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He is the acclaimed author and screenwriter who has penned novels about James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and teenage spy, Alex Rider. Now Suffolk based Anthony Horowitz - whose midas touch extends to TV favourites Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders - has become a patron of the county's largest family support charity
Why have you become a patron of Home- Start in Suffolk ? Home-Start in Suffolk is exactly the sort of charity I like. Small, hard-working and doing effective work in the local community, helping families and children with a whole range of difficulties. I’ve been coming to Suffolk for 30 years and I’d like to think that everyone should be able to enjoy this wonderful place.
With a second home at Orford you must love Suffolk . . . is it the tranquillity and slow pace of life?
It’s so many things. But in no particular order: the skies, the walks, the food, the people, the churches, the history, the forests, the River Alde. And, yes, the tranquillity and slower pace of life.
Might you retire here?
I will never retire. But since I have a plot reserved in Orford cemetery, it looks as if I’m going to be here for some time to come.
I think you always believed you were going to be a writer and your mother introduced you to books on Frankenstein and Dracula as an early teen. Did the imagery of these books
excite or disturb you? Maybe both?
My mother actually used to tell me the stories of the famous Hammer films, rather than the books, when I was about eight years old. I loved the stories (my favourite was actually The Fly about a scientist who ends up with the head of a fly).
How do you write? Are you an early riser, typing for a set number of hours then taking a break? Or perhaps you have a different regime?
I avoid any set routine. When I’m in Suffolk I usually start at around 8am and work through the day. But there’s always time for a long walk with the dog, or even just a stroll around the village. I never count the minutes, or the words.
Different disciplines, I’m sure, but what do you prefer – writing a novel or being a screenwriter? Perhaps sometimes the latter is better paid?
I can assure you that I never factor how much I’m being paid into my work. That really isn’t the point. I probably prefer writing novels (although I love screenplays too). With a novel, I have complete control. A screenplay means notes...and more notes!
Where did the inspiration for the Alex
Rider books come from?
I imagined what James Bond would be like if he was a teenager. That was my original inspiration. But then I made Alex as different to Bond as I could.
The interests/fads of teenage boys must have changed from your first Rider novels – how do you keep pace with new tech so that Rider is fighting crime ‘of the moment’ ?
I think the Alex Rider books are fairly classical adventure stories which perhaps gives them a timeless quality. It’s true that every five years I have to look at the stories and see if anything has gone out of date. There was a CD player that

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