Hello my Freaky Darlings,
It’s been a while since I had a 13 Questions segment, but today we have author Alistair Cross in the hot seat. Since his first publication with Damnation Books in 2012, Alistair has authored the successful serial novel, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, as well as the Amazon Best Seller, The Cliffhouse Haunting with international bestselling author, Tamara Thorne.
Together, they host the popular Horror, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal themed radio show, Thorne & Cross Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has included such guests as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series, True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels, and New York Times bestsellers Christopher Rice, Jonathan Maberry, and Christopher Moore.
You can visit Alistair Cross’ website at www.alistaircross.com.
1. What drives you to write?
An irrepressible, insurmountable, burning need to give expression to the stories and characters that have existed in my imagination as far back as I can remember.
2. What attracted you to writing horror?
I discovered the horror genre at about eight years old and was promptly captivated by its immediacy, its drama, and its command of the audience’s emotions.
3. Who are your favourite horror writers?
Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne DuMaurier, Ira Levin, Richard Laymon, Tamara Thorne, and Oscar Wilde.
4. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?
Dracula by Bram Stoker, It by Stephen King, Hell House by Richard Matheson, Violin by Anne Rice, and plenty of true crime because that’s where the real horror comes from.
5. Ebooks or paperback?
It doesn’t make much difference to me at this point, although I admit having avoided ebooks for a long time. I’ve since realized it’s the story, not the delivery of the story, that matters to me. Kindle, paper, or computer screen. It’s all the same to me. If a story is good enough, I’ll read it off the stall of a public restroom.
6. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?
The cover. That’s always what gets me to pick it up. Then I read the back, and then, as the final decision maker, I read the first paragraph of the first page.
7. Who is your favourite fictional character?
I have a few! Madame DeFarge from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Renfield in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, and Margaret White in Stephen King’s Carrie. I’m also fond of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. He’s a bit of a dick, but I can relate.
My process lies somewhere between pantsing and plotting. I get to know my characters before I start. I try to find the beginning, middle, and a few possible endings, then I just start writing and let the story tell itself.
9. Do your characters take on a life of their own and do things you didn’t plan?
Absolutely. Intensive plotting has proven to be an exercise in futility for me as my characters rarely follow the directions I’ve given them. But this is where 90% of the magic comes from. I like the surprises and have learned to trust the characters. I don’t know if this is the case for all writers but I’m better off letting the characters express themselves on their own terms, so long as they don’t wander too far from the plot.
In my latest release, The Crimson Corset, the character of Gretchen VanTreese was originally cast as a throw-away – her sole purpose being to demonstrate the ways in which my vampires could meet their ends. But she took over, re-shaped the story, and made it all about her … which turned out to be a good thing. If I’d insisted she remain in place, I would have ended up with a much weaker story.
10. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?
I don’t need silence but other words trip me up when I’m writing. Instrumental music is okay, but I don’t want to listen to someone singing or talking.
11. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?
Yes. Research is vital and I like to write pretty far outside of the familiar. I believe you should write what you know, but more importantly, I think you should KNOW what you write. Which requires lots of research.
12. Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook. Asking me to say something in 240 characters or less is just asking for trouble.
13. What really pisses you off about writing? (feel free to really vent here)
The thing that really pisses me off about writing is how you can spend so much time trying to say something just right … then in edits, after you’ve lost those hours of agonizing over the perfect phrasing, the very simple solution jumps out at you – and a second a half later, it’s fixed. So … overthinking. That’s what pisses me off about the process. Simplicity is power. I forget that regularly.
Sheltered by ancient redwoods, overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.
When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.
Darkness at the Edge of Town
Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.
The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/crossalistair
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Alistair-Cross/e/B00N446AZS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1417836165&sr=1-2