Name: Tamara Thorne
Where are you from:Southern California
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc :
I married my high school sweetheart and we live in California with our feline family. I studied journalism and psychology, but only because I couldn’t get any classes in lobster husbandry.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Alistair Cross and I are about to release our new psychological thriller, Mother. We’re also working on the second book in our Ravencrest Saga series, The Witches of Ravencrest. It’s released as a serial novel and the first entry, Grave Expectations is available now on Amazon.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began around second grade. I also sang Paperback Writer incessantly because that’s what I wanted to be. A paperback writer. Yeah, paperback writer.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In the womb. However, I never told others I was a writer until I sold my first novel in 1990.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The love of a location with a lot of history. I love history and folklore and this area possesses plenty. Alistair and I revisited the general area in The Cliffhouse Haunting. To me, locations are characters – as important as the human ones.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Probably. Any writer who consciously thinks about their own style much probably isn’t someone I would bother reading, even if they published. Being a writer is doing a lot of writing. Not thinking about writing.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
“Mother” was our working title from day one. We wanted something short, strong, and to the point. There was never another title for this book.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really – we write to entertain rather than instruct. That said, looking back, there’s a strong message: Blood doesn’t guarantee loyalty. Or love. And read The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
It’s fiction – we don’t write about ourselves or our mothers. However, the story could be taking place in your neighborhood right now.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Like all other writers, we found inspiration in certain experiences, our own as well as those of others, but there’s nothing in Motherthat is based on anything from our lives. It’s more about our reactions to disturbing people than about who the people are.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?:
Ray Bradbury’s were and are a huge influence, particularlyDandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles. Around age eleven, I first read Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House – and that set my course. LOTR, and MAD Magazine. Andersonville. From second grade on I devoured, repeatedly, all the books on writing in the library. Books were my mentors and influences, especially Bradbury’s. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro became my how-to-handle-publishers mentor after I sold my first novels.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Because of our radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! I’m in the middle of half a dozen books. Last night’s reading was Kevin Keating’s The Captive Condition. I’m loving it.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Kevin Keating. The Captive Condition is only his second novel. I’m going to have to read the first.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on a solo novel, “B,” that will see print by the end of the year. Alistair and I are beginning the sequel to my vampire novel, Candle Bay, next week. Some of the vamps from his novel, The Crimson Corset, will be along for this fangy road trip of a novel. (Some of my Candle Bay vampires were in The Crimson Corset and we’ll continue these appearances as both series continue.) We’re constantly putting out Ravencrest episodes. After Candle Bay II, we will be working on another horror novel we call “S,” and in 2017, we will be writing something apocalyptic we refer to as “B.O.” We don’t like to release titles before the books are almost complete, but “B.O.” just stands for “Big One.” It hasn’t revealed its title to us yet.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members:
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I always have. It pays the bills!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. If I – or Alistair and I are happy with it – we don’t look back. There’s too much to look forward to. No regrets.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Well, probably as an infant on my mother’s knee. Every morning, from the first day on, she sat me there and read to me. She was bored by children’s books, so she read wonderful things like Baum’sOz books to me until, by three, I was reading along, following her finger. Then I read to her. My mother is why I’m a writer.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is the moment just before Claire and Jason Holbrook, a young couple who’ve lost their home, reluctantly make it to Claire’s mother’s house in Snapdragon, California, to get back on their feet. Claire hasn’t seen her mother in many years – and never intended to again. Jason is curious to see if the woman lives up to his wife’s horror stories.
“The instant Jason turned on to Morning Glory Circle, he wanted to hum Pleasant Valley Sunday. He cruised the cul de sac slowly, heading toward the big white house that presided over the rest of the street. Claire said nothing, but her knuckles were bloodless.
As they approached her mother’s house, he saw a woman hoeing a huge flower bed in the middle of her front lawn. He glanced at Claire, then sang, “There’s Mrs. Green, she’s so serene because her roses aren’t in bloom. Yet.”
Claire didn’t crack a smile. He squeezed her hand. “Anticipation is the worst, sweetheart, and the worst is almost over.”
She nodded, barely, but said nothing. That was a bad sign. He wanted her to say something caustic about her mother, to come out swinging. When Claire didn’t rise to a remark, it meant something was really truly bothering her.
“Months, sweetheart. Just a few months. And we’ll be gone. I promise.”
She glanced at him.
“You’ll never see the woman again if you don’t want to. And she’ll never lay eyes on our baby. I give you my word.”
But Claire didn’t respond, didn’t even smile. Something in her stillness and silence chilled him.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Staying on task, but Alistair and I work together (in the Cloud, talking via Skype) Monday through Saturday and keep regular hours like any other business. We rely on one another and this serves to keep me completely on task.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are several. Ray Bradbury because his prose is sheer poetry and he imbues his locations with as much life as any human character. Nelson DeMille, whose characters are so entertaining that I’ll read anything he writes, whether I like the subject matter or not. And Stephen King because, hey, Stephen King.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Occasionally. I set books in fictional versions of places I’ve visited. Many are on California’s central coast because I love the region. Some are up north, others down south near my own home. My solo takes place in a region I’m fond of visiting – a historic monument of an old west town in Arizona.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Mike Rivera, who also designed our websites. He takes our basic ideas and turns them into works of art. He’s brilliant.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting up in the morning. We both hate that part.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
We did a lot of research in psychology and family dynamics. We’re really up on histrionics, narcissism, and other unsavory disorders. If you hate going to Thanksgiving dinner with your crazy relatives, you’re going to love this book.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write every day and write what you love. Never put money first. That’ll kill the joy.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Norma Bates has nothing on Mother.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember the Oz books. Return to Oz was my favorite. It’s spookier than the rest.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My cats, Alistair, the voice-changing app on my phone, Airplane!, Blazing Saddles, Full Metal Jacket, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels all make me laugh. I don’t do sad. Life’s too short.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’ve always been fond of Danny Kaye. He gave off such a smart, funny vibe. I doubt he had a boring bone in his body.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“Hey, you’re not wearing panties!” I don’t think I need to say why.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I explore ghost towns and ruins in the southwest and go on the occasional ghost hunt (I’m the one without tools – I just like to soak up atmosphere for my books). Alistair and I first met in person in a haunted cabin. We documented our experiences and you can read about them here. I also enjoy riding my unicycle every year in my town’s Founders Day parade.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Walking Dead, Family Guy, Supernatural, Eureka, and Stargate SG-1 are my favorites on Netflix. Movies – good horror, even halfway decent horror – is my preference because, after a long-hard day of writing, I like to go for the guts and the gory. It relaxes me.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Mexican, jewel tones, classical, ragtime, and classic rock. The word “pop” is not in my vocabulary except when associated with weasels and rocks.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I thought about becoming an astronaut as a kid then found out it required math skills and peeing in weird places.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
http://tamarathorne.com, http://thorneandcross.wordpress.com, andhttp://tamarathorne.com. If you’re interested in our radio show, check out our guest list (and links to podcasts) here:http://www.tamarathorne.com/Guests Writers like Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, and Michael Slade visit us to talk about writing every week.