110,000 Words… and Counting…


Tamara Thorne and I are kicking literary ass these days. A few hours ago, we hit 110,000 words on our collaborative project (not Belinda, and not Grandma’s Rack, but the other book).

Had this novel been content to conclude itself at the average length of 80,000 to 120,000 words, it would be complete, but as it is, we anticipate another 20,000 before we write The End. There will, of course, be some cutting, but no matter how we look at it, this will be a good-sized book ~ and that makes me very proud of us.

This story line is the one that brought Tamara and I together in 2012, so it has special meaning for me. We got to know each other plotting this novel out over the phone, hundreds of miles apart. We ended up setting it aside to write Grandma’s Rack, then, due to publishing obligations, set Grandma’s Rack aside to return to – and finish – this one. The reason for this juggling act is mainly due to the fact that Grandma’s Rack was originally intended to be a short story. And it grew. A lot.

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Also, while all this was happening, we managed to get the first few installments of our serialized Gothic Erotica novel, The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, written and out into the hands of the readers at the time we promised them it would be available.  What all of this has meant is that we’ve had to spend 8 to 12 hours a day, 6 (and now 7) days a week, writing, editing, and doing various other writing-related necessities. It’s meant we’ve had little to no free time. It’s meant we’ve had to say no to a lot of our friends and family members. It’s meant we’ve had to pull the plugs on some processes that weren’t quite geared for our degree of production. It’s meant we’ve worked our asses off. But we did it, and we did it well.

As I write this, Tamara is waiting for me in the Cloud where, after a short break, we will continue writing out the final scenes of this novel. It will be completed shortly. And after that… it’s back to Grandma’s Rack, which will pretty much keep us just as busy. What a year it has been. And will continue to be…

All the World’s a Page


It’s been a long week.

While my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, was at Comic Con for a couple of days, I took the lead on Belinda’s third installment, which we are calling Darker Shadows. I only got about ten pages deep when Tamara, having had enough of Comic Con, came home. We’ve since polished up those ten pages, added more to it, and are excited about the upcoming installment ~ probably because, like the title implies, the shadows of Belinda’s adventures are getting darker, deeper, and a bit more foreboding (you didn’t really think we could keep the creepy-crawlies and ghosts out of our erotica, did you?) and we are pleased by the direction of the story and the readers’ response to it. So thank you to everyone who has purchased The New Governessas well as the latest installment, AwakeningThe third is underway and will be here soon.

Meanwhile, on other projects, Tamara and I are in the climax of our other story, and things are getting very intense. We’re having a good time, but due to the crunch of deadlines, we have very limited time off – although I did spend the day doing photos yesterday for upcoming Belinda art…. but we more than made up for that today, I think, by kicking out nearly 5,000 words.

On a side note, we did an interview at Susanne Bellamy’s All the World’s a Page, where we talked about Belinda, collaborating, and how we go about writing a serialized novel.

Otherwise, it’s writing, writing, writing for now, and we’re getting very excited about our progress.

Thank you again, readers, for the support and love.

Till next time…

Comic Con Virgin Pops Cherry


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Tamara Thorne's Little Blog of Horrors

I have finally been to a Comic Con.  My friend and fellow writer, QL Pearce, and I headed to San Diego in time to attend Preview Night on Wednesday.  The road trip, as always, was fantastic, and we stopped for a late lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Old Town for a late lunch then headed to the Horton Grand Hotel where we showered off the effects of the heat wave before taking the short walk down 5th to the Convention Center.  The crowds were thick, but interesting.  On the way, we saw vans plastered with religious slogans and, in front of the convention hall, protesters picketed with signs about drinking Jesus’s blood and bathing in his sins or something. The Jeebus freaks were rebuked with good humor about worshiping Thor and other gods who know how to party.

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I’d been warned repeatedly that Comic…

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Dusty Pages


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What is the most blatant lie I’ve ever told?

What eye color do I think is sexiest?

Do I admire my own writing?

