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Sunday, 17 April 2016

#SPOTLIGHT & INTERVIEWS - Mother by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

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Dark, Comedy, Psychological, Suspense


A Girl’s Worst Nightmare is Her Mother ... 
Priscilla Martin. She’s the diva of Morning Glory Circle and a driving force in the quaint California town of Snapdragon. Overseer of garage sales and neighborhood Christmas decorations, she is widely admired. But few people know the real woman behind the perfectly coiffed hair and Opium perfume. 

Family is Forever. And Ever and Ever ... 
No one escapes Prissy’s watchful eye. No one that is, except her son, who committed suicide many years ago, and her daughter, Claire, who left home more than a decade past and hasn’t spoken to her since. But now, Priscilla’s daughter and son-in-law have fallen on hard times. Expecting their first child, the couple is forced to move back … And Prissy is there to welcome them home with open arms … and to reclaim her broken family. 

The Past Isn’t Always as Bad as You Remember. 
Sometimes it’s Worse ... 
Claire has terrible memories of her mother, but now it seems Priscilla has mended her ways. When a cache of vile family secrets is uncovered, Claire struggles to determine fact from fiction, and her husband, Jason, begins to wonder who the monster really is. Lives are in danger - and Claire and Jason must face a horrifying truth … a truth that may destroy them … and will forever change their definition of “Mother.” 

Amazon UK  |  Amazon US

Kindle Unlimited


Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Tamara: I’ve been writing all my life.  It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I’ve also been totally taken by ghost stories and folklore since I was a little kid. I first published in 1991.
Alistair: I started writing when I was about eight years old and never really stopped. I got serious about it in 2005, when I realized that as daunting as the road to publication was, I would never be happy until I was doing this - not as a hobby, but as a job. So, I made the necessary sacrifices, put the time and work into it, and gave it everything I had.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Tamara: I read, think about writing, research new ideas, investigate anomalies, explore ghost towns, and hang out with trees a lot. Road trips rock.
Alistair: Read. I’ve always loved books - that is my first love. I’m also interested in photography but not to any significant extent. I like going for aimless drives for hours on end with good loud music as a backdrop.
Do you have a day job as well?
T&A: Writing is our day job. And our night job. And our weekend job.
What was your favourite book as a child?
Tamara: My mother read me the Oz books over and over from infancy on so I am fond of those. But in second grade I got hold of my first Ray Bradbury novel - Dandelion Wine - and that’s probably my favorite. I didn’t discover Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House until I was ten or eleven, but that’s my other favorite. I discovered H. Rider Haggard’s Alan Quartermain novels and the complete Sherlock Holmes in fourth grade and still remember them fondly.
Alistair: That’s a hard question to answer. I loved so many. I remember finding a bunch of old paperbacks in a box in the basement - mostly romance novels - and just loving them, their covers, their titles, everything. There was one in particular that I really liked. It was titled Gemini. The cover was green, with a woman on it. That’s all I can remember about it and I’ve never been able to locate it. I also read - and loved - Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and this book, I believe, is what really set my course.
When was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
Tamara:  I never daydreamed about being a writer. I wrote for pleasure and always just knew it was meant to be.  After college, I spent a few years doing other things because I had always told being a fiction writer wasn’t a way to make a living. Then my husband suggested I take five years off from the day job and see if I could get published. I did, I was, and that was that.
Alistair: A few years ago, when I realized no one was going to make this happen but me. I’d been working nine-to-five in fields that were of no particular interest to me - fields that made very little use of my personal skills and talents. After several mind-numbing years of living paycheck-to-paycheck, something inside me snapped. Quite literally. I quit my job of thirteen years, left the state, and said to myself, “Make this happen.” And so I did.
What book do you wish you had written?
Tamara: The Shining. I’d have a bigger house.
Alistair: Great question. Gemini by whoever wrote it. So I could read it again!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Tamara: I see myself on the west coast. I like it here.
Alistair: Happy. But with a tan.


