Today I’m super excited to welcome Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross on Maureen’s Books. Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross are the authors of the serial novel, ‘The Ghosts of Ravencrest’, as well as the hosts of the successful Horror, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal-themed radio show, Thorne & Cross Haunted Nights LIVE. Their new book ‘The Cliffhouse Haunting’ was published on April 2nd.
Find out more about their new book, how writing together is done and much more.
Who are Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross?
Published in 1991, Tamara Thorne has penned such bestsellers as Haunted, Bad Things, and Moonfall. Alistair Cross, first published in 2012, is also a horror and supernatural thriller author, and together, they have written ‘The Cliffhouse Haunting’, ‘The Ghosts of Ravencrest’ serialized novel, and are currently working on the next collaboration … and the next. Both are avid readers of ghost stories and paranormal thrillers.
How did you come to the decision to write together?
The moment we met we found ourselves brainstorming. It was the natural thing for us to do and we had so much fun that even though neither of us ever wanted to get involved in collaborations, it had to happen. We feel that our coming together was all about synchronicity: it was simply meant to be. And we love it. Even when we write solos, we do it in our virtual office so we can talk, edit, and take breaks together.
How does the writing process between you two look like?
We collaborate together, working in the same file in the Cloud while we speak via Skype. We do this six days a week, at least eight hours a day. Our styles and sensibilities are such that we rarely even know who wrote what or even who thought of what for long. We occasionally break to turn on our Skype cameras and show each other our cats sitting on our shoulders (or heads). Cat breaks are fun. Mornings, we warm up by working on interviews, getting our radio show together, plotting our next
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from everywhere - you never know when it may hit. The germ of an idea may arise from a nightmare or from something glimpsed at a roadside attraction. It might come with the sights and sounds of a thunderstorm that makes the wind howl and trees scratch at our windows. It might come from watching a nearly deserted carousel turning and turning, or it may arise from a weird little story in the news that piques our interest. We both enjoy history; that’s a great place to draw ideas from. After altering the truth and upping the creepy factor to suit our spooky inclinations, we have our story.
You mostly write Horror and Supernatural books. Are these genres you like to read yourselves?
Yes, although both of us read widely, the supernatural is what we teethed on. Tamara began collecting true ghost stories and folklore in first grade but mainly read science fiction, Sherlock Holmes, and anything by Ray Bradbury until she stumbled across Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House around fifth or sixth grade. That book led to a lifelong search for fictional ghost stories. She is also a fan of science thrillers and political thrillers, favoring authors like Nelson DeMille and Jeff Long. In dark fiction, Stephen King, Dan Simmons,James Blaylock and Ray Bradbury are favorites.
Alistair also began reading at a young age. His first loves were Agatha Christie, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. Around the same time, he discovered horror movies - and this pretty much set his course. Alistair enjoys reading in various genres - everything from humor to horror, thrillers to romance, classics to biographies.
They both a great love of the Gothic genre, and these books are what inspired The Ghosts of Ravencrest series.
You also have a horror-themed radio internet show together. How did this come together and what do you guys like about this show the most?
We were invited to be guests on Authors on the Air. Shortly afterward, our interviewer, who is also the network’s producer, offered us our own horror-themed show. We loved the idea and quickly accepted. Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! is a lot of fun, and what we love most about it is being able tomeet such fascinating people. We interview other authors, crime buffs, paranormal investigators, and everything in between. We have truly enjoyed all of them, and we’re very excited about the guests we have coming up.
‘The Cliffhouse Haunting’ is the seventh book you wrote together. How did you guys come to the idea of writing this book?
'The Cliffhouse Haunting' is actually our first collaborative novel. The Ghosts of Ravencrest is a serialization which is nearing completion; we have just released its 7th installment. We were initially writing another novel together, titled 'Grandma's Rack', when the idea for ‘The Cliffhouse Haunting’ struck us. We were asked to spend five nights in a haunted cabin in Gold Country at the request of a concerned owner. While Cliffhouse is not based on our experiences at the cabin, it was the inspiration for it.
‘The Cliffhouse Haunting’ is a Supernatural Thriller. Did you always intend to write a supernatural thriller or did this idea grew while writing?
Upon our return from the allegedly haunted cabin, we were so inspired to write a ghost story that we put our other project on hold and immediately began ‘The Cliffhouse Haunting’. We wanted to write this supernatural thriller while the experiences were still fresh in our minds. We have since returned to our previous collaboration and expect to have it finished later this year.
Which character in ‘The Cliffhouse Haunting’ did you enjoy writing about the most? And why?
Alistair’s favorite character in Cliffhouse is Constance, the histrionic, drama-queen author who comes to the town of Cliffside to market some of her books about the powers of crystals, and finds herself in over her head when she begins getting visits from the Blue Lady, the ghost who is said to haunt the Cliffhouse Lodge. Alistair particularly enjoyed writing about her because when it comes to Constance, there is never a dull moment. Tamara Thorne loves the odious Constance as well, Dr. Roger Siechert really tickles her fancy. His growing madness - and his glee when he’s in the kitchen - make her smile.
What are your future plans in writing?
Our future plans are to write lots more books together as well as solos. Between us, we have at least three more books coming out this year. Alistair’s solo, 'The Crimson Corset', will be available this summer, then we’ll begin a long-anticipated thriller that will be available by Christmas. Our 2016 plans include a new volume of Ravencrest and at least two more collaborative novels. We’ve also decided to collaborate on the sequel to Tamara’s vampiric best-seller, 'Candle Bay', in coming months and you can expect Tamara’s vamps and Alistair’s Crimson Corset vamps to mix it up a little.
For more information about Tamara Thorne please visit her website, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Goodreads and Pinterest.
For more information about Alistair Cross please visit his website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest and You Tube.
I would like to thank Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross for taking the time to answer my questions. It’s an honor to have you on my blog!