Author of the Month
brilliant and amazing stories; you can’t help but become mesmerized. This author’s legacy won’t
only be about writing. He created NUMA, the National Underwater and Marine Agency, a non-
profit, volunteer foundation dedicated to preserving maritime heritage through the discovery,
archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts, which is funded by royalties of his
books. He is also an avid car collector, owning eighty-five of the finest cars ever created.
Our conversation was hours long, here is a small taste of our discussion.
Suspense Magazine (S.MAG.): How many Dirk Pitt novels do you have left in you to write?
Clive Cussler (C.C.): I have no end in sight. I’m seventy-eight years old now and my son has taken over most of
the reigns in writing Dirk Pitt and doing an excellent job. The Dirk Pitt novels are set up now that Dirk’s kids
are taking on the adventures in the book, but Dirk and Al will still come in and save the day.
S.MAG.: “The Oregon Files”, “The NUMA Files” and Dirk Pitt, which books do you do the
most research on?
C.C.: It has to be the Dirk Pitt novels. I spent a lot of time working on the plot and the adventure that will take
place with Dirk.
S.MAG.: What is the greatest discovery you have found in real life?
C.C.: The R.M.S. Carpathia off the coast of Ireland was great. Also, the Mary Celeste that was lost in 1876 off
the coast of Haiti and was a ghost ship was very exciting also.
S.MAG.: We noticed you have started writing your books with other authors, how do you
decide who to write with?
C.C.: It pretty much starts with the publisher and editor. I write a book and they say, let’s do a series and here is
a great author that will help.
S.MAG.: Are all the cars mentioned in the Dirk Pitt novels from your own collection?
C.C.: Yep, I have over one hundred ten cars now.
S.MAG.: Is there a dream car that has eluded you?
C.C.: Well I would like to get a Bugatti Royale, but that is a least a couple of million since there they probably
only made a handful of them. I also think many collectors will start trying to get Coachmasters.
S.MAG.: If you could only find one more ship before you stop, which one would it be?
C.C.: The John Paul Jones ship Bonhomme Richard. I’m going to the North Sea to try again for the third time.
We know where the battle took place, but we just can’t seem to find this one.
S.MAG.: What books do you having coming out this year?
C.C.: “The Silent Sea”, which is an “Oregon Files” book and then I decided to write another children’s book
called “Hotsy Totsy”.
S.MAG.: Do you have a book you wrote that has never been published, just sitting on your
C.C.: I wrote a book that was a comedy/parody about advertising called “I Went to Denver, but it was
Closed.” I pulled it off the shelf a while back and thought I should submit it under another name, but after
reading it I came to the conclusion that it was horrible and put it right back on the shelf. That book will not see
the light of day again.
S.MAG.: Why did you decide to start writing?
C.C.: My wife had a job with the police department that kept her away at night. So I would come home and
make dinner and put the kids to bed. With all the free time I had, I decided why not and started to pen out a
book. I would read Sherlock Holmes and Ian Fleming and decided that my hero would be mainly on the water,
since that had not been done yet.
Since 1973, Clive Cussler’s action adventure novels featuring Dirk Pitt have thrilled readers.
Thirty-eight years later, Cussler's books have been published in more than 40 languages in more
than 100 countries. To say that he is a legend is an understatement.
Clive Cussler has taken the adventure/suspense genre to a completely new place and new writers
are still trying to catch up. He is an old school writer; he answers his fan mail, sometimes writing
over fifty letters a week back to his fans. Check out www.clivecusslerbooks.com to read more
about Cussler’s work or even to write him a quick email.
We are incredibly honored to have Clive Cussler as part of Suspense Magazine and would like to
thank him for his time.