Warren Murphy (1933–2015) once worked on a pig farm, then as a movie usher, a sequin polisher, a public relations man for a brothel, a newspaper editor and a Democratic politician in Jersey City, New Jersey. "And then I went bad," he said, "and became a novelist."
And what a novelist! After 200 books, and despite several threatened retirements, Warren continued writing until his final days. Always a futurist, he moved full-bore into the world of electronic publishing, and, with his sons, formed his own publishing company, Destroyer Books.
Murphy is probably best known for the Destroyer series, which he created with the late Dick Sapir. With over 150 books and worldwide sales of over 50 million copies, the series is one of the longest-running and bestselling series of all time. The books were made into a movie, "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins" (a second movie is in the works), a TV pilot, as well as more film and TV rip-offs than anyone could ever imagine.
Called "a mentor and teacher to a whole generation of crime and thriller writers" by Encyclopedia Mysteriosa, Murphy was no one-trick pony. The St. James Guide to Mystery Writers states that "The breadth of Murphy's talent staggers the imagination. Comic detectives, caper novels, large suspense novels, sword and sorcery spy novels, and locked room mysteries, together with short stories, comic books, movies, and countless collaborations do not even begin to mark the parameters of his creative genius...Murphy is the professional's professional, with work of consistently high quality."
Some of the other work on Murphy's resume includes:
The Trace series
The Digger series
The Razoni and Jackson series
Not to mention Leonardo's Law, Ceiling of Hell, Grandmaster, The Forever King (those last two written with Molly Cochran), along with dozens of other works.
His books won ten national awards, including a pair of Edgars® from the Mystery Writers of America, two Shamus winners from the Private Eye Writers of America, and countless nominations.
In Hollywood, he wrote The Eiger Sanction, starring Clint Eastwood, as well as Lethal Weapon II. His Trace books inspired the TV show "Murphy's Law,” starring George Segal and Maggie Han.
He served on the board of the Mystery Writers of America, and was a member of the Private Eye Writers of America, the International Association of Crime Writers, the American Crime Writers League, and the Screenwriters Guild.
Murphy was also a member of the Adams Roundtable, a New York writers' group, whose members also include Mary Higgins Clark, Susan Isaacs, Lawrence Block, Harlan Coben, Judith Kelman, Mickey Friedman, Justin Scott, Stanley Cohen and Whitley Strieber, and who occasionally produce mystery anthologies.
Murphy has five children. Most of them, he said, "wash up pretty well."
His website is www.warrenmurphy.com, where you can find free lessons on how to write a book.