DOXA Watches
 
CLIVE CUSSLER

While working as a clerk in a dive shop in Newport Beach, California, the underwater watch that divers admired the most was the DOXA that was distributed from the Swiss manufacturer by U.S. Divers in 1968 and 1969. There were silver and black dials but you weren't considered one of the dive gang if you didn't have the DOXA with the orange dial. When I left the dive shop, after writing a book on a card table in the rear of the store when business was slow, the owners, Dirk Spencer, Omar Wood and Ron Merker were kind enough to present me with a DOXA watch. Naturally, I picked the orange dial.

Later, after becoming established with the Dirk Pitt series, I began to describe Pitt as wearing a DOXA dive watch. Little did I know that he'd launch a trend and DOXA would eventually reproduce the watch. The first DOXA orange dial watches that were advertised on the market sold out in a matter of few weeks and are still going strong.

There are other dive watches, some far more expensive, but the DOXA is still the finest underwater timepiece on the market.

I still wear my old DOXA which runs perfectly above and below water after thirty-five years.

This page is explicitely dedicated to Dr. Clive Cussler, the famous US author who contributed to the popularity of the orange face DOXA diver watch by having his novel hero Dirk Pitt® wear the watch during his adventures. The DOXA SUB product team met Dr. Clive Cussler in May 2002. We'd like to thank Dr. Cussler for his generosity allowing us to document the visit on our website.

In spite of his busy schedule Dr. Cussler spent several hours with us in his office telling about his own adventures and experience with his vintage orange face DOXA that he has been wearing since 1969.

A photograph of Dr. Cussler wearing his vintage DOXA is printed on the back cover of his novel VALHALLA RISING, on the pictures above he is wearing the new orange face SUB 300T Professional.

Serial number 001/1000 is dedicated to Dr. Clive Cussler, famous US author well known for his popular Dirk Pitt® action-adventure novels, founder and chairman of the National Underwater & Marine Agency NUMA.

Serial number 001/3000 of the orange face DOXA SUB 600T Professional was sent to Dr. Clive Cussler in November 2003. Clive Cussler also received serial number 001/1000 of the SUB 300T Seahunter re-edition and 001/1000 of the SUB 300T Professional in May 2002

The SUB 300T

August 2002 saw the DOXA SUB resurface to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its original launch. The DOXA SUB 300T was offered in two versions: the SUB 300T Professional and the SUB 300T Seahunter. These watches had DOXA’s iconic orange dial and no-decompression bezel (which would be in meters instead of feet). The Professional was a nod to the original DOXA SUB. The Seahunter version was created in honor of Dr. Clive Cussler and the Seahunters. The Seahunters are a group of divers who look for and explore shipwrecks. The 300T Seahunter would have a blue second hand, a small diver on the lower left-hand portion of the dial, and the name “SEAHUNTER” engraved on the case back. Both the Professional and the Seahunter were limited editions of 1000 pieces – and were sold almost as quickly as they had been introduced.

The reissued SUB 300T Professional and Seahunter announced DOXA’s triumphant return to the manufacture of the DOXA SUB after nearly 15 years. But another interesting phenomenon was born out of this as well – people started communicating directly with DOXA, sharing their opinions, giving suggestions and confirming what Rick and the Jennys had long suspected – people didn’t just buy a watch, they entered a relationship. A watch was, for many people, an emotional purchase. DOXA moved from simply being in the watch business to being in the relationship business.

 
An Interview with Clive Cussler
 

Q. Dr. Cussler, could you please tell us how Dirk Pitt's world all got started?
CLIVE CUSSLER: When I first started writing, I was in advertising at the time, I was doing most of my writing on weekends. I had studied most of the other series heroes and I figured it would be fun for mine to be different and put him in and around water. So I dreamed up Dirk Pitt. In the first novel, Admiral Sandecker invites Dirk Pitt to leave the Air Force and come with him in order to start the National Underwater Marine Agency in Washington, DC, which Pitt does. All of the other books deal with Pitt's involvement with NUMA, his adventures and the mischief he gets into.

That was in 1965. Then in 1979 during an expedition, where I was searching for John Paul Jones' ship, the Bon'homme Richard an Austin attorney who was a volunteer suggested that I should incorporate as a non-profit organization rather than just write the checks out of my own bank account. So that is what I did and that is how NUMA became a non-profit organisation in Texas. Therefore, yes Virginia, there really is a NUMA! (laughing) And that was the basis for the non-fiction NUMA, which has been the umbrella for all the expeditions and all of the shipwrecks we've found.

