Name: Alistair Cross
Where are you from: Sleepy Hollow.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
I can grin a grizzly bear down at twenty paces. I really like American folklore, Irish accents, and French kisses. I have been writing for many, many years. Some people call me the Space Cowboy. My collaborator calls me the Pompatus of Words. I call myself Maurice, but I have yet to be called the Gangster of Love.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Alistair: The first three installments of The Ghosts of Ravencrest, a serialized Gothic Horror novel I’m writing with horror novelist Tamara Thorne, are due out in omnibus form this fall.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Alistair: I emerged from the womb, pen in hand, eager to chronicle my adventures in utero.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Alistair: For as long as I can remember, I have felt compelled to write not just one, but many novels.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Alistair: I don’t really think it’s possible for me to define my own style. It’s a lot like seeing your own face in the mirror. You’ve looked at it your whole life; it’s hard to objectively analyze your looks. You can’t. And you probably shouldn’t try.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Alistair: Ghosts of Ravencrest is named for the mansion in the novel, which is called Ravencrest. Ravencrest Manor is brimming with ghosts and other Gothic delights.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Alistair: I don’t want to point anything out. I’d rather readers find their own meanings.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Alistair: I think there’s a little reality in every creative endeavor, whether or not it is intended.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Alistair: The indoor pool at Ravencrest is inspired by the pool at Hearst Castle. Ravencrest is rich in detail and drawn from several sources, including our own imaginations.
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most?
Alistair: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury influenced me. Bradbury and writers like him paint Rockwellian images of life that camouflage the darkness beneath. This made me aware that just under the surface, there is often an underlying horror. There’s Grandma smiling as she serves up the turkey on Thanksgiving… but what is she really thinking? Perhaps she’d rather serve up Grandpa…
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Alistair: Tamara Thorne
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Alistair: I am reading two. One is Darkness Wakes by Tim Waggoner, and the other is an as-yet-unpublished manuscript by Michael Aronovitz.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Alistair: Michael Aronovitz is keeping me nice and riveted…
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Alistair: The Ghosts of Ravencrest is ongoing, and aside from that, Tamara Thorne and I are in the final stages of revisions in another horror novel, after which we will immediately begin another.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Alistair: I consider myself lucky to have been supported by many, many entities.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Alistair: It is a career, yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Alistair: I really don’t believe in going back. I have no regrets. Though I do wish I had taken better care of my teeth.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Alistair: It started very early with the books and music I loved as a kid.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Alistair: Time is always a challenge. Not because there isn’t enough of it but because it takes a lot of concentrated energy to manage it well, and when you get enough projects going on, your only choice is to either make it work or to fail.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Alistair: I believe in writing what I know, so I like to visit the places I write about and get a feel for the area and its people.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Alistair: Continuity. You must learn to keep a very precise style sheet when you’re writing something with a multitude of plot threads and characters.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Alistair: Yes. I very quickly learned how to say no to people. No, I cannot hang out. No, I cannot come to your birthday party. No, I cannot babysit your kid. No, I cannot help you move. You learn to set boundaries and to guard your writing time with firm resolve, and to spend your free time doing the things that matter most to you.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Alistair: Yes. Be cautious of the advice of other writers. That, and write every day. No excuses.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Alistair: Tamara Thorne and I have been thrilled with the response we’ve gotten on our collaborative works, so I would like to say thank you to everyone who loves it.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Alistair: The first book I remember reading was called The Fire Cat by Esther Averill, but I’m sure this isn’t the first one I read.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Alistair: Right now, the only thing I have going on besides writing, editing, and more writing are the preparations for a weekly radio show that Tamara Thorne and I will be hosting. It’s called Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights Live! and premieres in November.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Alistair: American Horror Story, Forensic Files, Hemlock Grove, and Little House on the Prairie.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Alistair: Writing is pretty much it. It’s this or professional cat-petting.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?