Thorne & Cross on Halloween


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Halloween is fast approaching and we have been having a terrible time deciding what to be. We want our costumes to go together to celebrate our upcoming collaborations, but since we’re several states apart, we have to be really creative or people won’t get it. What follows are some conversations we’ve had on the topic as we try to come to the most appropriate (and we use that term very subjectively) decision on our costumes.

Tamara: Phone trick-or-treating is a must. That way, we can both ask for candy simultaneously.  I’m going to glue some frizzy red hair and a tiny clown nose to my phone so you have a built-in costume.  What are you going to do?

Alistair: I’m going dress up my iPhone with some scars and fake blood to make him into a zombie. He can say, “Argghhhh give me brains!” and scare people. I shall call my phone Tamara, and I shall demand extra candy for your sake. Then, I will eat your candy when no one is looking.

Tamara: Or we could be each other’s imaginary friends.  Or ghosts.  When we say trick or treat through the phone we’d be all OOOOooooooh Tricccckk orrrrrr Treeaaaat!  That might be scary, huh?

Alistair: Yes! The sky is the limit, really. There are lots of things we could go as. A razor and pubic hair for example.

Tamara: Or Little Bo Peep and her missing lamb, which also leads us to the priest and his missing choir boy. Alistair if we do that, you MUST wear underwear.

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Alistair: You know I can’t make any promises.

Tamara: In that case, how about the Liberty Bell – you be the crack and I’ll be the bell – our costume will be heard throughout the land.

Alistair: Let freedom ring.

Tamara: Twig and berries? You could be the twig, and I could be the berries?

Alistair: That might work. Except I’m not quite twiggy enough this year to pull it off, I don’t think.

Tamara: Holmes and Watson hunting for each other.

Alistair: Yes! Or Cher and Dead Sonny – I will be Cher because I’m taller and I want to wear the head dress and the see-through gown. (And I won’t be wearing underwear for that!)

Tamara: Just gonna tuck it?

Alistair: Yeah.

Tamara: Okay I’ll be Sonny because I really enjoy being a mustache jockey. And we’ll go to each door and sing “I got you babe,” then panic and yell, respectively, “Cher? Cher? Sonny, you little puissant, where are you?  You missed your cue!”

Alistair: Nice!

Tamara Thorne: Jimmy Hoffa and a bag of cement!

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Alistair: Lizzie Borden and her stepfather. I’ll have an axe coming out of my head, and you wear a bloody dress.

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Tamara: Sperm and a tonsil. Or, better yet, sperm and a box of Kleenex. We could make a headdress out of Kleenex.

Alistair: We could always go as Thorne and Cross. You would have to have something pointy atop your glorious head. I would just have to walk around with my arms out and feet close together… which is pretty creepy.

Tamara: I know! We could be two serial killers on the prowl. We could each be the favorite serial killer we have written about. You be Sterling Bronson, I’ll be Jack the Ripper. And we could each show a picture of the other to the houses we visit and say, “Have you seen this killer?” As long as neither of us has to be the helpless victim. Helpless victims are boring.

Alistair: I agree. No victims.

Tamara: Wednesday and Pugsly Addams. Because sometimes being sexy like Morticia and Gomez just gets old…

Alistair: Yes. Let’s not be “sexy” anyone. Yawn.

Tamara: Separated Siamese twins.

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Alistair: Annie Wilkes and Paul Sheldon. We will have to do that one when we go trick-or-treating together though, so you could push me around in a wheelchair.

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Tamara: Danny Torrance and his talking finger.

Alistair: Okay, but I want to be the finger. I hate that little boy’s haircut.

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Tamara: George C. Scott and the haunted wheelchair.

Alistair: The Changeling?

Tamara Thorne: Yes! You have to be the wheelchair.

Alistair: I don’t want to be a wheelchair. How does one even be a wheelchair for Halloween… let alone a haunted one?!

Tamara: Well, I’m not going as the wheelchair.

Alistair: Fine. Then we’ll go as Damien and his jackal mama.

Tamara: Or Rosemary and her baby – this would work especially well with the phone. We can wrap it in a blanket.

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Alistair: And push it around in one of those bassinet-on-wheel things for babies!

Tamara: Yes! Or we could go as Dog Man and Tuxedo Man in The Shining. Or Carrie and Mother.

Alistair: Yes! Or, Carrie before and after!

Tamara: Alistair, you get to be the before because you’re prettier!

Alistair: Well, that’s no fun. I can wear a pink prom dress any time.

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Tamara: Children of the corn. One of us can wear a straw hat and overalls with a checked farm boy shirt and the other one can be a stalk with corn on it.

