Marvin Levine | A Path To Writing
I was born on the North Shore of Boston in 1959 in Beverly, Massachusetts. Growing up I was more inclined towards Math and Science and received an Engineering degree in 1981 from
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. I worked as a Quality Manager for the next thirty-eight years in the metals and printing industries in Birmingham Alabama and Decatur and
Chicago, Illinois. I have a daughter Robin from my first marriage who is married and lives with her husband Tom in Sanford, Florida. I also have a stepson Brock and stepdaughter Kristin from my current marriage of close to twenty-five years with Margaret. Brock and his wife Lauren have two children, Grey and Livi and live in Auburn, Alabama. Kristin has three children from
her first marriage, Hayden, Isaac, and Leanna. She is currently married to Kyle and live in Hoover, Alabama.
I have always had a creative streak in me. In the second grade I wrote poetry, much to the astonishment of my mother and grandmother. In my twenties, I learned to play guitar and wrote a
number of songs. I guess I thought of myself as the next Bob Dylan, until I realized I couldn’t sing. Still can’t sing. I have always been an avid reader and made several attempts to write
during my management career, which always seemed to end quickly and badly.
Years later, two seminal events preceded my writing in earnest. The first was at my father’s funeral. In the spring of 2016, my dad passed after a long illness. In the weeks leading up to the end, I decided to give a eulogy and wove a story of past memories, coupled with the meaning of being a father. While others gave tentative, prewritten, nervous speeches, mine was the final tribute and I told the story by memory without hesitation. I thought it went well. Immediately afterwards, as we were leaving the funeral home, the rabbi came up to me and said, “Marvin, I have to tell you this. I have heard hundreds of eulogies over the years. That was one of the best I have ever heard. It was so well told, heartfelt, and sincere.” It was the first time I truly felt I could compile and tell a story to others which would actually hold their interest.
The second event revolved around my stepdaughter’s divorce. In early 2017, Kristin began divorce proceedings after 15 years married to an emotionally abusive narcissist. Margaret and I were thrilled. I started giving her bits and pieces of written encouragement during the six months it took for her to reach a separation. Then I wrote a short piece which became a parable. A single page soon became a 20-page short story. She loved it and for the first time I realized I could put a compelling story into written words.
Later in 2017, I continued to put the emotional juices of supporting her divorce to work, and I wrote my first novel, The Broken Wire. To my surprise, the story flowed easily. In it, a young divorcee discovers an Impressionist masterpiece, secretly hidden in her family for over a hundred years. Next Century Publishing published The Broken Wire in 2018 as an e-book. However, they went bankrupt the next year and the novel was delisted. I then Indie published the book on Amazon and B&N.com.
In 2019, I completed Clairvoyance Rain, my take of a Stephen King style paranormal thriller. It’s the story of a young boy whose dreams of premonitions connected him and his circle of family and friends to some of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century. This book was also Indie published on Amazon and B&N.com.
In 2019, Margaret and I retired to the beautiful beach community of Pawley's Island, South Carolina where I began to devote more of my time towards writing. I wrote Graceless in Salem, inspired by John Boyle’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies. It’s a humorous tale of adolescent love gone horribly wrong, written first person from the protagonist’s adult POV. As of now, this
novel remains unpublished.
In the summer of 2020 I began writing A Trail of Vengeance. I switched genres again and focused on a crime / psychological / suspense / thriller theme. I wanted to write a story set in my
home beach area as it presented an idyllic backdrop to the drama as it unfolds. I also wanted to use the concept of an opening with a traumatic event in the main characters lives, followed by the main story picking up years later. I sought to keep the storyline centered around one main plot line, building suspense throughout in a condensed time frame to an explosive climax.
There are three main factors I focus on in my writing. The first and foremost is to make the story compelling. The plot must be original, exciting, but also based in reality. The characters
must be identifiable to the reader, and I want them to either love or hate them. The second factor is to create tension in the storyline. I love to use chapter ending twists and turns, suspense, and the gradual release of facts to keep the reader surprised and guessing. The third element is to tap into the emotional state of each character, through both dialogue and description, so that the reader ‘feels’ the story as it unfolds.
Above all, I write because of the passion I have for turning ideas, concepts, and pictures conjured in my imagination into words, prose, and a compelling story other people will enjoy
reading. It truly gives me great pleasure to present a finished product.