Arthur Herzog

Biography

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Born in New York City on April 6, 1927, Arthur Herzog was an award-winning novelist, non-fiction writer and journalist, renowned for his best-selling novels "The Swarm", "Orca" (both made into popular movies), and "IQ 83" film rights were purchased by Dreamworks. "IQ 83" was acclaimed by the British press as one of the best science fiction works ever written.

After earning his bachelor’s degree at Stanford, his master’s degree at Columbia University and serving in the U.S. Navy where he was Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the 7th Regiment, Herzog declined the chance at a doctorate, declaring an "aversion to both libraries and authority". He worked in the Far East for the Peace Corps as an evaluator. He then went on to become a freelance magazine writer and wrote 18 stories for The New York Times Magazine. He was offered a job at the magazine to be groomed for the prestigious job of editor. But the young Herzog's spirit for adventure overtook the desk job, and he declined the offer. Soon thereafter, he became the first person to visit the Congo and write about Angola when the Angolan rebels, led by Holden Roberto, were under fire. Mr. Herzog also wrote for The Nation, Harper’s, Esquire and other magazines.

Herzog was a prolific author and well known for his works of science fiction and true crime books. He created a new genre called “near in sci-fi,” a fictional form that combines theoretical scientific phenomena with realism. He was termed the “Master of disaster.” Whether fiction or non-fiction after reading one of his books, you might walk away terrified, alarmed or astonished but feeling like you were more informed than before. He carefully studied complex subject matter and broke it down for the reader to understand and exposing the reader to subjects that were unfamiliar at the time. He was also before his time on writing disaster related novels that tackled the environment and nature before it was popular to do so in books such as “Heat”, “Orca”, “The Swarm”, “Earthsound” and “Polar Swap”. He entertained the reader with well investigated details of true crimes such as "17 Days: The Katie Beers Story", "The Woodchipper Murder", "Vesco" and “A Murder in Our Town”. The New York Times called "Vesco" “a comic epic of nonstop scamming” and they went on to say the book made clear “the sheer doggedness of Mr. Vesco’s compulsive fabrications.” Mr. Herzog, researched his subjects so well, that many news outlets often would use his expertise by interviewing him when doing an exposé on the subject matter of one of his true crime books.

Herzog was a lover of literature and felt passionate about the craft of writing. He fathered a book and lecture series called "How to Write Almost Anything Better--And Faster!" to show others how to achieve what he knew was possible. Herzog taught a practical approach to writing based on his belief that at least 75% of the writing process is proper preparation. "Discipline is half the battle," he said, "Writing is more method and organization than inspiration." The concise, painless method Herzog patterned lead the neophyte or the pro through five steps to better writing: Psyche Yourself Out; Sit Yourself Down; The Right Idea; The Write Stuff; and Read It and Weep. Herzog once said the ability to write, is imperative to a life fulfilled. A person who can't write is going to be ever more deprived in a world based on communication. "If you can't write well," notes the author, "You lose a tremendous occupational level."


Gallery

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Career Highlights

1927 Born on April 6th
1944 Joins the Navy
1949 Graduates from Stanford University, B.A.
1951 Graduates from Columbia University, M.A.
1951-65 Largest contributor for the New York Times Magazine.
1965 Harper & Row publishes THE WAR-PEACE ESTABLISHMENT
1967 Joined the Peace Corps as an Evaluator in the Far East
1968 Macmillan publishes first book: THE CHURCH TRAP
1968 McCarthy for President Campaign, regional director for Oregon – his promotion efforts helped win the Oregon primary
1968 Viking Press Inc. publishes MCCARTHY FOR PRESIDENT
1973 Simon & Schuster published THE B.S. FACTOR
1974 Simon & Schuster publishes THE SWARM
1975 Simon & Schuster publishes EARTHSOUND
1976 Pocket Books NY/Simon & Schuster publishes book ORCA
1977 Paramount Pictures distributes the film ORCA: THE KILLER WHALE
1978 Warner Bros. distributes the film THE SWARM adapted from Herzog’s book
1978 Simon and Schuster publishes I.Q. 83
1978 Signet publishes HEAT
1978 Thomas Crowell publishes GLAD TO BE HERE
1979 Thomas Crowell publishes MAKE US HAPPY
1980 Richard Marek Publishers publishes ARIES RISING
1982 Dell publishes THE CRAVING
1983 Arbor House publishes L*S*I*T*T
1987 Doubleday publishes VESCO: FROM WALL STREET TO CASTRO’S CUBA
1988 Carlton Press publishes HOW TO WRITE ALMOST ANYTHING BETTER AND FASTER
1989 Henry Hold & Company publishes WOODCHIPPER MURDER
1993 Harper publishes 17 DAYS: THE KATIE BEERS STORY
1994 writes A MURDER IN OUR TOWN
1997 writes POLAR SWAP
1998 writes ICETOPIA and THE TOWN THAT MOVED TO MEXICO
2003 writes THE VILLAGE BUYERS
2004 writes IMORTALON
2005 writes BODY PARTS and THIRD STATE
2007 writes BEYOND SCI-FI
2010 Dies on May 26th


Movie Trailers

Trailer for The Swarm (1978)

Trailer for Orca (1977)


Quotes

"To fake it is to stand guard over emptiness"

— BS Factor

"But if two’s company, three’s a crowd – and that demands the omniscient point of view.

— How to Write Almost Anything Faster and Better

"But whatever the POV, and the difficulty of forcing the action into a particular frame, stay within it.

— How to Write Almost Anything Faster and Better

"It’s also possible to have two third person singular points of view, as represented by two characters Through whose eyes the story is told in alternating chapters, say.

— How to Write Almost Anything Faster and Better

" The main advantage of the omniscient approach is that it’s the easiest to handle. That’s the major reason so many writers select it.

— How to Write Almost Anything Faster and Better

" The universal narrator knows all and can enter a character’s head any time he chooses.

— How to Write Almost Anything Faster and Better

" Understanding POV is essential, or ought to be.

— How to Write Almost Anything Faster and Better


Fast Facts

Birth Name: Arthur Herzog III
Nickname: Art
Occupation: Novelist, journalist
Birth Date: April 6, 1927
Birth Place: New York City, New York, Doctors Hospital
Death Date: May 26, 2010, Southampton Hospital
Death place: Southampton, New York
Spouse: Leslie Mandel-Herzog III
Children: Adopted son


Did You Know?

Became the light heavyweight boxing Champion of the 7th Regiment Navy

First person to visit and write about the Angolan rebels in the Congo when they were under fire.

Was known for inventing the term "Jet set."

Acquired some of his scientific information and material for his books from his brother, a professor of Chemistry and his nephew a professor of String Theory as well as other experts in their fields.

Son of Arthur Herzog, Jr. who was a songwriter who collaborated with Billie Holiday and wrote “God Bless the Child”.