150,000 Words and Counting


giant

Today, we passed the 150,000 word mark on our current work-in-progress, a horror novel which was actually the first concept Tamara Thorne and I ever discussed writing together. It’s taken a few detours, but at its core, it’s the same story we created over a year ago now. We still have a few thousand words to write before the story is fully told, but it will be completed by this month’s end, and it will be a normal novel – in terms of length – by the time edits are completed.   

As we get ready to wrap it up, I’m both saddened by its nearing end, and excited for the upcoming works its completion will allow us to pursue. The fact that we can write so extensively together gives me great hope for one future concept in particular – one very long and very exciting future concept.

 But before we even start thinking about that, we have Grandma’s Rack to complete, Belinda to continue with, and a solo effort each to produce. Oh, and one other collaboration we’re both pretty stoked about, which will begin just as fast as we can get to it. But first things first.

grslugline

It’s been a good year of writing, and on that note – after much discussion and deliberation – Belinda will be undergoing some favorable changes, which will be evident as early as the next installment, due out in September. Since beginning this serialization, we made sure to leave ourselves a few possible options concerning the direction we wanted to take it, and we’ve now settled on a definite route and are pretty excited to start carving it out.

ALustyFinal

Speaking of carving things out, Halloween is just around the corner – in the shadows, with a very sharp knife – and that calls for jack o’ lanterns, candy and really good scary stories. It’s too early for pumpkin carving and I never share my candy, but I can help you out with the scary story dilemma.

Bad Things, the classic Halloween tale by my collaborator Tamara Thorne, is on sale now on Kindle for $1.99. If you’re into brotherly love of the vilest kind, nature spirits with cruel intentions, the exhumation of scandalous family secrets, and bitchy women with penchants for dead poodles, click the BAD THINGS below and get your copy.

Till then, scream on.

~AC~

Bad Things

Oh, BABY!


The latest, greatest Belinda meme from an adorable reader. Thank you, Shirley K.

a4bqd

The Erotic Adventures of Belinda are available now.

Click the titles below for the first two installments.

The New Governess

Awakening

Something Lusty This Way Comes…


The latest e-poster form the The Erotic Adventures of Belinda series

ALustyFinal

When Belinda Moorland steps across the threshold of Ravencrest Manor, she feels as if she’s entered a fantasy world. The mansion is breathtaking, and her new employer, Eric Manning, is as mysterious as he is handsome.

But after just one night, she begins to suspect there is more to Ravencrest than she was told. Haunted by nightmares and seduced by erotic dreams, Belinda realizes her new home has a dark side. By day, the house and grounds are sublime, but the night is alive with dark shadows and phantom footsteps in empty corridors. Eyes – and hands – are upon her, and not all of them belong to the living.

The third installment of Belinda, titled Darker Shadows, is underway and will be available in September. The first two installments, The New Governess, and Awakening, are available now! Click on the titles below to read them.

The New Governess

Awakening

Here’s what people are saying about Belinda:

“If you’ve finished all of Sylvia Day’s Crossfires novels and are craving more, look no further. In The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is rich, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne.”

-Sylvia Shults, author of Double Double Love and Trouble

“The Erotic Adventures of Belinda” by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross is a fun, intricate read.  The erotica is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breath-taking.  Most importantly, from page one, readers fall in love with Belinda.  We care about what happens to her, and we hope exactly what that is remains deliciously extensive!”

-Michael Aronovitz: author of  Alice Walks

“Shocking and fun!  The Erotic Adventures of Belinda by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross will leaving you shivering with excitement as the innocent Belinda breaks free of a minimum-wage hell hole only to move into a sprawling Gothic estate where her body becomes the focal point of a mysterious specter.  Out of the pan and into the fire?  Only time will tell.”

-William Malmborg, author of Jimmy and Text Message

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!

awakeningfinal

Delivered Into Darkness


Gothic Erotica by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

Belinda is the new governess and is settling into her home at Ravencrest Manor. Her employer, Mr. Manning, is handsome and mysterious with kind, welcoming eyes, but Mrs. Heller, the head housekeeper, wears black stilettos and studies Belinda with a different kind of gaze… a gaze that frightens her.

After getting through her first day at Ravencrest, Belinda fell into bed and discovered that, after dark, there were more inhabitants of the manor than she knew; lusty, restless, and not of this world, they are ready to introduce themselves – and their passions – to Belinda. How did she sleep? Find out at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

sin2

In July, you’ll find out what happens next. Join her as she explores the house, the spirits, and her own dark desires.

