Why I Dig My Collaborator


happy-thanksgiving

‘Tis the season for gratitude, and although I have never enjoyed any of the traditional Thanksgivings customs, I do like to take a little time out around this time of year to reflect on the things I’m grateful for, and there are a lot of them. A lot. I am thankful to my family for their ongoing support, my friends for their love and loyalty, my kitty, Pawpurrazzi, for amusing me, my dog, Sven, for refusing to die after all these years, and my friend, my mate, my manager, Berlin, who has earned every title given here and without whom I would not be where I am… in many, many ways. Also, I am grateful to the models who allow me to photograph them in strange ways for our book covers and e-posters. Like these guys…

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Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention my collaborator, Tamara Thorne. I began reading Tamara’s horror novels in the ’90s and was a huge fan. Then, through a series of events (which basically means I stalked her), we met and became fast friends. In 2012, she asked me to collaborate with her on a novel and I said yes. And my whole life changed. That collaboration worked so well, we haven’t stopped. In 2014 so far, we’ve written two full-length novels and a considerable amount on a serial novel called The Ghosts of Ravencrest.

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Because Tamara has been so good to me these past years, I have a lot of gratitude for her; too much to just say, “Thanks for everything…” and I’m not sure I have ever really properly thanked her. So here is a list of reasons I’m thankful for her. These are the reasons I adore this woman.

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1. She trusts my writing. For someone who precedes me by almost 20 years in the publishing business, she might easily  insist on doing things her own way, but she doesn’t.

2. She shares the same vision as me. We’re almost always going the same direction and I love that.

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  1. She loves my kitty almost as much as I do!
  1. She’s loyal. After all this time, she hasn’t once tossed me aside, thrown me over for someone more interesting, or made me feel irrelevant. Even in the presence of some truly amazing people, she’s never treated me like a second-class citizen.
  1. There is no drama. Ever. Period.
  1. She loves my characters. She invests in my fictional creations and flatters me endlessly by delighting in them as much as I do.

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  1. She respects my time and space. She doesn’t interfere or impose.
  1. She wants me to succeed. That is more rare than many of you might realize.
  1. She is a hobbit. I think she’s only like 4 foot 9 or something, and that is funny. (Okay, she’s 5’2” but, whatever. I like to tell her she’s 4’9”.)

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  1. She doesn’t have to be the teacher. She respects me as a writer in my own right and gives me credit for having practical sensibilities. She trusts my senses of ethics, business, and creative direction. And she’s secure enough in her own intellect to be teachable.
  1. She knows the most amazing people… and she introduces me to them. Seriously. I have met some truly incredible folks. Writers, agents, editors, entertainers, film directors… she knows some really awesome people.
  1. She’s a great writer. She writes by instinct, not formula. She’s a natural-born and that keeps her writing fresh, unpredictable, and engaging.
  1. She’s an excellent researcher. Before she starts a story, she digs in, gets her hands dirty, and makes sure she knows what she’s writing about. I admire this in a writer.

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  1. She’s hilarious. Her sense of humor – and lack of gloom and self-pity – is constant and uplifting. On and off the page, she knows how to make me laugh.
  1. There is no competition between us. There are no games, no popularity contests, no bullshit; just a consistent genuine resolve that we succeed, both as individuals and as a unit.
  2. She’s a great radio show co-host. I wouldn’t do Haunted Nights LIVE! without her.

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The Best Christmas Ghosts on Television


Christmas Ghosts!

Thorne & Cross

You know what our favorite thing about Christmas is? TV of course!! And ghost stories.

Ghosts and Christmas go together like weenies and beans. Soap and towels. Cat pee and Grandma. Brain-death and DirectTV. Puberty and shame. Prom and a bucket of blood.

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Christmas is tied to ghosts almost as strongly as Halloween, thanks only in part to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Christmas arrives as the year dies. Morning arrives late, night falls early, life is at its lowest ebb… as are our attention spans and tolerance for long-winded, meandering stories about the human heart’s capacity for love, forgiveness, and kindness. And for this utter lack of patience, we blame Charles Dickens. Thanks, Chuck!

But imagine it’s just a century or two ago, and you’re sitting by the hearth on a cold winter’s night, the only illumination coming from the the fire, the lanterns,  candles and the monks…

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Christmas Spirits


Coming soon…

Thorne & Cross

Christmas Spirits… coming soon…

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Winter, 1788, the festival on the frozen Thames River.

Baronet Edward Manning and Lady Alice have brought their children, Prudence and Parnell, to London to enjoy the Frost Fair and visit their uncle, Sir Thomas. When tragedy strikes, the Mannings return to Ravencrest where the family doctor can see to their injured son. But no matter what Dr. Lanval does, the young master’s health continues to decline, and soon, the doctor begins to suspect darker forces are at work. Arcane forces.

