Warren Murphy's first jobs in life were working 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 says, "and became a novelist."
That was back in the last century, and after some 200 books and several threatened retirements later, he is still at it. Now he is moving full-bore into the world of electronic publishing. Murphy has collaborated with his sons in forming 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 threatened to be 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 is 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 would include:
- 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 have 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."
He has served on the board of the Mystery Writers of America, and also has been 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 is also a member of the Adams Roundtable, a New York writers' group, whose members also include Mary Higgins Clark, Peter Straub, Susan Isaacs, Lawrence Block, Harlan Coben, Judith Kelman, Mickey Friedman, Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Justin Scott, Stanley Cohen and Whitley Strieber, and who occasionally produce mystery anthologies.
Murphy now lives in Virginia, and says he can be found at his desk or on the golf course. He has five children. Most of them, he says, "wash up pretty well."
His website is http://www.warrenmurphy.com, where he is currently writing a blog on how to write a book.