More About the Author
Hello. I'm Clifford Irving, author of many books. "Daddy's Girl," the story of some bizarre Houston murders and the ensuing trials, is the # 1 best seller in the Amazon Kindle category of Courts and Law. My novels, "Final Argument" and "Trial," keep moving around in the list of Kindle's top ten best-sellers in Legal Thrillers. "The Angel of Zin" is currently Kindle's # 1 in Historical Thrillers and also # 1 in American-Jewish literature.
My epic novel, "Tom Mix and Pancho Villa," received unanimous 5-star media reviews that any writer would kill for. Readers love it. But it sells few copies -- aficionados are an exclusive club. Yet on my gravestone I would be proud if these words were carved: "Author of TOM MIX & PANCHO VILLA."
Try the book on Kindle or Nook. If you don't really like it, let me know and I'll send you a check for whatever you paid for it. (I can't make the same offer for hardback copies because they are rare; when I last looked they were selling for $80 and up.)
I've had a long and event-filled life. I traveled twice around the world before most people living in it today were born, stood guard in an Israeli kibbutz, crewed on a 56' three-masted schooner that sailed a stormy Atlantic from Mexico to France, and one spring I lived on a houseboat on Dal Lake in Kashmir from where I rode horseback into Tibet.
Later I was on the cover of Time Magazine and got thrown into federal prison for writing the hoax "Autobiography of Howard Hughes," which pilloried Richard Nixon (among other notables). A few years ago Lasse Hallström made a movie about that part of my life, Richard Gere played me. The movie wasn't particularly good and it was horribly inaccurate.
Growing up as a roller-skating, comic book-trading Manhattan street kid, I studied painting at the High School of Music & Art, then continued on to Cornell University where I chased unconquerable Ivy League coeds, rowed on the crew, wrote romantic poetry, decided I wasn't a great artist and instead determined to become a great writer.
After working as a copy-boy for the New York Times, in 1953 I sailed to Europe to turn dream into reality. I hiked from France to Spain across the Pyrenees; settled on the decadent Mediterranean island of Ibiza; hunkered down into the expat life (in those years, an American could live comfortably in Europe for $60 a month), and wrote my first novel.
I sent it to a literary agent in New York. Miraculously, so it seemed to me, she liked the book, offered it, and Putnam published it. Was it really as easy and as quick as that? Of course not. I was lucky, and dogged.
After teaching at UCLA graduate extension school in 1961, with Betsy Drake and Cary Grant among my pupils, I became a correspondent to the Middle East for NBC.
And I kept writing books.
In 1970, I created a writing event which turned into the notorious Howard Hughes Autobiography Hoax, Michael Drosnin, in the biography "Citizen Hughes," claimed that the threat of the book's publication caused Richard Nixon to worry so much about Hughes' accusations of bribery that the White House instigated the Watergate break-in. True or false? -- I don't know.
My reward, in any case, was 16 months in three federal prisons. Later, living in the mountains of Mexico and Colorado, I wrote 18 books that were published to varying degrees of success in many languages -- in the USA by Putnam, McGraw-Hill, St. Martin's Press, Stein & Day, Simon & Schuster; in England by Heinemann and Penguin.
Of my novel, "Trial," the Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote: "Don't begin this book at bedtime or you'll be up all night ... it's made by a master." William Safire in the New York Times called it "the novel of the year." (Bill was a boyhood friend of mine.)
Donald Westlake wrote in the New York Times, of "Final Argument": "Every part of it is terrific. What a wonderful piece of storytelling!"
If writers tell you that they're indifferent to great reviews, they're lying or dead.
Recently, out of the blue, four Italian publishers bid for the right to translate and publish "The Angel of Zin," my 30-year-old holocaust/SS novel - probably because it's a story that will be haunting us forever. ("Absolutely compelling ... a totally engrossing thriller," wrote Thomas Keneally, author of "Schindler's List."
In 2012 I self-published twelve of my books simultaneously to Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook. In 2014 I've added seven more titles to the list.
Recently I did some editing on all the books and they are reissued now at affordable prices: usually $2.99 to $5.99. That's less than a paperback and well under the price of a movie. A good read is one of the finest pleasures offered to us by civilization.
My entire archive of manuscripts, notes, journals and correspondence is stored by the Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, which acquired it from me in 2013.
I worked hard at whatever I did, and believed that I had something to say. You can judge the accuracy of that belief after you've read a couple of my books.
Check out my website: cliffordirving.com, and remember, if you don't like "Tom Mix and Pancho Villa," I'll personally refund your Kindle or Nook purchase price.
Thanks, best wishes, and good luck, some of which we all need.