Warwick Downing has been in the business of writing for a long time. His first novel was published in 1974, by Saturday Review Press, which at that time was a division of E. P. Dutton & Co. The hard-cover edition cost $5.95.
His early work was mystery and suspense and brought him some great press. Charles Willeford, a legendary reviewer for The Miami Herald, rated two of his first three novels as among the ten best mysteries of the year. Major newspapers everywhere, from California to Colorado (to be expected: Downing is from Denver) to the New York Times, wrote glowing reviews of his work. Foreign publication rights were sold to major publishing houses in France, Germany, Italy and Denmark, and the books sold abroad. He thought he was launched . . . .
But it didn’t happen that way. No movie deals, no blockbuster best-sellers, and the money that trickled in wasn’t enough to feed him and his family. Fortunately, he had another occupation to fall back on: law. In the ’90s, after a stint as District Attorney in rural Colorado, he turned to courtroom drama. Of those four novels, three won the Colorado Author’s League Top Hand Award, and two were nominated for the Colorado Book Award. He also wrote a novel for young readers titled Kid Curry’s Last Ride (Orchard Books), a Richard Jackson Imprint, published in paper-back by HarperCollins. Leonardo’s Hand is also a book for young readers.
Downing continues to write. The one thing in his life about which he is deadly serious is the craft of fiction.