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October/November 2018

Discover the World of Audiobooks

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Some days, Anthony Horowitz feels more like a secretary than a writer, which is a tad surprising for the author of 49 novels and many screenplays. He should be the one in charge, yet, "Often I have to write with a pen because I can't type fast enough to keep up with the speed my characters are talking. It's as if I'm sitting on the side of the room with a notebook and a pen, furiously scribbling in shorthand the words I'm hearing." In a felicitous twist for us audiophiles, he adds, "That means my writing always begins as an audio experience." Enter his newest, The Word Is Murder. In it, Horowitz has cast himself as the sidekick to an unusual private investigator named Hawthorne. Akin to Sherlock Holmes's Dr. Watson, Horowitz tags along, writing up the case as they chase a murderer. "I'm always searching to stretch the envelope in my books. I thought about the relationship between the detective, sidekick, and author and realized that I could twist it around by dropping the author into the book." Also, he has always wanted to write about writing but judged every attempt to be pompous and dull. So he put what he wanted to say about writing into the new book. "By sticking it inside a whodunit, I could do it in a humorous and lighthearted way." When he heard Rory Kinnear read the audiobook—Horowitz always listens to the audio versions of his books—the author who is the sidekick and narrator had the out- of-body experience of hearing Kinnear "speaking with my voice since I've cast myself in the book as the narrator." Opinion? "It's absolutely wonderful. Rory Kinnear is a great actor. He made me smile all the way through. He caught Hawthorne perfectly, as well as all the other characters. His chameleon-like quality is amazing." Coincidently, Horowitz is now listening to Nutshell by Ian McEwan, also read by Rory Kinnear. "He does that just as well. What a special voice he's created." [The narrator of Nutshell is a fetus offering wry commentary on the world into which he has not yet been born.] "That's the great thing about audiobooks and what makes me admire the best narrators. They conjure different characters and moods with such apparent effortlessness." Anthony Horowitz "My writing always begins as an audio experience." 20 n AudioFile/www.audiofilemagazine.com

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