As for the DOXA watch, when I was beginning my second book, I was the creative director for a big ad agency in L.A. My wife said jokingly, why don 't you apply for this job? It was a $400/month job as a clerk in a Dive shop, perfect for writing underwater books. Well, I was just considering switching agencies and I thought what the hell! She had a nifty job working nights at the local police department, which worked out very well. She had the kids during the day and I would have them at night. That way they were never alone. I would put the kids to bed, and then I had nothing to do and nobody to talk to, so I would write.

I applied for the job. They had three stores and they were shocked! They said that I was a little over qualified, but they hired me anyway. (laughing) And after two weeks, the guy said that there was nothing they could teach me. Hell I've been diving since 1952 in Hawaii while I was in the service. So I ran the store in Santa Ana, California. I'd come up in the morning with my portable typewriter and when business was slow, I would write.

U.S. Diver then was the distributor for the DOXA Dive watch, the 300T. The "in" colour was Orange, but they also had silver and black, but you were "big-time" if you had an Orange watch. So, when I left the store I had finished my book, I shook hands with the guys and as a present they gave me the Orange DOXA dive watch. When I continued writing, I just had Dirk wear one too.

 
Q. What are the qualities that attract you to this watch?
CLIVE CUSSLER: At the time, this watch had a huge steel band, which most watches didn't have in those days. We're going back, boy; I've had that piece since '69, 32 years. (laughing) It was a heavy watch, very massive and masculine looking. People would always remark about the thing. It was one of those you had to shake to keep it running. I've worn it many times diving in the past and it has never corroded or had any problems. There was a place called House of Clocks in L.A. where every ten years I would send my watch and they would rebuild it.
 
Q. I stumbled over the name DOXA while reading Clive Cussler novels? Who is DOXA?
A : Some Clive Cussler fans think DOXA is fiction like "NUMA", "Dirk Pitt" etc... , well DOXA is one of the most traditional Swiss watch companies, founded in 1889 in Le Locle in Switzerland, famous for the legendary 8 day watch used in early Bugatti® sports cars, the jumping seconds movement and the patented DOXA SUB diver watch.
 
Q. So I understand you still have that watch?
CLIVE CUSSLER: Oh, sure.
 
Q. Is this the same watch you are wearing on the rear cover of your latest book?
CLIVE CUSSLER: That's it!
 
Q. Do you feel at all responsible for the excitement the re-issue is generating?
CLIVE CUSSLER: I guess indirectly I am (laughing), with Dirk Pitt, NUMA and all wearing a DOXA watch. I guess if it weren't for that, they probably wouldn't be re-issuing. I couldn't believe it when I was told they were going to manufacture 1000 and that they were practically all sold already. Ever since Pitt was wearing one, collectors were dumbfounded; they were saying that it wasn't an expensive watch, what's all the fuss about. I understand the prices have been driven up since then; people are even paying $1000 for them. I've met people that tell me that they spent two years looking for one.
 
Q. You stated that you used this watch while diving. In your opinion, what makes it a good dive watch?
CLIVE CUSSLER: The bezel is very useful to time your dives and the orange face, surprisingly enough is VERY easy to read 30-40-50 down. It was just a good solid dive watch. I even have a US Diver's logo on mine, the distributors at the time.
 
Q. I have noticed that product description plays a large part in your books. I understand that Production of the movie Sahara will begin sometime in 2002. Will Dirk be wearing an Orange DOXA Diver in the movie?
CLIVE CUSSLER: I don't know why not, he should.
 
Q. I know that Omega has a lot to do with which watch James Bond has been wearing lately. Will Doxa be doing any product placement?
CLIVE CUSSLER: Funny you should talk about product placement and advertising. My agent once had lunch with the advertising manager for Rolex; they had gone to school together. He asked him, how come you've used all these other people in the dive industry in your ads, but never thought of using Cussler? The advertising manager turned and said, who's Cussler and what's he ever done? (laughing) In this other book I had a guy with a Rolex that didn't work so he smashed it on a rock. Every time I tell that story, I laugh. I find that Rolex watches are vastly overrated compared to the some of the more exotic watches that are available today. It's still the "in" watch, because of the advertising or whatever.
 
