Interview with Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross
Tell us about your latest book.
The Cliffhouse Haunting is set in the San Bernardino Mountains of California in a little town called Cliffside. The story centers on the Cliffhouse Lodge, a hotel that has a dark history including cathouses, rum-running, a serial killer who terrorized the town in the 1920s, and a ghost, the Blue Lady, who was said to walk when death was imminent. Now there’s a new serial killer on the loose, and the Blue Lady sightings have returned. And this time, she’s enlisting the help of a few unsavory locals. Between the Blue Lady, the serial killer, a ruthless vandal, a spoiled novelist, a crazed doctor, and the rising body count, police chief Jackson Ballou has his hands full and can barely pursue his romance with diner owner, Polly Owen.
The Cliffhouse Haunting is about a community possessed by a hunger for power. It is a glimpse into the darker side of the human psyche. Each character is driven by his or her own motives, and this story is a depiction of the consequent madness that ensues when their lives and intentions collide and the strings of their plans tangle together.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
Alistair: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time - or the tools - to write.” Stephen King
Tamara: “Get the facts first, then distort them as much as you please.” Mark Twain
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
How long did it take you to write your book?
The Cliffhouse Haunting took six months - including editing - to complete.
Who designed the cover?
We got our cover from Elderlemon Design, and we highly recommend this company.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
Personally, we’ve learned - and been repeatedly astonished by - how similar we are in style and sensibility. We’ve learned to maximize our time, organize our projects, and how to best apply the intensive world-building we both like to incorporate into our stories. We became stronger editors due to the fact that this book needed to have 50,000 words cut from it before publication.
How do you research your books?
We both enjoy being hands-on as much as possible. We like to visit the places we write about. We also enjoy talking to various professionals about their vocations so that we have our facts in order. And of course, we read like maniacs.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
With the release of THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING, we’re returning full-time to GRANDMA’S RACK, a novel about two warring covens of witches in an otherwise peaceful town. Ongoing is our serialized Gothic novel, THE GHOSTS OF RAVENCREST, which concerns a mansion in the hills, haunted by the many ghosts of its scandalous violent past. Alistair is currently knee-deep in a solo vampire novel titled THE CRIMSON CORSET, in which a young man from Gilroy, California must face the darkest side of his own nature in order to protect what he loves. Later this year, we will begin our next collaboration, a psychological thriller that we are currently referring to only as “M.” This project will be completed by the end of 2015, and involves elements of our favorite, eeriest, darkest concepts. Finally, we are already a quarter of the way into a very large, very complex apocalyptic horror novel that we expect to release in 2016.
What are you currently reading?
Tamara: An advance copy of Robert McCammon’s The Border.
Alistair: Praying for Sleep by Jeffery Deaver
What books or authors have most influenced your life?
Tamara: Anything by Ray Bradbury, particularly Dandelion Wine, and Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House.
Alistair: Anything by Edgar Allan Poe