Blackwood pens new book

Published 2:30 pm Saturday, May 16, 2009

Clive Cussler has collaborated with Grant Blackwood, former Austin resident, on a new book.

“Spartan Gold” is the first Cussler-Blackwood collaboration now on sale.

Blackwood, the son of a former Hormel Foods Corp. executive, moved to Austin with his family in 1977 and lived here for seven years.

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After reading a non-fiction book by Cussler when he was 18, Blackwood caught the fiction-writing bug.

He is a U.S. Navy veteran who spent three years aboard the guided missile frigate as operations specialist and pilot rescue swimmer.

His first novel “The End of Enemies” was a finalist in the 2002 Minnesota Book Award competition in the category of popular fiction. That was followed by “The Wall of Night.”

Cussler is an international best-selling author whose Dirk Pitt character and the agency he serves, National Underwater and Marine Agency, have been immortalized in dozens of Cussler’s novels.

NUMA is an actual organization which is funded by royalties from Cussler’s books.

In Blackwood’s books, the hero is Briggs Tanner, whom the author puts through the paces of international political intrigue and adventure.