Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and seventy-sixth, is of novelists and writing duo Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
California native Tamara Thorne began writing at the age of nine months but no one understood her literary approach. Later, she took up writing about life on other planets, especially Uranus. Then, in sixth grade, she found a copy of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and the course was set.
Her first novel was published in 1991, and since then she has written many more, including international bestsellers Haunted, Bad Things, Moonfall, and The Sorority.
In addition to upcoming solo works, Tamara is combining forces with Alistair Cross on a number of projects and they are currently giggling and slaughtering their way down various paths – dark, twisted, and psycho – to bring you the finest in ghosts, gore, and ghoulishness. In addition to horror, they are also penning, penning with long stroking motions, penning hard and fast, a sexy serial novel called Belinda, about to be published by Glass Apple. They are sweating over this one, pounding it out on their keyboards, panting, thrusting, and heading toward the story’s first toe-curling climax!
Tamara’s influences include Ray Bradbury, Tom Tyron, Richard Matheson, Roald Dahl, Dark Shadows, MAD Magazine, and John Newland. Alistair says she’s also been greatly influenced by Yvonne DeCarlo, but she has no idea what that means.
Turn-ons? You bet! They include dark desert highways, the sweet smell of colitas, and getting lost in the rain. She also enjoys using steely knives to shave the sweet summer sweat off pretty, pretty boys. And cats. She likes cats. Her turn-offs are cotton candy with hair in it, stuck-up underwear models, and ill-fitting merkins.
In her copious free time, Tamara enjoys investigating hauntings, hiking, decorating erotic Pop-Tarts, and finding new ways to work the word “copious” into everyday conversation. Visit Tamara at http://tamarathorne.com.
Alistair Cross was born in a log cabin his mother built with her bare hands. Under the thrall of a religion no one dares speak of, they soon ran away and joined the Peace Corpse, an alternative commune devoted to natural burials in Honeywagon, Maryland. This didn’t last long. Eventually they settled into a new life, making a good living selling knitted helmets to kids at Space Camp, and this gave Alistair his best childhood memories.
After flipping a mysterious switch and discovering electricity at the age of eight, he began staying up all night watching horror movies and reading scary tales. He still has a round scar on his forehead from an incident with a flashlight while reading Rosemary’s Baby under the covers – and he’s proud of it! At eight, he began writing his own stories and in 2012, his first novel, a collaborative effort called Beautiful Monster, was published by Damnation Books, LLC. under the pseudonym Jared S. Anderson.
Mr. Cross is now hard at play on several other works, including a vampiric solo project and several macabre tales with acclaimed horror novelist Tamara Thorne. They have also thrust themselves deeply into Belinda, an erotic serial novel, which will soon begin enthusiastically spreading its pages on e-readers everywhere books are sold. He and Tamara, in a throbbing frenzy of passionate fury, are stroking the first installment of Belinda to completion even now.
His influences include, but are not limited to, the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Erma Bombeck, John Saul, Tamara Thorne, Ira Levin, William Peter Blatty, and Yvonne DeCarlo.
Mr. Cross’ turn-ons include blaring music, offensive books, Swiss cheese, bloodletting, leather boots, and making people feel uncomfortable. He loves fashion history and owns an impressive assortment of pasties, and a vast codpiece collection, including a piece dating back to the 15th century, said to belong to Pope Innocent VIII. He also is the proud owner of the bonnet worn on the prairie by the real Laura Ingalls Wilder. His turn-offs include monkeys, moist hairless cats, and urinals.
In his spare time, he can often be found petting his cat, ghost hunting with Tamara Thorne, appearing pensive for no reason, staring at his ant farm, and exploring the various stages of hypnagogia in his codpiece. Visit Alistair at http://alistaircross.com.
And now from the authors themselves:
We met in 2011 via Facebook and discussed books and writing a little by email but our collaboration really began two summers ago when we decided we had to put aside our mutual dislike of telephones and have a real chat. From that moment on, we were inseparable, each of us feeling as if we’d found our long-lost identical twin.
Our conversations were long and quickly became accidental brain-storming sessions as our minds rapidly hopped from one topic to another and made the same weird connections we both made on our own, but even more rapidly, more off-the-wall. And that was only the beginning of our burgeoning mind-meld. We decided we had to actually write together despite the fact that we had both sworn off collaborations.
It turned out to be a rule made to be broken. We began writing as Thorne and Cross in August of 2013 when we were struck with the first of many concepts to come. That was an idea about a haunted cabin. We did a little brainstorming, then were struck by another idea for a short story. We thought we’d try that before wading into deeper waters with our woodsy horror novel.
This short story grew from its title, Grandma’s Rack. And grew and grew. Soon it turned into a novella, then a novel and while we were working on it, we were invited to investigate a real life haunted cabin in California’s Gold Country.
We took Grandma’s Rack along to work on in case nothing popped up and said ‘boo’ during that week in the woods. And while we did work on it – the old-fashioned way with pen and paper because there was no electricity – we also got the snot scared out of us. http://tamarathorne.wordpress.com/?s=Five+Nights+in+a+Haunted+Cabin
We came back with new ideas to add to our original haunted cabin novel. Even as we worked toward completion of Grandma’s Rack, the serious brainstorming began on it, fueled in part by some of the anomalies we experienced in that real cabin in the woods. Oh my, yes. The stuff of nightmares.
Meanwhile, we began an erotic serial novel, including plenty of ghosts and gothic trappings because we’d discovered we shared a secret love for sex, ghosts, and rock and roll. We also both loved gothic romance (inspired by novels like Rebecca and media like Dark Shadows). The first installment of The Erotic Adventures of Belinda has just become available in all e-book formats. New installments will be released about every four to six weeks.
Grandma’s Rack will be published later this year, after we do our rewrite, and we are hard at work on our novel about phantoms in the forest. While we both intend to continue writing solo novels, together we have more ideas than we can possibly ever write. It’s a good feeling. (Tamara’s book Thunder Road will also return this fall from Kensington Publishing.)
Over the course of our collaborations, we’ve developed what we suspect is an unusual writing method. We literally write together. Each morning, we get together via Skype, spend an hour waking up, gossiping, and taking care of the business end of writing, and then we open our manuscript in the Cloud and Skypewrite. That means we talk as we write and often will work in the same paragraph, one of us editing after the other, which takes away the need to constantly backtrack when a better word pops up – inevitably we both think of the same better word or phrase. It feels telepathic, it feels good and we love it.
The Erotic Adventures of Belinda, a serialized tale, is our first release, beginning with the first installment titled The New Governess, which was released in early June of 2014.
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. Other installments of Belinda’s adventures will be released every four to six weeks.
“If you’ve finished all of Sylvia Day’s Bared to You 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.
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