1. Greetings, can you tell us a little bit about your history and how your work has evolved up to this point?
Greetings, and thanks for having me! I’ve been writing since I was about eight years old when I began penning short stories and what I thought of at the time as songs.
Currently, I write solo and collaborative novels and while I still write the occasional poem, I find myself doing this less often as free time has become rather scarce. As for how my work has evolved, I see quite a bit of stylistic difference when I look at my work from just a few years ago. I think I’ve gotten better at setting, which is something that used to intimidate me quite a bit. I also think I’ve grown a lot in terms of character development and managing multiple plot threads since switching to third person a few years back.
I also find I have a much firmer command of the language than I used to. I think this is the natural result of writing and reading on a continual basis.
2. What genre, or genres, do you write?
Paranormal, Gothic, Horror, and Thriller.
3. What is your latest book called and what is it about?
It’s called The Crimson Corset, the first in a series titled The Vampires of Crimson Cove. The Crimson Corset is about a seemingly ordinary young man named Cade Colter who moves to the tourist-centric little village of Crimson Cove where he discovers he’s not so ordinary after all. Unbeknownst to him, Cade has a genetic rarity that makes him very extraordinary … and very valuable, particularly to Gretchen VanTreese, the undead proprietor of the Crimson Corset - a nightclub of ill-repute that looms at the edge of town.
As Cade becomes the object of Gretchen’s obsession, the peaceful vampires on the other side of Crimson Cove must call off the ancient and uneasy truce between their Loyals and Gretchen’s in order to protect Cade Colter. But Gretchen has already begun laying an elaborate trap that will put Cade, and everyone around him, in mortal danger.
The Crimson Corset is a tale of terror and seduction, good and evil; it’s a demonstration of the corruption of power, and the strength of the human spirit in the face of extreme adversity.
4. What was the inspiration for your book? When did you first get the idea for The Crimson Corset?
Although I never foresaw myself writing a vampire novel, I suspect I was inspired by vampire books I read when I was younger - particularly Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which I found fascinating and seductive.
As for the idea for The Crimson Corset, it came to me, oddly enough, at a nightclub I visited a few years ago. The atmosphere of the place inspired me in a dark, strange way, and I spent the evening alone at the bar jotting down the plot on the backs of napkins.
5. How long did it take you to write it? What is your writing process like?
I actually began this book in 2006 and I completed it in 2010. However, after a few years of writing other things, I returned to this novel to find that it needed a serious facelift - so much so, that I rewrote it from the ground up in third person instead of first. I began that process in early January of 2015, so it took me about four and a half months to write and three months to edit and revise.
I try to keep my process simple. For several weeks before beginning a project, I immerse myself in research, setting, plot, and character development. Once I start the story, I don’t stop until it’s complete. I write full-time, usually putting in 8 to 10 hours per day 6 days a week.
6. What can we expect from you in the future?
There is much on the way. Between solo works, and collaborative projects with my co-author, Tamara Thorne, the next year or two will bring angels, demons, ghosts, over-protective mothers, unstable lovers, crazy writers, sadistic housekeepers, witches, and even some zombies. It’s going to be a very busy year ...
7. Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
I have thought about this, and can only answer by saying that my favorite book is whatever I happen to be working on at the time. As for favorite heroes and heroines, I have a few from each book. From The Crimson Corset, I’m really fond of Cade Colter and his brother Brooks. In The Ghosts of Ravencrest, Belinda Moorland is endlessly interesting, and her phantom lover, Thomas Manning, is always a lot of fun. In The Cliffhouse Haunting, I get a particular kick out of Constance Welling and Dr. Siechert, although I’m not sure either of those two would qualify as heroes.
8. Do you plot ahead of time, or do you let the plot emerge as you write?
A little of both. I like having an abstract roadmap with one to three possible endings, then I let the characters go wild on the page and enjoy the journey as they execute the story on their own terms.
9. Who are some of your favorite authors to read? Favorite books?
I thoroughly enjoy the works of many authors from many genres. Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice, Ira Levin, Tamara Thorne, John Saul, Stephen King, Patricia Scanlan, Christopher Moore, Richard Laymon … it’s a very long list.
10. Where can we buy your books?
All my information can be found on the Library page of my website at alistaircross.com
The Crimson Corset
Tell me a little about yourself?
