My paranormal and horror friends, I’ve got you covered! Spooky reads are still fun during the holidays, and today I’m treating you to an intriguing story and the writing duo behind it. Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross have stopped by to share about their Ravencrest series, as well as answer a few of my questions. They also give us some of their top horror reading picks. So, dive in, and read on!
Author Interview: Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross
Thanks so much, Alistair and Tamara, for stopping by. I’ve just downloaded a copy of Darker Shadows, and so far, I must say it’s a dark, yet intriguing read. It’s been a while since I’ve read horror, and I’m curious as to what draws you to write in the genre.
T & A: We both agree that writing in this genre is simply what comes natural for us. Even when we have tried writing other things, it eventually goes this direction. It’s just a matter of course for us. It’s what we both love.
Tell us about Darker Shadows, and what inspired you to write it?
T & A: Darker Shadows is the third installment and title of the three-part edition of The Ghosts of Ravencrest, which is a gothic serial thriller about the Manning family, their haunted history, and the young governess who is drawn into their world. We just finished the fourth installment, a Christmas-themed stand-alone novella, titled The Ghosts of Ravencrest: Christmas Spirits. It will be available in just a few days on Amazon.
Sometimes in in horror novels, there isn’t necessarily a clear-cut hero, or a happy ending. Often, the purpose is to evoke strong reactions or emotions we don’t always want to experience. As storytellers, how do you use this to engage your audience?
T & A: While we both respect the importance of the audience’s engagement, we have never written anything evocative for its own sake. We write the things we would love to read and trust that people will enjoy it.
What does the current landscape of horror novels look like? Do you feel there has been recent innovation or change? Do you think anything needs to be adjusted or revised for today’s reading audience?
T & A: We write to our sensibilities, not to the market. We do read horror because that interests us, be we also both read broadly outside the genre. We don’t follow the market and feel that trying to would likely hinder our creativity and put a damper on the joy of what we do. We believe that what people want is a good story and that’s what we try to provide. People will always want well-crafted stories and interesting characters. That will never change.
I love the idea of teaming up with another author for a book. How has that experience been?
T & A: Writing together has come very natural for us. We get along, treat each other with respect, and share the same artistic and ethical sensibilities. It is, very simply, what we’re meant to do.
Alistair, I’ve read that you like flogging your friends and making people uncomfortable—Hopefully, you’ve been nice to Tamara!
A: I only flog the ones I love!
Tamara, in your bio you spoke of using a male pseudonym for an earlier book. Did you feel you could reach a wider audience or grab more male readers if the name on your book was Chris Curry? What made you finally come out as Tamara Thorne?
T: It was a genderless pseudonym and most readers did assume I was male. I wanted that. At the time, I rarely enjoyed horror written by women – the horror glut was on and stories about evil babies, dolls, possessed pregnant women, and children-in-peril were everywhere. I never liked any of those topics and, honestly, have always preferred the male point of view – it’s far more fun for me – and easier to understand, so it was natural. I “came out” because I was invited to write for a second publishing house and couldn’t compete with the Chris Curry name. By then it was time to be me, so I trotted right out, happily. I never could get used to answering to “Chris” anyway. By the way, I did eventually have my way with evil dolls in Haunted. It was a blast.
Some writers who pen stories about ghosts and the paranormal are interested in studying these in real life. Do you investigate the paranormal, or have you had any spooky experiences?
T & A: We do and we have! And we even blogged about it. You can read all about it here:
Give us three other horror authors (either past or current) you think we should be checking out.
Michael Aronovitz, Douglas Clegg, and Ray Bradbury!
Awesome! Thank you both for stopping by, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of you. I’ll list your book links and information below: