Posts Tagged ‘Jay Bonansinga’

Candle Bay – – “Tamara Thorne has an uncanny knack for combining the outrageous with the shuddery, making for wonderful scary romps and fun reading.” ~ Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of the SAINT-GERMAIN CYCLE

The Crimson Corset – – “Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”~ Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID

Darling Girls – – “With Darling Girls, Thorne & Cross have united their brutal and sexy vampire sagas, conjuring a riot of vibrant characters all charging toward a clever, chilling conclusion of bloody mayhem and carnage.”~ Michael Schutz, author of Edging

The Cliffhouse Haunting is on sale in ebook for $0.99 on Amazon September 23rd – September 30th.

When the Blue Lady Walks …

Since 1887, Cliffhouse Lodge has been famous for its luxurious accommodations, fine dining… and its ghosts. Overlooking Blue Lady Lake, nestled among tall pines, Cliffhouse has just been renovated by its owners, Teddy and Adam Bellamy, and their daughter, Sara. 

Cliffhouse has not always been a place of rest and respite, though. Over the years it has served many vices, from rum-running to prostitution – and although the cat house has been replaced by a miniature golf course and carousel, Cliffhouse retains its dark history; darkest during the Roaring Twenties, when a serial killer called the Bodice Ripper terrorized the town, and a phantom, the Blue Lady, was said to walk when murder was imminent. 

Death Walks With Her… 

Now, there’s a new killer on the loose, and the Blue Lady sightings have returned. The Bellamys are losing maids, and guests are being tormented by disembodied whispers, wet phantom footprints, and the blood-chilling shrieks of mad laughter that echo through the halls of Cliffhouse in the dead of night. 

The little mountain town of Cliffside is the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer… and the Blue Lady. Police Chief Jackson Ballou has bodies piling up, and between the murders and the mysteries, he can hardly pursue his romance with Polly Owen. And Sara Bellamy may lose her true love before they even have their first kiss. 

  “Thorne and Cross bring the goods with THE CLIFFHOUSE HAUNTING, a clockwork mechanism of gothic chills designed to grab the reader by the scruff and never let go until the terrifying conclusion. Atmospheric, sexy, brooding, and brutal, the book manages to be simultaneously romantic and hardboiled. Highly recommended! – Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: InvasionLucid, and Self Storage.

“Thorne & Cross keep the surprises coming as swiftly as a master magician …The characters quickly become people we know, but then wish perhaps we didn’t … The laughter of recognition rides like bubbles on the surface of a deep-flowing darkness …There’s something cold in here.” – Mark Hein, critic and editor at

“Thorne & Cross are clever. The plot they create reads effortlessly, and they make us laugh and cringe and widen our eyes, looking away from the text at times to say, “Oh, no you didn’t.” But they did.” – Michael Aronovitz, author of Alice Walks and The Witch of the Wood

The summer sales have begun! All three books in our gothic horror series, The Ravencrest Saga, will be on sale throughout the month of July in ebook. If you’re into ghosts, witches, serial killers, and all things gothic, dark, and unspeakable, welcome to Ravencrest Manor, where the darkness never dies …

Darkness Never Dies

Ravencrest Manor has always been part of the family. The ancestral home of the Mannings, Ravencrest’s walls have been witness to generations of unimaginable scandal, horror, and depravity. Imported stone by stone from England to northern California in the early 1800s, the manor now houses widower Eric Manning, his children, and his staff. Ravencrest stands alone, holding its memories and ghosts close to its dark heart, casting long, black shadows across its grand lawns, through the surrounding forests, and over the picturesque town of Devilswood, below.

Dare to Cross the Threshold

Ravencrest Manor is the most beautiful thing new governess, Belinda Moorland, has ever seen, but as she learns more about its tangled past of romance and terror, she realizes that beauty has a dark side. Ravencrest is built on secrets, and its inhabitants seem to be keeping plenty of their own – from the handsome English butler, Grant Phister, to the power-mad administrator, Mrs. Heller, to Eric Manning himself, who watches her with dark, fathomless eyes. But Belinda soon realizes that the living who dwell in Ravencrest have nothing on the other inhabitants – the ones who walk the darkened halls by night … the ones who enter her dreams … the ones who are watching … and waiting …

Welcome to Ravencrest

Who is the man digging in the garden beyond Belinda’s bedroom window? Who – or what – is watching her from the vents? From ghostly screams and the clutching bony fingers of death in the indoor pool, to the trio of gliding nuns in the east wing who come at Belinda with black blazing eyes, to the beckoning little girl in the red dress who died more than two centuries ago, Belinda is thrust into a world of waking nightmares where there is no distinction between the living and the dead, and there are no limits to the horrors that await. Witchcraft is afoot at Ravencrest and as unspeakable terrors begin to unfold, Belinda realizes that her beautiful new home is a keeper of tragedy, a collector of souls. And it wants to add her to its collection …

