of a seventh son. Like Horowitz’s, Eliot’s childhood is unhappy In 1987 Horowitz published Adventurer and Starting Out in 1990. In 1986 Horowitz published The Falcons Malteser, the first of the successful Diamond Brothers series. It was filmed for television in 1989 as Just Ask for Diamond, with an all star cast that included Bill Paterson, Jimmy Nail, Roy Kinnear, Susannah York, Michael Robbins and Patricia Hodge, and featured Colin Dale and Dursley McLinden as Nick and Tim Diamond. It was followed in 1987 with Public Enemy Number Two, and by South by South East in 1991 followed by The French Confection, I Know What You Did Last Wednesday, The Blurred Man and most recently The Greek Who Stole Christmas.

IMG_5646During the 1990’s Horowitz wrote many stand-alone novels including Granny, a comedy thriller about an evil grandmother. The Switch, a body swap story, first published in 1996 andThe Devil and His Boy, which is set in the Elizabethan era and explores the rumour of Elizabeth I’s secret son. Horowitz also wrote The Unholy Grail which was published as a sequel to Groosham Grange but was renamed as Return to Groosham Grange in 2003 Horowitz also wrote Horowitz Horror (1999) and More Horowitz Horror (2000) which contain several short horror stories each. Many of these stories were repackaged in twos or threes as the Pocket Horowitz series. Horowitz next wrote the Alex Rider novels concerning a 14-year-old boy who becomes a member of the British Secret Service branch MI6. There are ten books where Alex Rider is the protagonist, and an eleventh is connected to the Alex Rider series (although not part of it) : Stormbreaker (2000), Point Blanc (2001), Skeleton Key (2002), Eagle Strike (2003), Scorpia (2004) Ark Angel (2005), Snakehead (2007), Crocodile Tears (novel) (2009), Scorpia Rising (2011), Russian Roulette (2013) and Never Say Die (2017)

In 2004, Horowitz branched out to an adult audience with The Killing Joke, a comedy about a man who tries to track a joke to its source with disastrous consequences. Horowitz’s second adult novel, Magpie Murders, was published in2016. It concerns “a murder mystery writer who is murdered while he’s writing his latest whodunit”. In 2005, Horowitz released a book called Raven’s Gate which began another series entitled The Power of Five (The Gatekeepers in the United States). He describes it as “Alex Rider with witches and devils”.The second book in the series, Evil Star, was released 2006,The third Nightrise, was released 2007. The fourth Necropolis was released in October 2008 and The fifth and last book Oblivion was released 2012

In October 2008, Anthony Horowitz’s play Mindgame opened Off Broadway at the Soho Playhouse in New York City starring Keith Carradine, Lee Godart, and Kathleen McNenny. The production was the New York stage directorial debut for Ken Russell. In March 2009 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3. In 2011 Horowitz Wrote a new Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk, courtesy of the Arthur Conan Doyle Estate which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 4.A follow-up novel, Moriarty, was also published in 2014. In October 2014, the Ian Fleming estate commissioned Horowitz to write a James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, which was released in 2015. It will be followed by a second novel, Forever and A Day, which is set to come out on 31st May 2018. Horowitz was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to literature.

Horowitz has also written many television dramas. He began writing for television in the 1980s, contributing to the children’s anthology series Dramarama, and also writing for the popular fantasy series Robin of Sherwood. In 1986 Horowitz worked with Richard Carpenter on the Robin of Sherwood television series, writing five episodes of the third season. He also novelised three of Carpenter’s episodes as a children’s book under the title Robin Sherwood: The Hooded Man. In addition, he created Crossbow (1987), a half-hour action adventure series loosely based on William Tell.

His association with murder mysteries began with the adaptation of several Hercule Poirot stories for ITV’s popular Agatha Christie’s Poirot series during the 1990s. He was also involved in thr comic murder anthology Murder Most Horrid (BBC Two, 1991) and the comedy-drama The Last Englishman (1995), starring Jim Broadbent. He also wrote the majority of the episodes in the early series of Midsomer Murders. In 2001, he created a drama anthology series of his own for the BBC, Murder in Mind, an occasional series which deals with a different set of characters and a different murder every one-hour episode. He also created two science-fiction shows, Crime Traveller and The Vanishing Man. While Crime Traveller received favourable viewing figures it was not renewed for a second season. In 2002, the detective series Foyle’s War launched, set during the Second World War. Horowitz also devised the 2009 ITV crime drama Collision and co-wrote the screenplay with Michael A. Walker. He also wrote the screenplay for The Gathering, starring Christina Ricci and the screenplay for Alex Rider’s film Stormbreaker.

Horowitz currently lives in London with his wife Jill Green, whom he married in Hong Kong on 15 April 1988. Green produced Foyle’s War, the series Horowitz wrote for ITV. They have two sons. He credits his family with much of his success in writing, as he says they help him with ideas and research. He is a patron of child protection charity Kidscape

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