Tuesday, July 10 was a memorable night at the Explorer’s Club in New York City. The author and fellow Explorer’s Club Member Clive Cussler came and regaled us with hilarious stories about his writing, exploration, car collecting, and “Madman” activities. He was at the same time charming, fascinating, droll, and a great raconteur. When I mentioned that I didn’t care much for flying and always took one of his books as a distraction, he commented that women usually took him to bed….(…reading his books!) One could immediately see where his protagonist, “Dirk Pitt” got his sense of humor.
Since I have to do a lot of writing I have been asking the authors I’ve met how they stay focused on composing for long periods of time. Christopher Buckley mentioned as a joke, “Adderall” then said he really got into his stories and didn’t find it too easy to get distracted. Clive mentioned he stayed very disciplined working to complete an average of four pages a day in writing and editing. Given Clive was a creative director in his early career it would seem staying focused on writing comes easily.
An addition to a very successful career as an author, Clive founded NUMA the National Underwater and Marine Agency to fund his search for shipwrecks. Notable finds for which he is associated include; the Hunley-a submarine first used in the U.S. Civil War; the Carpathia-the ocean liner responsible for rescuing the Titanic survivors; the Mary Celeste-famous 1872 ghost ship found abandoned in the Atlantic.
He is also a collector of antique automobiles and owns over 100 historic cars. They are housed in the Cussler Museum outside of Golden, Colorado. The cars range in age from a 1906 Stanley Steamer to 1965 Corvette Stingray. The can’t compete in my opinion however, with the 1929 burnt orange Duesenberg.
If you don’t know much about Clive Cussler I encourage you to look at his website, museum and perhaps pick up one of his Dirk Pitt novels. They are guaranteed to keep you distracted while flying…!