"I bought a new Jaguar XK-120
when I got out of the Air Force.
I picked up my girl and drove
to the Hollywood Hills and
proposed, and she accepted. But
she nearly backed out of the deal
when I sold it and bought a
Nash Rambler station wagon,
rented a house, and bought a stove,
refrigerator and washing machine."
Clive Cussler, a lanky 6-footer with
a beard and hair more white than
gray, says he's a researcher who
happens to be a writer, and isn't
lofty enough to be "an author."
His writing career was accidental
While his wife worked nights at
the police department in Costa
Mesa,Calif., Clive Cussler would put
the couple's children to bed and
cast about for something to do.
"I thought it would be great fun
to do a paperback series,"Cussler
says. "But what could I do
differently?" And so was born
Dirk Pitt (the first name comes
from Clive Cussler's son) and his
adventures battling a smuggling
ring in "Mediterranean Caper."
"RAISE THE TITANIC was the
best concept, and NIGHT PROBE
was my best plot, INCA GOLD
and SAHARA were probably the
best written. I always have
a sentimental favorite with
ICEBERG. My first two books
were kind of potboilers, and
what I call Formula A, the
reader starts with the hero
and walks with him all the way
through the book. But in
Formula B I have subplots ---
this is what I call my own
convoluted form. In ICEBERG
I began in Iceland and wound
up in the Pirates of Caribbean
at Disneyland --- this book was
where I really started to get
into my own plotting."
As a youth, Clive Cussler and his
childhood friends conjured up
adventures in hay fields near
his Alhambra home. When it
was not a game of cowboys and
Indians, Clive Cussler and his
friends would build tree
houses or fashion forts out
of bales of hay and pretend
to be French Foreign
"I was kind of a beach bum,"
Cussler says. "When I was in
the service, I was stationed
around the Pacific in Hawaii
and I started diving, and then,
when I came home, a friend of
mine and I used to tramp the
deserts looking for lost
goldmines, ghost towns, stuff
like that, and it just kind of
transferred over into shipwrecks.
If its lost, Ill look for it."