Today, Write Through the Night (and all of you guys) has the pleasure of featuring author Alistair Cross!! Alistair wrote an urban fantasy/dark fiction novel The Angel Alejandro, and it was finally published this January. I was lucky enough to be able to ask him some questions about his book, writing, and himself!
On The Angel Alejandro…
Where did you come up with the idea for The Angel Alejandro?
Like most book ideas, it came in small sections – some of which predated the writing by a couple of years and others that were formed as the writing went along. But there was one defining moment that stands out – something I saw that brought it all together and had me itching to write this book right away: A man walking down the street near my house.
He looked like he’d stepped right out of 1880s London, and the moment I saw him, I knew he belonged in this book. His slicked-back hair, shiny black briefcase, and long ebony cigarette holder sparked my imagination in a thousand ways and by the end of that day, Gremory Jones – the main antagonist in The Angel Alejandro – was fully formed and ready to begin telling his dark, sordid story.
Can you give us any hints about what’s to come in the book?
The cover and title of this novel suggests a certain lightness – romance, even – and that’s deliberate. There’s plenty of both within the pages, and a good dose of humor, too, of course, but once you get deeper in, there are darker things – things that will hopefully set the readers’ teeth on edge. I wanted to throw some curveballs in this book, to keep the readers on their toes, and to leave a lasting impression. I think of this book as a ticking bomb gift-wrapped in pretty packaging.
Which authors inspired you to begin writing?
There are so many, and nearly every author I’ve read has inspired me in one way or another, but no one has given me more inspiration – on and off the page – as my friend and collaborator, Tamara Thorne, who is the bestselling author of Moonfall, Haunted, and Candle Bay. Together, we’ve collaborated on several novels and this is a dream-come-true for me because I’ve been a fan of her work since the 90s, long before I ever put pen to paper in a serious way myself.
We met in 2012, just after I’d first gotten published, and we hit it off in a way that only happens once or twice in a lifetime. We found ourselves talking about new ideas for novels, one thing led to another, and one day, she called me and asked if I’d care to work on a book with her. I had mixed feelings about collaborating at the time – is there a quicker way to sabotage any relationship than going into a joint business venture? – but when horror-lit royalty like Tamara Thorne invites you to collaborate, you don’t turn that down. Plus, I had a really strong feeling that if I could write with anyone, it would be her.
We soon found that our writing styles gelled together so seamlessly that when asked who wrote which part, we often didn’t know the answer. We still don’t. And after over three years of working together every day, we have never had a fight. We have nearly identical artistic sensibilities and we share strong feelings about proper work etiquette – which, in short, translates as no drama. We’re currently wrapping up our fourth and fifth collaborative novels simultaneously.
This is the type of author friendship most people only dream of!
How do you begin the writing process?
I always feel like I should have a really interesting answer to this – and one day I’ll make one up involving goat bones and virgin’s blood – but the truth is, I get up, make coffee, sit down, and start writing.
Why did you choose to write fantasy, out of all possible genres?
While The Angel Alejandro qualifies as urban fantasy, I am a horror author at heart – not because I chose either of these genres but because I simply write the story that needs to be told. I don’t think about genre. I could just as likely one day write a historical romance if that’s what appeals to me at that time.
What do you consider the best part of writing?
I love the characters. I like putting them in impossible situations and seeing how they get themselves out. Nothing makes me happier than when a character surprises me. That’s how I know I’m on the right track – when the characters start telling me what happens next.
On Reading and Other Hobbies…
Who are your favorite authors to read?
Another very, very long list. I am a reader. I always have been. I’ve loved everything from Pet Sematary to Gone With the Wind. Currently, I’m reading The Troop by Nick Cutter, and I can’t put it down. I love the darkness of Anne Rice, the authenticity of Patricia Scanlan, the dark romance of Anne Rivers Siddons, the eloquence of Charles Dickens, the elegance of Oscar Wilde, the sexy bad-ass-ness of Laurell K. Hamilton, and the brilliance of Stephen King.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Driving around without destination, radio blaring. Reading. Petting the cats. Thinking about writing. I try to take Sundays off so I can just watch movies and veg out.
