Bestselling author Anthony Horowitz agrees to appear at Tonbridge store
By Tonbridge Courier | Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 08:00
A SMALL Tonbridge bookshop will be welcoming a big name in the writing world at its grand opening, following a "cheeky" request by the shop owner.
thrilled: Mark Richardson has got renowned author Anthony Horowitz to officially open his shop
star turn: Anthony Horowitz will be signing books Adam Scourfield
After a five-year chase, the owner of Mr Books, Mark Richardson, has finally persuaded renowned author and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz to sign books and meet fans at the High Street store – through the power of Twitter.
The shop moved from its original Bank Street premises seven months ago, but Mr Richardson has been hanging on for a novelist to do the ribbon-cutting honours.
"I didn't want the mayor to open the shop," he told the Courier. "I wanted a top author, it was that or nothing."
Mr Richardson first met Mr Horowitz, whose Alex Rider books have sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, at the Hay-on-Wye festival a few years ago.
He said: "I specifically wanted him for sentimental reasons. The atmosphere at Hay-on-Wye inspired me to open a book shop in the first place. I met him before the talk and it inspired my son to start reading all his books."
Mr Richardson said it was Mr Horowitz's support of independent bookshops which spurred him to send a message requesting a visit. The author replied and the date was set.
"It was a culmination of good old fashioned badgering and Twitter, which is the modern twist to it," he said.
"He tweeted something about supporting independent bookshops so I cheekily tweeted back something like why don't you come to my grand opening.
"To my surprise he said, 'let's see if we can make this happen'.
"I can't contain myself. It's a bit of a coup to get him. It's a good thing for the shop and a good thing for Tonbridge. I'm told I'll have a queue around the corner."
The book signing will be at Mr Books, 142 High Street, on Wednesday from 3.30pm.