When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
Tamara: Second grade. I finished lots of handwritten “books” as a kid. Writing for publication - I think it took about a year. I don’t really remember.
Alistair: My first book took forever. Seriously. Nearly ten years. And it sucked. So I rewrote it in 2015, retitled it as The Crimson Corset, and it got published. I write quite a bit faster these days.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
Tamara: I don’t think about genre, but I love ghosts so “horror” chose me. But horror isn’t really a genre unless you’re writing about mummies and vampires and other assorted monsters. I usually stay away from those things. Usually.
Alistair: I didn’t, and I don’t want to choose a genre. As far as I’m concerned, I am a writer, period, and if I want to write a western or a romance one day, I will.
Where do you get your ideas?
Tamara: They come from every facet of life. My favorites often come from my own dreams, but history and folklore and science are all especially inspiring. As is people-watching.
Alistair: Absolutely everywhere. From people, to places, to conversations to television and books. There is no shortage of inspiration.  
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Tamara: No. I just write anything if something is hard to start. It begins flowing as soon as I start scribbling and I’m soon on the right path. Writer’s block seems like an excuse not to write.
Alistair: No, but I have experienced “I don’t feel like writing.” I combat this by writing anyway. “Writer’s Block” is a luxury I can’t afford.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
Alistair and Tamara: Somewhere in the middle. We get a basic outline, then let the characters express themselves freely as the story moves.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
Tamara: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Shirley Jackson, JRR Tolkien. I discovered them all between second and sixth grade, devoured them, still love them.
Alistair: A children’s book titled The Ghost That Goofed by Edith Boutelle. This was when I fell in love with ghosts - and the name Belinda, which is what we named our heroine in The Ghosts of Ravencrest. As an adult, I am inspired by many, many books.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Tamara: My experience was highly unusual. I didn’t know the rule about not approaching an agent at a con, so I did and he took me on the next day on the basis of a half-written book. When it was done, he shopped it and got three immediate offers. That was that.
Alistair: It took a very long time. I received two-hundred and fifty-seven rejections before I got a “yes.” But it thickens the skin and I wouldn’t take any of it back. It made me a better writer and a stronger person.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
Tamara: No. Once I let go of a novel, I don’t look back. Regrets are a waste of time.

Alistair: No. The beauty of writing is the ability to rewrite until you get it just right.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Tamara: Nope.
Alistair: Not yet!
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Tamara & Alistair: We have a publicist who works very hard for us. Her job is to get us interviews, guest posts, reviews, etc. and she’s awesome at it. As for the best avenues of marketing, we think guest posts probably get the most mileage, but it’s hard to say. But the greatest asset to marketing is, and always will be, word-of-mouth, which no one, not even a publicist, can do for you. This is why the single most important thing an author can do is a write a book that people will talk about. Whether they love it or hate it, it doesn’t matter, so long as it’s a well-researched, well-edited, well-written, professional product.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Tamara & Alistair: Mother is a psychological thriller in the vein of Psycho and Misery, with a pinch of Peyton Place and a dash of Gaslight. It concerns a young expectant couple, Claire and Jason Holbrook, who’ve fallen on hard times, forcing them to move in with Claire’s estranged mother. Claire vowed to have no contact with the overbearing woman ever again, but Mother is thrilled at the prospect of a grandchild. At Mother’s, Claire and Jason begin experiencing things that make them determined to leave immediately … but when a cruel twist of fate makes leaving impossible, Claire becomes obsessed with her mother’s motives. Fantasy and fact blur together as her compulsion consumes her, and Jason wonders who the villain really is. When a cache of macabre family secrets is uncovered, Claire and Jason find the answers they’re looking for - answers that will change them forever … assuming anyone can get out of Mother’s house alive.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Tamara & Alistair: Imagination. We love fiction, and that’s why we write it. Neither of us has any interest in writing anything biographical.  
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Alistair: The end. We totally nailed it … if I do say so, myself.
Tamara: Like Alistair, I loved writing the end - there’s no feeling like rushing into that final countdown when all the story threads start coming together.