In the meantime, visit Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross at their websites.

applegothic

 

Hot Sexy Haunted


The New Governess, the first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is available at Amazon and Smashwords now. More links for places of purchase will be coming soon…

behauntedfixed

 

“Shocking and fun!  The Erotic Adventures of Belinda by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross will leaving you shivering with excitement as the innocent Belinda breaks free of a minimum-wage hell hole only to move into a sprawling Gothic estate where her body becomes the focal point of a mysterious specter.  Out of the pan and into the fire?  Only time will tell.” ~ William Malmborg, author of Jimmy and Text Message.

BELINDA HAS ARRIVED!


The Adventures Have Begun…

The New Governess, the first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, is now available on Amazon and Smashwords.  (We will have Nook and other links soon.)

New adventures will appear every four to six weeks. Expect serious erotica, lots of ghosts, romance, and intrigue as we put our own spin on Gothic Erotica.


TheNewGovernessLargeFINAL

THE NEW GOVERNESS

When Belinda Moorland steps across the threshold of Ravencrest Manor, she feels as if she’s entered a fantasy world.  The mansion is breathtaking, and her new employer, Eric Manning, is as mysterious as he is handsome.

But after just one night, she begins to suspect there is more to Ravencrest than she was told. Haunted by nightmares and seduced by erotic dreams, Belinda realizes her new home has a dark side.

By day, the house and grounds are sublime, but the night is alive with dark shadows and phantom footsteps in empty corridors. Eyes – and hands – are upon her, and not all of them belong to the living.

Reviews for Belinda:

“If you’ve finished all of Sylvia Day’s Crossfire novels and are craving more, look no further. In Belinda: The New Governess, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have created a world that is rich, opulent, and smoldering with the promise of seduction. You’ll be able to feel the slide of the satin sheets, taste the fizz of champagne.” ~ Sylvia Shults, author of Double Double Love and Trouble

“The Erotic Adventures of Belinda” by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross is a fun, intricate read.  The erotica is well crafted and the ornate setting descriptions are breath-taking.  Most importantly, from page one, readers fall in love with Belinda.  We care about what happens to her, and we hope exactly what that is remains deliciously extensive!” ~ Michael Aronovitz: author of  Alice Walks

“Shocking and fun!  The Erotic Adventures of Belinda by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross will leaving you shivering with excitement as the innocent Belinda breaks free of a minimum-wage hell hole only to move into a sprawling Gothic estate where her body becomes the focal point of a mysterious specter.  Out of the pan and into the fire?  Only time will tell.” ~ William Malmborg, author of Jimmy and Text Message.

Let the Adventures Begin



The Erotic Adventures of Belinda is a true gothic thriller, filled with steamy romance, ghosts, and some of the hottest erotica you’ve ever read.

First Installment

The New Governess

This morning we completed our final round of revisions and sent the first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda to the publisher.  This  first installment is titled The New Governess. It has lots of ground to cover, so it’s twice as long as the future installments. We plan to release new adventures every four to six weeks.

The New Governess takes Belinda out of the life she knows and places her in a dazzling – and allegedly haunted – manor house called Ravencrest. Her beautiful new home comes with an assortment of unusual staff members, including a handsome English butler who seems surrounded by secrets, an icy power-mad head housekeeper with a chip on her shoulder and a whip in her hand, and – most attractive of all to Belinda – her mysterious new employer, Mr. Eric Manning.

After just one night in Ravencrest Manor, Belinda realizes that the staff, as strange they are, have nothing on the other residents of the house – the ones who only come out at night… the ones who enter and dictate her dreams, twisting them into dark, carnal visions of her deepest desires… and her greatest fears.

The adventures of Belinda are about to begin…

Available in June everywhere ebooks are sold.

Haunted by Sex!


We’re proud to announce that the first installment of our erotic serial novel, Belinda, will arrive in June. It’s called The New Governess. 

Expect thrills, both sexy and ghostly.

SkinFinal

Visit us at our websites at: alistaircross.com

and

tamarathorne.com

Belinda – The First Installment


First Installment

It’s been a productive couple of weeks for my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and me, and probably the most exciting accomplishment of all is the completion of the first installment of Belinda. Yes… it is completed… and thanks to an especially haunting scene we polished off last night, it is hot.

