Source
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

Why Anthony Horowitz Writes

Scholastic News gets the scoop from the creator of the Alex Rider series

By Michael Geheren | February 15 , 2008
Kid Reporter Michael Geheren with author Anthony Horowitz at a book signing in Downers Grove, Illinois, in January 2008. (Photo courtesy Michael Geheren)
Kid Reporter Michael Geheren with author Anthony Horowitz at a book signing in Downers Grove, Illinois, in January 2008. (Photo courtesy Michael Geheren)

"Nothing is more potent than the enthusiasm of young people," said Anthony Horowitz at a book signing recently at the Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove, Illinois. The British author recently visited Downers Grove as part of an international tour to promote his New York Times bestseller Snakehead.

At the theater, kids lined up early to buy the latest addition to Horowitz's Alex Rider series and have it signed by the author.

"It is a great pleasure and also a privilege to meet the kids," Horowitz told Scholastic News in an interview before his appearance.

Perhaps he enjoys being around kids and writing for kids because of his own miserable childhood. His wealthy and mysterious father died after hiding the family fortune. No one ever knew what kind of work his father did, and the money was never found. Horowitz was sent to a boarding school in England when he was 8 years old. The school used humiliation and hitting kids with a lash for discipline.

Horowitz says his past is what led him to his present career of writing adventure stories for kids. He spent much of his childhood reading and inventing stories as a means of escaping reality. His first book was published when he was 22.

Super Spy

His career took off after his invention of Alex Rider, a 14-year-old spy who was unknowingly trained by his father to be a member of MI6, the British equivalent of the CIA. Horowitz says he imagined a character similar to James Bond, but as a teenager.

Five years after he first got the idea for the young spy, Stormbreaker, the first book in the Alex Rider series, was published. It now takes him seven months to write a new book. He has had seven books published so far.

Stormbreaker is Horowitz's personal favorite, he says, because it led him to his current life and his ability to travel the world. It also led to a major motion picture, which was released in 2006.

When asked about the difference between the book and the movie, Horowitz said he loved the movie, "but of course the book was better!" As an avid reader, he explained that you never really have to go to the movies, you just need to visualize as you read.

Young Inspiration

The 51-year-old author also explained that he rarely gets writer's block. "I'm always working on four different projects like Stormbreaker," he said. And if he does hit a bump, he turns to his kids to help him out. He credits his two sons for inspiration in creating the many spy gadgets in his novels.

"I look into my kids' rooms and see what they are playing with," he told Scholastic News. Some of his imagined gadgets include a CD player that cuts things and a zit cream that can melt metal.

Horowitz's work is not limited to his novels for young people. He also writes screenplays and TV scripts. Although he doesn't plan on any more Alex Rider movies, he is always looking for the next big project.

"If anyone reading your article has $35 million they are willing to invest, please get in touch," he said.
When he's not writing, he likes to go out to the movies, walk his dog, swim, or visit friends.

The Scoop on Alex Rider

During the interview, Scholastic News asked questions submitted by readers on the Scholastic News Online Web site. The most often asked question was whether Horowitz planned on writing any more Alex Rider books. The author gave Scholastic News the exclusive on that one!

"There will be two more, maybe three, then I will stop," he said. "The whole point of the books is to not go on, and when I run out of ideas there is no reason to continue."

That will be unwelcome news to the hundreds of fans who came to meet him and watch the movie Stormbreaker with him in Downers Grove.

Keeping that bit of information to himself, Horowitz instead talked to his fans about writing.

"If you want to become a writer, believe in yourself, never give up, and don't let anyone tell you can't do it," he said. "Every writer gets rejection letters, and the only difference between a successful and an unsuccessful writer is that the unsuccessful writer gives up. Stick with it and believe in yourself, and you will succeed."

Just like Anthony Horowitz and just like Alex Rider!

READY, SET, READ!

Do you need help picking out what book to read next? Let Scholastic News Online be your guide! Find out what Kid Reporters are saying about all the latest books by reading their book reviews in this special report.

 

About the Author

Michael Geheren is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Guided Reading Content Areas: Level V

    Guided Reading Content Areas: Level V

    Strong reading skills are vital to every aspect of children’s education, and their reading abilities will affect their future achievement in science, social studies, and math. Guided Reading Content Areas helps you develop content-area knowledge while building reading skills, and provides access to a broad and exciting array of authentic texts.

    The program Features:
    • Titles aligned to content area standards in: Science–45%, Social Studies–40%, and Mathematics–15%.
    • Carefully leveled books that give students access to critical knowledge.
    • Lesson plans that develop important skills for reading informational text.
    • A Teacher's Guide co-authored by
    Dr. Gay Su Pinnell and Dr. Irene Fountas.

    Set Includes:
    • African Americans in the Old West
    • The Battle of the Alamo
    • The Boston Tea Party
    • The California Gold Rush
    • Color Me Dark
    • The Declaration of Independence
    • Escape to Freedom
    • An Extraordinary Life
    • What a Great Idea!
    • Women's Right to Vote


    Visit the Scholastic Guided Reading Program website for more information.

    $359.95 You save: 25%
    Supplementary Collection | Grades 5-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Guided Reading Content Areas: Level V
    Grades 5-6 $359.95
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Core Clicks

    Core Clicks

    Visit www. scholastic.com/coreclicks for more information.

    Core Clicks™ is an exciting yearlong instructional program created by Scholastic News and Weekly Reader in consultation with literacy expert Dr. Nell K. Duke. Designed to meet higher academic standards, this online program features 108 fully interactive informational texts with videos, performance tasks, discussion prompts, and so much more built right in!

    Each interactive text helps teachers develop one of the 13 most important close reading skills required by higher academic standards. Teachers use our simple interface to guide whole classes or small groups through each text three times, going more deeply into the ELA skill with each encounter.

    Core Clicks also features a variety of invaluable assessment and reporting tools to help educators adequately prepare their students for higher-level assessments.

    The Core Clicks Online Close Reading Program features:

    108 Text Studies
    Multimedia instructional units build close reading and analysis skills through multiple encounters with exciting nonfiction texts
    • 18 text studies per grade level, 108 total (K–5)

    20 Skill Videos
    Direct instruction on ELA-aligned Spotlight Skills
    • Ten videos for grades K–2
    • Ten videos for grades 3–5

    27 Reading Checkpoints
    Performance-based assessment or skills practice with new texts
    •Three per grade level for K–2 (to be completed with teacher support)
    •Six per grade level for grades 3–5

    Core Clicks is searchable by skill, reading level, standard and topic, so itís always easy to find the content you need.

    Core Clicks is web-based subscription. All you need is an internet connection. Once youíve subscribed, you will be provided with a username and password and you simply log in at www. scholastic.com/coreclicks to begin using the program.

    $2,999.00
    Core Clicks | Grades K-5
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Core Clicks
    Grades K-5 $2,999.00
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com