How did you come up with the title?
Tamara & Alistair: Mother has been “Mother” since the very day it was conceived. There is nothing else this book could have ever been called, and we knew that from day one.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
Tamara & Alistair: There are several characters we’d like to go back to, and we do. Throughout our novels, both solo and collaborative, is a thread of fictional places and people that we share. From Coastal Eddie in Tamara’s Candle Bay to Nick Grayson in Alistair’s, The Crimson Corset, many of our characters are featured in various books. As for themes, we try to do something new with each project.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Tamara & Alistair: “Be now what you wish to become.” This has been our motto since the beginning. In short, don’t aspire to be a writer - just be a writer. Which means you have to write. So yeah. Write.
What does your protagonist think about you?
Tamara & Alistair: While Mother herself isn’t the protagonist, she’s would find us utterly reprehensible. And that makes us smile.
Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author, his creator?
Alistair and Tamara: We doubt it. We really, really doubt it. We aren’t good at following orders. She’d hate us.
What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
Alistair & Tamara: We don’t read reviews, preferring to get our criticism from the several editors who read our work beforehand. That being said, we both tend to overwrite. On the other hand, we don’t mind because it means that when we get to editing, we can cut away the unnecessary stuff. To us, writing is very much like sculpting. You edit and whittle until you reveal the best possible version of the book.
What has been the best compliment?
Tamara: Young teens telling me that they hated reading until they read my books. Inspiring a love of reading or writing makes it all worthwhile.
Alistair: That would be when Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series, praised my novel, The Crimson Corset, saying it read like a blend of Bram Stoker, Laurell K. Hamilton, and John Carpenter. That was a real “Bull’s-Eye!” moment for me!
Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the others?
Tamara and Alistair: Yes, they do clamor to be heard, which is why we often end up with fascinating story threads we hadn’t anticipated. As for which ones speak the loudest, it depends on the book. In Mother, Father Andy Pike was one of the characters who really took us by the collars and demanded to be heard.
What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee or some complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
Alistair & Tamara:  Mother would order tea. There’s not a character in the novel who’d touch soymilk. We hope.
What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?
Tamara: No music, just Alistair’s voice on Skype as we write. Music is too distracting. If I’m writing alone, I’ll have a movie going in the background that I know by heart to cover up other noises. Full Metal Jacket and Tombstone are my favorites. I write on a huge glass coffee table, sitting on the couch, surrounded by cats. That’s all I need.
Alistair: I have a writing desk that I always keep very polished so when I get excited my laptop slides around and I know I’m getting some good work done! I love fake plants and have plenty of those around me, as well as a print of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which is my favorite painting.
Is there a certain type of scene that is harder to write than other? Racy? Love? Action?
Tamara:  It’s more a matter of preference than difficulty. I love writing dialogue and atmosphere most of all. I’m not crazy about romance in general and have noticed Alistair is better at it than I am, more descriptive. Sex scenes are much easier, though too much of that can be a real snorefest. I’d rather hear the characters talking in my head than sucking tongue.