When a hex bag is discovered under his patient’s bed, Dr. Lanval and Sir Thomas set out on a race against time to catch the spellcaster and try to save Parnell. As Christmas Eve approaches, things have improved and the Manning’s begin their celebrations. Father Christmas arrives… but on his heels comes a new kind of darkness that will forever cast its ominous shadow over…

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New York Times Bestselling Horror Author, Douglas Clegg, joins us Tonight at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!


New York Times Bestselling Horror Author, Douglas Clegg, joins us Tonight at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!

Thorne & Cross

Tonight’s the night!

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Tonight on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, we’re interviewing New York Times best-selling horror meister and all around great guy, Douglas Clegg.  You’re not going to want to miss this episode. Much book talk and various rude noises will ensue.

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Douglas Clegg is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of more than 30 books, including The Priest of Blood, Neverland, and The Children’s Hour. His work has been published by Simon & Schuster, Bantam Doubleday Dell, Kensington, Dorchester, Cemetery Dance Publications, Subterranean Press, as well as Alkemara Press in digital form.

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In 1999, he launched the world’s first publisher-sponsored e-serial novel, Naomi, which later went on to hardcover and paperback publication, and which Publisher’s Weekly called “arguably, the first major work of fiction in cyberspace,” and his short novel Purity was the first book of its kind on cell phones in the…

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Darker Shadows is Available Now…


AVAILABLE NOW:

Thorne & Cross

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Darkness Never Dies…

Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California over a thirty-year period in the 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold…

Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from…

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Douglas Clegg on Haunted Nights LIVE!


New York Times bestseller Douglas Clegg on Haunted Nights LIVE!

Thorne & Cross

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Expect the unexpected this week on Haunted Nights LIVE! when New York Times Best Selling author Douglas Clegg joins us for an hour of craziness.  Tamara and Doug were introduced to each other by their editors back when they were both young and supple, and they stuck together like gum and park benches, boogers and the underside of Grandma’s chair, and well, you name it… Tamara and Doug,  and their mates Robert and Raul, were inseparable when they all lived on the west coast. Never was Christmas so much fun.  Maybe we’ll tell you about it. Maybe we’ll reveal which books they kill each other in, for that matter…

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But let’s let Doug take over. This is from his Facebook post telling his readers about this week’s program:

“My big event this week (other than the big anniversary with my husband, which was Monday), is that I’m a guest with

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Writing with T&A: Getting Your Slang Straight or How to Abuse 18th Century English


Writing with T & A

Thorne & Cross

Both of us have always set our stories in contemporary times – as with Quantum Leap, we’ve kept everything within our own lifetimes. But with our Christmas installment of The Ghosts of Ravencrest, we are traveling all the way back to the winter of 1788 to visit the Frost Fair on the Thames.  And, oh, what a chunk of research we’ve bitten off.

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We began by researching 1788 Christmas traditions and discovered the Frost Fair. We absolutely had to write about that, so we dug and dug. And dug some more. Then we researched how the landed gentry celebrated Christmas and that required an even bigger shovel.

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Finally, we thought we were ready to write. We got about a sentence into the story  – and realized we didn’t know what little children called their parents in those days. We found out. Then we needed to know what married…

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Tonight on Haunted Nights LIVE!…


TONIGHT!!

Thorne & Cross

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Tonight at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! we’ll be interviewing horror author, Michael Aronovitz. Aronovitz is the author of Alice Walks, Seven Deadly Pleasures, and The Voices in Our Heads, which has an introduction from Tamara Thorne. We’ll ask him about his writing process, the first story he published, and what he has coming up next, which we can personally say is absolutely awesome.

Go to this link at 9:00 p.m. eastern tonight to hear the show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheairbookstoo/2014/11/14/michael-aronovitz-joins-thorne-cross-haunted-nights-live

Keep coming back for more fascinating conversations with your favorite authors. Next week, we’ll be joined by New York Times bestseller Doug Clegg. For the full guest list, visit my website at the Haunted Nights LIVE! page, and click on the author’s name to hear the podcast: http://alistaircross.com/Haunted-Nights-LIVE

Thank you to everyone who tuned in last week for our debut show with Q.L. Pearce. Give us a like at our…

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Becoming a Full-Time Writer


Full-Time Writing…

Thorne & Cross

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We commute from our beds to our offices without burning gas or having to dress to impress anyone but our kitties.  We have “water cooler” talk over Skype and morning beverages; a bit of gossip, reviews of last night’s movies, and bitching about getting up so early to get to work. Then we spend about ten minutes checking our social sites, followed by half an hour on marketing and radio. Then we go to our desks in the Cloud and get to the good stuff: writing. It’s what gives us the discipline to get up early even though we both really hate mornings.

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Usually, all goes well, but not always. On days we just aren’t feeling it, we often go deep into research. But most days, we write so hard that one minute it’s 8 am and the next it’s 6 pm. And once in a while – very rarely…

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The Debut of Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!