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Here’s what folks are saying …

“The Ghosts of Ravencrest delivers on every level. Delicate, creepy, detailed, and beautifully crafted, this reinvention of the gothic ghost story into a sexy, sleek modern chiller is a marvel of suspense and atmosphere. A knockout of a horror yarn!” – Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion, Lucid, and Self Storage

“Ghostly secrets abound. Tortured spirits wander the hallways. Star-crossed lovers walk the paths of time. Servants connive, and the heroine faces an uncertain future …Run, do not walk, to get The Ghosts of Ravencrest. Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross take the reader on a delicious journey of twisted family secrets, troubled dreams, and barely-concealed passions. Wrap yourself in the silken robe of this story and escape to Ravencrest.” – Sylvia Shults, author of Hunting Demons: A True Story of the Dark Side of the Supernatural

” … filled with delicious gothic delights … it has the ghosts, but there is much more. There are witches and spells, misshapen creatures, and statues that come to life. The Ravencrest mansion has a wing that is locked away – for there are strange things afoot in this side of the building. There is an interesting staff of characters; a charming and witty butler, and evil and jealous administrator, an innocent governess, who is the main protagonist of the story. Well thought out story, excellently executed.” – Dan Cheely, The Books of Daniel 


Get your copies of the Ravencrest Saga now!


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Book #1, The Ghosts of Ravencrest – $2.99 in Amazon US and UK, July 6th – July 13th – Available at:
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Book #2, The Witches of Ravencrest – $1.99 in Amazon US and UK, July 13th – July 19th – Available at:
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Book #3, Exorcism – $0.99 in Amazon US and UK, July 20th – July 26th – Available at: 

About the Authors


Tamara Thorne‘s first novel was published in 1991, and since then she has written many more, including international bestsellers Haunted, Bad Things, Moonfall, Eternity and The Sorority. A lifelong lover of ghost stories, she is currently working on several collaborations with Alistair Cross as well as an upcoming solo novel. Learn more about her at: 



Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series will be out later this year. Find out more about him at: 


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In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they also host the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which has featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. 



For book deals, updates, specials, exclusives, and upcoming guests on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, join our newsletter:

THE SILVER DAGGER, book 2 in THE VAMPIRES OF CRIMSON COVER SERIES, comes out July 20th and is available for pre-order NOW in ebook at Amazon! 
Brother Against Brother
Life in Crimson Cove has been good to the Colter Brothers since Gretchen VanTreese was staked and her horde of vampires scattered. Brooks is once again human, and Cade, the rare Sire Gretchen had determined to take as her mate, is in love. Then the unthinkable happens: Gretchen rises from the grave, and the brothers are torn apart, their lives – and the peace between them – shattered.
A Trail of Blood
When Cade comes into possession of an ancient ceremonial dagger he awakens a power so deadly it defies comprehension. Meanwhile, a serial killer is stalking the little mountain town, leaving a trail of blood that leads to a truth Sheriff Ethan Hunter doesn’t want to face. And unknown to either of them, Gretchen is preparing to reopen her notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset – and building an army to destroy her enemies and reclaim Cade Colter as her own.
A New Breed of Evil
The streets are no longer safe, nor are the forested paths, for a new and unknowable evil has come to Crimson Cove and everyone – vampire and human alike – must come together in order to survive.
For book 1 in the series, THE CRIMSON CORSET is also available at Amazon!
“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”
– Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID

Hello again!

In case you haven’t heard, Tamara’s novel, BRIMSTONE is now available in ebook and paperback at! BRIMSTONE is a coming of age story that takes place in 1968 in a little town called Brimstone in Arizona …

The Brimstone Grand Hotel, owned by reclusive former movie star, Delilah Devine, looms high on Hospital Hill, harboring long-buried family secrets that whisper of unimaginable horrors. Horrors that will echo down through generations. Within the walls of the Brimstone Grand, the past has come back to life, and Holly Tremayne and her grandmother Delilah are faced with an ancient familial evil that rages just below the old hotel’s serene facade. An evil that won’t rest until it possesses Holly – body, mind, and soul.

