Today, it’s Alistair Cross with his book Sleep Savannah Sleep in the hot seat. Alistair’s debut novel, The Crimson Corset, was an immediate bestseller, earning praise from such authors as Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series, and vampire-lit veteran, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Alistair also writes with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and together they have released several bestsellers, including Mother, The Cliffhouse Haunting, and The Ghosts of Ravencrest. ..
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
I have never seen any of the Star Wars movies.
Are the names of your characters important to you?
The names of the characters are of the utmost importance. Oddly, if I can’t get the name right, the character doesn’t work right – and if the character doesn’t work right, the book doesn’t work right.
How did you choose a title for your book?
It depends on the book. Sometimes, they come before anything, but usually I figure them out somewhere in the middle of the book. Occasionally, the title comes last – I’ve finished the entire manuscript and am left wondering what on earth to call it. Each book has it’s own personality and the title is part of that. Some come easy, some come hard.
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
Yes. Mainly all the sitting. After a few hours, you get a sore back and tingly legs. After a few months, you start gaining weight, forcing you to up your game and take up exercise – which isn’t a bad thing, really. Also, I’m prone to motion sickness and after too much time spent staring at the computer screen, I feel like I’ve been riding a carousel and have to take a dramamine.
There are also a few strange hazards when you’re working on more than one book at a time. It was only when I realized that poor Belinda Moorland, the main character in The Ghosts of Ravencrest, was wandering aimlessly through the pages of an entirely different book that I realized why the scene just wasn’t working.
Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead of writing, and if so what?
No. Writing was what I always wished I could be while I was busy being something else. At this point, I can’t foresee a time when I’d like to do anything but write.
Do you think there is any elitism attached to the different genres of books, both in the fiction and non-fiction worlds?
If there is, I have no consciousness of it – for me, writing is about entertaining the readers, not worrying about what other writers are doing. I’m not involved in any critique groups or writer’s get-togethers, and I’m not big on conferences and things like that. My only real interest is in sitting down and writing the story I want to tell, and between the collaborative Thorne & Cross novels I co-author with Tamara Thorne, our horror-themed radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, and my solo writing career, I don’t really have time for any extracurricular writing activities, so my awareness of the politics among other authors is nil.
Have you ever written naked?
Why do you ask? I see you’ve been reading Tiger Beat Magazine again …
Who would you like to play you in a film of your life?
If there were ever a movie made out of my life, I hope it’s long after I’m dead, in which case I wouldn’t know or care who was playing me. But I do hope it’s someone with great teeth. Everyone likes a guy with nice teeth.
What is the single biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?
The single most difficult part of writing Sleep, Savannah, Sleep was striking the balance between dropping enough clues in the story that the murderer’s identity didn’t come across as a total cheap shot at the end, but not so many that readers would figure it out right away. While some people will figure it out no matter what you do, I would say that based on the reviews so far, I succeeded in that.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Just write. Just sit down and write. And if you don’t know what to write, then read. Read across the board – anything you can get your hands on, all the time. Pay attention to what the author is doing, and then go back and write some more. Those are the only two things that ever had any real impact on my own growth as a writer.
How do you remain sane while working?
Sometimes I don’t – and it generally depends on whether my cat, Pawpurrazzi, is having a Good Kitty Day, or a Bad Kitty Day. On Good Kitty Days, she pretty much leaves me in peace, preferring to spend her time in the “Christmas” box where I strategically placed a soft, velvety blanket to lure her into spending more time alone. On Bad Kitty Days, however, she’s on me like a stripper on a pole, demanding head rubs, back scratches, and kisses on the nose (true story.)
Otherwise, I’m kept sane by Tamara Thorne, who I work with via Skype and the Cloud every day. Whether or not we’re collaborating, we “go to work” every day in our virtual office and spend the day writing. Having a co-worker really helps keep the insanity at bay.
What is the best excuse you have ever come up with for missing a deadline?
Pfft. I don’t miss deadlines. And yeah, I’m totally bragging.
What has been the best experience you have ever had in your life?
Holding my firtsborn child in my arms and … oh, wait. That was someone else’s life. I can’t stand my children. Just kidding. I don’t have any.
Are you jealous of other writers?
Only the really, really sexy ones.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Usually behind the couch. Sometimes at the back of the junk drawer. It’s never where I left it, I swear. I strongly suspect my kitty of getting it out and playing with it when I’m not looking.
What was the most important thing you learned at school?
That no matter what I want to be in life, if I apply myself and believe in my dreams, I can … wait … that was someone else’s life, too. I dropped out of school the moment I was legally allowed. But I went back later and got my diploma and learned that I do much better outside of a conventional classroom setting, which was a pretty important thing to know.
You can find Sleep Savannah Sleep in Kindle and Paperback format here: :
Amazon – Sleep Savannah Sleep
And, you can meet Alistair online on his website here: www.alistaircross.com
WHY ‘THE THURSDAY THRONG’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.