Alistair: For me, the hardest part of writing is actual body mechanics. What I mean is, explaining the way a person moves, or sits, or otherwise does something physical. This comes down to over-writing too, though. It is simpler to say, “She switched off the lamp,” than to say, “Sitting on the sofa with her head cocked slightly to the left, Sabrina reached out a delicate finely-manicured hand, found the switch on the gooseneck lamp that stood proudly on the cherry oak end table imported from Europe (which her mother had given her as a graduation gift) at her right, twisting it between her index finger and thumb, and turned off the lamp. The room was dark then …” Less is more. Simplicity is power. It took me a while to learn that.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Tamara & Alistair: Thank you for reading.
Is there one subject you would never write about? What is it?
Tamara: I avoid animal horror. I don’t think I could force myself to write a simple romance because I’d fall asleep. Romance is fine, however, within a novel that has more plot.
Alistair: Animal horror. It’s simply too easy. And it’s not fair. That being said, I have no issues clobbering evil fictional children.
Do you have any strange writing habits? Like writing in the shower?
Tamara: I’ve been known to write on my arms if I don’t have paper. I hate that, but I’ll do it rather than lose an idea.
Alistair: Not really. I’d love to say I rub a crystal ball, tap three times on my feathered top hat, and drink the blood of my enemies from a pewter goblet before each writing session, but the very dull truth is that I simply turn my computer on and get to it. I often write in my head when I have nothing to write on, and I suppose that vacant stare appears strange to those observing, but otherwise, no.
If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation – who would you choose for which character?
Tamara & Alistair: Meryl Streep could play Mother and a fiftyish Betty White would be perfect for Babs Vandercooth. Gladys Kravitz’s husband on Bewitched would be perfect for Stan Portendorfer and the actress who played Sookie Stackhouse’s grandma could play his wife, Aida. Phyllis Stine could be played by Polly Holliday - “Flo”  from Alice. And the worried lady on Mother’s cover - whoever she is - is perfect for Claire/Carlene, our plucky heroine.  
How important are the names in your book?
Tamara & Alistair: Names are everything, and when they’re right, they’re right, and when they’re wrong, they’re wrong.  
Did you choose them based on how they sounded or looked, or was it completely random?
Tamara & Alistair: As strange as it sounds, the characters simply “tell” us their names, the same way they tell us their histories and personalities.
Do you have any name choosing resources you would recommend?
Tamara & Alistair: We suppose a baby name website might be helpful, but we have never used one. Yet.
Do you read your reviews?
Tamara & Alistair: No. We both learned very early on that there’s nothing to be gained from reading reviews. It can be argued that reading reviews gives authors an honest look at their work, but by the time our work reaches the readers it has been through so many hands and received so much feedback that we’re not really interested in more thoughts and opinions, good or bad. We write what we love, and we don’t release anything that isn’t a solid, high-quality product that we’re happy with. Some people will like our work, and some won’t. Neither will change what we write.
Do you respond to them, good or bad?
Tamara & Alistair: No. Even if we did read our reviews, we would never personally respond to them. For many, many reasons.
Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Tamara & Alistair: If an author feels the need to read his or her reviews, we’d only suggest taking negative reviews with a grain of salt. There is a whole world out there filled with different people with different sensibilities and tastes. You will never please them all. You can’t. Just write, and if you love it, it will find others who love it as well. Ignore one-star reviews. They’re rarely legit.  
What is your best marketing tip?
Tamara & Alistair: Write a good book. And more than once.
What is your least favourite part of the writing or publishing process?
Tamara & Alistair: The waiting.