Installment #1 , which is titled The New Governess, will be a bit longer than the rest – weighing in at about 30 pages. Being the first installment of many to come, there was a lot to cover… and uncover, as it were. But we got Belinda to Ravencrest Manor, introduced a handful of her potential friends and foes, and brought her face to face with a few beautiful and needful things, both of this world and of another.

Belinda has begun her journey… and there’s no stopping now. We’re as eager as anyone else to see what flirty fiascoes and delectable disasters she falls into…

The first installment of Belinda will be out this summer. Listen for the heavy breathing…

Visit us at: http://alistaircross.com & http://tamarathorne.com

Want a Bite?


Belinda.

Serialized erotica coming this summer from Thorne & Cross

skin1

Mr. Manning on Casual Friday


This weeks sexy reminder that Belinda will be here this summer…

B Casual Friday (2)

The Erotic Adventures of

Belinda

Belinda is an erotic serialized novel chronicling the sensual adventures of a beautiful and naïve young woman named Belinda Moorland. When she is hired as governess to the children of the handsome but mysterious millionaire, Eric Manning, she quickly learns that the kids are going to be the least of her worries.

The installments will follow her from the first tentative visit to spooky old Ravencrest Manor, to meeting the strangely lascivious staff – and several sex-starved spirits – who gradually initiate her into an erotic lifestyle she never knew existed.

Belinda’s experiences at Ravencrest will prepare her for the ultimate challenge: to earn the love – and lust – of the enigmatic Mr. Manning.

The first adventures are coming this summer. Listen for the heavy breathing…

Writing… and Riding the ‘One Day’ Wave


You know those books you’re going to write ‘one day’ but never seem to get around to? Well, for me, ‘one day’ has arrived, and let me tell you, Bub – it’s nuts. I rode the ‘one day’ wave for as long as I respectably could, but eventually, you have to get off – and for the past six months, I’ve been getting off like nobody’s business. I’m knee-deep in edits, world-building, cover art design, interviews, character development, and revising, re-hashing, and revisiting.

Tamara Thorne – my collaborator – and I have respectfully asked the publicist for a two to three-week hiatus from interviews. Not that we’ll get much relief. We have two written interviews to do and two or three radio and podcast shows scheduled for May and the rest of April. (In case you missed it, here is the podcast from last weeks live interview at Authors on the Air.)

Later today, Tamara and I will get together to finalize details for The Book We Can’t Say Much About Right Now. Meanwhile, the first draft of Grandma’s Rack is complete and sitting for a six to eight week period before we go back to it – with fresh eyes – for revisions. Belinda is coming along nicely and has become a wonderful escape from the chaos of the less pleasant things.

Belinda’s cover art – which Tamara and I asked for control over – is progressing, as well. After two photo sessions, we’ve  procured a generous handful of keepers – thanks to our wonderful models – which are being used as posters till it’s time to decide on covers. We have many more sessions over the next  months, and despite the madness of it all, I’m looking forward to it.  It’s been suggested that by adding cover art into the already heaping mix, perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. To that, I say, good. I hope so. Because that’s what gets shit done.

If you haven’t yet seen the latest Belinda poster, here it is… it’s my favorite so far.

First Installment

And a page has been added to my website at alistaircross.com  to showcase all the book covers and posters.

The deadlines are crushing. The days are short. The words are so abounding that – at times – I can’t stand emailing, blogging, IMing, or sending out a freaking Tweet. But the view of the future is vast and exciting, and – most importantly – we are on schedule.

Belinda’s first installment will be out this summer. Grandma’s Rack will come out later this year. The Book We Can’t Say Much About Right Now is running on time and will do whatever it has to do. It won’t always be like this…

Will it?

 

Podcast for Authors on the Air


Tamara Thorne and I just finished a wonderful live interview with Pam Stack at Authors on the Air. We discussed writing, our processes, and our upcoming projects.

If you missed it, here’s a link to the podcast.

tncapple1

Just a Few More Hours Now…


In just a few more hours now – 5:00 pm Pacific, 8:00 pm Eastern time – my collaborator, horror legend Tamara Thorne, and I will be live at Authors on the Air. They do call ins, so if you have a question for either of us about our work, our writing processes, or anything else, call the show at:  (347) 884-8266.

Here is the direct link to the show. We look forward to hearing from you.

In the meantime, enjoy the latest poster from the upcoming Belinda series…

10248857_10152824908843569_1072774739_n

Authors on the Air


Tamara Thorne and I will be live on Authors on the Air tomorrow night, April 17, at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern.  Come join us for an hour of fun and information about our projects. You can even call in with questions!

