Here’s a quick blog to wish everyone a happy summer holiday with, hopefully, a bit of sunshine (and, of course, a good book…but that goes without saying).
So far I’ve managed a week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which might well crop up one day in an Alex Rider novel. It’s a horrible place. Boiling hot but no real sun due to the clouds of sand blowing in from the desert. Too much concrete. And a couple of skyscrapers that could have come straight out of someone’s bad dream. I was there as a journalist to visit a weird “prison for terrorists” where I drank tea with a suicide bomber who had managed to blow himself, and nine other people, apart. Somehow he survived. You can read all about it in the Sunday Telegraph on-line.
Then I went up to the West Coast of Scotland and stayed on a tiny island called Eilean Shona which would also make a good setting for a bad guy in an Alex book…complete with ruined castle, caves and basking sharks. It’s very private. Trespassers could be shot and nobody would know. During my time there I managed to kayak a reasonably impressive 14kms in three hours and swam every morning in water which must have been about zero degrees. My voice is now very high.
I’m writing this back in London and here’s what I’m doing for the rest of the summer…
COLLISION is a five-part TV series which I’ve written for ITV and which will be shot this September. It’s going to feature the largest road accident ever filmed and I’ve asked the producer (ie my wife) if I can feature as one of the victims. We’ll see.
NECROPOLIS is now being printed and it’s a bit of a monster at 105,000 words. It was fairly exhausting to write and when it was finished I decided it wasn’t good enough and wrote the whole thing again. It comes out in October and it looks as if I’ll be in Manchester, Leeds and York promoting it.
FOYLE’S WAR is returning. This is my other TV series which got cancelled last year by some idiot at ITV but which is being brought back “by public demand”. More murder mysteries set during the second world war.
HORROR STORIES. There’s another set on the way. My publishers have come up with a great idea for the look of the book which will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before, but so far we haven’t got a title. Their suggestion: DIAL H FOR HORROR. But that’s a bit lame. I wanted to call it: AAAAGH! At least it would come first on any alphabetical list. But perhaps you can do better. Twelve stories incuding a psychopathic massage chair, a lethal TV reality game show, a bloody French exchange, the murder of Darren Shan and a snake in a bed. Do send in any thoughts!
And ALEX 8…
I’ve had second thoughts about telling Yassen’s story, which was going to be the subject of this book. I’m thinking of leaving that to number nine. Instead, I’ve got the beginnings of an idea set partly in the UK and partly in Africa. Alex hasn’t been there yet. But it’s very early days. I plan to start writing in October/November for delivery in spring 2009. The challenge is always the same. How to make the book better than the last one. Only two more Alex Riders after this one and that’s it!
Finally, a goodbye to Horowitz HQ. This site has been run for the past three years by my assistant, Cat Taylor, who- for her own, mad reasons – has decided to leave. She says that working for me is something she will never forget…at least, that’s what her therapist tells her. But the website will continue. And I will still look in from time to time and answer questions as they arise.
That’s it. Have a fantastic summer.