Monday, February 7, 2011

Mitch Malone Mondays - Kit Sloane

Mitch Malone here and this interviewing is keeping me from the crime beat but today I get to rub elbows with some celebrities so I guess it won't be so bad. Today's feature is Kit Sloane who has written eight Margot and Max mysteries.

Margot and Max are in the filmmaking business. How does that work? Do you go in for all that Hollywood glitter?

Well, Mitch, that’s the interesting part to me, the basic hard work that goes into making movies. Thanks to our family members in the “business,” I’ve learned that the perceived glitter is mostly in the eye of the TV reporters and the tabloid press. Movie people work long, hard hours at their crafts and it takes approximately 200 people all doing their different thing—from writers, directors, to electricians, artists, and plumbers—to get a movie made. It’s a highly competitive business and people labor to get into it and stay in it.

You've gotten some rave reviews for Margot and Max. How did you develop the concept for this mystery-solving duo?

I liked the idea of a film editor protagonist. Editors tend to be quiet, self-effacing people who don’t like the spotlight. They often work in windowless rooms far removed from the hustle and bustle of the actual filming. As my female protagonist points out, no one recognizes a film editor. Margot’s significant other is an in-your-face, popular film writer/director. This movie business, with its often larger-than-life personalities who don’t always make good “life decisions,” force her from her wallflower stance. It’s a fun chemistry to write about. I do recall an editor who rejected the series saying, “Who really wants to read about Hollywood people, anyway?” Well, quite a few, apparently, I’m happy to report!

I hear there is a little romance going on between the two. I'm not into all that flowers and craziness but do they head to the altar anytime soon?

Oh, they’ve known each other since a brief affair in film school when Margot became pregnant and Max suddenly disappeared. Fifteen years later they caught up with each other and have been together now for nearly a decade. Marriage? Nah, why ruin a beautiful relationship! They live and work together and have raised their son, now a wannabe actor. That’s commitment enough for them.

You live in a beautiful area of California and wine country too? Does the vino and scenery help you with your writing?

Absolutely. It is inspiring! Actually, every place I’ve traveled I’ve been inspired. The 2nd in the series, GRAPE NOIR, was based on a vacation from hell for Margot and Max in our wine country. I love the complexities of the relationships between the tourists and the wine growers...a necessary, but not always convivial, mix. Also we visit L.A. often and I listen to the gossip about work from my “kids” and there’s the start of another story! And, in a nice, unintended consequence, I can logically set the stories anywhere because of the Hollywood connection. So far, I’ve placed stories in “exotic” locales, in Guatemala, Cambridge, England, and Panama and, of course, in L.A.

What's next for this Hollywood couple? Will they be coming to the Midwest any time soon? Might be interesting to do a feature for a change instead of all the blood and guts on the crime beat.

I’m not sure what the “kids,” as one of the series’ fans calls them, are up to next. I should set them up in the Midwest. They’d love it! Thanks for the chat and you’d better get back to your beat!

Yes, sure. Those Hollywood types are certainly bossy! To find out more about this mystery check out the website:


  1. I have to thank Mitch for taking the time for the fun interview! Thanks, Wendy!


  2. Thanks for stopping by Kit. I'm a little late checking in. Long weekend! Glad you had a good time!

  3. Margot and Max are an inspiration for many different kinds of families in the "real" world. (Hollywood being far from the real world, as we all know!)

    I love Kit's work--it is utterly unlike anything else out there.

  4. Thanks, Jenny, for the kind words. I love the idea of being a bit "unique" in this very crowded field of mystery writing!


  5. I just started The Fat Lady Sings and am enjoying it immensely. The concept is unique and the writing excellent. But let me stop now so I can go back to reading it!

    Holli Castillo

  6. Hey Holli,

    I'm delighted that you like that Fat Lady story. I'm such an anglophile and HAD to create a story that included merry old England, especially Cambridge where I enjoyed the most enjoyable book event I've ever done, back in 2005.


  7. Kit and Wendy, Great interview! This is such a unique idea, as are your stories, Kit. I'm really enjoying both of you.