Here is the direct link to the show. 

10153488_10152824800293569_549385695_n

Going Down…?


This weeks hot reminder that Belinda is on her way…

10248857_10152824908843569_1072774739_n

Belinda

An erotic series by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross

Coming this summer from Avalerion Books

 

Grandma, Belinda, Haunted Cabins, and Author Interviews…


zacacspider

Before getting into anything else, I want to share a great joint interview I did with my collaborator – horror legend Tamara Thorne – at Gingernuts of Horror. We covered everything from horror, erotica,  ghost hunting, and photography to our solo works, our process, our plans, and a bit about a future novel we haven’t discussed until now. Thank you to everyone at Gingernuts, for the fun and unique questions. Tamara and I had a good time with this one.

Also, next Thursday, April 17th, at 8:00 pm EST Tamara and I have a LIVE interview at Authors on the Air with Pam Stack that we’re very excited about. I’m not especially keen on live interviews as I find any kind of public speaking worrisome, but Authors on the Air is a considerable force that you don’t say no to! The show is about an hour-long and we’re looking very forward to it. I am usually only nervous about these things beforehand. Once the show starts, I’m sure I’ll be fine, so tune in and give us a listen. It’s sure to be a good time. As soon as I have a link to the show, I will post it in all the post-able places.

 10169145_10152813443958569_836570210_n

(A promotional poster for Belinda)

In the meantime, the writing is going as strong as it possibly can. Tamara and I have been spending anywhere from six to nine hours a day, five and six days a week, developing setting, establishing characters,  composing plot, and polishing finished content. Our hands are full and we’re doing a bang-up job of juggling tasks, but we’re also having the time of our lives and are getting more excited every day to get our creations into readers’ hands.

Grandma’s Rack is in the final stages and once the last few scenes are completed – which will be done within the week – we intend to let the manuscript sit for six to eight weeks till we can return to it with a clear perspective before doing a final rewrite. Then it still has to go to the editor, back to us for any needed modifications, then finally, to the publisher. As soon as we have it ourselves, the release date will be revealed.

grslugline (2)

(Cover for Grandma’s Rack)

Belinda is plowing along and full-speed. As per our publisher, Tamara and I have creative control over the cover art for the various installments and promotional material, so for the first time, I’m putting my years of photography experience to good use. The first photo session was last weekend, and there’s another one this weekend which will include one of the male models we’ve chosen. Also, I eventually want to revisit Billy the Serpent, as he was easily one of the most natural and photogenic creatures I’ve ever had the honor of capturing with my lens… so watch for further images of him as well as his beautiful human counterparts. A great big Thank You! to Avalerion books for allowing us the artistic freedom to pursue our vision of the Belinda series.  eroticacover

 (A promotional photo for Belinda)

And speaking of Avalerion, I just received my copy of A Mortal Glamour by living legend Chelsea Quinn Yarbro.  Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is a veteran horror author and very good friend who has several books being released through Avalerion. Between her, Gryffyn Phoenix, and Tamara Thorne, I am very good company and can’t express the gratitude I feel to be grouped with these great, great pros. Anyway, I have a lot of reading to do this summer and intend to get started on it within the next few weeks, beginning with A Mortal Glamour which I’ve already taken the confident measure of adding to my list of  all-time Favorite Books.

245mortal

(A Mortal Glamour by Chelsea Quinn Yarbo. And yes… that’s a blurb from Stephen King at the top!)

Lastly, we created a logo for the Cross & Thorne collaborations. We call it The Glass Apple and we love it dearly. You will be seeing this – and possibly, variations of this – on our upcoming projects.

tncapple1

(The Glass Apple)

All best,

~Alistair Cross

www.alistaircross.com

 

Scandalous Interview!


eroticacover

Gingernuts of Horror has just published a wonderful and scandalously fact-filled interview with Tamara Thorne  and me. You’ll find out how we met, how we work, news about our horror novel,Grandma’s Rack,  and our erotic serial novel, Belinda. You’ll see news of Tamara’s  Candle Bay sequel, and my solo novel, The White Room.

We also give the skinny on how we met, what scares us, what influences us, our favorite brands of breakfast cereal, our preferences in shoelaces, and what makes us fight like cats and… cats.

And at least some of the above is true, we swear it.

