New interview with novelist Alistair Cross

Writer extraordinaire Alistair Cross is back! Today we’re
chatting about his new urban fantasy horror, The Silver Dagger (Book Two
in The Vampires of Crimson Cove Series).
Bio:
Alistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson
Corset
, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate
bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn
Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking
Dead series. In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller,
Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write – among other things – the
successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The
Cliffhouse Haunting
, was a bestseller. They are currently at work on their
next solo novels and a new collaborative project.
In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio
show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests
as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern
Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author
of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K.
Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2,
3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers
Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.
Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, Alistair. Please tell us about your newest release.
The Silver Dagger, is Book 2 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series and picks up
where the first book, The Crimson Corset, leaves off.

Life in Crimson Cove has been good to the Colter Brothers since Gretchen
VanTreese was staked and her horde of vampires scattered. But when she rises
from the grave, the brothers are torn apart, their lives – and the peace
between them – shattered. Meanwhile, a serial killer is stalking the little
mountain town, leaving a trail of blood that leads to a truth Sheriff Ethan
Hunter doesn’t want to face. The streets are no longer safe, nor are the
forested paths, for a new and unknowable evil has come to Crimson Cove and
everyone – vampire and human alike – must come together in order to survive.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I finished The Crimson Corset, I
knew I’d return to Crimson Cove one day, but I had a few other stories that
were demanding to be written first – I believe very firmly in writing the story
that’s calling to you. I finished two other books (The Angel Alejandro
and Sleep Savannah Sleep) and then began The Silver Dagger. So,
it wasn’t so much about inspiration as much as it was simply time to go back
and see what happened next. 




Excerpt from The Silver
Dagger:
Crimson Cove’s sheriff,
Ethan Hunter, is relaxing waiting for his fiancée, who happens to be a
mortician, to get home, when his nosy neighbor, Gladiola Gelding hammers on the
door with needs of her own.




He opened the door. Mrs.
Gelding didn’t wait to be invited in. She barged into Ethan’s living room, a
tray of cookies in hand, her one-sided conversation trailing her like a loyal
hound. “Can you believe this heat? And the humidity!” Mrs. Gelding dropped the
tray on the coffee table then inflicted her bulk upon Ethan’s favorite chair.
“I almost had a heat stroke in the kitchen baking those cookies for you!” Her
beady eyes followed him. 
“Uh, thanks.” For a
moment, he stood there – sitting seemed an act of surrender – but finally,
defeated, Ethan eased himself onto the sofa. Mrs. Gelding was a steamroller,
flattening folks into whatever shape most suited her, and after the day he’d
had, Ethan didn’t have the energy to fight it. He asked, “How are you, Mrs. Gelding?” 
She wasted no time
getting to the point. “Well, I can tell you I’d be a lot better if it weren’t
for all these bear attacks!”
A greasy sliding feeling
roiled through Ethan’s gut. 
“It’s all anyone is
talking about at the Senior Hall, you know.” Mrs. Gelding’s piggy eyes sparkled
with excitement. “I’ve never even heard of a bear attacking innocent
people for no good reason. Never! I do hope you’ve figured something
out.”
“We’re working on it.”
She sighed. “I suppose
it’s not my place to tell you how to do your job, but you might consider
letting the public know what you’re doing about this. We don’t feel safe!”
Ethan frowned. “I can’t
talk about it at this point, but rest assured, we’re doing everything we can-”
“Well, I just don’t know
if that’s going to be enough. The public deserves to know more.”
And what she meant,
Ethan knew, was that she deserved to know more. There was nothing
Gladiola Gelding loved so much as being the star of the Crimson Cove Senior
Citizen Center on Bingo night, the woman to whom all gossipers flocked. 
Just then, Sheila’s
headlights cut through the living room window. Mrs. Gelding prattled on, taking
no notice even when Ethan’s fiancee entered the living room. 
As Mrs. Gelding
blathered, Ethan and Sheila exchanged glances. His said, Help! And after
a whimsical smile, Sheila’s said, I’ve got this. 
“Hello, Mrs. Gelding!”
Sheila spoke a little too loudly, cutting the woman off as she perched on the
sofa arm beside Ethan. 
“Oh, hello, dear.” It
was but a small speed bump in Mrs. Gelding’s sermon and as she opened her mouth
to continue, Sheila sighed loudly and looked at Ethan. 
“Boy, am I glad to be
home.” She shook her head. “We had another groaner in the morgue tonight.”
Ethan suppressed a
snort.
Mrs. Gelding blinked. “A
groaner?”
Sheila nodded. “Yep. A
lot of people don’t know this, Mrs. Gelding, but sometimes, dead people make
noises. It’s just air escaping the lungs, of course, but when you’re in that
dark room alone with the corpses, it’s pretty alarming.” Her gaze settled on
the tray of cookies. She took one, bit into it, and groaned, long and low.
“Mmmm. These are excellent, Mrs. Gelding. Nothing gets the stench of
formaldehyde out of my nose like your cookies. Thank you.” She pushed the tray
toward the other woman. “You shouldn’t have made so many, though. Please, have
one.” 
All color had retreated
from Mrs. Gelding’s chubby cheeks. Scandalized, she shook her head. “No, thank
you, dear. I have plenty at home.”
Ethan was barely able to
suppress laughter when Sheila barreled on.
“And twitching, too.
Usually in the smaller muscles.” She popped the rest of the cookie in her
mouth. “I’ll never forget the first time I saw a twitcher.” Sheila grinned at
Mrs. Gelding. “I thought for sure there’d been some mistake and the guy was
still alive.” 
“Yes, well … ” said Mrs.
Gelding. “It’s a dreadful business, I’m sure.”
“You get used to it,”
said Sheila. Her gaze cut to Mrs. Gelding, going grave. “Well, some of
it, anyway. Not only do they groan and twitch, but, sometimes-”
“Well.” Mrs. Gelding
cleared her throat and hefted herself from the chair. “I suppose I’d better be
off.”
Ethan got to his feet
and walked her out. “Goodbye, Mrs. Gelding.” After closing the door, he broke
into laughter. “We need to do that more often.”
“Works every time.”
Sheila held an uneaten part of cookie to his lips and he bit into it.
“She does make damned
good cookies, though.”