These are just a few of the questions Sonnet O’Dell asked me in my interview for her Meet a Writer Monday guest spot at Dusty Pages. Give her a visit to find the answers to these – and many more – questions. While you’re there, look around and you’ll find all kinds of other interesting things…

 

Belinda: The Awakening is Live on Amazon!


In The New Governess, Belinda Moorland became governess to the children of handsome and mysterious millionaire, Eric Manning. She met several interesting employees at Ravencrest Manor, including the mischievous butler, Grant, and the frightening house administrator, Mrs. Heller. During her first night, Belinda was also greeted – and groped – by other inhabitants of the house; ones who are more phantom than flesh.

Now, in Awakening, we find out more about Grant Phister, the wicked Mrs. Heller, and some of the other inhabitants of the house, both living and dead. There are more secrets than ever waiting within the walls of Ravencrest, but Belinda has one final requirement to meet before she can get down to work: She must pass her physical examination – and it will prove to be far more intimate than anything in her wildest dreams – or her darkest nightmares. Will she get through her first day at Ravencrest intact?
The erotic adventures of Belinda continue…

The second installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, Awakening, is now live on Amazon!  In coming weeks, it will be available in all other formats, too.

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Belinda: The Story Behind The Name


Naming characters is a surprisingly phenomenal thing, because, more often than not, they name themselves – as strange as that sounds. What I mean is that they tend to present themselves to their authors fully-formed; they know their own appearances, personalities, and often, they come pre-named. That being said, this wasn’t the way it worked with Belinda.

The name Belinda and I go way back, but first, I thought its historical meaning was interesting. As I researched it, the name struck me as fitting for this story line because in German, Italian, and American, Belinda means: From the Old German Betlindis, which is derived from the word for snake. Images of snakes draw my mind to the Garden of Eden scene in the bible, and Belinda’s story, at its roots, is one of a similar nature.

Still, as interesting as this was to learn, it wasn’t the reason I wanted to use the name Belinda. My reason, I’m afraid, was far simpler.

When I was a kid, I happened upon a book called The Ghost That Goofed by Edith W. Boutelle. This little book had everything I wanted in a story at the time: a ghost, a talking pet, and a grand Halloween party. The ghost’s name, of course, was Belinda. (I feel I need to note here that Boutelle’s ghost and our Belinda Moorland, of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, have nothing in common except the name.) But this wonderful little book, I believe, set the course for me in terms of storytelling, and because of that, I’ve long wanted to pay some kind of tribute to it. Unfortunately, that has not turned out to be an easy task.

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I have tried to use the name Belinda in just about everything I’ve previously written, and for one reason or another, up until The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, it hasn’t worked out. Belinda is a strong name and not – in my mind – well suited for a minor character. As for main characters, like I said, they tend to name themselves, and none of them jumped up and said, I’m Belinda! I’m Belinda! Then, on the few occasions that I did find a suitable place for the name, I was told no.

No, because it stands out too much.

No, because it’s too long and unusual.

No, because it will remind readers of Belinda Carlisle.

While I had my doubts that the front woman of the Go-Go’s really dominated the consciousness of today’s audience – and I certainly didn’t think the name was too lengthy or foreign for readers to manage – I was new to the business and I took advice easily. Too easily. But I think these things happen for a reason.

When Tamara Thorne and I began to discuss writing an erotic serialization, I knew Belinda was our girl. But I also knew that Tamara had to agree to it. After all, if she had wanted to name our heroine Gonzarella, I would not have been pleased – and I owe Tamara the same respect. We both had to love this name. So I didn’t present it to her right away. I would wait till the time was just right, then – like the snake that the name Belinda is derived from – I would strike! But as fate would have it, I didn’t need to do that.

Tamara knew about The Ghost That Goofed. She knew how much I loved that story, and when it came time to name our girl, Tamara herself basically suggested ‘Belinda’ when she asked me, “What was the name of that ghost you loved as a kid?”

“Belinda,” I said.

