Monday, March 17, 2014

Len Levinson Comments on BRONSON - STREETS OF BLOOD

After reading my review of his entry in the BRONSON series, author Len Levinson was kind enough to write me regarding his experiences writing the novel. I asked if he minded writing me a few comments I could use as a blog post, and he was happy to share the experience with my readers. So, without further ado...

Len Levinson on STREETS OF BLOOD

STREETS OF BLOOD came about through the following chain of events.  One day I received a phone call from an editor at Manor.  He asked me to come to his office and discuss a project.  I knew him when he was an editor at Belmont-Tower, don’t remember his name now.
When I arrived in his office, he explained they were developing a series based on the popular movie DEATH WISH starring Charles Bronson, and wanted me to write one of the novels.  Naturally I said yes due to my constant need for money.  So a contract was drawn up and I signed it.
The DEATH WISH movie was very controversial at the time.  I’d never seen it but had read about it in many publications.  The story was of a self-appointed vigilante killing criminals in New York City.  Many people thought that vigilantism was horrible.  Others thought it was a great idea, because NYC was a high crime city back then, and the NYPD seemed ineffective.
I really got into the novel because I’d been a crime victim numerous times, mugged in front of a bar in the East 60s, mugged on the subway, held up at knife point in the East Village, and a few of my apartments had been burglarized.  It was a great pleasure to kill criminals in my imagination, like I was getting even at last.  Regarding the plot, mine was entirely original except for the basic vigilante premise.
I’m very grateful for Jack’s insightful review.  I especially appreciated his comments on sex in novels.  Some writers go the straight porno route with lots of anatomical details.  Others try to rip-off PLAYBOY or James Bond.  I tried to be true to life.  I’m glad Jack thought I was successful.

1 comment:

RJR said...

Nice story, Len. Nice to hear about the old days when editors ASKED for books. And yes, we NEVER said no back then.