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Visit Anthony Horowitz's personal website at www.anthonyhorowitz.com.

As a child

Born in north London, Anthony says, "I think I knew with certainty that I wanted to be a writer around eight". For birthdays, he asked for books, pens and a typewriter. His schooldays were not especially happy, more like something "out of Dickens or Dahl", and one reason he began writing books for young people was "to make up for the shortcomings of my childhood".

As an adult

Anthony lives in north London with his wife Jill Green, a TV producer, their sons Nicholas and Cassian and his pet Labrador, Looney. His whole family gets involved in his writing. Jill has produced several of Anthony's scripts, including the drama serial Foyle's War, which won the Lew Grade Audience Award in 2003. His son Cassian is already a seasoned actor, having appeared in three of his shows, and Nicholas, his oldest son, has helped Anthony to research the Alex Rider books by trying his hand at everything from scuba-diving to snowboarding and surfing!

As a writer

Anthony is one of the most popular children's writers working today. His phenomenally successful Alex Rider series has sold over ten million copies worldwide and won numerous awards, including the Booksellers Association/Nielsen Author of the Year Award 2007, the Children's Book of the Year at the 2006 British Book Awards for Ark Angel and the Red House Children's Book Awards for Skeleton Key in 2003. Stormbreaker, the first Alex Rider mission, was recently made into a blockbuster movie.

He is also a prolific writer for television, film and theatre. He created the popular television series Foyle's War and Midsomer Murders.

His supernatural series, The Power of Five, which begins with Raven's Gate was inspired by a simple thought. "Isn't it more exciting to imagine these great battles with all their magic and mystery happening in the very high street where you live, just out of the corner of your eye??"

On teenage fiction

"The heroes of my books never have parents because I've always believed it's impossible to have fun or adventure while your parents are around. What interests me is to take a young person - usually thirteen or fourteen years old - and to throw them headlong into an adult world where they are forced to rely on their own abilities. Alex Rider's guardian dies and he finds himself sucked into the world of MI6, trained as a reluctant spy. And in Raven's Gate, fourteen-year-old Matt Freeman is arrested as a delinquent and sent on his own to a weird village in Yorkshire. The two boys couldn't be more different. For a start, Matt has paranormal abilities (even if he can't control them) and he's up against devils, witches and black magic. He lives in a provincial town. And at the start of the book he's even more of a loner than Alex. He doesn?t seem to have any friends. But they also have a lot of similarities. First of all, it's them versus everyone else. Although I hope their adventures are fun to read, they're certainly not a lot of fun for them. They get hurt and nearly killed. And the whole future of the world depends on them. At the end of the day, I suppose that's why I write children's books. You look at what's happening today and you see that adults are always mucking everything up. The next generation, children, really are our only hope."

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