Magda’s Evening With Anthony Horowitz
As as a working writer, I’m always reading and always fascinated by the output of new and old authors.
The Durham Book Festival, which ran from 7th-16th of this month was a fantastic opportunity to get back into the literary scene that I’d, by and large, been avoiding for the last year or so.
It’s been a while since I’d returned to the heady world of books, publishing agents and journalists – thank God my pen name has left me with the autonomy that allows me free movement. I wouldn’t say I’ve got a particularly striking face, but had it been printed in any of the 20 or so books I’ve written over the years, then this would be the place where I’d be recognised.
Thankfully, the contract that I made with my publishers a long, long time ago, stipulated specifically that my image or real name was never to be used in connection with any of the material that I’d written over the years. My privacy is something that I prize very highly and we live in a world today where the most minor of celebrity can thrust you into the path of hundreds, if not thousands, of possibly malicious trolls.
It was with little envy then that I applauded International Bestseller and writer extraordinaire, Anthony Horowitz to the stage.
Horowitz, a man who has sold literally millions of books, is one of the most successful writers that this country has produced – the ovation he received was indicative of the acclaim he has received over his 30 year writing career. From critically acclaimed TV Drama to Children’s Horror to creating new stories for legendary characters such as James Bond and Sherlock Holmes; Horowitz has flexed his considerable writing skills over thousands of pages to the delight of millions of readers.
His talk, rather than being a cloying retrospective of his glittering writing career, instead focused on the important lessons he could offer writers. Rather than coming off as condescending, Horowitz had an uncanny charm to keep the audience in good humour – clearly working with the sheer volume of adoration that hung heavy in the air of the Gala Theatre.
I’ve been writing crime novels for a similar stretch of time that Mr. Horowitz has.
My popularity is relatively dwarfed by his (my books sell mostly in my home country of Germany and, for some reason, the North-East region of Belgium) however, the lessons he gave to aspiring writers that night, seemed to me, as incredibly succinct and full of truth. Even a experienced and somewhat beleaguered writer such as myself, found inspiration in his words.
Although I wouldn’t dream of paraphrasing him line for line, I can attempt to give the general gist of his rhetoric.
Other than reading and writing as much as possible (practice does always make perfect!), Horowitz felt that the power of self-belief was something that should be harnessed as a supreme source of power for the writer. After all, many writer, many of our great works of literature, would not exist today without it.