been almost 30 years since Michael Sloan co-created the
TV series "The Equalizer."
the passing decades, the longtime TV writer and producer
had no trouble writing the first novel based on the
exploits of Robert McCall, "The Equalizer"
(Thomas Dunne Books. St. Martin’s Press, $26.99). The
book, available at retail stores and online Aug. 19,
hits shelves a little more than a month before the
release of a feature film version of the ‘80s TV
series starring Denzel Washington.
toyed with the idea of writing a book for several years.
He owns both the film and book rights to the character.
When he co-created the original TV series, based on a
story idea from Richard Lindheim, the studios didn’t
believe anyone would ever want to see a big-screen
version of a story they had watched on TV for free.
with writing the book, Sloan is a producer on the new
took about seven months to write and rewrite the
book," Sloan says. "From the time I started
the first chapter to now was about a year. Once I got
started, it was not hard to write on any level. I
already had his voice in my head. He was the same loner
kind of guy."
the book, McCall has retired from his role as a guardian
to strangers. His quiet life as a bartender gets
disrupted when he can’t stop himself from helping a
hooker being unmercifully beaten. Slowly, McCall gets
drawn back into the world of helping people for nothing
more than the satisfaction of doing good.
like a screenplay, the book started out as an outline.
By the time Sloan had done the final edit, the story
changed dramatically. Sloan wants readers to get so
caught up in the story they can’t stop turning pages.
If a reader has to go back chapters to remember a
character, he doesn’t feel like he’s done his job.
the book was a big change for Sloan. Its 200,000 words
was quite a huge leap from all of the TV programs and TV
movies he’s written during a career that dates back to
is known for writing and producing TV projects,
including, "Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar
Man and the Bionic Woman," "The Return of the
Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman,"
"Kung Fu: The Legend Continues," "Alfred
Hitchcock Presents," "The Hardy Boys/Nancy
Drew Mysteries" and "Harry O." Most
recently, he’s been writing the "Mystery
Woman" cable movies.
new feature film and book only happened because of
"The Equalizer" TV series. Sloan got the idea
while working as a writer and producer at Universal
Studios in the 80s . During a lunch break while working
on the series "B.J. and the Bear," Lindheim
suggested he should write an updated version of the TV
series "Have Gun Will Travel."
idea of a middle-aged retired intelligence officer as a
modern-day protector of the good became "The
had lived in London for several years, where he had seen
Woodward’s work and wanted the British actor to play
McCall. The studios balked until they tested the series
and Woodward’s approval numbers went through the roof.
Now that Washington has taken over the role, Sloan
expects the reaction to be just as positive.
for a sequel to the new book, Sloan has planted several
seeds in the first novel that could grow into another
adventure for his "Equalizer."