Re: RARA-AVIS: Heat Wave - T. Harris

From: Etienne Borgers (
Date: 26 Jul 2002

At 18:44 24-07-02 -0400, you wrote:
>I just picked up Heat Wave by Timothy Harris. It was recently mentioned
>that it was the novelization of a script Harris himself wrote, but could
>not sell. However, the cover says it was based on a screenplay by
>Herschel Weingrod, who was Harris's co-scripter on 8 movies (and the
>copyright is Weingrod's). The cover also says Harris is the author of
>American Gigolo, which I'm guessing must be the novelization, since the
>movie was written (and directed) by Paul Schrader.

Yes, AMERICAN GIGOLO (1979) was a novelization. There was another one: STEELYARD BLUES (1972) from Alan Meyerson's film.

I still could not find HEAT WAVE, the novel among my books. But I found back an interview Timothy Harris gave in France in 1983 and reported (in French) by Franį¯Šs Guerif in Polar No 26 at the time. Harris explained the following:

"Interview (translated)
(After a discussion about how he came to write his first novel'Kronsky/Mc Smash' -1969- a book which he didn't really believe it could be published, as he himself saw it as a parody and a satire)

"Q/ You decided to be a writer... TA/ Not really so. I was asked to write novelizations, like for STEELYARD BLUES, a film with Jane Fonda, and for HEAT WAVE which was an original scenario I tried to sell for a friend
" So the confusion was in another other article I found wherein implicitly I understood the scenario for Heat Wave was by Harris.

Some abstracts of interest of the same interview:

"Q/ What about American Gigolo? TA/ I was broken and I wanted to go to London, so I needed the money. I really dislike this book! In fact, I really didn't like the script in the first place.

"Q/ Which of your PIs do you like more? Thomas Kyd or Paradise? TA/Paradise is the most realist.

"Q/ There are some authors you prefer? TA/ None amongst the crime/mystery authors. What I like in Chandler's work it's his style, his English culture serving the form of his writing. I'm more attracted by satirists like Evelyn Waugh or Joseph Kennedy O'Toole.

"Q/ During the last few years you didn't publish anything TA/ That's because I write scripts. To write books takes too much of my time, with an unsatisfactory result.


E.Borgers Hard-Boiled Mysteries

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