Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kit Sloane's Latest: CLOSEUP




As Marilyn has pointed out in interesting, earlier posts, writers get the inspirations that fire their imaginations from all kinds of different sources. For the nine books in my Margot & Max series, I find I’ve most often been inspired by glancing at newspaper headlines. Headlines are a sort of a journalistic tease. They are written and selected in order to get the reader to actually read the article. Headlines are similar to movie trailers or previews, not concerned so much with the facts of the story, but written to tantalize the readers’ curiosities. With my latest, CLOSE-UP, however, my inspiration came from another source, one overheard sentence. Out of context sentences, like headlines, only give you a tantalizing part of the story. This one sentence l heard led to writing a 75,000 word mystery story!

My protagonists are in the filmmaking business. Margot is a film editor and her, partner, Max, is a successful director and screenwriter. I am lucky enough to have a daughter, Annie Sperling, and her partner, Marc Greville, who are also in the “business.”  All I have to do is listen!

When I overheard the particular sentence that sparked my latest book, I was visiting a set that daughter Annie, a production designer, was working on. I love visiting production studios. They are generally huge, vacant, windowless spaces, with towering ceilings, dark corners and other areas for whatever the project at hand might be. Studios are vibrant with areas of dazzling light right next to dark, damp, dusty corners. Where work is in progress, there are dozens of people milling about each doing their own particular job, and big, clunky pieces of technical equipment—the lights, the snake-like cables, cameras, computers, monitors and their operators, all clustered around the set, electronic lights blinking like Christmas decorations.

 The set is brilliantly lit, the surrounding areas are shadowy and dark. The only safe place for a visitor to stand is on the very edge of all this chaotic activity. There, we hug the walls, trying to stay out of everyone’s busy way and, most important of all, trying not to trip over a cable. It’s exciting and exhilarating and a little bit nerve-racking being in close quarters to such bustle and hustle.

On this day, I’d ended up between the main camera and the cameraman, a famous photographer known for his meticulous shoots and his mercurial personality. As I pressed myself against the wall, in ran his makeup artist, equally famous in her own right and obviously upset. “She came already all done. I didn’t get to do her makeup,” she told him. The photographer nodded. “Yes,” he said, “I could tell those are Jenny’s eyebrows.”

And, I thought, how fascinating. The photographer could tell exactly which makeup artist did an an actor’s makeup just by looking at their face. What a clue for a mystery story! So I built CLOSE-UP around that sentence: “I could tell those are Jenny’s eyebrows.”

That one sentence surprised me and sparked my imagination. It led me to create the idea of the story of certain older stars of the silver screen who create sometimes desperate and ambitious quests for 15-more minutes of fame. CLOSE-UP is an insider’s glimpse into a shadlowy aspect of the movie business. As the blurb says, “Murder? Perhaps. Mayhem? Certainly!”

Learn more about Kit and her books here:

http://www.kitsloane.net

And Close-Up is available from Amazon and all the usual places.

5 comments:

essay writing said...

Nice article! Thanks for it.

LaDonn said...

Kit Sloane, your article has me waiting on the edge of my seat to read your next book! Close Up sounds like a winner!

LaDonn Morgan

Kit Sloane said...

Oh, thanks for writing, you guys. Some books are easier to write than others. I did this one under a deadline, but I really like the way it turned out. Go figure!

Kit

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Very nice post even i would say that whole blog is awesome. I keep learning new things every day from post like these. Good stuff!

Marja McGraw said...

Kit, With one post you've managed to make Close Up sound so exciting. If a writer can make a small blog that interesting, just imagine what their books must be like. Can't wait to read it!