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Interview with Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross, Authors of The Ghosts of Ravencrest

Authors Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross joined forces in 2012, intending to write a short story together. One thing led to another, and they have since completed two full novels, The Cliffhouse Haunting and Grandma’s Rack (currently in production) and six installments of the successful Gothic serialized novel, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, including the tie-in novella, Christmas Spirits. In November of 2014, their horror-themed internet radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, debuted to great acclaim as part of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network, LLC. They are currently working on their next collaborative novel, due later this year, and Alistair’s debut solo, The Crimson Corset, will be available later this summer.

Please tell our readers a little about your recent book The Cliffhouse Haunting and The Ghosts of Ravencrest series. Are they related? If so, how? How do these books distinguish themselves from others in the genre?

The Cliffhouse Haunting is a horror novel that is unrelated to The Ghosts of Ravencrest except that both, as always, are set in the same world and you may occasionally see cross-references to places and people. The Ghosts of Ravencrest is a gothic serial novel about a young governess, Belinda Moorland, in a very haunted and mysterious mansion owned by a handsome millionaire. We both love traditional gothics, from Rebecca to Dark Shadows and Ravencrest is where we indulge our love. We even travel back in time occasionally to meet ancestors who are now haunting the halls of the manor.

The Cliffhouse Haunting is the tale of a luxurious resort called the Cliffhouse Lodge that is haunted by a phantom known as the Blue Lady, who is said to walk when murder is imminent. The town of Cliffside has seen serial killers in the past and now there is another one on the loose, and the Blue Lady sightings have returned. Hotel owners Teddy and Adam Bellamy are losing maids as guests complain about phantom footprints, disembodied whispers, and blood-chilling screams in the dead of night. The townspeople are not making police chief Jackson Ballou’s job any easier, either. Between the twisted antics of a local doctor, the histrionics of a writer who’s staying at the lodge, and the mysterious deaths that are piling up, his hands are full.

Our books are exciting, detailed, and character-oriented. We’ve got sex, drugs, and rock n’roll – and plenty of humor, but our goal is to give you nightmares.

Is The Cliffhouse Haunting based on any real places or events? If not, what inspired the novel?

The Cliffhouse Haunting is set in a fictional mountain town, Cliffside, however the surrounding towns and places are true to the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. The general history of the region is also presented factually. The idea for the book came from an adventure we shared in November 2013, when we went to stay in and investigate a reputedly haunted cabin up in California’s Gold Country. The cabin’s owner had become afraid to stay in the place after he and his family experienced several inexplicable anomalies and after we spent five sleepless nights there, we understood why. We documented our experience there and you can read about it here.

Have you found it difficult to co-author a book? How did you find the chemistry to complete this project, and what strengths do each of you bring to the table?

The instant we met, we began brainstorming ideas without intending to. We couldn’t help it. Neither of us had planned on ever collaborating again, but this was synchronicity at its finest. To ignore our chemistry would have been foolish. We write together in the Cloud while talking on Skype six days a week, eight to twelve hours a day and it’s incredibly fun and rewarding. Even when writing solos, we work together in our virtual office. It makes for great brainstorming, editing, and water cooler breaks, too. It was simply meant to be.

Our strengths are similar, though Tamara is more into atmosphere and history while Alistair likes to investigate the darker regions of the human psyche and explore the more macabre side of the human condition. However, we don’t divide things up – we write everything together. That’s the way we like it.

The publishing business is notoriously difficult to navigate. How did you find your passion in writing supernatural fiction, and how were you able to find a publisher and grow your career in such a tough market?

Neither of us has ever wanted to write anything but horror; we have both loved ghost stories since we were old enough to read or watch Twilight Zone. Tamara first published in 1991, so her experience in New York publishing is very long. Alistair first published in 2012. Together, we have found it fairly easy to navigate the business by writing what we love and blending our styles to write as powerfully as possible. We believe that if we love our stories, readers will too, so for us, getting published comes down to writing the best books that we can.

Your radio show, Thorne & Cross Haunted Nights LIVE!, has interviewed many interesting guests. Which was your favorite and why?

We have been lucky to have had very good guests on our show. To choose favorites would be impossible. Each guest has brought a little something special. Douglas Clegg made us laugh hysterically. Briar Lee Mitchell astounded us with her achievements. Jay Bonansinga was a lot of fun and he made us re-think what we know about zombies. Loyd Auerbach, Joe Teeples, Victoria Gross, and Sylvia Shults gave us some fascinating insights into ghosts and the paranormal. Karen Taylor, Hal Bodner, and Glen Hirshberg all have their own unique takes on the vampire genre and discussing this was a lot of fun for us. All of our guests have been truly fascinating. There are no favorites, only new insights and experiences that are unique to each guest. We love them all.

How can our readers learn more about your writing, listen to your radio show, and purchase The Cliffhouse Haunting and The Ghosts of Ravencrest series?

The Cliffhouse Haunting and The Ghosts of Ravencrest are both available on Amazon. All of our information, including information on the radio show, can be found on our websites at www.tamarathorne.com/Guests and alistaircross.com/Guests.

Sorry guys, this page is copyright MysteriousHeartland.com, 2015. You do not have permission to copy this for any reason. Please learn how to cite your work. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are courtesy of Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross.

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