My fiction-writing career owes it start to the bad navigation of an 18th century pirate. For it was in 1717 that a ship, the Whydah went aground, reportedly carrying a fabulous treasure. In the 1980s, three salvage groups went head-to-head, competing to find the wreck. I was working for a newspaper covering the treasure hunt. The controversy over the salvage got hot at times and I thought there might be a book based on the story. I developed my own detective, an ex-cop, diver, fisherman, and PI named Aristotle “Soc” Socarides. He was more philosophical than hard-boiled. Making his first appearance in “Cool Blue Tomb,” the book won the Shamus award for Best Paperback novel. After many years in the newspaper business, I turned to writing fiction and churned out five more books in the series. Clive Cussler blurbed: “There can be no better mystery writer in America than Paul Kemprecos.” Despite the accolades, the Soc series lingered in mid-list hell. By the time I finished my last book, I was thinking about another career that might make me more money, like working in a 7-11. Several months after the release of “Bluefin Blues,” Clive called and said a spin-off from the Dirk Pitt series was in the works. It would be called the NUMA Files and he wondered if I would be interested in tackling the job. I took on the writing of “Serpent” which brought into being Kurt Austin and the NUMA Special Assignments Team. Austin had some carry-over from Soc, and another team member, Paul Trout, had been born on Cape Cod. The book made The New York Times bestseller list, as did every one of seven NUMA Files that followed, including “Polar Shift,” which bumped “The DaVinci Code” for first place. After eight NUMA Files I went back to writing solo. I wrote an adventure book entitled, “The Emerald Scepter,” which introduced a new hero, Matinicus “Matt” Hawkins. I have been working on the re-release of my Soc series in digital and print, and in 2013, responding to numerous requests, I brought Soc back again in a seventh Socarides book entitled, “Grey Lady.” After that book I wrote a sequel to the first Matt Hawkins book, entitled “The Minoan Cipher,” and I’m working on an eighth Soc book which I’m calling “Shark Bait.” My wife Christi and I live on Cape Cod where she works as a financial advisor. We live in a circa 1865 farmhouse with two cats. We have three children and seven granddaughters. To learn more about Paul, check out his website at www.paulkemprecos.com.
--This text refers to the paperback