Horror author Alistair Cross has a new book, The Crimson
Corset, just released. He's agreed to take a break from his many book signings to answer a few questions for us.
1. How did you start your writing career?
Describe your very first creation.
Though I've written my
entire life, it wasn't until about ten years ago that I began to consider it as
a career. I didn't know where to start, and had no knowledge of what it took to
write a novel. So I began reading about writing. I read everything I could get
my hands on that might educate me about the craft. I began my first novel in
2007. That original creation had quite a lot of problems and it wasn't until
2012 that I published a different novel. The road to publication can be a long
discouraging one, but I believe that if you keep at it, commit yourself to
honing your craft, have the talent, and make writing a priority, the right
doors will open and you will get to where you want to be.
2. Sounds like you've prepared well for the task, and it's paid off. Tell us about a favorite character from a
Madame Defarge in
Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is one of my all-time favorite
fictional characters. Though she seems to be nothing but an innocuous and
well-behaved wife, Madame Defarge is one deadly dame. As she sat knitting,
seemingly unaware of the wine shop customers, I was first struck by the way she
communicated her thoughts to her husband - with a quick flick of eyebrow and a
barely perceptible nod of the head. This let me know there was more to her than
met the eye … but it wasn't until later in the book that we learn more about
her backstory, and how utterly consumed by revenge she is. Madame Defarge’s
knitting is more than a way to pass the time. It’s a woolen hit-list in which
she uses her needles to encode the names and crimes of the people that should
eventually be beheaded. I was young enough when I read this that it left a
permanent impression on me and when I'm writing villains, I often think of her.
3. An unexpected evil does impress. Tell us about your current release.
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
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
4. That's a truly awesome tribute by Jay Bonansinga for your writing, congratulations. Tell us about your next release.
Tamara Thorne, and I are working on releasing The Ghosts of Ravencrest as a full-length novel. It’s a serialization
and with the completion of this particular story arc, we are compiling it into
the first book of The Ravencrest Saga.
The Ghosts of
Ravencrest is a balls-to-the-wall full-force Gothic that is born of our mutual
love for the genre. In the vein of Dark Shadows and Turn of the Screw, The
Ghosts of Ravencrest is a rollicking good time with lots of chills, plenty of
sex appeal, and more ghosts than you can shake a flask of holy water at.
New governess Belinda
Moorland is learning that beneath Ravencrest’s stately exterior, there lurks
darkness and danger, murder, mystery, and mayhem. The inhabitants of the manor
- both the living and the dead - have taken special interest in her, and as she
tries to uncover the mysteries of the mansion, her employer, the handsome
millionaire Eric Manning, is proving to be a great distraction … of the sexiest
Ravencrest is a
serialization, with new installments coming out about every six weeks. It’s
ongoing, like a soap opera, and we intend to keep at it until we’ve exposed
every secret and unearthed every mystery of Ravencrest Manor. And that’s a
lot of secrets and mysteries.
5. Serializations are very popular, but that sounds like a huge job. I have no doubts though, if anyone can pull it off it's you. When in the day/night do you write? How long
I write 8 - 10 hours
per day, six days a week, and take Sundays off to do whatever sounds like fun -
which means I usually don’t do a damn thing. Except maybe read or have a
6. That kind of writing schedule is envious, wow, congratulations. You are a full time writer. What was one of the most surprising things you
learned while writing your books?
That writer’s block
doesn’t exist. For years, I’ve expected it to show up, and it never has. I’ve
hit speed bumps, and even crashed into a few brick walls … but you just write
it off, like you walk off a Charley horse. You work through it. You do this by
reading something, watching something, or - most effectively - writing
something. If there is a more severe form of writer’s block, I haven’t
7. I totally agree, it really doesn't exist. I think most people use it as an excuse or simply the reason for not putting their ass in that chair. Tell me, as I'm a curious person, what would we find under your bed?
Panties. Not mine.
Ouzo and absinthe bottles. All mine. Maybe some cat toys. And quite possibly,
8. Sounds quite sexy, and . . . . Okay, back to the interview, what book are you reading now? What genre is a guilty pleasure?
Midnight Voices by
John Saul. And I have a lot of guilty pleasures when it comes to reading. I
have read - and loved - everything from romance to children’s books.
9. That isn't a surprise, the best writers have an eclectic taste, so do I, I mean, just say'n. Next question, how do you react to a bad review of your book?
I don’t react because
I don’t read them. By the time my novel goes through my first readers, the
publisher, and a series of editors, I’m all critiqued out and am more
interested in starting the next book. You can’t please everyone - you have to
write for yourself. To read bad reviews, get mad, and argue in front of God and
everyone else online about the right way to write a book is about the most
juvenile thing a professional writer can do. Write your stories to your own
satisfaction and make no apologies.
10. Love that answer, so true! What is something people would be surprised to
know about you?
My favorite color is
pink. I like to knit sweaters and often encrypt the names of my enemies into
the sleeves. Then I give them out for Christmas. Oh, and I have absolutely no
tattoos and unless forcibly given one by a madman wielding an inked-up needle,
I never will. And I don’t wear underwear. Ever. It’s part of my creative
process. Swing free to think free and all that.
Really, hot pink, that is a surprise.
Thanks, Alistair, for submitting to my questioning. It was fun and I'm sure all your fans have learned something new. Good luck with The Crimson Corset!
in the form of contemporary vampire literature, The Crimson Corset is a representation of human descent,
the power of influence, the corruption of greed, and the lust for domination.
It is an illustration of the human will and a testament to the strength of
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.
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
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.
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.
The WEP Spectacular Settings Challenge is still open
for entries and for your enjoyment. Please take a few moments to read these wonderful submissions, you'll be blown away by the talent!