Paul Kemprecos

June 7, 2015

Paul Kemprecos (born March 11, 1939) has co-authored all eight NUMA® Files novels and is a Shamus Award-winning author of six underwater detective thrillers. A certified scuba diver and a former newsaper reporter, columnist, and editor, he lives in Dennis Port, Massachusetts with his lovely wife Christi.

After graduating from the Boston University School of Journalism, Kemprecos washed ashore in 1961 and began working for the old Cape Cod Standard Times. He eventually worked at The Cape Codder and, in sum, put 25 years into newspaper work. In 1991 he started a new direction in his career by writing underwater thrillers.

It was not a surprise that these series of novels one day were noticed by Clive Cussler, the Grandmaster himself. Clive was looking for a writer who could start a new series of adventures as an aside to the Dirk Pitt series. Quickly, the new characters Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala were born. Although in separate story lines, their paths regularly cross with Dirk Pitt as he is now the boss of NUMA. The NUMA Files are viewed as some of the best in this area and with the support of Clive Cussler just as successfull as the Dirk Pitt series themselves. 

Unfortunately Paul is no longer co-writer with Clive Cussler. His last novel was Medusa released 2009.


“Generally, we work out a concept together,” Kemprecos says of his well-known partner, “and I’ll start writing, trying to get pieces of the manuscript off to him. Theoretically, it’s supposed to be about a third at a time. Then we’ll get together and just talk over what I’ve done and where it’s going from there – I’ve usually gotten into trouble by the time I’m two thirds of the way through – and I need his guidance and suggestions. Then I write more and it goes off to him and he adds anything that he wants to or edits what he wants. We correspond by snail mail, mostly, and I have a lot of leeway. He’s great to work with because he has such a firm grasp of the underwater thriller. I’ve learned a lot, but still not enough so that it’s easy for me. But eventually we come up with a book.”

“Cussler gave me a jacket quote for Cool Blue Tomb,” Kemprecos recalls. “It was very favorable and he gave me another on my second book, Neptune’s Eye. Then he called me up one night and we chatted. We kept in touch through the years, and then I sent him my last book in the series, Bluefin Blues, with an inscription saying, ‘Rumors of my literary demise have been greatly exaggerated.’ Six months later, Cussler called up and said he was doing a spin-off on his bestselling Dirk Pitt series and wanted to know if I was interested. And I said, ‘Sure, I’ll give it a go.'” “All my books have been difficult for me,” Kemprecos admits, “even the old Soc books, but these are a little more involved and complicated. But the rewards are greater than the Soc books, where I really wasn’t making a living.”


Paul’s official website can be found at:

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