Haunted Nights LIVE! debuted last week with our first guest, Q.L. Pearce, the bestselling author of more than 150 books including film tie-ins for the Fox animated film Titan AE and the Universal animated series Land Before Time. Click here to go to the show.

Later this month, our guest will be New York Times bestseller, Doug Clegg and, in just a few days, Michael Aronovitz, author of Alice Walks and The Voices in Our Heads, will be joining us. For the full guest list (so far) visit my website at the Haunted Nights LIVE! page.

Stay tuned to Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! where we’ll be talking about all things horror with the biggest names in the business. From fiction writers and paranormal investigators to haunted spots and true ghost stories supplied by our listeners, Haunted Nights LIVE! features fact, fiction, and that indiscernible gray area in between. This show is part of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network with more than 2 million listeners in 44 countries, and we’re excited to be part of it! Give us a like on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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Be there if you dare…

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It’s Almost Showtime!


Almost there….

Thorne & Cross

Cue the lion, we’re about to go live!

Speaking of cues, tonight’s guest is acclaimed children’s author, Q.L. Pearce. We look forward to grilling her (over an open flame) about why she so enjoys scaring children. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

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Q writes in many children’s genres but is perhaps most famous for the best-selling series, Scary Stories for Sleep-Overs. She’ll curl your hairs, whether you’re young or old with her Bradbury-esque talents. (And she’s begun a new series of scary stories for kids with the first volume of Blood Moon Harbor.)

We’re going to ask her about books, writing horror for kids, and her own experiences with the paranormal. You’re going to want to hear this!

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Q.L. Pearce will be joining us tonight, November 6th at 9:00 p.m. eastern, 6 pacific. If you can’t listen live, a podcast will be up soon. Go to

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Q.L. Pearce on Haunted Nights LIVE!


Be there if you dare…

Thorne & Cross

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Haunted Nights LIVE!

Be there if you dare…

Our tap shoes are ready. Our hairspray is drying. Our guest is manacled in the dungeon being fed nothing but caviar and pickles. Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! is about to debut.

We’ve decided to interview each other about our new show since we need the practice.

TT: So, our first guest is children’s writer, Q.L. Pearce.  She wrote the Scary Stories for Sleepover series and a whole lot more. If you looked at her complete bibliography, your jaw would drop.  What shall we ask her?

AC: Let’s ask her how much her bibliography weighs.

TT: Do you think we should? That seems rather personal, don’t you think?

AC: You know how I like to pry. What say we ask her about some of her ghost stories?

TT: Absolutely. I’ve read many of them – that’s the joy of Q’s writing…

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The Bride of Ravencrest


Have you met the Bride of Ravencrest?

Thorne & Cross

Have you met the bride of Ravencrest?

The Ghosts of Ravencrest is a saga that covers many centuries of stories that all lead to contemporary times. We will be featuring portraits of various Manning family ancestors occasionally and the Bride is the first.

The Bride is one of the the many ghosts of Ravencrest. Hers is a sad, haunting tale that will be told soon enough. She died on her wedding day and was buried in her gown after being posed in a memento mori portrait which  still hangs in Ravencrest’s Gallery of Ancestors. Now she is a harbinger of death. If you see her gliding through the dark halls, searching for her lost love, run! Don’t let her catch you in her mirror…

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If you haven’t gotten your copy of The Ghosts of Ravencrest yet, it is available on Kindle now and will be in other formats soon. Go…

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Christmas Ghosts


Ready for some ghosts this Christmas? Relax… we’ve got this…

Thorne & Cross

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It was a carnival on the ice. From skating and sledding, to bear-baiting and puppet plays; from horse and coach races to gaming, gambling and lustier pleasures, there was something for everyone. Children went on donkey rides and men could have business cards made by printers who dragged their presses out onto the ice among the shop-tents that lined the frozen river. It was so cold that tree trunks split and merchants kept warm by lighting fires in their tents. It was the Frost Fair of 1788 on the Thames River in London, and it is where you will meet several of the ghosts of Ravencrest… in the flesh.

With the release of the omnibus edition of The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Darker Shadowsjust before Halloween, we realized that All Hallows’ Eve isn’t the only time rife with ghosts. Christmas is absolutely lousy with spirits, the most famous being Dickens’…

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Readings, Photos, and an Interview with Belinda!


Today Tamara Thorne is doing a reading from The Ghosts of Ravencrest at 3:00 p.m. at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego. While she’s doing that, I’ll be working on the next extra-creepy photo shoot for the series’ upcoming covers and e-posters. In the meantime, you can read an interview with Ravencrest’s governess herself, Belinda Moorland, at Marie Lavender’s Writing in the Modern Age!
If you haven’t gotten your copy of The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Darker Shadows yet, go to Amazon now and pick it up, or click on the picture below.

Welcome to Ravencrest… where there is no line between the living and the dead…

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