Q: What inspires you to write?
A: Inspiration usually seems to come from quiet places; while I’m taking care of idle tasks I’m often struck by an idea. When it does come from an outside source, it usually springs from images I see or words I hear. Sometimes, I hear a random bit of conversation in a restaurant or while watching a movie and it just sparks an idea, but usually, inspiration strikes when I am quiet.
Q: What is the central theme of Footsteps?
A: Footsteps is a poem I wrote a few years ago. On the surface it’s about the end of a relationship. I often write things this way because I think people can relate to relationship turmoil. It is about an ending, but more specifically, it’s about the end of passion; that moment when you realize something you loved no longer empowers you.
I’ve been writing poetry for many years and on my website, www.alistaircross.com, there’s a page (Cross Talk) that showcases many of them.
Q: Why horror?
A: Because my characters are courageous to a fault. No matter who I write, they invariably turn down the darkened alleyway or decide to investigate the strange noises coming from the basement.
Q: Who are some of your influences?
A: That’s a very long list. I’m influenced by writers who push the envelope and fully exercise their creative freedom. Ira Levin, Stephen King, Richard Laymon. I think these guys think outside of the box.
Q: What sort of day job do you have and how does it make you angry and bitter enough to write?
A: Writing is my day (and afternoon and evening and night) job. Before this, I did a lot of manufacturing and retail jobs; none of which permanently embittered me. I don’t think anger or bitterness have ever helped me write anything, and I work very hard not to indulge those emotions.
Q: What is your new book about?
A: Grandma’s Rack is a collaborative novel with bestselling horror author – and one of my long-time heroes – Tamara Thorne. It’s a horror story with a humorous edge about a boy named Joey and his grandmother whose hometown has been invaded by a coven of very twisted witches who have a particular interest in Joey. At its base, it’s an account of the ever-raging battle between good and evil.
Q: Why do you think horror is so popular?
A: I think because most people realize that horror is as much a part of the world as love, greed, hate, joy, pain, and anything else. Horror as a genre is an artistic expression of the darkness all around us and within us at any given time. I also believe a lot of people find hope in horror – not slasher, but horror. I know of no other genre that exemplifies human strength the way horror does. I think it often illustrates the power of good more than a lot of other genres. Horror doesn’t concern itself with the material world. It doesn’t worry about what shoes you should wear or whom you should date. Horror tends to ask – and demand answers to – the harder questions in life. Horror wants to know the meaning of it all.
Q: What makes your blog unique?
A: I suppose the blend of different topics makes it unique. I have author interviews, poetry, updates on my own writing, and my personal adventures in the writing business.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have experienced as a writer?
A: Finding the balance between making myself clear and respecting the intelligence of the readers.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)