BRIMSTONE has been praised by THE WALKING DEAD author, Jay Bonansinga as “ … a kaleidoscopic cast of characters, a rich sense of place, and ever mounting suspense, BRIMSTONE brims with chills and thrills. Highly entertaining and highly recommended!” And New York Times bestseller, Kevin O’Brien says, “BRIMSTONE is deliciously scary … Earthquakes, nightmares, aberrations and ghosts keep the reader constantly on-edge.”

You can get BRIMSTONE now at Amazon

And that’s not all!

We’ve just released installment #5 in our serialized gothic horror series, THE RAVENCREST SAGA: EXORCISM. This one’s called NATIVITY, and it’s available in ebook at Amazon now!

In NATIVITY, Jazz Age music drifts through Ravencrest manor on chill night breezes as the haunting in the old poolhouse grows stronger and the ghost of Violet LeBlanc tries to warn Belinda that an unholy child is about to be born.  All hell is breaking loose at Ravencrest and there is nothing that can stop it.

But wait! There’s more!

Don’t forget that Alistair’s ghostly murder mystery, SLEEP SAVANNAH SLEEP, will be on sale for just $0.99 in ebook June 19th – June 25th at Amazon! SLEEP SAVANNAH SLEEP takes place in a mysterious little northern California town called Shadow Springs where residents keep to themselves (most of them, anyway), fog creeps through the graveyard at all hours, and a young woman with a shady past and a grim future disappears under very unsettling circumstances. And that’s just the beginning of the mystery …

We hope this helps get your summer off to the spookiest possible start and we wish you haunted nights, sweet screams, and lots of happy horrific reading!

Thorne & Cross

We had a ball, as always, with our dear friend, Jay Bonansinga, over at Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! last night. We talked writing, Victorian horror, Rin-Tin-Tin, and of course, The Walking Dead. If you missed it, listen anytime over at SoundCloud.

(Oh, and, just for shits and giggles, here’s John Cleese, giving a recap of THE WALKING DEAD)


Jay Bonansinga’s work has been translated into 11 different languages, and his 2004 non-fiction debut THE SINKING OF THE EASTLAND was a Chicago Reader “Critics Choice Book” as well as the recipient of a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. His debut novel THE BLACK MARIAH was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award, and his numerous short tales and articles have been published in such magazines as THE WRITER, AMAZING STORIES, GRUE, FLESH & BLOOD, OUTRE and CEMETERY DANCE, as well as a number of anthologies.


Jay also proudly wears the hat of indie filmmaker: his music videos have been seen on The Nashville Network and Public Television, and his short film CITY OF MEN was awarded the prestigious silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2008, his feature-film debut, STASH (based on his short story of the same title collected in CANDY IN THE DUMPSTER), won the Gold Remi at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Iowa City and Queens International film festivals.

Join the Thorne & Cross newsletter for updates, book deals, specials, exclusives, and upcoming guests on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! by visiting Tamara and Alistair at their websites: and


Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! is a copyrighted, trademarked podcast owned solely by the Authors on the Air Global Radio, LLC.


Welcome to Crimson Cove
Sheltered by ancient redwoods, overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.
When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.
Darkness at the Edge of Town
Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.
Blood Wars
The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.
For book deals, updates, specials, exclusives, and upcoming guests on Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, join our newsletter:

To celebrate the release of Darling Girls on April 16th, its companions, Candle Bay and The Crimson Corset, will be on sale for just $0.99 in eBook at Amazon April 2nd – April 9th!


“Think Mario Puzo meets Anne Rice … Balance is what Thorne does best … (Candle Bay) is a love story. A mob story. A family drama. A wise combination of creepy, thrilling, titillating, and good old vampire fun …” -Michael Schutz, Darkness Dwells Radio

“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.” – Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID

March 6th – 13th, MOTHER is on sale in ebook for $0.99:


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.”



Read Part 1

jay_bonansinga_lrg  Jay Bonansinga: You know, in a way, a person with my background — meaning basically agnostic but raised as a sort Cafeteria Catholic — is well suited to be a horror writer.  Especially supernatural horror.  I believe this because if you have only a casual relationship with the Catholic experience, it becomes less conscious and more subconscious.  In the light of day, you don’t really believe in all the saints and demons and angels and fire and brimstone, but way down in your unconscious lizard brain — especially after dark when the wind blows through the gutters — you totally feel their presence.  The Catholic church invented supernatural horror.  All the incense and chanting and dead languages and weird capes and gruesome Old Testament imagery has become the grist of modern horror.  I loved that part of Catholicism.  The ritual.  The talismanic part of Catholicism.  I missed it when my parents drifted away from the religion and became more agnostic.  When I stopped going to Sunday school, I think I started replacing the weekly ritual with made-up rituals and superstitions.  From there, it’s a short hop and a skip to writing horror.  It’s something we as human beings are compelled to do: explain the inexplicable with baroque, weird, fascinating Rube Goldberg explanations.  Bill Maher has always bemoaned the fact that we have to make up BS stories about what happens when we die, but in a way, death begs the question: Then what?  As science evolves and we learn more about the universe, we are learning that there is indeed a beginning and end to things.  Then what?  I’m just asking, guys… then what?  Tamara?  Alistair?  Your thoughts?

