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'Author events will take over your life'

7 February 2011

'The fact of the matter is that author events will take over your life if you let them. Being invited to Edinburgh these days is like entering the royal enclosure at Ascot. If you haven't sat sipping whisky in that yurt, you haven't arrived - and it's not just other pen-pushers that you'll meet. Politicians, sportsmen, celebrities... they don't need to have written or even ghost-written a book. Talking about books seems to be a bigger business than reading them...

But I do have some concerns. What happens if you don't like performing? What do you do if you're born plug ugly or with a lisp? Is there a danger that the publishing world is aspiring just a little too much to the pages of Hello! magazine?

Worse than that. In the great welter of speeches, Q & A sessions, panel debates and so on, do any of us really have anything strikingly original to say? Is it possible that we are all, the whole lot of us, frauds? The terrible truth is that I do not know how I create characters. I'm not even sure how long it takes me to write a book. I have no answers to at least half of the questions that are thrown my way but, of course, I'm a writer. I make things up.'

Anthony Horowitz in the Bookseller