She thought about it for about three seconds and said, “I think that would be perfect here.”

And with every cell in my body, I knew she was right, and I was suddenly very glad that I hadn’t used the name somewhere else.

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That was many many months ago, and since then, Belinda’s first installment, The New Governesshas been released. Her second installment, Awakening, is in the last stages of publication and will be available in a matter of days.

Belinda’s is a story of handsy spirits, envy and ecstasy, the elusive hit-and-miss nature of love, and magic of the right and wrong kinds, all set in a beautiful Gothic mansion on a breathtaking estate. On the surface, it’s a fun little romp down the haunted hallways of Ravencrest Manor – but at its core, it’s a story about a woman coming into full possession of her sexuality; a woman harnessing her own power, and this new installment, Awakening, is aptly titled. This is where it really begins for her.

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I’ve never had as much fun writing anything as I have this story. It’s a pleasure to sit down to every day…  and I happen to think her name, Belinda, is just right. I’m grateful to Tamara for agreeing with me on that.

And that’s the story behind the name…

 

 

 

Author Spotlight at Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog


Tamara Thorne and I did an Author Spotlight guest post at Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog, which has now gone live. We talked a little bit about our writing processes, our trip to the haunted cabin, Belinda, and the other projects we are currently working on. Go to Morgen Bailey’s and read about it.

Meanwhile, Awakening, the second installment in The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is days away from publication. When she has gone forth into the grand world of books, the buy links will be posted here.

Meanwhile, here is the teaser and cover…

Awakening

In Awakening, we find out more about Grant Phister, the wicked Mrs. Heller, and some of the other inhabitants of the house, both living and dead. There are more secrets than ever waiting within the walls of Ravencrest, but Belinda has one final requirement to meet before she can get down to work: She must pass her physical examination – and it will prove to be far more intimate than anything in her wildest dreams – or her darkest nightmares.  Will she get through her first day at Ravencrest intact?

The Doctors are In!

The young man moved to Belinda’s left side and suddenly masculine hands encompassed each of her breasts. She went crimson. Oh please, let this be over with! Please! She closed her eyes. Dr. Akin’s hand was large, his fingers very long. He was cupping and enfolding her entire breast. The intern’s wasn’t quite as big. Both men’s hands were dry and uncallused, smooth, gentle. Warm.

This new feeling upset her almost as much as being nude. Stop it! This is a doctor’s exam; it’s not supposed to feel good!

Awakening, the second installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is coming soon!

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Beneath the Lake: On Writing Horror… and Belinda!


Our article, Extreme Collaborating, is up at Beneath the Lake: On Writing Horror. In it, we discuss our unique form of collaboration – how we get in the Cloud and literally write together, often in the same paragraph.  Go on over to Crystal Lake Publishing and check it out. While you’re there, look around; you’ll see all kinds of good stuff!

Meanwhile, back at the old Thorney-Cross Ranch, we’ve put the final touches – and strokes – on Belinda’s second installment, Awakening, and you’ll be holding and caressing her with your warm, loving hands very soon! The first installment, The New Governess, is available now!

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Awakening – The Cover


Here is the (almost) finalized cover for Awakening, the second installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belindadue out later this month!

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It’s Cherry Season!


The Awakening, the second installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, is on its way…

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The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is a serialized Gothic Erotica novel by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross. The first installment, The New Governessis available everywhere.

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http://alistaircross.com

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http://tamarathorne.com

Beneath the Lake: On Writing Horror


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Tamara Thorne and I have been invited to participate in the celebration of Crystal Lake Publishing’s official launch of Beneath the Lake: On Writing Horror. For the next few days, Crystal Lake will be publishing articles on writing horror, by authors like Tim Waggoner, Patrick Rutigliano, and… us!

If you’ve been following our blogs, you may have already read the post that is going to be published, Extreme Collaboration, but there’s more to come from us and others, so if you love horror, and want to learn more about writing it, go check out the other articles at Crystal Lake’s website.