Alistair: What about Baby Jane and sister Blanche?

Tamara: We will need a silver tray, a dead bird, and a wheelchair.

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Alistair: Ugh. Yet again, we’re faced with the wheelchair dilemma.

Tamara: How about we just put on our long black robes and cowls and be Candy Reapers and extort all the candy from the children?

Alistair: I get dibs on anything gummy.

Tamara: Skittles and Starburst for me.

Alistair: Well, now that we’ve settled this dilemma, what should we do for Thanksgiving?

Tamara: Be The Shining twins!

Alistair: Squee!

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13 Ghost Stories by Tamara Thorne


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8 southern California newspapers are showcasing my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, in a feature of SoCal’s most haunted places. Tamara is the bestselling author of sixteen books and anthologies, and has been a paranormal researcher for most of her life.  Follow the link to find out which places in southern California have the most ghosts!  http://www.dailybreeze.com/lifestyle/20131030/haunted-lighthouses-13-la-area-ghost-stories-from-author-tamara-thorne

Tamara Thorne at Mysterious Galaxy


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It’s just hours until tomorrow’s Halloween party/book signing at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego tomorrow at 2 pm where my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, will be signing books. If you’re in the San Diego area, be sure to stop by, or if you can’t make it and want some signed or personalized books for yourself or gift-giving, just give the store a call at 858-268-4747. They have them all in stock.
Their website is: http://mystgalaxy.com/

As a fun side-note, Tamara’s were among the books I had been reading in the mid-nineties when I decided that writing was what I wanted to do. So if you like your horror sharp, witty, and a little bit funny, I’m confident you’ll be as inspired as I was. You can visit Tamara at: www.tamarathorne.com

Thank you and have a wonderful Halloween.

Mr. Cross

Writing Kinky Things…


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For their second anniversary, I wrote a guest blog post for BDSM Book Reviews where I discuss the pleasures and perils of writing kinky things, disclose my thoughts on the erotica/BDSM genres, and give readers an excerpt from Beautiful Monster, the novel that started it all.

BDSM Book Reviews is a great place to hang out if you’re into a little slap-and-tickle of the literary variety. Be sure to check them out at www.bdsmbookreviews.com and give my guest post a look-see on their blog at: http://networkedblogs.com/QqoXi

Have a safe, sane, and consensual Halloween, and remember: when it comes to safe words, simplicity is power.

Yours,

Mr. Cross

Deadly Ever After


A couple of days ago, Deadly Ever After did an excerpt from my work-in-progress, The White Room. Now, the same Undead Duo has posted four of my creepier poems in the spirit of Halloween. To read these, follow this link: http://deadlyeverafter.com/2013/10/20/haunting-poetry-from-alistair-cross/

As I read over these poems, I thought it would be kind of fun to very briefly discuss the back stories of each of them ~ in the order they appear at Deadly Ever After ~ as some readers like to know where certain pieces came from.

So… I’ll start at the beginning.

* * *

The Wooden Box

* * *

The wood of the coffin in this poem signifies the susceptibility of rot.  A wooden box would provide only temporary obstruction from the open air and the insects that hurry decomposition along.  The coffin itself, because it is made of wood, represents the vulnerability of the subject within it, which in this case, is a dead woman.  And she is the ego personified.  The red dress she wears signifies passion, lust, fire, appetite; dangerous indulgences.  So, “The Wooden Box” is about the fragility and death (wood coffin) of the ego (the woman) at the hands of its own passions (the red dress). Notice that while the ego may be present, its passions can be removed, much like a “red dress” can be removed.  Clothes are no more an actual part of who we are than our ego’s fleeting desires.

In this poem, every physical quality that the woman possesses is mediocre at best… however, there is a contrasting adulation behind every truthful description, i.e. “she wasn’t really beautiful/BUT she exuded such a grace”.  That’s how the ego works… it is a dishonest thing.

* * *

My Lover’s Face

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            My Lover’s Face is about how we “freeze” someone into the past.  This poem is saying “Let it go… people learn and grow as they go along… let them”.  It is about how we, if only in our own minds, hold a person to the things they did five or ten or twenty years ago.  An individual is not the same person they were that many years ago.

* * *

Dark Hotel

* * *

So, the “Dark Hotel” story is a recurring dream I have had for as long as I can remember.  I don’t know what the dreams means, but I would love to have it interpreted.  The feeling I always wake up with after the dream is one of hopelessness and resignation, so I assume it is representative of some sort of loss, but I am not an expert. I have written several poems about dreams I have had, and of my “dream poems”, Dark Hotel is probably my favorite. It is all true, and I tried to get every image from the dream into this poem.

