The origins of a unique character like Robert McCall and the world he occupies as The Equalizer are elusive.
A writer's inspiration generally comes from the totality of one's experiences, the evolution of perspectives, and from one's observation of the world around us.
In these pages, I'll try to provide you with some notion of the inspiration behind The Equalizer.
I have no idea where this will lead us or what I will write here...
But if Robert McCall intrigues you as he still does me more than two decades after he first sprang from my own elusive imagination and onto television screens in millions of living rooms around the world, together we may discover the truth of...The Equalizer.
I'll do my best to post here regularly, and I may ramble a bit, but please forgive me; such is the nature of exploration.
I hope you'll enjoy...and if you have unanswered questions, just reach out to me here, and I'll do my best to respond.
What Book Am I Writing Today?
When I set out to write my Equalizer novel and its sequel, Killed in Action, it took all of my energies and creative skill, such as they were, to complete them. I had been asked by my editor at St. Martin’s Press to finish the first Equalizer novel in five months, and the second one in (read more...)
A New Addition to the Library...
2018 was an incredibly busy and productive year for me, and it doesn't look like 2019 is going to be any more "restful" for this writer. As many of you know, I've been hard at work laying the groundwork for a third Equalizer novel, as well as my memoir One More Thing, Sir, which I hope to have in your hands for summer reading fun. But over the last months of this past year, I've been hard at work on a true labor of love (read more...)
The Equalizer 2: A Box Office HIT!
On July 20th, The Equalizer 2 starring Denzel Washington released in movie theaters nationwide. The Columbia Pictures release promptly soared to #1 at the box office. This was on one of the most competitive weekends of the summer, going up against other major releases like Mama Mia! Here We Go Again. And any time you go up against Meryl Streep (read more...)
Plays, Screenplays, Television, Novels: Which Is More Fun?
Because I have a fairly unique background as a writer of plays, televisions series, feature films, and novels, people frequently ask me which literary form I prefer.
I usually sidestep that one with “It’s all writing, and I like them all.”
But it’s a good question and one that deserves an honest response. So ...(read more...)
My Most Inspiring Thriller Authors
The "inside secret" behind all successful writers is that they're also inveterate, almost compulsive readers themselves, and I firmly believe that the more one reads, the better one will write. The writing profession demands more than just sitting down and scribbling whatever comes to mind. It's a never-ending quest for...(read more...)
5 Fun Facts You Probably Don't Know About "The Equalizer"
Maybe you don't think it can be any "fun" writing serious suspense thrillers, so just to put that suspicion to rest, here's some "secret" trivia about what has gone on behind the scenes in creating the TV show and writing the novels. You just have to promise not to tell anyone else...(read more...)
My 5 All-Time Favorite Mystery and Thriller Movies
(First published at CriminalElement.com)
Because I've always been drawn to the thriller-suspense genre as a writer and producer, I'm often asked to name my favorite films. So...here goes!
The Sixth Sense (1999)Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), a prominent child psychologist, is shot in his home by an ex-patient, Vincent Grey (Donnie Walberg). Dr. Crowe falls to the floor with a stomach wound. His patient then turns the gun on ...(read more...)
Young Man with a Dream
I was a young aspiring writer living in London some years ago. I was writing scripts, although I really had no outlets through which to sell any of them. I had an idea for what I thought would be a killer episode of the hit TV series Columbo, which I watched on my “telly” in London. My idea involved a magician who kills a blackmailer and then comes up against Columbo, who uses his unique skill set to prove the magician guilty of the murder. I finished the story, but then... (read more...)
In the Beginning: Television
I was hired to work for Universal Studios in the late 70’s. I was a producer on the show “McCloud” starring Dennis Weaver, who I was hired to work for Universal Studios in the late 70’s. I was a producer on the show “McCloud” starring Dennis Weaver, who was an outstanding guy, a terrific person and a wonderful actor.
Years later, after I had left my first tour at Universal – I came back years later for a second tour of duty! -- I wrote ‘The Return of Sam McCloud’ for CBS, where McCloud is in London, galloping his horse across Trafalgar Square to rescue a damsel in distress!
Meanwhile, back in 1976, I had just arrived at Universal to start work at (read more..)
Hollywood: Breaking In, Moving Up
Michael Gleason was a writer/producer at Universal Studios when I started working there. He had been the producer of “McCloud” on the previous year, so I basically took over from him when the show started its 7th year (which turned out to be in its last year). Michael Gleason was the funniest, most charming guy I ever met. He had a terrific sense of humor, which he used to maximum effect on “McCloud”. He had created “Remington Steele”, which was a wonderful TV detective show starring Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist.
Michael and I would get together, even though we never actually worked together, and (read more...)
Discovering a Star
At Universal Studios, we had come to the end of shooting the TV series "McCloud", starring Dennis Weaver. It had enjoyed a great seven-year-run as part of the "NBC Mystery Movie Wheel". The very last one-and-a-half hour movie for that series was a Christmas episode I had written: Twas The Fight Before Christmas. It was the only time in the history of the TV series that (read more...)
Novels: Inspiration & Passion
A young writer once asked me how I managed to become a novelist. He had aspirations to write books – as planned to do so as soon as his first screenplay sold! The notion of writing TV and movies for him was intoxicating--one I can certainly relate to--and writing novels sounded kind of tough and time-consuming.
Years later, I thought about my conversation with that young writer. I have no idea whatever came of him, if he ever sold that first screenplay, or wrote page one of a novel in pursuit of his personal dream. Maybe he became one of my favorite thriller writers, Lee Child (I like to think so!).
But where had I had come up with the notion to write novels? (read more...)