What’s the next writing project?
There are always several things going on at
once. As far as my solo work, I jumped right into the next Crimson Cove book
after finishing The Silver Dagger and am madly, deeply in love with it
thus far.

Then there are the Thorne & Cross novels, which I write with my friend,
collaborator, and Haunted Nights LIVE! co-host, Tamara Thorne. Our
serialized gothic/horror, THE RAVENCREST SAGA, is ongoing and we’re closing in
on the third full-length novel in that series – which we’re calling Exorcism.
The other collaborative effort we’re working on is a psycho-thriller called Spite
House
, which takes place in the fictional town of Snapdragon, where our #1
bestseller, MOTHER, was set.

All three projects are running very smoothly – which of course, makes me very suspicious!
But so far, so good!
What is your biggest challenge when writing a
new book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)
The greatest challenge with this book was
keeping my facts straight regarding what happened in the book before it. Also,
it’s a balancing act. You have to give enough information for new readers, but
not too much for those who read the first book. That’s always a challenge.
If your novels require research – please talk
about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re
writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
Research starts before the book is written and
continues throughout on an as-needed basis – which is ongoing. I try to do
physical research as often as possible because reading something or watching a
video online rarely gives you all the little details you need to make the
writing come to life.

For The Silver Dagger, I took a trip to Santa Cruz, California, where a
part of the story is set. We traveled through the mountains where Crimson Cove
is (if it were a real place, that is) and went to the ocean to absorb the
sights, sounds, and feel of the locations.
What’s your writing space like? Do you have a
particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about
it.
I write wherever I can, which is usually at my
computer in the corner of my writing room. As for my muse, I’m sad to say that
he is a fall-down, black-out, pee-your-pants drunk who can only very rarely be
depended upon. 
I just write. If my muse shows up for work that
day, great. If not, oh, well. I still write. It’s my job.
What authors do you enjoy reading within or
outside of your genre?
I’ll read everything from horror to historical
romance to the back of an aspirin bottle to profane poetry scribbled on the
walls of a public bathroom stall with a magic marker – and I love it all. I’m a
word person. Words turn me on. They just do – and if something is well-written,
I’ll read it. Usually twice. 
Anything additional you want to share with the
readers today?
Yes – thank you for reading. Keep up the
great job!
Thank you for coming back to Reviews and
Interviews!

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