Quick Fire

Quick Fire
Light or dark chocolate:
T: Light
A: Light

Favourite colour:
T: Blue
A: Yellow

Dogs or cats:
T: Cats
A: Cats

Tea or coffee:
T: Tea
A: Coffee

Light side or dark side:
T: Middle
A: What, no gray?

Morning, noon or night?
T: Night
A: Night. The deeper, the better.

Black and white or colour?
T: Color
A: Black and white

Drawings or paintings?
T:  Paintings
A: Paintings

Dresses or skirts?
T: Pants! I don’t even own a dress or skirt.
A: Skirts! (not on me)

Books or movies?
T: Books
A: Books

Pepsi or Coke?
T: Pepsi Max
A: Coke Zero

Chinese or Italian?
T: Chinese-Italian!
A: Italian

Early bird or night owl?
T: Night owl
A: Night owl

Chocolate or vanilla?
T: Vanilla
A: Vanilla

Introvert or extrovert?
T: Introvert
A: Introvert

Hugs or kisses?
T: Hugs
A: Kisses

Hunting or fishing?
T: Canoeing
A: Reading

Winter or summer?
T: Winter
A: Winter

Spring or fall?
T: Fall
A: Fall

Rural or urban?
T: Suburban
A: Urban

PC or Mac?
T: Mac

Tan or pale?
T: Pale
A: Tan

Cake or pie?
T: Pie
A: Pie

Ice cream or yogurt?
T: Ice cream
A: Yogurt

Ketchup or mustard?
T: Both
A: Mustard

Sweet pickles or dill pickles?
T: Dill
A: Dill

Comedy or mystery?
T: Mystery
A: Mystery

Boots or sandals?
T: Sandals
A: Boots

Silver or gold?
T: Silver
A: Silver

Jazz or classical?
T: Classical
A: Jazz

Dancing or singing?
T: Singing
A: Singing

Checkers or chess?
T: Risk
A: Clue

Board games or video games?
T: Board games
A: Board games

Wine or beer?
T: Rum
A: Vodka

Freckles or dimples?
T: Freckles
A: Dimples

Honey mustard or BBQ sauce?
T: Honey mustard
A: Honey mustard

Body weight exercises or lifting weights?
T: Walking
A: Weight Lifting

Baseball or basketball?
T: Ping-Pong
A: Baseball

Crossword puzzles or sudokus?
T: Both
A: I lack the patience for either.

Facial hair or clean shaven?
T: I have a full beard. Every spring, birds build nests in it.
A: Me? Goateed.

Crushed ice or cubed ice?
T: Crushed
A: Cubed (I don’t know what is wrong with Tamara!)

Skiing or snowboarding?
T: Snowboarding
A: Snowboarding

Smile or game face?
T: Faceplant
A: Puh-puh-puh-poker face, Puh-puh-poker face

Bracelet or necklace?
T: Bracelet made of fingerbones of my enemies
A: Necklace (I have wrist hair!)

Fruit or vegetables?
T: Fruits
A: Vegetables

Sausage or bacon?
T & A: BACON!!!!! And a side of sausage, please.

Scrambled or fried?
T: Poached
A: Fried

Tattoos or piercings?
T&A: Neither. They’ve been overdone.

Antique or brand new?
T: Antique
A: New

Dress up or dress down?
T: Down
A: Down

Cowboys or aliens?
T: Cowboys and Aliens, together. See my novel, Thunder Road.
A: Cowboys, I guess.

Pancakes or waffles?
T: Waffles
A: Waffles

Bond or Bourne?
T: Bourne
A: Bond

Sci-Fi or fantasy?
T: Sci-fi
A: Fantasy

Numbers or letters?
T: Letters
A: Letters

Star Wars or Star Trek?
T: Star Trek!!!!
A: The Golden Girls!!

Fair or theme park?
T: Fair
A: Fair

Money or fame?
T: Money
A: Money

Washing dishes or doing laundry?
T: Dishes
A: Laundry

Snakes or sharks?
T: Sharks eating snakes
A: Snakes

Orange juice or apple juice?
T: Orange
A: Apple

Sunrise or sunset?
T: Sunset
A: Sunset

Slacker or over-achiever?
T: Both
A: Over-acheiver

Pen or pencil?
T: Pen
A: Pen

Peanut butter or jelly?
T: Peanut butter
A: Jelly

Grammys or Oscars?
T: Family Guy
A: The Golden Girls!!

Detailed or abstract?
T:  Detailed
A: Detailed

Multiple choice questions or essay questions?
T: Essay
A: Essay

Adventurous or cautious?
T: Adventurous
A: Adventurous

Saver or spender?
T: Suspenders!
A: Spender. A big one.

Glasses or contacts?
T: Contacts
A: Glasses

Laptop or desktop? T & A: Laptop

Classic or modern?
T: Classic
A: Modern

Personal chef or personal fitness trainer?
T: Chef!
A: Fitness Trainer

Internet or cell phone?
T: Internet
A: Internet

Call or text? T&A Text

Curly hair or straight hair?
T: Wavy
A: Straight

Shower in the morning or shower in the evening?
T: Why? Do I smell?
A: Are you hitting on me?

Spicy or mild?
T: Spicy
A: Spicy

Marvel or DC?
T: Whoever does X-Men
A: I marvel at DC

Paying a mortgage or paying rent?
T: Mortgage
A: Mortgage

Sky dive or bungee jump?
T: Hang glide
A: Bungee jump

Oreos or Chips Ahoy?
T: Oreos
A: Chips Ahoy

Jelly or pudding?
T: Pudding
A: Pudding

Truth or dare?
T: Truth
A: Dare

Roller coaster or Ferris wheel?
T: Roller coaster!
A: Ferris Wheel

Leather or denim?
T: Denim (I hate pleather!)
A: Leather (I hate denim!)

