Tuesday 7 November 2017

Sleep Savannah Sleep by Alistair Cross

Release Date: 25th September 2017
Genres: Horror / Mystery

The Dead Don't Always Rest in Peace

Jason Crandall, recently widowed, is left to raise his young daughter and rebellious teenage son on his own - and the old Victorian in Shadow Springs seems like the perfect place for them to start over. But the cracks in Jason’s new world begin to show when he meets Savannah Sturgess, a beautiful socialite who has half the men in town dancing on tangled strings.

When she goes missing, secrets begin to surface, and Jason becomes ensnared in a dangerous web that leads to murder - and he becomes a likely suspect. But who has the answers that will prove his innocence? The jealous husband who’s hell-bent on destroying him? The local sheriff with an incriminating secret? The blind old woman in the house next door who seems to watch him from the windows? Or perhaps the answers lie in the haunting visions and dreams that have recently begun to consume him. 

Or maybe, Savannah herself is trying to tell him that things aren’t always as they seem - and that sometimes, the dead don’t rest in peace. 

I'm thrilled to welcome Alistair Cross to the blog with an author interview. Thanks for joining us Alistair.

Do you write under your real name or is this a pen name you use?

I use a pen name. My real name is William Shakespeare – which gets really confusing. Ha!

Where are you from?

I was born in a very small town in central Utah where there wasn’t much to do but make up stories about people who led far more exciting lives than I did. Though I spent my early years incredibly bored, it was worth it, because those stories I began making up have really paid off. 

List 3 interesting facts about yourself.

1.       I can’t read music but given the time (and interest) I can play it by ear on piano.
2.       I haven’t had a haircut in almost five years – and I’m comfortable with that.
3.       I am abused by a kiss-giving, sweater-wearing kitty on a daily basis – and I like it. 

What was the first thing you ever had published?

A horror novel by a small press in 2012 under a different name. 

Do you have a writing routine?

I’m of the philosophy that if you want to be taken seriously as a writer, you have to take it seriously yourself, which means you treat it like you would any job. I work Monday through Friday, eight to ten hours a day, depending on deadlines etc., and on Saturdays, I try to put in at least four hours.  I decided early on that I wanted writing to be more than a hobby – I wanted it to be my job, and that means showing up and putting the work in every day, even if I’d rather be outside or watching television. I have a no-interruptions policy during work hours, which means I don’t answer texts, take phone calls, or chitchat with online friends.  I’m lucky to be able to do what I do for a living and I don’t take it for granted. I love my job and I work very hard to ensure I’m able to continue doing it full-time. 

Do you have any writing rituals? 

The only thing I can think of is that before I begin a scene, I spend a few moments, eyes closed, getting in touch with the character I’m going to write. It’s a form of “getting into character” as actors call it, and for me, it’s essential. Otherwise, my only real ritual is just sitting down and getting to work. Not the most interesting answer, probably, but the truth, nonetheless. 

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

Just after finishing my book, The Angel Alejandro, I was in bed one night, unable to sleep, and as I stared up at the ceiling, I began wondering about the worst possible things I could do to my next character. The plot began to form, one thing led to another, and by the time the sun came up, I had the entire story line for Sleep, Savannah, Sleep. It’s a supernatural whodunit and I was so excited to get to the big reveal – which was the first thing I knew about this book – that I wrote the entire first draft in just under a month. Several more months of revisions followed, of course, but I’ve never written at that pace before. 

Who was the first person you shared your book with? 

The first person to see any of my work is Tamara Thorne, who collaborates with me on the Thorne & Cross novels. She also hosts our radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! with me, and we work together online via Skype every day, putting x amount of hours into each of our projects, solo and collaborative alike. 

Do you have a current work in progress?

Oh, I always have at least one work in progress. Currently, Tamara and I are finishing up a vampire novel called Darling Girls, which serves as a continuation of her earlier book, Candle Bay as well as my 2015 novel, The Crimson Corset. We’re also preparing to begin book three in our gothic horror series, The Ravencrest Saga, and my next solo project will begin in earnest within the next couple of weeks. 

Do you have any advice for budding authors?

Write a lot, read a lot, and don’t let anything stop you. 

About the Author

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 Ravencrest Saga. Their novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, is an Amazon Best Seller, as is 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.

Learn more about him at his website: http://alistaircross.com



Sleep, Savannah, Sleep

“This is it? Seriously? It’s like we’re moving into Hill House.” In the passenger seat, Brent looked uneasy.
Jason Crandall turned to his son. “It has character.” He looked up at the old Victorian. But he’s right. It’s creepy. Surrounded by mid-century houses, the decrepit Victorian seemed like a flaw on the neighborhood, a stain on something otherwise clean. The cat’s claw vine climbing the walls seemed to shroud the house, as if trying to hide it, the violently yellow blossoms creating a diversion from the faded wood siding - as did the bowers of honeysuckle that accented the yard, draped the veranda, and sweetened the air. Two second-story windows peered out from between the lush vines, looking like the eyes of a hunted beast.
Surrounded on both sides by white split-rail fences coated in spindly climbing roses, the property was spacious, with a small courtyard beyond a wisteria-choked arbor that lead to the back yard. “I don’t know. I think it’s charming.” He offered his son a grin, and shut off the silver Legacy. The annoying squeal - probably a fan belt - went silent and Jason made a mental note to hunt down a local mechanic.
“It’s creepy, Dad. Seriously creepy.” Brent leaned back and assumed his usual air of annoyed indifference.
“But creepy in a cool way, right?” asked Jason.
Brent’s eyes, the color of seawater, looked unimpressed. “Only if you like haunted houses.”
“It’s haunted?” In the back seat, Amber sat up, rubbing sleep from her eyes. Even Ruby, the blond, blue-eyed doll that never left her arms, looked alarmed.
“Of course it isn’t haunted.” Jason shot Brent a warning look. “It’s just old.”
The three of them stared at the house and it seemed to stare right back. All in all, it didn’t appear pleased to meet them.
“Let’s go have a look around.” Jason undid his seatbelt. “After that, you two can help me unload.” A large moving van was a day or two behind them; the small trailer they’d pulled contained only the essentials - and most of Jason’s massage equipment. He knew he was being optimistic about how quickly he could get his studio up and running, but he couldn’t help it. His new business was the entire reason he’d bought the house. It had a basement complete with its own entrance, so Jason could work without having strangers traipsing in and out of the family’s living space. Overall, the old Victorian was pretty ideal, even if it was a little spooky.
Then again, the whole town - or what he’d seen of it so far - was pretty spooky, too. Quaint and quiet, Shadow Springs was a startling contrast to the buzzing pace of Los Angeles. Jason told himself this would be good for him - good for all of them.
Here, just outside of Ojai in Ventura County, they’d begin their new lives, free of bad memories. That was what Jason had told himself a hundred times in the past weeks - it was what he had to believe.

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