oB0EQQAu  Tamara: I’ve never had a clue what happens next. I was born without the faith gene – Sunday school didn’t take with me, nor did Santa or the Easter bunny. My mother said I poo-pooed everything from the time I could talk. I remember being sent to Sunday school in primary grades and an idiot teacher put a man and a bunch of animals on one of those felt boards and then took the animals off, saying they couldn’t go to heaven because they lacked souls. That was when my disinterest turned to abhorrence; now religion wasn’t just nonsense to me, it was hateful nonsense.  That rebellion grew until high school when I ran across John Lennon’s provocative comment, “We are all God.” That made sense to me and released the hate. So I guess I’m more Buddhist at heart. To this day, I won’t use the word “God” for fear of being perceived as a Christian. I say Tao. (To me, the Tao looks like the Borg, but that’s another story.) I like the idea of reincarnation – it makes the most sense. So I lean that way – it’s something to hang my hat on, but I don’t technically believe in it. I don’t believe in anything. I’m content to wait and see.

This attitude doesn’t hurt my love of horror at all, but it changes it a bit. I enjoy checking out reported ghosts and other anomalies and have experienced some things I can’t explain. Religious people have often told me some of these things are demonic. That’s fine, though I don’t believe in demons, so my experience is very different from a believer’s. My brain goes to everything from geologic and psychiatric anomalies to things that are simply inexplicable at this time. I love these mysteries.

That said, I do enjoy the Catholic spin on things and can get totally caught up in religious horror. But for me, spirituality – a concept not rooted in religion – is to hike into the woods and sit against a tree with my feet in a stream, or hiking in Joshua Tree National Monument or walking an empty beach at sunset. Nature is what fills me with joy and wonder, not religion. It restores me. Nature can be scary, too, and because I love it, writing about green men and other elementals is probably my version of angels and demons. No matter how you find magic in the world – through western religion or eastern philosophy or anything else – it’s good, fun, and ready to put to use in horror.

I do love the idea of people of various beliefs – and lack thereof – working together instead of arguing. The first time I did that was in Moonfall. A Catholic priest, an atheist, and a witch join forces to overcome some very evil nuns (who weren’t Catholic, by the way). I’ve done it regularly ever since. Understanding and acceptance – and trees – are what I admire and stand by!

us  Alistair: All I know is I better not be forced to play a harp on a cloud somewhere. I can’t play the harp and I’m afraid of heights. This is why I live such a “questionable” lifestyle. I don’t want to risk ending up in heaven … just in case. But seriously … I have long since given up trying to envision an existence beyond this one. I think back to, say, 1963 (I wasn’t born until the 70s) and sometimes imagine it will be like that: I simply won’t exist. Other times, I think maybe there’s something more, some form of previous existence I’m not meant to recall. Though I can’t get into the idea of angels and demons and heaven and hell and such, I do believe there is some kind of “cosmic order,” though I’d be hard-pressed to explain what it is and what it means. I simply don’t know.

And I just can’t get into religion. I have tried and tried, and I always walk away feeling discontent and uncomfortable. This is usually because religion so often focuses more on “the devil” than on anything positive. I’m not interested in “the devil.” I don’t think about “the devil,” and I don’t want to. I refuse to spend my days worrying that some evil entity is sitting around trying to tempt me into dark activity. I don’t want to live a life that centers on fear – least of all, fear of that. So, often times, when it comes to religion, all I hear is, “The devil this, the devil that …” and it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s simply not a life I want to live.

And I run screaming from any philosophy that tells me I will one day be a god. That degree of arrogance offends me and, quite frankly, scares the hell out of me. And I wouldn’t want to be a god, anyway. Of any kind. Ever. That would seriously be a living nightmare for me. I can’t imagine anything worse than being in charge of a whole planet full of independent beings with freedom of agency. I barely care what my cats are up to, so you can just imagine what kind of god I’d be. Three words: “Out to lunch.”