Q. Any additional comments on your upcoming movie?
CLIVE CUSSLER: Not much to comment on, because they made a botch of Raise the Titanic 20 years ago. I wouldn't sell to Hollywood. Finally they gave me script, director and casting approval, that's when I sold.
 

Q. Any idea who will be cast to play Dirk, Al and the others?

CLIVE CUSSLER: Dirk is supposed top be played by Hugh Jackman*. He's a real comer, he fits Pitt's image perfectly. The rest of the casting will not start until January 2002. Right now everything is just status quo. The director is going to be Rob Bowman of X-Files fame.

 

Q. You are considered one of the premier action/adventure writers. One of the keys to your writing is your incredible suspenseful timing. What can you say about timing and how does it play a role in your writing?

CLIVE CUSSLER: I guess the books are kind of like the old Saturday afternoon matinee serials. Most of them were westerns in those days. Where the hero is going off the cliff in a car filled with dynamite and that's were it would end, until you came back the following Saturday to find out what happened. The books are laid out that way, you would end a chapter on some kind cliffhanger and then "oh my god" what happens next? So you turn the page and start the next chapter.

 

Q. I have to admit your books have been the cause of quite a number of sleepless nights. I just had to keep reading.

CLIVE CUSSLER: ( laughing) Sometimes my plot lines are so convoluted, I get calls from friends at 3 am saying; you SOB, you'll never pull this one off.

 

Q. As a matter of fact, yesterday evening while reading Atlantis Found, I noticed you had written yourself into your book! I must admit I got quite a laugh out of it. How did it come about?

CLIVE CUSSLER: It was a couple of books back, where Pitt was at a classic car club meet. He parked his old car next to this guy, an older man with grey hair and a grey beard. Pitt walks up and says hi my name is Dirk Pitt and before I knew it I had typed in hello my name is Clive Cussler. I stopped and looked around and said, gee, why did I do that. Then I got to joking around and had them look at each other. Then Pitt says, you know the name sounds familiar, but I just can't place the face. (laughing) So I just left it in as a joke, figured the readers would get a laugh out of it. I thought that was going to be the end of it, but then I got 300-400 letters saying how everybody liked it. So now I have to do a Hitchcock walk on and people are waiting to see where I come in.

 

Q. On that note, can we expect to see you in the motion picture?

CLIVE CUSSLER: Yes, I will be in SAHARA. In the book I was a prospector, but in the movie, I will be driving an old beat-up truck and rescuing Pitt and Giordino out in the Sahara

 

Q. In your opinion, what do you find most exciting about deep sea diving and exploration?

CLIVE CUSSLER: It's always the thrill of the unknown. Everybody dives in the Grand Cayman or Bermuda. I don't dive in those places anymore, after 50 years the thrill just isn't there. I always tell everybody, go where nobody goes! Go up into Canada or Alaska, sure it's cold water, but you'll be seeing things nobody has seen before! Go into the colder waters, from Vancouver up to Anchorage, my gosh, all the sounds and all that. Nobody ever dove there before. It's colder than hell, but if you get a dry suit, it isn't so bad.

 

Q. You have found many shipwrecks, can you tell us which one the most important/impressive?

CLIVE CUSSLER: Oh. There have been so many. Right now the one that is the big deal is the confederate submarine, the Hunley, which we found in Charleston. The first submarine to sink a warship, but never came back. We found it, raised and brought it to a laboratory where we will be excavating it. They will be preserving it so that someday it can go on display.

This year was pretty good, we found the Carpathia, Which of course rescued the Titanic survivors only to be torpedoed 6 years later off the coast of Ireland. And the Marie Celeste, Which was the famous ghost ship they found floating with nobody on board.

 

Q. You have been writing Dirk Pitt novels for nearly 30 years now, is it getting more difficult as you go along or has it become easier as the character develops?

CLIVE CUSSLER: I've used so many plots in my books that it's getting hard to be original. That's the trouble with a series, I'm writing away when I realise I used that same line of dialog six books back. It's become very difficult to be original. Q. Are there any plans for another novel after this latest one?

CLIVE CUSSLER: I have to write at least one more, because of the wild ending on Valhalla Rising, so I have to continue that one. Q. You recently published your first non-fiction work, could you tell us why you decided to take that direction?