Stripes or solids?
T & A: Solids

Bagels or muffins?
T: Muffin
A: Muffin

Whole wheat or white?
T: Whole wheat
A: Whole wheat

Beads or pearls?
T: Beads
A: Beads

Hardwood or carpet?
T: Hardwood
A: Carpet

Bright colours or neutral tones?
T: Bright
A: Bright

Be older than you are or younger than you are?
T: younger
A: Older

Raisins or nuts?
T: Nuts
A: Nuts

Picnic or nice restaurant?
T: Picnic
A: Nice restaurant

Black leather or brown leather?
T: Brown
A: Black

Long hair or short hair?
T: Long
A: Long

“Ready, aim, fire” or “Ready, fire, aim”?
T: Ready, aim, fire!
A: Ready! Fire! Aim?

Fiction or non-fiction?
T: Fiction
A: Fiction

Smoking or non-smoking?
T: Non!
A: Vape?

Think before you talk or talk before you think?
T: Think first
A: Think first

Asking questions or answering questions?
T: Asking
A: Asking

Interviewee: Prissy Martin aka Mother

In what situation is your self esteem most at risk?
Why, I don’t believe I’ve ever had that problem. One must always respect oneself.
What are you keeping a secret?
*leans in close* I’m pretty sure I’m going to win the election for president of the Ladies Auxiliary again. It took some … doing … but I’d say it’s a safe bet.
What are you lying to yourself about? To others?
The Lord frowns upon dishonesty, and this is why I always tell the truth! But if you want to meet a liar, you needn’t travel far. I am surrounded by people who lie. This entire neighborhood is filled with gossipers and liars. It’s just obscene, is what it is.
Is there anyone in your life that you are attracted to?
My son, Timothy, the most wonderful boy who has ever graced the planet, is the person I love most. *sighs* He passed on several years ago, but we’ll be reunited one day ...
What scares you about this person?
He is my special little boy and I am not frightened of him.
What do you think he/she can do for you that no one else can?
No one can love me quite like my little Angelheart. When he was as young as two years old, I would ask him, “Who’s your favorite person, Timmy?” And he would say, “You are, Mommy!” Such a precious little boy ...
What does this person know about you that no one else does?
*long pause* Why, nothing, of course. There are no secrets between my son and me.
How do you decide if you can trust someone?
I test them. And they never know that I’m testing them. I’m very sly, you see.
How do you know you love someone?
That’s a rather ridiculous question.
What parts of loving come easy to you?  Hard?
I think with my head and therefore, I am not easily impressed. Love is an excuse to act foolish, unless it’s pure and God-given. Which is very rare.
When you walk into a room what do you notice first? Second?
Neatness or lack thereof. Next, I notice the carpet. If it’s dirty, I leave. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, you know, and you just can’t imagine how many germs live in carpets. I’m a nurse. I know these things.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
I was accused by my neighbors of some very heinous things. Things, I might add, that I am innocent of, and which I vehemently denied!
How would you change the world?  The things around you? The people around you?
Well, you probably don’t want to get into a discussion with me about politics. I have many views - very strong views - which we surely don’t have time for today. As for changing the people around me, well … for one thing, I think my neighbor Phyllis ought to quit smoking. I’m allergic, you know, and it’s quite bothersome. Also, Earl Dean, who lives next to Aida Portendorfer, is a terrible, terrible creature. I won’t even tell you what Aida witnessed through her window, but suffice it to say she was scandalized - scandalized! I, of course, filed a complaint with Roddy Crocker, the police officer who lives at the end of Morning Glory Circle. I think Mr. Dean will think twice about it the next time he decides to flaunt himself out of doors.
How do you learn best?
Why, through the word of God, of course.
What are your goals in life?
I want to be the best mother to Timmy that I can be. I look forward to joining my son in Heaven when the Lord calls me home.
What unusual hobbies or interests do you have?
Well, I don’t know that it’s all that unusual, but I enjoy making jewelry. See this? *leans close and pulls a pendant necklace from her blouse* See the golden strands that are connecting the beads? That’s my little Timothy’s hair. I had it cut before his service and used it to make this necklace. This is just one of many pieces of jewelry I’ve made from human hair. If you’d like, I’d be more than happy to make one for you, dear. My prices are quite reasonable. But know that I will never sell a single hair from Timothy’s head. His hair will rest against no breast but my own. Surely, you understand.
What are you most afraid of?