The Laces Come Undone…


Tamara and I are hard at work on the first installments of our erotic serial novel, Belinda. Our lusty heroine is already thigh-deep in a sea of sensual exploits… and we expect her to go even deeper very soon.

The laces come undone this summer…

10169145_10152813443958569_836570210_n

For more about Belinda and other works, visit us at: http://www.alistaircross.com & http://www.tamarathorne.com

Belinda Is Coming…


The first photography session for the upcoming serial erotica, Belinda, went swimmingly. Here is a promotional picture from the sitting…

eroticacover

There are many more to come…

Look for the first installment of Belinda this summer!

Visit us at:

http://www.alistaircross.com

&

http://www.tamarathorne.com

Belinda. She’s Coming…


Belinda is a paranormally-inclined serialized erotic tale which chronicles the story of a beautiful young woman who acquires a job as governess to the children of a mysterious and unattainable millionaire named Eric Manning. This series follows Belinda from her first tentative visit to the spooky old manor, to meeting the strangely lascivious staff, and finally, to her initiation into an erotic lifestyle she never knew existed. Her experiences will prepare her for the ultimate challenge: to acquire the lust and love of the handsome and entirely oblivious Mr. Manning.

The first installment of Belinda is due out this summer. Listen for the heavy breathing…

Sleek.

Seductive.

Ripe.

She’s coming…

shownotes (Belinda)

Thorne & Cross Go Live!


thornedup

(Tamara Thorne)

Hello all,

The date and time for our upcoming interview is official. Tamara Thorne and I will be live at Authors on the Air with Pam Stack on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 8:00 pm EST. We’ll be discussing our upcoming projects Grandma’s Rack and Belinda as well as anything else that happens to come up.

shownotes AC

(Alistair Cross)

Grandma’s Rack is in the last stages of creation and – after we do an extensive edit of our own – the manuscript will head over to the editor. After that, it will go to the publisher who will provide the final finishing touches and get it on its way. We have no idea how long these processes will take so an exact date for release is still unknown.

grslugline (2)

(Grandma’s Rack – coming in 2014 by Avalerion Books)

Belinda, our paranormally-inclined serialized erotica, is coming along nicely as well. Belinda’s story will be released in a series of installments beginning later this summer, also by Avalerion, and will showcase a few of our favorite personal topics – provocative characters, spooky vibes, and unrelenting sexual exploits.

shownotes (Belinda)

(A promotional poster for Belinda – coming this summer from Avalerion Books)

It’s an eventful year and we’re looking forward to the release of these projects. As soon as we have release dates, we will post them here on our blogs – along with any interview links and other promotional events – as well as on our websites, which you can visit if you want to learn more about us.

Tamara Thorne: http://www.tamarathorne.com

Alistair Cross: http://www.alistaircross.com

All best,

~AC

zacacspider

 

It… and Author Interview Corner


It_cover

Today, I finally finished It by Stephen King. I say ‘finally’ not because it was a drag to read but because it’s taken a while to get through (the book is 1090 pages). I haven’t had much free time due to my busy writing schedule, but I try to always take at least one day off per week in which I do not write, I do not think about writing, and I do not talk about writing. The other six days of the week are so consumed by the subject that I think this one day is reasonable.

Anyway, I loved the book. I have to admit that near the 700 page mark I went through a  phase where I really wished Stephen King would just cut to the chase… but I stuck with it and I’m glad I did. Now that I’ve experienced it in its entirety, I don’t think any of the length could be cut without damaging the overall effect.

It is a horror story, yes, but it’s also a beautifully executed coming-of-age story with far too much depth to be classified as a mere scary tale. In my opinion, this book was absolutely brilliant, and I would recommend it to anyone. There is a reason why King is the king… so the next time you have a day off to read, I suggest giving It a look-see.

Also today my interview at Author Interview Corner went live. You can check it out by clicking on the link. Great questions, great fun. So thank you, Lindsey Beth Goddard, for the good time.

Tomorrow begins another week of writing full-force. At this time, Tamara Thorne and I are up to our necks in Grandma’s Rack while Belinda simmers to a near-boil in the darker corners of our minds. I’m getting more excited by the day for these projects to be completed and I will keep posting updates of their progress.

