Block-busting queue in Tonbridge for Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz
By kentsussex | Thursday, February 21, 2013, 11:29
Book fans flocked to a tiny Tonbridge bookshop on Wednesday for the chance to meet best-selling author Anthony Horowitz, creator of teen spy Alex Rider.
Youngsters eager to meet the writer formed a queue so long that it snaked from Mr Books in the town's High Street to beyond the Olive Room restaurant at the end of the block.
Fans clutched copies of their favourite titles for Mr Horowitz to sign, waiting patiently for their few moments with the author of the popular spy suspense series and the Power of Five books.
Mr Horowitz – who has sold 13 million copies of the Alex Rider stories alone – agreed to do a book signing after Mr Books owner Mark Richardson contacted him on Twitter.
Mr Richardson said after the event: "It was fantastic and exceeded our expectations.
"We're not sure exactly how many people came but we gave out 150 wristbands for Oblivion, Anthony's latest book.
"I'm very pleased it was such a success for the town and who knows, it may be a shot in the arm for Tonbridge."
Mr Horowitz is one of Britain's most prolific writers with more than 35 books to his name.
He also dramatised for television the long-running mystery series Midsomer Murders and created the acclaimed drama Foyle's War.
But younger fans know him best for his catalogue of fantasy adventure books and the Alex Rider spy stories.
Waiting in the queue to meet him was Miles Moss, 14, of Hadlow Road, Tonbridge, his mum Rani and younger brothers Krishan and Dexter.
Miles said: "My favourite [Horowitz] book is Point Blanc. I always used to listen to the cassettes of the books when I was younger and they have got a great story line.
"His books are really interesting and intriguing. He really gets you involved and wants you to feel like Alex Rider is feeling."
Krishan, 10, said: "My favourite book is Stormbreaker - I can't get enough of it."
Dexter, Krishan's twin brother, said: "I really like all the Alex Rider books. They are interesting and really mysterious."
Friend Phoebe Leach, 11, said: "I love Scorpia Rising from the Alex Rider series. The stories are very exciting and you never know what is going to happen next. They always end on a cliffhanger."
Sarah and Dominic Boulle, of Springwell Road, Tonbridge, were waiting with three of their four children to meet Mr Horowitz.
Louis Boulle, 13, said: "I like Raven's Gate which is part of the Power of Five series. The books are really exciting and interesting."
Louis' brother Alex, 11, said: "The Switch is my favourite. It's a great adventure and if it happened in real life it would be awesome."
Oliver Boulle, nine, said: "Stormbreaker is my favourite book. It's about a 14-year-old secret agent."
Mrs Boulle said: "It's great that the boys will have a chance to meet the author because it might not happen again."
Rachel Branch, of Oast Lane, Tonbridge, brought her children Arthur, nine, and Matilda, seven, to the signing.
She said: "Arthur is a keen reader and we'll be buying one of Mr Horowitz's books. It will be great for Arthur to have met the author of a book he is reading.
"You don't get this kind of thing in Tonbridge very often."