CLIVE CUSSLER: So many people use to tell me that I should write about all the shipwrecks I've found. At the time I was busy with the Pitt books, so I worked with a fellow named Craig Dirgo. He did a lot of the easy stuff for me, I would write the historical part, and then he would go through it and write some more for me. Then I would write in where NUMA came in the picture to look for the shipwreck and what have you.

It was an interesting story on The Sea Hunters. When my agent went to "pitch" it to my publisher, they just weren't interested. They literally said that nobody reads shipwreck books. My agent insisted, well Cussler's got a name and a following. When he came back to me, he was quite upset; he asked what should we do? So I said, let's go to another publisher! Well obviously my publisher said that they couldn't have that, me going to another publisher. So they gave in and said OK, we'll print it, but only 50,000 copies. The sales department said no way; we know we can sell at least 250,000. Well the hardcover went #2 on the New York Time's bestsellers list and the paperback went #1! We must have sold over 1 million some odd copies! (laughing) We always laugh and called it the book that nobody wanted.

 

Q. It is my understanding that it is going to become a televised series?

CLIVE CUSSLER: Yes, it's going to be called The Sea Hunters and it will be filmed up in Nova Scotia. It will run internationally, but I'm not certain if it will run domestically. I will be like Arthur C. Clark; I will open and close each episode.

 

Q. Of all of your books, which is your favourite so far?

CLIVE CUSSLER: I like them all for different reasons. Night Probe was one of my better plots, Raise the Titanic was probably my best concept. People often ask me which car do you like in your collection? I like them all for different reasons.

 

Q. How about explorers? Who is your favourite?

CLIVE CUSSLER: The one that always intrigued me was Magellan, who circled around the world and Drake who did it the second time. I'm a history buff, I have a PHD in maritime history, so for me it's just fun to follow. History is just not being taught in schools like it used to be. Kids today have no grasp. It is really unfortunate.

 

Q. Thank you very much for this opportunity Dr. Cussler. This interview has been the highlight of my career so far.

CLIVE CUSSLER: (Laughing) You're welcome, Mr. Levesque. I'm sure you will have much bigger highlights in the future.

(excerpted from Time2watch.com)

 
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    J.E., Rancho Mirage, CA, DOXA SUB5000T Caribbean

    Just a short note to say that my Sub 5000T (68/5000) arrived in tact. It is an amazing watch and I could not be more satisfied. Special pricing made it possible sooner than I thought, and I believe I got a true bargain in a watch recognized around the world. My sincere thanks to all at Doxa who had a hand in producing my Seaconqueror.

     
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    Joseph Serapilio, Sub 750T Professional #4093/5000

    I have to say it is an awesome piece.As an owner of a few Rolex's and Tags, I was recently thinking of adding a Rolex Sub to my collection.But the article in hr:Watches and your web site helped me in my decision.Now I have the right Sub a DOXA.Your service is great at my door in 4 days.This watch including the box it comes in far surrpass any Rolex I have and for a lot less money.Very pleased&impressed.

     
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    Dean, Alberta, Canada, 2006 SUB750T Clive Cussler Professional Edition 4504/5000

    Thank you for a brilliant time piece. The watch looks a million times better in person than in the spectacular photos on the official forum and on the website (which are what sold me in the first place). This watch is unquestionably one of the finest watches I have ever purchased.

    I am very, very glad I bought this watch. Doxa's quick turnaround and prompt responses to all of my queries was also much appreciated. I normally hate waiting for things, but like a very few select other parts of my life this watch was well worth the 4 day wait.

     

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DOXA watches LTD is a traditional and independent Swiss watch brand, based in Bienne, Switzerland, this site presents the dive watch collection only. The entire DOXA watches Ltd. collection can be found here:

 
CLIVE CUSSLER

While working as a clerk in a dive shop in Newport Beach, California, the underwater watch that divers admired the most was the DOXA that was distributed from the Swiss manufacturer by U.S. Divers in 1968 and 1969. There were silver and black dials but you weren't considered one of the dive gang if you didn't have the DOXA with the orange dial. When I left the dive shop, after writing a book on a card table in the rear of the store when business was slow, the owners, Dirk Spencer, Omar Wood and Ron Merker were kind enough to present me with a DOXA watch. Naturally, I picked the orange dial.

Later, after becoming established with the Dirk Pitt series, I began to describe Pitt as wearing a DOXA dive watch. Little did I know that he'd launch a trend and DOXA would eventually reproduce the watch. The first DOXA orange dial watches that were advertised on the market sold out in a matter of few weeks and are still going strong.