Hope your weekend was a good one…

~Mr. Cross~

But it can be done…


It’s after four in the morning on Friday and for the second night now I’m sitting in front of my computer watching YoutTube videos with the notorious feline stalker, Pawpurrazzi. From the safety of her perch on my shoulder, together we behold the wonders of funny cat videos, Oprah Winfrey interviews, and clips expounding on everything from the success of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, to racism in Switzerland, to the barely-remembered and very outdated music videos of Lita Ford. I especially can’t explain that final choice of entertainment except to say I think Stalker Kitty has developed a great fascinated respect for Lita’s ’80s bouffant, so of course – as any half-decent kitty guardian would do – I have to let her keep watching.

But that is neither here nor there.

The point is, it’s been another sleepless night which might have been spent doing more constructive things, but alas, was not. Usually, the degree of self-loathing I experience when I waste time this way would send me into a dizzying spiral from which I can barely pull myself out of, but tonight was different. It was different because, tonight, as I watched with glazed-over eyes while Oprah awarded each audience member with a ‘brand new totally redesigned, 2012 Volkswagen Beetle!’… I was able to (as we so often are in the idle moments) get to the core of what’s really bothering me.

It is nothing as interesting as Volkswagens or Oprah that have me buzzing till the wee hours… nor is it a sudden addiction to funny cat videos (although I do believe I may be teetering on that one), and no, not even Lita Ford’s hair – or her shiny black leotards for that matter – are responsible for my unfortunate state of awareness at this hour. These things, I’ve determined, are just new ways I’ve discovered in which to distract myself. And I am distracting myself because I’m trying to figure out how I am going to get done all of the things that need getting done.

The past couple of days have presented me with some writing opportunities that, while truly awesome, are a little scary. These new ventures in and of themselves are in no way unpleasant or foreboding, but coupled with the plans which have already spoken for a good deal of 2014 (Grandma’s Rack and the erotic serial, Belinda, with Tamara Thorne, plus my solo project The White Room – which just really needs to get done),  it’s overwhelming.

I should be thrilled and I won’t lie: I am. These are the things of daydreams… these are things you don’t say no to. These are things that could lead to many other wonderful things. But… these are also things I’m not sure I can fit into my already filled-to-overflowing, seemingly endless to-do list, and – needless to say – I spent a lot of quiet time doing some heavy mental filing, organizing, planning, plotting, and prioritizing. I also spent a lot of time on the phone today hashing out plans with a lot of different people. I assumed I had made peace with the rigor of my new schedule, but apparently, I had not.

One of the people I spoke to was my collaborator. Tamara is far better than I am in these situations, and as several of these projects include her, I was grateful to have someone with which to construct a strategy. We started at the beginning and planned out the best method in which to proceed, keeping ourselves open, of course, to the possibility that things can – and often do – change. The good news is that we concluded it was possible. It will require the sacrifice of something I already feel a great shortage of, and that is time. But it can be done. I just have to remind myself of that.

After talking to Tamara, I made some other calls. I re-arranged things, I confirmed things, I straightened some things out, and I called some things off… and in the course of about 24 hours, I came to an entirely new understanding of the way things are… and of how hard I’m going to have to work for this.

But it can be done…

The hardest part, I think, is the realization that the lackadaisical age of joy-writing is basically over. That isn’t to say I don’t love writing. It isn’t even to say I won’t enjoy it. I will. Profoundly. But the days of I-just-don’t-feel-like-writing-right-now are gone… at least for a while.

I remind myself that I’m very lucky, though. I have great support from all directions. I have the resources I need to do this and I’m not at all alone. I have an absolutely wonderful collaborator who knows this drill, and has the unprecedented ability to tranquilize my fits of frenzy and white-knuckled, hand-wringing (though rarely-occurring) dithers. I realize that as overwhelming as this might all be, it will also be very exciting and very prosperous for me. I will do my best…

And on that note, I think it’s time to say goodnight to Oprah, X out of YouTube, detach Stalker Kitty from my shoulder, and hit the hay. I’ll wake up tomorrow… and I will begin. It’s going to be a busy year with plenty of deadlines and a fair share of frustration, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun… and if I do this right, I know I’ll be very glad I did.

This is what I wanted, and I never really expected it to be easy. And I don’t think it’s going to be very easy at all.

But it can be done…

And so it will.

Sweet dreams,

~AC

http://www.alistaircross.com

 

Websites, and New Years, and Books, Oh My!


alistaircross1 (3)

The art design for my website is back from ‘slicing’ – whatever that means – and now, it’s just a matter of adding the content to the pages before we can set it live. That shouldn’t take more than a week or two, I think, as I have been working on the content already for some time now. So, as per my initial goal several months ago, I will – unless something goes terribly awry – have a website by the end of this year. I’m going to need it because Tamara and I have received the finalized draft of the cover art for our upcoming collaborative novel and marketing for it needs to begin.

