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.

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Scary Christmas to All…


Merry Christmas morning everyone. It is after five a.m. here and I’ve been up all night wrapping gifts while Pawpurrazzi – my feline accomplice – pawed at the tape dispenser, played in the curtains, and finally fell into a peaceful slumber on my lap.

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I’ve heard the stores on Christmas Eve are a frenzied mess, and yesterday, I found those rumors to be true. I spent a deplorable hour or two squeezing through the cluster of shoppers only to find that everything I was looking for was already sold out. I have never gone shopping the day before Christmas before, and of this I’m certain: I never will again. I despise stores enough as it is, but unfortunately, I was completely unprepared for the holidays this year. It’s been terribly busy with writing, getting the Alistair Cross website up, and dealing with a backlog of general marketing events.  But, for my Christmas Eve gifts – a tradition we observe every year – I received the American Horror Story: Asylum series on DVD – which I am a huge fan of – and some much-needed new household items, and some of my favorite cologne… so that soothed my mood a little. Plus, I am excited to see what I get tomorrow.

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2013 has been a year of erratic twists and unforeseen changes of direction that have, to my surprise, served to bring me greater overall happiness. I had unforgettable adventures this year and I learned things about myself and my work that have already proven themselves priceless. I’ve made amazing friends, seen fascinating places, grown substantially as a writer, and discovered that contentment and fulfillment are readily available… and – thankfully – portable. It’s been a wonderful year and I can’t say I’d change anything about it.

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2014 will hopefully be as good. If all goes according to my Master Plan, the new year will see the publication of Grandma’s Rack, the humorously horrific novel I began with Tamara Thorne several months ago, as well as the beginning of Belinda the serialized erotica she and I will begin shortly after the new year, and hopefully, the completion of The White Room, my solo project about a lusty faction of insatiable vampires and their fang-banging human counterparts. So… the workload continues… but I believe it will be well worth the effort…

I wish all of you a very merry – and somewhat scary – Christmas, and a fulfilling new year.

AC~

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~

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.

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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/

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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~

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(Image taken from Google images)

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~