By Alexia Sloane 7 C
Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer and Anthony Horowitz. But when it comes to the latter, there was more than just the books on the secret bookcase. There was the man himself standing in front of it!
I was driven in style in a black jaguar to Anthony Horowitz’s own house. He has his very own block of flats in Clerkenwell, London. Apart from his wife Jill Green, a TV producer, and, when they’re not at university, his two sons Nicolas and Cassian, he is the only one living there!
He has a secret bookcase in his living room in which there is a grand piano and behind which is a little room with a spiral staircase leading up to his terrace on the roof. In this bookcase lies the first ever edition of Pickwick papers, along with the silver plaque that went with it, and many, many more old, valuable and unique books.
We had a lunch of sandwiches, salad, strawberries and chocolate biscuits together, whilst talking about writing, his books, books in general (like me, his favourite author is Charles Dickens), and he gave me some advice about the book I am writing. Then, we played the piano together, and, although Anthony says he’s not a good pianist, it’s simply not true. He is excellent, and practices one hour a day. We played as much Bach as possible on the piano when I told him my dad doesn’t like Bach as anyone who is remotely musical says he’s mad. Anthony spends on average ten hours a day writing, and he says he doesn’t stop for lunch. Oh, and he hates the word ‘workaholic’!
Anthony is such a lovely approachable man, and he made so many jokes whilst we were talking. However, since not all of these jokes were the most appropriate he could have made, I’ll avoid giving examples. He gave me about ten CDs of some of his books since these do not exist in Braille and he was truly shocked when I told him only 7% of all print books exist in Braille or in audio format. The House of Silk is his most recent novel and it has been a huge success. It is part of the Sherlock Holmes series, and Anthony says it has a “very dark secret in the middle.” His P.A advised my parents to check out the story first before allowing me to listen to it but I begged my folks to let me have a quick listen anyway and they did!
Anthony also writes for TV quite a lot, and has written programmes such as Midsummer Murders, Foyle’s war, Murder Most Horrid and many more. I now have Anthony’s own personal email address and believe it or not, we have already exchanged numerous emails. I gave him a card in Braille and told him he had two weeks to decipher it and get back to me. I was amazed when only two days later, I received a letter from him with the full transcription of the card in print. Until then, I had always thought that my secret code was impenetrable to sighted people who haven’t studied Braille formally!
It was undoubtedly a truly amazing and memorable day.