* * *

I, Madman

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            This is a very old poem. On one hand, I wrote this in honor of a dear friend of mine who died abruptly in 1994 at the very tender age of seventeen.  On the other hand, I wrote it in regard to the guilt of never having said goodbye.  I was living in New Mexico at the time of the death and was unable to fly back home for the funeral.  I really believe that I went a little crazy during that time, and that is where the final facet of this poem comes into play: the “Madman” part of it all. Also, there is an old horror movie titled, “I, Madman,” and although I hadn’t seen the movie when I wrote this, I loved the title and wanted to use it. Fuse these things together and the result is this poem.  It’s messy, confusing and opaque… but then, so was I at the time I wrote it.

* * *

Thanks all, and have a great Halloween. It’s a-comin’…

Mr. Cross

The White Room


Anyone  who’s been around me in the past several years has probably heard me talk about “The White Room.” The White Room is a manuscript I began way back in 2006. It’s a vampire novel that touches on addiction, family loyalty, redemption, and even dabbles a little in BDSM.

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In 2006, the idea struck me, and I immediately began writing it. However, I got a virus on my computer ~ the clap, I think ~ and in those days didn’t realize the importance of backing up my material. I ended losing close to 100 pages of progress. After a nine month period of being too devastated to even think about it, I began it again, and managed to get it completed in about four months. I probably got through it so fast because I met an agent from New York who had taken an interest in the idea… so I wrote my ass off to get it to her by the end of 2010.

She didn’t take it. And neither did about 150 other literary agents. It did, however, receive a fair deal of interest from several houses and agents, and after some very almost-acceptances and a little constructive feedback that I agreed with, I realized that underneath it all, there was a very good story in there.

Then, in 2012 Beautiful Monster was accepted for publication. Everything came to a bit of a halt then as the focus became edits and deadlines. I was swept away with elation, and I enjoyed every minute of it… but my mind kept going back to one place: The White Room. I don’t know what it is about this book, but I just can’t seem to let go of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Beautiful Monster and I will always be very proud of it. But The White Room… I refuse to die until this book gets published. It’s special… and it has the potential to be very good. It means something to me that I can’t explain.

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So, I got honest with myself and took a hard, long look at the manuscript. There were some problems. Loose ends. Unneccessary characters. Events that lead nowhere, and perhaps most of all, this was not the kind of story I could tell in the first person point of view ~ which is what I had done up till that point. There were too many layers and angles of approach to limit the storyline with one perspective. So… I learned how to write third person real fast.

There were two agents and 2 houses that outright offered to take this book if I did some serious re-writes, and a small handful of folks who’ve basically said, “Sounds interesting. Polish that bitch up and we’ll give her a look-see.” I am paraphrasing, of course, but you get my drift.

Naturally, I knew this book needed to be written, and, well, entirely re-written. So that’s what I’ve done, and I am currently approaching the half-way mark. It’s a very different animal than it was the first time around, but I have been adamant that it’s integrity remain intact.

Currently, due to time restraints, I have put The White Room on a temporary hold. I’ve done this because I was asked to collaborate with Tamara Thorne… by Tamara herself, and well, you don’t say no to something like that. And I simply can not juggle two projects right now. But we are having a blast on our current project and are hoping to have it finished by the year’s end.

And I will, after this, go back to The White Room.

The reason I say all this is because a few weeks ago, I was asked to take part in “Flash Fiction Friday” on Deadly Ever After… and I chose an excerpt from The White Room  as my piece. I have never shared any of this story online before, and even though what is posted is far from the final draft, I feel good about exposing a little piece of this story.

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Thank you, Julie Hutchings, and everyone else at Deadly Ever After for asking me to participate.

To check it out, follow this link: http://deadlyeverafter.com/2013/10/18/flash-fiction-friday-the-white-room-excerpt-from-alistair-cross/ and be sure to give these guys a follow. They rock.

Have a spooktacular weekend and such.

Till next time…

~AC~

Tamara on Defending the Pen


Hello, all.

The other day I shared the link to my Halloween feature on Defending the Pen. Tonight, I am sharing my collaborator’s (Tamara Thorne.) Give it a look-see and find out why I adore this woman so much. She’s a scream. And, her answers kinda cross-pollinate my own.

Good times.

Tamara Thorne on Defending the Pen: http://yolandarenee.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-soroity-of-horror.html (If you missed mine, just scroll down and you’ll find it just beneath Tamara’s.)

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Tamara Thorne with her latest release, The Sorority, available at bookstores everywhere

Until next time…

~A.C.~