There are other dive watches, some far more expensive, but the DOXA is still the finest underwater timepiece on the market.

I still wear my old DOXA which runs perfectly above and below water after thirty-five years.

This page is explicitely dedicated to Dr. Clive Cussler, the famous US author who contributed to the popularity of the orange face DOXA diver watch by having his novel hero Dirk Pitt® wear the watch during his adventures. The DOXA SUB product team met Dr. Clive Cussler in May 2002. We'd like to thank Dr. Cussler for his generosity allowing us to document the visit on our website.

In spite of his busy schedule Dr. Cussler spent several hours with us in his office telling about his own adventures and experience with his vintage orange face DOXA that he has been wearing since 1969.

A photograph of Dr. Cussler wearing his vintage DOXA is printed on the back cover of his novel VALHALLA RISING, on the pictures above he is wearing the new orange face SUB 300T Professional.

Serial number 001/1000 is dedicated to Dr. Clive Cussler, famous US author well known for his popular Dirk Pitt® action-adventure novels, founder and chairman of the National Underwater & Marine Agency NUMA.

Serial number 001/3000 of the orange face DOXA SUB 600T Professional was sent to Dr. Clive Cussler in November 2003. Clive Cussler also received serial number 001/1000 of the SUB 300T Seahunter re-edition and 001/1000 of the SUB 300T Professional in May 2002
An Interview with Clive Cussler

Q. Dr. Cussler, could you please tell us how Dirk Pitt's world all got started?
CLIVE CUSSLER: When I first started writing, I was in advertising at the time, I was doing most of my writing on weekends. I had studied most of the other series heroes and I figured it would be fun for mine to be different and put him in and around water. So I dreamed up Dirk Pitt. In the first novel, Admiral Sandecker invites Dirk Pitt to leave the Air Force and come with him in order to start the National Underwater Marine Agency in Washington, DC, which Pitt does. All of the other books deal with Pitt's involvement with NUMA, his adventures and the mischief he gets into.

That was in 1965. Then in 1979 during an expedition, where I was searching for John Paul Jones' ship, the Bon'homme Richard an Austin attorney who was a volunteer suggested that I should incorporate as a non-profit organization rather than just write the checks out of my own bank account. So that is what I did and that is how NUMA became a non-profit organisation in Texas. Therefore, yes Virginia, there really is a NUMA! (laughing) And that was the basis for the non-fiction NUMA, which has been the umbrella for all the expeditions and all of the shipwrecks we've found.

As for the DOXA watch, when I was beginning my second book, I was the creative director for a big ad agency in L.A. My wife said jokingly, why don 't you apply for this job? It was a $400/month job as a clerk in a Dive shop, perfect for writing underwater books. Well, I was just considering switching agencies and I thought what the hell! She had a nifty job working nights at the local police department, which worked out very well. She had the kids during the day and I would have them at night. That way they were never alone. I would put the kids to bed, and then I had nothing to do and nobody to talk to, so I would write.

I applied for the job. They had three stores and they were shocked! They said that I was a little over qualified, but they hired me anyway. (laughing) And after two weeks, the guy said that there was nothing they could teach me. Hell I've been diving since 1952 in Hawaii while I was in the service. So I ran the store in Santa Ana, California. I'd come up in the morning with my portable typewriter and when business was slow, I would write.

U.S. Diver then was the distributor for the DOXA Dive watch, the 300T. The "in" colour was Orange, but they also had silver and black, but you were "big-time" if you had an Orange watch. So, when I left the store I had finished my book, I shook hands with the guys and as a present they gave me the Orange DOXA dive watch. When I continued writing, I just had Dirk wear one too.

 
Q. What are the qualities that attract you to this watch?
CLIVE CUSSLER: At the time, this watch had a huge steel band, which most watches didn't have in those days. We're going back, boy; I've had that piece since '69, 32 years. (laughing) It was a heavy watch, very massive and masculine looking. People would always remark about the thing. It was one of those you had to shake to keep it running. I've worn it many times diving in the past and it has never corroded or had any problems. There was a place called House of Clocks in L.A. where every ten years I would send my watch and they would rebuild it.
 
