My interest in action thrillers can be traced back to a winter day in 1979. I was reading a worn and tattered paperback copy of Raise the Titanic! by a little-known author named Clive Cussler. I enjoyed that story immensely, and instantly became a huge fan of Mr. Cussler–the Grand Master of Thrillers. He has authored 64 novels, and more than 20 have been NYT Bestsellers. To say his work has had a profound influence on me is an understatement. I recall more than one daydream that I could write novels and entertain readers with original adventures reminiscent of Dirk Pitt and Al Giordino. Like daydreamers everywhere, “someday” I thought.
So when the opportunity arose to submit an unpublished manuscript to the Clive Cussler Society Action Writer’s Competition, I had to do it. The timing was excellent, as I was just completing the fourth book in the Peter Savage series. Anxious, and with crossed fingers, I submitted my manuscript–HUNTING SAVAGE. The plot takes place almost entirely in Central and Eastern Oregon, not far from my home town. (I am eager to share this beautiful land with readers who have not explored the Oregon back-country.)
Then came the waiting.
A couple days ago, I received an email from the contest organizer… I’d made the cut! I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I was! Critical recognition for one’s novel is always rewarding–whether it be a fan who posts a complimentary review or a writing award. But this was special in so many ways. The competition is geared toward one genre–action thrillers. And both Clive Cussler and his son, Dirk–also an accomplished and well-known author–are involved with the event. Plus there are many brilliant thriller authors who help with the organization and judging. For me, this is like the World Cup of action thrillers.
This is only the semifinals though, with more to come. But for now I am simply overjoyed that the latest Peter Savage adventure has been recognized by this annual competition! And I can’t wait to share it with readers and fans of Peter Savage.