Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin


A while back, my collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and I spent five nights documenting the phenomena inside – and outside – of an allegedly haunted cabin tucked deep in the woods in Gold Country. This being my first paranormal investigation, I was happy to be joining someone with Tamara’s experience, but I’ll be honest – I didn’t expect much. I’ve always tried to keep an open mind, and in truth, I’ve even experienced a few things I can’t exactly explain … but I wouldn’t say I was a firm believer in anything supernatural. That said, this trip to the haunted cabin definitely changed my mind about some things. Tamara and I came away with great new story ideas – and some new ideas about the paranormal. 

Now, not only can you read about our experiences in Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin, but you can listen to the whole thing, night by night, at Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre – read by Jamison Walker and Caroline Kiley: 

Check out all the episodes:

Night One

Night Two

Night Three

Night Four

Night Five

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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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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Haunted Things on Tales To Terrify


My collaborator Tamara Thorne and I were interviewed on Tales to Terrify with Sylvia Shults discussing the strange events and anomalies we experienced during our stay at an allegedly haunted cabin. We were asked to stay for three nights – which soon to turned into five – and give an account of our experience afterwards to help the owner conclude whether the place is getting a bad rap… or if it’s officially a hangout for haunts.

And here is our assessment at the Lights Out podcast on Tales to Terrify.

For a night-by-night transcript of our adventure, go to the Haunted Cabin links on my website.

Click the pic to go to Tales to Terrify

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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.


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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.

Tales to Terrify – Lights Out Podcast


In a couple weeks,  Tamara Thorne and I will be guests at Tales To Terrify – on the Lights Out podcast, hosted by Sylvia Shults – where we will be talking about our experiences at the allegedly haunted cabin in California. Tales To Terrify was named the Podcast of the Year by This is Horror. Once we have the link, we’ll post it here and on our websites at http://alistaircross.com/ and http://tamarathorne.com/

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Scandalous Interview!


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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.

Interview


Hello all,

The interview at One Writer’s Journey is up and waiting to be visited. Thank you, Penny Ehrenkranz for the wonderful interview.

Soon, Tamara and I will be posting the final night of our Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin adventure. If you want to read the previous nights, you can go to my website: http://www.alistaircross.com and find the ‘Recent News’ section on the lower right of the home page. There, you can find a link to each of the nights.

One Writer’s Journey


In ten days (January 13th, 2014) the interview Tamara Thorne and I did for Penny Ehrenkranz’s site, One Writer’s Journeyis set to go live. I will post the link here when it does, but until then give her a visit and have a look at all the author and illustrator interviews, writing tips, and other fun stuff going on there.

In this interview Tamara and I discuss our upcoming novel, Grandma’s Racka witchy novel of magic and mayhem in a small town called Milkwort – which is scheduled for release sometime this spring. Be sure to check me out at my website (The Dungeon) or Tamara Thorne’s website to keep up with our progress and recent news.

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Also, if you’ve been keeping up on our Five Nights in a Haunted Cabin posts, night four is underway and will be posted sometime within the next week, we predict. Follow the links below for the prior nights:

First Night

Second Night

Third Night

The holidays have come and gone and we’re getting settled back into the rhythm of writing. We expect to have a busy 2014, filled with the release of new material – both collaborative and solo.

Wishing all of you a prosperous new year…

AC~

Almost There…


We’re only four days away from the cover reveal for the collaborative novel Tamara Thorne and I are working on. Currently, the artwork is done, and it is just going through some minor revisions. Also on Monday, my website – which I am lovingly referring to as The Dungeon – is going live.

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions for the Ask Alistair page. I’m pretty sure I got them all answered, and they will be up as soon as the site is live.

~Alistair~

P.S. ~ Night three of our adventures in the allegedly haunted cabin is coming up very soon, so keep an eye out for it…

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


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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.

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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~

The Arts and Entertainment Magazine & THE EERIE DIGEST


Earlier this month, I was honored when The Arts and Entertainment Magazine & THE EERIE DIGEST approached me and invited me to do an interview for their November issue. They asked me lots of unique questions about writing, horror, and working with Tamara Thorne. I had a good time doing it. Click on the link above to read about it.

Meanwhile, I am on the coast of California, soaking up the atmosphere and preparing to head to dinner with Tamara. The stay at the cabin was an adventure to be sure, and as soon as I am back home (with the dozen or so new storylines we hope to write one day) she and I will post about it more in depth.

~Alistair~