I was born in Sweden, in 1660, where I lived a life of utter boredom until 1679 when my mother, who’d been unhappy with the country since the end of Queen Christina’s reign, took me to Rome where we began new lives. That same year, Mother and I were attacked by a vampire - and we were both turned. I don’t know anything about him except that he was a traveling tradesman.
Where do you live?
Mother and I moved to America in 1779 and traveled quite a lot, but after Mother’s … demise, I settled in the area that is now known as Crimson Cove, California. In 1912, I purchased the nightclub I call The Crimson Corset and have lived there since then with several followers of my own. I’d been outcast by Mother’s group, you see. She had her own band of Loyals who shared her philosophy that vampires should live invisibly among humans. In short, she wanted us to cower to them. I disagreed, and her little group didn’t take kindly to it when I killed her. She had no spine. So … let the punishment fit the crime, I say. (Evil grin)
Who is the most important person in your life?
(Sighs) It’s a sad existence indeed when the most important person in my life is a damned human, but currently, that is the unfortunate truth. There is a young man named Cade Colter who recently moved to Crimson Cove. He has a very special ... talent; something that would secure me in a position of ultimate power. He’s become very important to me.
What was your childhood like?
Until I was given immortal life, my existence was dull and unremarkable. I was raised by a woman with no understanding of her own capabilities, or mine. I had no father and know nothing about the man with whom my mother procreated. Surely, he was a great man because I certainly didn’t get anything of value from Mommy Dearest.
Of all the people you've met, who would you LEAST like to be stuck in an elevator with?
Ethan Hunter, Crimson Cove’s very own sheriff. He’s such a tedious man, always showing up where he doesn’t belong. Of course, if I were stuck in an elevator with him, I suppose that would give me the opportunity to see what kind of mettle he’s really made of ...
What is the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?
My legacy. I was born for greatness, and finally, after all these years, it is within my grasp.
What is your biggest fear?
Silly human. I don’t acknowledge fear and I certainly don’t invite it in for tea. Fear is the height of weakness. It’s an illusion - an excuse to take the easy road.
What is the most important thing that ever happened to you? Why?
Cade Colter’s recent move to Crimson Cove, because he carries the very key to my destiny. It’s only a matter of time before I get my hands on him, and what is time to vampire, after all? I can wait.
Do you have any special talents or abilities?
I doubt very much that you’d like me to sully your blog and offend your readers with an in-depth account of my talents, but I assure you, I have plenty.
How do you see your future?
Oh, you should see it! (clasps hands together) It will be wonderful!
If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?
I wouldn’t mind an evening with Jim Morrison. (Raises eyebrow) Again.
If you had a free day with no responsibilities, how would you spend it?
In my very limited free time, I like being pampered by Scythe, my guard. If you want to talk about special talents, I could spend hours pontificating the ways in which he pleases me. But again … it would be inappropriate to discuss here. Let’s just say that the real “Vlad the Impaler” has nothing on my favorite pet, Scythe.
Where can we find out more about you?
I’ve heard rumors that some half-witted human has written a book about the recent events in Crimson Cove called The Crimson Corset. Really, it was just a matter of time before someone wrote a book about me, and I suppose I should be flattered, but I haven’t even read it. I only hope he didn’t leave out the story behind the real crimson corset - the one I’m wearing now. (Runs fingers across her corset’s ribbing) There’s a hell of a tale behind this garment ...
Untidy, Ryan Closter had called it. The young deputy had a knack for understatement so when Ethan arrived at the scene just after seven a.m., he was prepared to be put off - but this was downright ghastly. This wasn’t the way Ethan liked to start his mornings.
Blood was everywhere, a dried riot of red rust all over the floor, across the bed, and even on the ceiling. It was as if someone had put a bomb in a can of paint. And the smell was unbearable. Flies swarmed like a black cloud above the body.
Closter spoke at Ethan’s side. “A neighbor heard some noises last night. She informed the landlord this morning, and after knocking and getting no response, this is what he walked into.”
At the center of the bed lay the woman, facedown, in a dried pool of her own fluids.
“Her name’s Rose Keller,” Closter said.
Ethan shook his head. “Day manager of the Black Garter.”
“You know her?”
“Our paths crossed recently.” Ethan wouldn’t have been surprised to hear the woman had overdosed on something, but wouldn’t have guessed she’d go like this.
“I’ve never seen anything like it.” Closter looked a little green, and his partner, Nick Grayson, gave Ethan an uncertain glance.
“Why don’t you go get some fresh air, Closter?” Ethan said. “We’ll be fine till the others show up.”