Once the front cover and the “back” cover are complete, we will do a reveal on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and of course, here and on our websites. Great big thanks to Mike Rivera, Michele, Zeb, Berlin, Cheryl, and Jon for the work they’ve put into the website and cover art. You all rock. And to the cover art model whose name I can not reveal – thank you.

Yesterday, Tamara and I also did some work on our upcoming serial novel, which I blogged about yesterday. While Tamara worked on Belinda’s personal history, I worked on some of the other characters she will interact with once her sordid journey begins. I’m getting very excited about this one too, as I watch it come to life. Working on it was a nice change of pace, but our focus remains on the novel, which we hadn’t originally intended to be full-length.

In the meantime, our Haunted Cabin saga continues. We quickly found we couldn’t condense it into one – or even two – blog posts, so we’re taking it one night at a time. Night three will be coming shortly, so stay tuned. Also, my friend, Michael Aronovitz’s collection of short stories, The Voices In Our Heads, is due out in February and will feature an introduction by Tamara, so be sure to check him out. I’m here to tell you… this guy’s good. You’ll love him.

mattintro

Finally, once the new year comes, I will be returning full-time to my solo project, The White Room, while the collaboration is in edits. I put White Room on a temporary hold in order to make as much progress as possible on the current book, and I’m glad I did, as many of the plot problems with it worked themselves out while I was looking the other way. It’s been whispering my name these past weeks, and by this year’s end, my scenes for the collaboration will be written, and I can justify getting back to it.

It’s been a wonderful year, 2013, and as I look back on it, I am awed by the creative results and the turns my life has taken. I do hope for a somewhat calmer 2014 in which I can divide my attention more equally, though. As fruitful a year as it has been, 2013 was a terribly busy one for writing, which has left me isolated and well, somewhat lonesome. I’m up till all hours of the night, I sleep all day, and the warm glow of the computer monitor has done nothing for my tan… so I’m slowly learning the discipline of time management, and coming to respect it as the vital ingredient to happiness that it is.

But in the end… I think will be worth it.

~Mr. Cross~

Who’s That Girl?


A collaborative post by

Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

 

If you’ve been following our progress you probably know we are nearing the end of our soon-to-be-revealed collaborative project. You also might have heard us talking about a woman named Belinda. Recently, we’ve had some people ask us who she is, so we decided it’s time to tell you a little more about her.

Belinda is the protagonist of a series of adventures we will soon have underway. And hers is a fascinating story that we’re getting restless to tell.

Since all this talk of collaborating began over a year ago, we’ve come up with a surplus of exciting ideas we probably won’t live long enough to write, but once we finally settled on the best storyline to begin with and the writing process began, we were thrilled—but not entirely surprised—by how naturally our styles integrated and meshed to form a single-minded unit.

Of the story concepts we’ve entertained, we’ve have a few favorites, and one of these is an erotic paranormally-inclined novel. It would center on a morally apt young woman and her inexhaustible desire to learn everything about the art of lovemaking in order to attract her handsome but out-of-reach employer.  Her name, we knew immediately, was Belinda.

We promptly put Belinda into a now vast file of story ideas, and although we knew this was not a throw-away, we didn’t necessarily expect to be stepping it up to the front of the line so soon… but an interesting thing happened recently.

The publisher for our first collaboration asked us recently how we felt about doing an erotic serial for the eBook market. Sex and scary of the literary variety are two of our favorite things, so we agreed that this would be a lot of fun, especially since we had Belinda on the backburner already and a serial would allow us to do our regular writing and have some sex on the side.

Each installment of Belinda will have a different cover. From the beginning, we knew exactly who Belinda was and that only this person could possibly represent her.

385638_234452463327178_1653715907_n

The model’s name is Heather and she has agreed to represent our character, Belinda. Heather has been a great asset to us, and she is, in our minds, a dead ringer for the heroine of this story. We look forward to working with her.

In the interim, our current project has crossed that line between novella and novel, so a little extra time will be needed to tend to the recently added layers…. but Belinda will begin as early as possible in 2014. Details are being fine-tuned, but we suspect chapter-length installments will be released approximately every 4 to 6 weeks.