Q. I stumbled over the name DOXA while reading Clive Cussler novels? Who is DOXA?
A : Some Clive Cussler fans think DOXA is fiction like "NUMA", "Dirk Pitt" etc... , well DOXA is one of the most traditional Swiss watch companies, founded in 1889 in Le Locle in Switzerland, famous for the legendary 8 day watch used in early Bugatti® sports cars, the jumping seconds movement and the patented DOXA SUB diver watch.
 
Q. So I understand you still have that watch?
CLIVE CUSSLER: Oh, sure.
 
Q. Is this the same watch you are wearing on the rear cover of your latest book?
CLIVE CUSSLER: That's it!
 
Q. Do you feel at all responsible for the excitement the re-issue is generating?
CLIVE CUSSLER: I guess indirectly I am (laughing), with Dirk Pitt, NUMA and all wearing a DOXA watch. I guess if it weren't for that, they probably wouldn't be re-issuing. I couldn't believe it when I was told they were going to manufacture 1000 and that they were practically all sold already. Ever since Pitt was wearing one, collectors were dumbfounded; they were saying that it wasn't an expensive watch, what's all the fuss about. I understand the prices have been driven up since then; people are even paying $1000 for them. I've met people that tell me that they spent two years looking for one.
 
Q. You stated that you used this watch while diving. In your opinion, what makes it a good dive watch?
CLIVE CUSSLER: The bezel is very useful to time your dives and the orange face, surprisingly enough is VERY easy to read 30-40-50 down. It was just a good solid dive watch. I even have a US Diver's logo on mine, the distributors at the time.
 
Q. I have noticed that product description plays a large part in your books. I understand that Production of the movie Sahara will begin sometime in 2002. Will Dirk be wearing an Orange DOXA Diver in the movie?
CLIVE CUSSLER: I don't know why not, he should.
 
Q. I know that Omega has a lot to do with which watch James Bond has been wearing lately. Will Doxa be doing any product placement?
CLIVE CUSSLER: Funny you should talk about product placement and advertising. My agent once had lunch with the advertising manager for Rolex; they had gone to school together. He asked him, how come you've used all these other people in the dive industry in your ads, but never thought of using Cussler? The advertising manager turned and said, who's Cussler and what's he ever done? (laughing) In this other book I had a guy with a Rolex that didn't work so he smashed it on a rock. Every time I tell that story, I laugh. I find that Rolex watches are vastly overrated compared to the some of the more exotic watches that are available today. It's still the "in" watch, because of the advertising or whatever.
 
Q. Any additional comments on your upcoming movie?
CLIVE CUSSLER: Not much to comment on, because they made a botch of Raise the Titanic 20 years ago. I wouldn't sell to Hollywood. Finally they gave me script, director and casting approval, that's when I sold.
 

Q. Any idea who will be cast to play Dirk, Al and the others?

CLIVE CUSSLER: Dirk is supposed top be played by Hugh Jackman*. He's a real comer, he fits Pitt's image perfectly. The rest of the casting will not start until January 2002. Right now everything is just status quo. The director is going to be Rob Bowman of X-Files fame.

 

Q. You are considered one of the premier action/adventure writers. One of the keys to your writing is your incredible suspenseful timing. What can you say about timing and how does it play a role in your writing?

CLIVE CUSSLER: I guess the books are kind of like the old Saturday afternoon matinee serials. Most of them were westerns in those days. Where the hero is going off the cliff in a car filled with dynamite and that's were it would end, until you came back the following Saturday to find out what happened. The books are laid out that way, you would end a chapter on some kind cliffhanger and then "oh my god" what happens next? So you turn the page and start the next chapter.

 

Q. I have to admit your books have been the cause of quite a number of sleepless nights. I just had to keep reading.

CLIVE CUSSLER: ( laughing) Sometimes my plot lines are so convoluted, I get calls from friends at 3 am saying; you SOB, you'll never pull this one off.

 

Q. As a matter of fact, yesterday evening while reading Atlantis Found, I noticed you had written yourself into your book! I must admit I got quite a laugh out of it. How did it come about?

CLIVE CUSSLER: It was a couple of books back, where Pitt was at a classic car club meet. He parked his old car next to this guy, an older man with grey hair and a grey beard. Pitt walks up and says hi my name is Dirk Pitt and before I knew it I had typed in hello my name is Clive Cussler. I stopped and looked around and said, gee, why did I do that. Then I got to joking around and had them look at each other. Then Pitt says, you know the name sounds familiar, but I just can't place the face. (laughing) So I just left it in as a joke, figured the readers would get a laugh out of it. I thought that was going to be the end of it, but then I got 300-400 letters saying how everybody liked it. So now I have to do a Hitchcock walk on and people are waiting to see where I come in.

 

Q. On that note, can we expect to see you in the motion picture?

CLIVE CUSSLER: Yes, I will be in SAHARA. In the book I was a prospector, but in the movie, I will be driving an old beat-up truck and rescuing Pitt and Giordino out in the Sahara

 

Q. In your opinion, what do you find most exciting about deep sea diving and exploration?

CLIVE CUSSLER: It's always the thrill of the unknown. Everybody dives in the Grand Cayman or Bermuda. I don't dive in those places anymore, after 50 years the thrill just isn't there. I always tell everybody, go where nobody goes! Go up into Canada or Alaska, sure it's cold water, but you'll be seeing things nobody has seen before! Go into the colder waters, from Vancouver up to Anchorage, my gosh, all the sounds and all that. Nobody ever dove there before. It's colder than hell, but if you get a dry suit, it isn't so bad.

 

Q. You have found many shipwrecks, can you tell us which one the most important/impressive?

CLIVE CUSSLER: Oh. There have been so many. Right now the one that is the big deal is the confederate submarine, the Hunley, which we found in Charleston. The first submarine to sink a warship, but never came back. We found it, raised and brought it to a laboratory where we will be excavating it. They will be preserving it so that someday it can go on display.

This year was pretty good, we found the Carpathia, Which of course rescued the Titanic survivors only to be torpedoed 6 years later off the coast of Ireland. And the Marie Celeste, Which was the famous ghost ship they found floating with nobody on board.

 

Q. You have been writing Dirk Pitt novels for nearly 30 years now, is it getting more difficult as you go along or has it become easier as the character develops?

CLIVE CUSSLER: I've used so many plots in my books that it's getting hard to be original. That's the trouble with a series, I'm writing away when I realise I used that same line of dialog six books back. It's become very difficult to be original. Q. Are there any plans for another novel after this latest one?

CLIVE CUSSLER: I have to write at least one more, because of the wild ending on Valhalla Rising, so I have to continue that one. Q. You recently published your first non-fiction work, could you tell us why you decided to take that direction?

CLIVE CUSSLER: So many people use to tell me that I should write about all the shipwrecks I've found. At the time I was busy with the Pitt books, so I worked with a fellow named Craig Dirgo. He did a lot of the easy stuff for me, I would write the historical part, and then he would go through it and write some more for me. Then I would write in where NUMA came in the picture to look for the shipwreck and what have you.

It was an interesting story on The Sea Hunters. When my agent went to "pitch" it to my publisher, they just weren't interested. They literally said that nobody reads shipwreck books. My agent insisted, well Cussler's got a name and a following. When he came back to me, he was quite upset; he asked what should we do? So I said, let's go to another publisher! Well obviously my publisher said that they couldn't have that, me going to another publisher. So they gave in and said OK, we'll print it, but only 50,000 copies. The sales department said no way; we know we can sell at least 250,000. Well the hardcover went #2 on the New York Time's bestsellers list and the paperback went #1! We must have sold over 1 million some odd copies! (laughing) We always laugh and called it the book that nobody wanted.

 

Q. It is my understanding that it is going to become a televised series?

CLIVE CUSSLER: Yes, it's going to be called The Sea Hunters and it will be filmed up in Nova Scotia. It will run internationally, but I'm not certain if it will run domestically. I will be like Arthur C. Clark; I will open and close each episode.

 

Q. Of all of your books, which is your favourite so far?

CLIVE CUSSLER: I like them all for different reasons. Night Probe was one of my better plots, Raise the Titanic was probably my best concept. People often ask me which car do you like in your collection? I like them all for different reasons.

 

Q. How about explorers? Who is your favourite?

CLIVE CUSSLER: The one that always intrigued me was Magellan, who circled around the world and Drake who did it the second time. I'm a history buff, I have a PHD in maritime history, so for me it's just fun to follow. History is just not being taught in schools like it used to be. Kids today have no grasp. It is really unfortunate.

 

Q. Thank you very much for this opportunity Dr. Cussler. This interview has been the highlight of my career so far.

CLIVE CUSSLER: (Laughing) You're welcome, Mr. Levesque. I'm sure you will have much bigger highlights in the future.

(excerpted from Time2watch.com)

 
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