On The Radio Show…
You said you co-host a radio show. What is the most challenging and/or rewarding part of doing this?
Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, an hour-long weekly radio talk show, is part of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network, which has over 3 million listeners worldwide. On Haunted Nights LIVE!, Tamara Thorne and I interview authors, crime buffs, paranormal investigators, forensics experts, and even actors and psychics – anyone who dabbles in the darkness.
The reward, of course, is meeting amazing people. I get to say with certainty that I’ve conversed in depth with people who will be remembered hundreds of years from now. I get to not only meet my heroes, but I get to ask them about their work, their lives. I get to find out how their minds work. I’ll never forget what it was like to talk zombies with Walking Dead author, Jay Bonansinga, or ask Andrew Neiderman, author of the world-famous V.C. Andrews novels, what a day in his life looked like.
And how could I forget how nervous I was the first time we interviewed Laurell K. Hamilton? That first interview with her would be especially difficult to forget, of course, because of a technical glitch that kicked me out of the studio during her reading from her novel Dead Ice … but pros that they are, Laurell and Tamara carried on just fine and by the time I got back in, all was well. There are simply too many rewards to mention, and I love doing the show.
As for challenges, our only real enemy is time constraints. Between solo novels and collaborations, Tamara and I are working on a minimum of three projects at any given time and this doesn’t leave us a lot of room for anything besides writing, researching, editing, and brainstorming. But we love the show and make it a priority.
Who is the best guest that you’ve ever had on your radio show?
I can honestly say we haven’t had a single bad guest. Not one. As for choosing a favorite, I simply can’t do it. I’ve learned so many different things and had so much fun with all of them that it’s impossible to say which one I enjoyed the most.
And Finally (as always), a Bit of Advice and a Personal Note…
What advice would you give to other aspiring authors, or just to people in general?
Do what you love. Use the talents you were given. When you begin your journey, you’ll be told that you can’t, that you won’t, that you mustn’t. Look closely at the lives of those who are discouraging you and ask yourself if this is someone you should be taking advice from. I personally guarantee you they aren’t – people who fulfill their dreams aren’t naysayers because they know what’s possible. Only the idle have such strong negative opinions about progress.
If your readers could only know one thing about you, what would you want it to be?
That I sincerely love what I do and that it’s because of them that I’m allowed to do it.
Want to Know More?
Thank you so much to Alistair for taking the time to answer my questions, I know I loved reading your answers, and it gave me much better insight into you and your writing! For those of you that feel the same way, below is a summary of Alistair’s book, and a couple of links you should probably check out.
About the Author
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, reached the bestseller’s list in its first week of release. 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 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.
Visit Alistair at: http://www.alistaircross.com
The Angel Alejandro
From bestselling author Alistair Cross comes a forbidden tale of love and redemption, of good and evil, and those who dare to stand up to Hell itself.
Angel or Demon?
Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro, and Madison O’Riley has no clue what to do with him. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes the mysterious man who saved her life harbors deep, otherworldly secrets that will put her in grave danger.
The Devil is in the Details
Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a price, he’s willing to make a deal. Walking the streets in top hat and trench coat, he tempts the citizens with mysterious wares from his shiny black briefcase. But buyer beware: All sales are final – and fatal.
A Scorching New Terror Has Come to Town
The townspeople are changing in appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …
Buy The Angel Alejandro on Amazon
Other Books by Cross
The Crimson Corset
The Book of Strange Persuasions
The Cliffhouse Haunting with Tamara Thorne
The Ghosts of Ravencrest with Tamara Thorne
The Witches of Ravencrest with Tamara Thorne
Mother with Tamara Thorne
Don’t Miss a Thing
Will you be buying The Angel Alejandro? Did you learn anything new in the interview? Comment below!
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