The End Is Upon Us


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If you had told me ten years ago, when I really got serious about this writing thing, that I would one day write a novel with Tamara Thorneone of my longtime horror heroes – I would have scoffed, chortled, guffawed and otherwise vehemently disbelieved you. But as I’ve always said, life has a curious way of providing you with what you actively seek, and today, that is exactly what happened. Tamara Thorne and I have just finished our novel. We have written the final words. The first draft is complete. Weighing in at a staggering 171,486 words, the story wrapped itself up at 7:15 pm today.

We started this book about four months ago while finishing up the first draft of another horror novel called Grandma’s Rack. We took this sudden sharp turn for a few reasons. First, Grandma’s Rack needed to sit a while so we could return to it with fresh eyes before finalizing it. We’d hit it hard and fast and both felt it needed some air. Then, another writing prospect emerged, one with a deadline, and one that would – as the fates would have it – fulfill the initial story line Tamara and I discussed when we first decided to write together.

Although, for professional reasons, I can’t say much about this book’s plot, I can say that it was inspired by our experiences during the five nights we spent at an allegedly haunted cabin in California’s gold country a while back (you can read a night-by-night account of that here). I can also say that this novel includes a character of mine who was developed in 2011, during the writing of Beautiful Monster, that I haven’t, until now, been able to find a home for. He fits nicely into this book.

As for the process, these have been the most demanding circumstances I’ve written under. For four months, we’ve worked eight to twelve hour days, six – and more recently – seven days a week, and the rigid time crunch hasn’t been the only factor contributing to the intensity. This plot is complex – more intricate than anything I’ve written. It’s character-dense with upward of a dozen major players, each with his or her own story, and each requiring enough stage time to tell it.

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I’ve had to learn how to weave multiple threads, fuse varying subplots, and play puppet master to a slew of characters with intertwining story lines. I’ve loved every minute of it, even though the whole thing has been painstakingly meticulous. Even the setting is complex – a small California resort town that we built one character, one tiny life-like detail, at a time. Admittedly, it’s the kind of place I’d love to live in – minus all the violence and depravity, of course – but this kind of world-building is mentally taxing and surprisingly exhausting. However, I am by no means complaining. This is the kind of novel I’ve always wanted to write.

This book has taught me more about writing than anything else ever has. Ever. And I’m learning from the best. Tamara, who is a veteran to this lifestyle, has surfed the waves smoothly and without visible distress. I, on the other hand, am cranky, fatigued, and at this point, brain dead. But we did it, and ridiculously, as we neared the end, I think we both felt a little twinge of sadness. Even though we intend to write together more in the future, this is the last time it will ever be the first time we wrote a book together. I will treasure this for the rest of my life.

Now that the book is written, we begin the process of cutting and revising. Given its tremendous length, this will be an interesting task, but we will nip, tuck, and tighten by any means necessary in order to sculpt this story into the finest, most powerful version of itself possible, and I know we will be fine.

Due to the particular publishing process of this book, I have no idea when it will be released, but as soon as finishing touches are complete, we will be sending it to the editor, and then we will be returning to, and finishing off Grandma’s Rack, which will be available by the end of this year. In the interim, we’re working on the third installment of Belinda, which will be undergoing some favorable changes that will be apparent with the new release.

In closing, I want to thank everyone around me for supporting this project and respecting my inability these past weeks to do anything but sit in front of my computer and write, write, write. I still have a lot to do, and it will be a while before I have a lot of free time, but I will have a little more of it after a few more weeks. I think, anyway…

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On Writerly Wednesday


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My feature at Writerly Wednesday, where I discuss Beautiful Monster – co-authored under the pen name Jared S. Anderson – is up at: http://networkedblogs.com/VvZmd

And for all other features and interviews visit me at: http://alistaircross.com/ at the Media page.

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Halloween News


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Happy Halloween!

I will be featured and interviewed in the November 11th issue of The Arts and Entertainment Magazine & THE EERIE DIGEST, where I will be discussing my collaboration with Tamara Thorne, my influences, Beautiful Monster, and the horror genre in general. I will post the link to the interview when it goes live. Till then, check them out at: http://www.taem.us/ and read about the other folks they’ve been showcasing, such as actress Jona Xiao, film composer Cory Perschbacher, and Sons of Anarchy actress Eileen Grubba. I will be in VERY good company!
Also if you didn’t see Tamara Thorne’s feature on thirteen haunted places in southern California, check it out here: http://www.dailynews.com/lifestyle/20131030/las-haunted-old-zoo-13-ghost-stories-from-author-tamara-thorne
This is just one of the eight newspapers her article made the front page of. Very interesting (and spooky) stuff.

Have a safe and happy holiday, and although this is the best (and most important) day of the year, remember to add a little Halloween to the other 364.

Haunt on…

~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

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~

A Review, a Release, and a Reminder


Good evening, Cross Talkers,

Trisha at Delisha’s Place recently did a review for Beautiful Monster. Read it here: http://delisha1964.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/review-beautiful-monster/#comments and be sure to give this very sweet lady a follow. If you love all things words, books, and more words, you’ll dig her. I promise.

Also, the project I’ve been working on with Tamara Thorne is coming along nicely, and it is my sincerest hope that it will be available to purchase by the new year… or sometime very shortly after… but we’re aiming for the end of this year. I’m getting terribly excited as we move toward the climax. The tension is building, the suspense is rising, and things are getting nice and sticky for the characters.

As we near its release, Tamara and I will be revealing a bit more about it. We’ve pretty much kept the thing under wraps since the beginning, but we’re getting anxious to expose ourselves a little more.

With that mental image firmly planted, be well, keep reading, and ~ just a friendly Halloween reminder ~ if it isn’t wrapped, don’t put it in your mouth.

Yours,

Mr. Cross

www.facebook.com/crossalistair

P.S. ~ I have several other interviews, guest blog posts, and Halloween features coming up this month, which I will post here, so stay close.

Halloween Coupons!


Happy October, Cross Talkers,

Damnation Books and Eternal Press are celebrating October with a 50% off promo code good on their websites all month. So if you haven’t gotten your copy of Beautiful Monster, enter 31Halloween2013 at checkout. It’s good until November 1st on both Eternal Press http://www.eternalpress.biz and Damnation Books http://www.damnationbooks.com.

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All best,

Mr. Cross

http://www.facebook.com/crossalistair