Regarding spirituality, I do believe there’s something there. I don’t find it in church, nor do I find it in nature as so many people seem to do. I am a city person through and through and I’m about as comfortable on a rock in the woods as I am in a stifling hot church on hard wooden bench. Spirituality, for me, is a matter of communication with something higher – call it God if you want, I’m comfortable with the term – but whatever it is, it’s something greater than me. So, through meditation, prayer, or whatever one wants to call it … that is where I find my spiritual connection. And rather than being in a church or on a mountain, I find peace in the car – driving aimlessly on freeway somewhere. That’s my “Zen.”

As for death, I can only hope I don’t come back as a flesh-eating zombie. I’m not looking forward to the act of dying, but I’m not afraid of being dead, even if that means I cease to exist.  

oB0EQQAu  Tamara: Same here. I figure if there’s nothing after death, I won’t care. But zombies … At first, I didn’t care for them but now that I’ve been infected by shows like The Walking Dead, I love them. What do you think, Alistair?

us  Alistair: Since I wasn’t stressed out about not existing back in 1963 when I didn’t exist, I figure I’ll have the same reaction to my situation in the year 2099 when I end up back there again. In a way, that’s probably the ultimate peace. Regarding zombies, I honestly had no interest in them until I began The Walking Dead. I heard so much about it, that I figured I had to at least try to get into it. At first, it was about what I expected, and I wasn’t sure I would even continue. Then, I started to realize that this is way more than a zombie story. The Walking Dead is about the human experience – at the deepest level. It peels back the layers of humanity and reveals the real nature of human beings. I think it’s brilliant, and soon found myself devouring the show, the books, and all things Walking Dead.

Jay, when we had you on Haunted Nights LIVE! the first time, you gave us an amazing answer to the question, “What makes zombies so popular? What is it about them that makes people respond so powerfully?” I’m going to turn it back over to you, Jay, because I think readers would love to hear that answer again.

jay_bonansinga_lrg  Jay Bonansinga: When I first saw NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD at the War Memorial Drive-in in Peoria, Illinois, in 1970 (I was the ripe old age of 11), it not only rocked my world but it also made me feel something I had never felt before.  I’m not sure I could have put it into words back then, but what I was feeling was “subtext” — in other words, a message or meaning underneath the superficial surface of a story.  In the case of Romero’s film, the subtext was multi-faceted.  It spoke of the police state, the brutality of war, oppression, and much more.  And I remember the desolate yet galvanized feeling I got at the very end of the movie when the hero, an African American man, was randomly shot — mistaken for a “ghoul” by the overzealous sheriff — and that was that.  But the subtext that probably embedded itself deeper in my subconscious was the meaning of the Romero zombie as a horror archetype.  I say “Romero zombie” because George virtually invented the modern slow-moving, drooling, shambling version of the zombie.  And for me, this is the best version.  It’s the version that spoke to Americans in the 1960s during the Vietnam war.  It conjures feelings of dream-like hopelessness.  You can easily out-run a single zombie.  You can drive a crow-bar through its skull — easy peasy — and the thing folds like a sack of laundry.  But they keep coming off that cosmic conveyor belt.  And if they swarm up on you, you’re toast.  Not only did this resonate for Americans in the 60s, but it resonates today more than ever.  People accustomed to terrorism, global warming, and financial melt-downs are all too familiar with the vague, blurry, distant threat somewhere “out there.”  The slow-moving zombie is like your mortgage being under water — you can pay it off this month, sure, but it keeps coming at you.  This, in my opinion, is the reason why The Walking Dead is so popular.  Viewers feel as though they are facing and solving the same kind of problems in their real world as Rick Grimes and company are facing every week on the show.

(Part 3 of Ménage au Talk with author Jay Bonansinga coming soon)

Jay Bonansinga is the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead series as well as Lucid, and his latest release, Self-Storage. He is also an indie filmmaker and his music videos have been seen on The Nashville Network and Public Television. He holds a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago.

Tamara Thorne is the internationally bestselling author of Haunted, Moonfall, Eternity, Candle Bay, and many others. Tamara’s interest in writing is lifelong, as is her fascination with the paranormal, occult, mythology and folklore.

Alistair Cross is the author of the bestselling novel, The Crimson Corset, as well as several others with his collaborator, Tamara Thorne. Alistair has been writing since the age of eight and was first published in 2012. His next solo novel will appear later this year.

Together, Thorne & Cross  have written The Cliffhouse Haunting, The Ghosts of Ravencrest, and the psychological thriller, Mother. They are also working on the second Ravencrest Saga novel, The Witches of Ravencrest. The first part of this serial novel, Grave Expectations, is now available on Amazon. They also host the horror/thriller-themed radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Laurell K. Hamilton, V.C. Andrews, and Charlaine Harris