As the release date for Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels draws nearer, I dug out my cenobites to celebrate the impending return of Pinhead.
Today we’re joined by Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross talking about their latest book The Cliffhouse Haunting.
Can you tell us a bit about your new book The Cliffhouse Haunting?
THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING is set in the San Bernardino Mountains of California in a little town called Cliffside. The story centers on the Cliffhouse Lodge, a hotel that has a dark history including cathouses, rum-running, a serial killer who terrorized the town in the 1920s, and a ghost, the Blue Lady, who was said to walk when death was imminent. Now there’s a new serial killer on the loose, and the Blue Lady sightings have returned. And this time, she’s enlisting the help of a few unsavory locals. Between the Blue Lady, the serial killer, a ruthless vandal, a spoiled novelist, a crazed doctor, and the rising body count, police chief Jackson Ballou has his hands full and can barely pursue his romance with diner owner, Polly Owen.
THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING is about a community possessed by a hunger for power. It is a glimpse into the darker side of the human psyche. Each character is driven by his or her own motives, and this story is a depiction of the consequent madness that ensues when their lives and intentions collide and the strings of their plans tangle together.
What influences did you draw from for this book?
In 2013, we were asked to investigate an allegedly haunted cabin in California’s Gold Country. (Tamara has done many such investigations and has been featured on several programs, including Ghosts Adventures.) While THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING is a work of fiction, our experiences there inspired some of the events in the book.
Writing can be a very solitary undertaking, how is it working together on a book?
It’s much more fun than working alone. We hook up in Skype and the Cloud each morning and, even when we’re working on different things, each other’s presence is a plus for us. It’s a virtual office where we can consult and brainstorm and have “water cooler” breaks and goof off now and then.
How did you get started with the Thorne & Cross Haunted Nights LIVE! radio show?
We were asked by Pam Stack, to be guests on her show, Authors on the Air. After the interview, she contacted us, telling us she thought we’d make great hosts of a horror-themed show, and became our producer. Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! is a weekly, one-hour walk on the dark side. We talk to horror authors, paranormal investigators, and the biggest names in the business of the macabre. We’ve met amazing people and are very proud of the show’s success.
What scares you?
Touching the underside of strange tables – you never know what might be lurking there. And pompadours, for the same reason.
What’s your favorite horror film?
Just one? That’s hard. We are in agreement on these: Kubrick’s The Shining, The Haunting (original), Poltergeist, Ghost Story, Bubba Ho-Tep, Interview with the Vampire, Carrie, Gaslight, and Rebecca.
What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?
Tamara: Communion by Whitley Strieber. I read it as fiction, but it really worked, possibly because the author wrote it as non-fiction. Most of my friends never finished it because of the nightmares it induced. Me, I enjoy nightmares.
Alistair: Gerald’s Game by Stephen King. The Space Cowboy still haunts me.
Who are your favorite horror authors?
Tamara: Stephen King, Michael McDowell, Peter Straub, Ray Bradbury.
Alistair: Edgar Allan Poe, Ira Levin, William Peter Blatty, Stephen King.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write every day, write what you love, and read, read, read. Don’t write with dollar signs in your eyes – that destroys quality.
Can you tell us about your next projects?
With the release of THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING, we’re returning full-time to GRANDMA’S RACK, a novel about two warring covens of witches in an otherwise peaceful town. Ongoing is our serialized Gothic novel, THE GHOSTS OF RAVENCREST, which concerns a mansion in the hills, haunted by the many ghosts of its scandalous violent past. Alistair is currently knee-deep in a solo vampire novel titled THE CRIMSON CORSET, in which a young man from Gilroy, California must face the darkest side of his own nature in order to protect what he loves. Later this year, we will begin our next collaboration, a psychological thriller that we are currently referring to only as “M.” This project will be completed by the end of 2015, and involves elements of our favorite, eeriest, darkest concepts. Finally, we are already a quarter of the way into a very large, very complex apocalyptic horror novel that we expect to release in 2016.