The deputy swallowed and nodded, his face clammy. The last thing they needed was for someone to throw up on the crime scene - not that it’d be the first time.
As Closter stepped out, Ethan heard the buzz of bystanders just outside the door. “Jesus,” someone said. “I’ve never seen so much blood …”
“I heard they can’t find her head,” said another.
The voices faded as the door closed. How eagerly people swarm to violence and death. Like ants to a piece of rotten fruit. It unsettled Ethan.
The room was hot, intensifying the reek of blood, of innards - of death. Dozens of flies crawled lazily over the body and more were landing. Ethan’s own stomach roiled a little. He hadn’t been sick at a scene since his earliest days on the force and he didn’t intend to buckle now, but it wasn’t easy. He’d never seen anything this theatrical; it looked like the police photographs from the Jack the Ripper crimes. But in horrible living color. He moved closer and stared down at the woman on the bed. Two stumps of spine glistened white, jutting out of the mess that was the rest of her. It was as if someone had unzipped her skin, reached inside, and yanked her backbone out. And they’d managed to snap it in half in the process.
“Whoever did this was sending a message.” Deputy Grayson was crouched beside the bed, his gaze roving over the late Ms. Keller. A former quarterback in his early-forties with broad shoulders and the earliest beginnings of a beer gut, Nick Grayson was one of Ethan’s best.
Ethan nodded. “I’ll agree with you on that.”
Grayson’s gaze never left the victim. “A killer doesn’t cause a scene like this unless he wants to make a statement.”
The question was, who was the killer, and what was he trying to say? “No sign of any weapons?”
Grayson shook his head and Ethan noticed new gray at the deputy’s temples. This was the kind of work that would do that. “Nope. Nothing.”
Ethan had figured as much. There was something about this scene that didn’t work.
The woman was tangled in white sheets, reminding him, morbidly, of an old barber’s pole. Red and white, red and white, blood and bandages, blood and bandages. He walked around the bed, seeing it from all angles. Every crime scene told a story, you just had to know how to read it. And this one, Ethan was certain, was one hell of a tale.
The more he saw, the more certain he became of two things. One, Rose’s killer was not human, and two, it was not an animal, either. Not in the usual sense, anyway. He bent and moved the victim’s hair back a little, careful not to disturb anything. He saw the bite marks on her neck that confirmed his suspicions. He’d have them checked against dental records and if he was lucky - which was highly unlikely - maybe they’d catch the perp fast.
There were also places along her shoulders and arms where the skin was torn. Someone went to town on her. The thick sickening feeling in the pit of his stomach went colder.
“I’ve been trying to figure that out, too,” said Grayson, watching him. “They’re bites.”
Ethan’s knees popped as he stood and moved to the window. He pinched back the blood-spattered white curtains and stared down. Outside, the Ivory Heights apartment complex was already surrounded by a swarm of onlookers, and it was only going to get worse. Rose Keller’s one-bedroom, second-story apartment would soon be a frenzy of technicians, detectives, plainclothes, more uniforms, a photographer, and videographer. There was no dignity in death, he thought as he looked at the shredded body on the bed. Especially not when you die like that.
Ethan decided it was time to pay Michael Ward another visit.
Alistair Cross was born in the western United States and began penning his own stories by the age of eight. First published by Damnation Books in 2012, Alistair has since published several more novels. In 2012, he joined forces with international bestselling author, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write the successful Gothic series, The Ghosts of Ravencrest. Their newest novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, is an Amazon Best Seller, and this summer also sees the release of Alistair’s solo novel, The Crimson Corset.
In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the internet radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! Haunted Nights LIVE! premiered to great acclaim and has featured 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 best sellers Christopher Rice, Jonathan Maberry, and Christopher Moore.
Alistair is currently at work on several projects including a solo novel and a new Thorne & Cross collaboration. His influences include the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty.
The Crimson Corset: http://www.amazon.com/Crimson-Corset-Vampires-Cove-Book-ebook/dp/B0139K6N7Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1438671456&sr=8-2&keywords=crimson+corset
The Cliffhouse Haunting: http://www.amazon.com/Cliffhouse-Haunting-Tamara-Thorne-ebook/dp/B00VL9LUC6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438206219&sr=8-1&keywords=cliffhouse
The Ghosts of Ravencrest: http://www.alistaircross.com/My-Library
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, and perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.
“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” - a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”
- Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID
“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”
- Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”
- QL Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS