I'm happy to welcome back co-authors Tamara Thorne & Alistiar Cross. We're chatting about their new psychological suspense thriller, Mother.
You can read their first interview with me here.
Tamara Thorne's first novel was published in 1991, and since then she has written many more, including international bestsellers Haunted, Bad Things, Moonfall, Eternity and The Sorority. A lifelong lover of ghost stories, she is currently working on several collaborations with Alistair Cross as well as an upcoming solo novel. Learn more about her at: http://tamarathorne.com
Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published by Damnation Books in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and The Ghosts of Ravencrest with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, an Amazon bestseller, is available now. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com
In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they also host the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which has featured such guests as Laurell K. Hamilton, Christopher Moore, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Charlaine Harris, and Christopher Rice. Thorne and Cross are hard at work on several upcoming collaborations, including a sequel to Tamara’s Candle Bay, which will feature plenty of vampy action as the Darlings and Julian Valentyn are joined on a road trip to Eternity with Michael and Winter from Alistair’s The Crimson Corset. It’s going to be a harrowing ride!
Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews.
Thanks. We love coming here!
Please tell us about your newest release.
Mother is a psychological thriller in the vein of Psycho and Misery, with a pinch of Peyton Place and a dash of Gaslight. It concerns a young, expectant couple, Claire and Jason Holbrook, who’ve fallen on hard times, forcing them to move in with Claire’s estranged mother. Claire vowed to have no contact with the overbearing woman ever again, but Mother is thrilled at the prospect of a grandchild. At Mother’s, Claire and Jason begin experiencing things that make them determined to leave immediately … but when a cruel twist of fate makes leaving impossible, Claire becomes obsessed with her mother’s motives. Fantasy and fact blur together as her compulsion consumes her, and Jason wonders who the villain really is. When a cache of macabre family secrets is uncovered, Claire and Jason find the answers they’re looking for - answers that will change them forever … assuming anyone can get out of Mother’s house alive.
What inspired you to write this book?
T&A: The same things that have inspired our other books: What we see around us every day. When we come across circumstances that intrigue us, we begin asking “what if?” From there, we just keep exploring all the possibilities. Every situation has the potential to go horribly awry, and we like to take it as far as it can go.
What’s the next writing project?
T & A: We’re currently working on the second installment - which will be titled Dead of the Night - in the serialized The Witches of Ravencrest. It’s being polished right now and will be out within a few weeks.
From there, we’re jumping into a sequel to Tamara’s novel Candle Bay which will feature several of the vampires from Alistair’s novel, The Crimson Corset. They’ll be going up to Eternity for a vampire family reunion. We can’t wait to see how the Candle Bay vamps and the Crimson Corset vamps get along. We have some sinister things planned for them …
After the Candle Bay sequel, we have a little something up our collective sleeve that harkens back to Mother. It won’t be a sequel, but it will incorporate some of the Mother sensibilities … and it may take place in Snapdragon, CA, where Mother is set. After that, we have lots more, including one more psychological thriller, which will be the third in our Trilogy of Terror that began with Mother. Simultaneously, we will get to a project that’s been been percolating for a very long time - something very big that will likely take a good portion of a year to complete. Beyond saying it will be a novel of apocalyptic proportions, we can’t really divulge more information. Between these, we’ll also be working on various solo novels. First up are seriously supernatural tales from us both.
What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)
T & A: Every book presents different challenges. In Mother, we had to perform a precise dance with our myriad of characters. Everything is so interconnected that our choreography had to be perfect in order for our clues and revelations to keep in proper step with the dance. In Ravencrest it’s a matter of timing and keeping the history straight, which requires a lot of notes. In The Cliffhouse Haunting, we had to keep our folklore straight and in sync with the fictional aspects we added to it.
If your novels require research – please talk about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
T & A: Aside from general online browsing and some very good books, we rely on experts in the appropriate fields. We are lucky to have a psychologist, a mortician, a historian, an EMT, cops, and several doctors who answer questions for us. Alistair even has an adult film actor on hand for an upcoming solo novel he’s beginning later this year. When it comes to research, we believe in going straight to the source as often as possible.
What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
Tamara: I write in my darkened living room on a big glass coffee table that is strewn with bottled water and cats. I don’t like being shut away so I only use my office to store books.
Alistair: I have a desk set up in a corner with plenty of fake plants, books, and coffee nearby. And dramamine. The computer screen makes me sea-sick after about four hours, so I am often very drowsy from dramamine.
What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
Tamara: Nelson DeMille is my favorite out-of-genre writer. I love Stephen King and Jay Bonansinga and lots more. Because of our radio show, I have to read very quickly to keep up with our guests. Right now I’m enjoying Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts.
Alistair: I pretty much read anything. From horror to romance, if it’s a good book with a compelling story and strong characters, I’ll read it and like it. I am currently going through an Agatha Christie phase. Again.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
T & A: Thank you for reading. We are lucky to have wonderful readers and we don’t take it for granted.
Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!