This is a little different than anything either of us has done before and we are excited to meet the challenge. This story is alive in our minds and we’re eager to give it wings. It isn’t the new year’s only project, though.

Aside from Belinda and our current collaboration, we will also be returning to our solo projects full-swing before moving on to our next collaborative novel. We can hardly wait!  It’s going to be a very busy year and we’re both preparing ourselves for the dedication and discipline it’s going to take to accomplish it. But with all the hard work, there is also a bottomless goldmine of fun to be had, and we will no doubt enjoy every bit of it along the way.

And for now, that’s the story of Belinda.

Meanwhile, the cover art for the current project is nearing completion, and is soon to be revealed, along with a teaser about the tale itself. We’ve been tight-lipped about the storyline and it’s going to feel good to finally be able to talk — a little — about what we’ve been writing all this time!

Collective October


Another horror month has come and gone, and as it is for all writers of the macabre, it was a busy month for me. I had a lot of interviews, guest blogs, and other Halloween-related events, and between them, my collaborator Tamara Thorne and I worked diligently to stay on top of our work-in-progress.

We not only stayed on top of it, but we got ahead… so far ahead, in fact, that this “little” project isn’t so little anymore. Chances are good this will end up a full-length novel instead of the 40-60k word novella we originally planned. And we are okay with this. We talked to our publisher earlier today, and the plan is to get the manuscript in by the end of the year. From there, it will go through a series of revisions, and probably be available to purchase by spring ~ but the point is that the length is a non-issue.

Tamara and I had a very specific vision for the cover art of this book, and luckily, we’re able to use it. The cover art is now under the knife, somewhere in the editing process, and although I haven’t seen the final product, I have seen drafts of it, and I love it. Shortly, Tamara and I will be revealing the cover (in its entirety), as well as a brief synopsis of the story, to the public. We’re very excited about that.

Meanwhile, aside from writing with me, Tamara was busy making the front pages of eight Southern California newspapers with her “Thirteen LA Ghost Stories by Tamara Thorne” feature. If you missed it, here is the link: http://www.dailybulletin.com/lifestyle/20131030/claremonts-haunted-school-13-la-ghost-stories-from-author-tamara-thorne

While she was doing that, I was working on an interview for The Arts and Entertainment Magazine & THE EERIE DIGEST, which will feature me in the November 11th issue. I’ve heard rumors that November’s issue will be spotlighting some pretty amazing folks, and I’m excited to see who it is. Till then, check them out at: http://www.taem.us/ and read about the other people they’ve been showcasing, such as actress Jona Xiao, film composer Cory Perschbacher, and Sons of Anarchy actress, Eileen Grubba.

Finally, I will soon be blogging about a woman named Belinda, who has Tamara and I very excited for the new year. Right now, no one knows who this Belinda woman is, but keep coming back and soon you will find out.

Till then, I have compiled my online October events for anyone who missed out on the horror-month fun. The links below will take you to my October events.

* * *

This was a fun little Halloween feature I did at Defending the Pen, where I talked about monsters, Band Camp, Halloween, scary movies, and oddly, Madeline Kahn:
http://yolandarenee.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-beautiful-horror.html

For Flash Fiction Friday at Deadly Ever After, I revealed an excerpt of my solo work-in-progress, The White Room, which will be completed sometime in 2014: http://deadlyeverafter.com/2013/10/18/flash-fiction-friday-the-white-room-excerpt-from-alistair-cross/

On my guest post at BDSM Book Reviews, I discuss the pleasures and perils of life behind the blindfold, and what it’s like to write kinky: http://networkedblogs.com/QqoXi

At the Little Blog of Horrors, I gave an interview about the ins and outs of writing, and specifically, writing horror:  http://tamarathorne.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/thirteen-questions-with-alistair-cross-2/

Just before October, I also did an interview for Delisha’s Place at: http://delisha1964.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/interview-with-alistair-cross/

And, also at Deadly Ever After, the feature Haunting Poetry from Alistair Cross showcases a few of my darker, more horrific poems for those who like a little fear with their rhyme: http://deadlyeverafter.com/2013/10/20/haunting-poetry-from-alistair-cross/

* * *

All in all, it was a great month, and I’m sad to see it go. Luckily though, at least for those of us who write horror, there’s a bit of Halloween in every holiday, and we have several more coming up.

Till next time, stay scared…

Yours,

~Alistair~

1175104_10151882814308255_1122886821_n

(Image taken from Google images)