I don’t believe in fear. Fear is weakness.
If you had one wish, what would it be?
I wish that my Angelheart, Timothy, were sitting beside me right now, in the flesh.
What do you like best about yourself?
I’ve been told I have beautiful eyes. Of course, I’ve also been told they’re too pale and are therefore spooky - but I don’t listen to that kind of criticism. Personally, I think my most favorable quality is my ability to care for others.
What do you like least about yourself?
That I just can’t seem to communicate with my daughter Carlene. It makes me so sad that she argues with me. I’ve tried to be a good mother to her, but she just throws it back in my face every chance she gets. Why, she ran away from home the day after she graduated from high school, leaving me with an invalid husband and a house to clean all by myself!
What do you like best about your best friend?
Barbara Vandercooth is always willing to do whatever I ask of her. She’s very reliable.
What do you like least about your best friend?
Lately, she’s been a little snippy. I think she’s going through menopause.
What do you think other people think of you?
They’ve elected me as president of the Ladies Auxiliary every year I’ve run. And my neighbors on Morning Glory Circle look to me for advice on everything from their landscaping to what they should bring to our neighborhood potlucks. I think that’s all I need to say.
Teachers: Should do as parents instruct.
Other kids: Should mind their manners.
Best friends: As a famous man once said, “A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
My mother was a simple woman who was content to cook and clean, but my daddy was special. He took me on trips and taught me to dance. His favorite song was Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree as sung by The Andrews Sisters and we sang it together, danced to it, and daydreamed to it. I have collected copies of the original 45 so that I can always play it and not worry about the record wearing out.
I was fortunate to be an only child.
What’s your greatest source of frustration?
My daughter, Carlene. She has always fought me on everything. She even changed her name! Carlene is my own middle name and she simply threw it away in favor of “Claire.” Such a mundane name. Vulgar.
What’s your greatest source of joy?
My son, Timothy. Whether in life or in death, he pleases me so.
What are you especially proud of in your life?
I am proud of the fact that I am a caregiver and I am proud of my patience. I am a nurse, you know, and have taken care of hospitalized patients in the past. For many years, I’ve taken care of my invalid husband, Frankl - I mean Frederick. He had an accident and can’t walk, or even talk very well.  I also took care of my son Timothy when he was sick or injured, as well as my daughter, Carlene.
If you could change anything about your life what would it be?
I would bring my Timothy back. If only it could be …

Tamara Thorne

Tamara Thorne has collected ghost stories, true and fictional, since she saw her first Twilight Zone as a tot, and continues to this day. In addition to writing novels and stories of the paranormal, she also writes non-fiction and is an active ghost hunter. She makes her home in southern California with her husband and their feline family and when she’s not writing, can be found haunting ghost towns, phantom-filled hotel rooms, and other spooky places. Tamara loves to hear from her readers. Whether you have questions or comments or would like to share your own ghostly experience,come visit her at her website

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Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross was born in the western United States and began penning his own stories by the age of eight. First published by Damnation Books in 2012, Alistair has since published several more novels. In 2012, he joined forces with international bestselling author, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write the successful Gothic series, The Ghosts of Ravencrest. Their newest novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, is an Amazon Best Seller, and this summer also sees the release of Alistair’s solo novel, The Crimson Corset.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the internet radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! Haunted Nights LIVE! premiered to great acclaim and has featured such guests as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels, and New York Times best sellers Christopher Rice, Jonathan Maberry, and Christopher Moore.

Alistair is currently at work on several projects including a solo novel and a new Thorne & Cross collaboration. His influences include the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty.

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