The Study

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Alistair Cross offers insights into the development of his books, the characters who populate them, and the inspiration behind them. You can also read interviews that examine Alistair’s career, giving an inside look into his process and his life as a writer.

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Behind the Book: The White Room

The title, The White Room, has a long, meandering history that goes all the way back to 2005, when I first got serious about writing. It’s named after an actual room I visited at a club that year. Several online sources claim that the white room in question was a BDSM room I went to — and that’s not true. The BDSM rooms came later, during research, after I titled the book. The place I actually named it after was just an upstairs room in a nightclub that…

Gretchen VanTreese

A petite, young, platinum blonde woman wearing a black and crimson corset, black stockings, and a garter belt. Gretchen VanTreese is damned fun to write. This evil little vampire queen (she’s not really a queen, but she thinks she is) was originally written as a throwaway, but she’s one of those characters who has a mind of her own. As soon as I put her on the page, she took charge and began altering the direction of the story. I let her do it, because I’m a firm believer in allowing my characters to have autonomy (they know better than I what needs to happen to them) and I’ve never been sorry for doing this. Gretchen is one of…

Cade Colter

A young man turned sideways, sitting on a bench in the moonlight at a park with tall trees, while looking at his hands thoughtfully. I always said that if I had a son, I would name him Cadence. To me, it sounds strong, masculine, and I like the way it ‘feels.’ I never did have a son, so when it came to creating the first main character for my first novel, naming him was easy.

As for the development of his personality, that goes all the way back to the late 1990s, when I first decided I wanted to try this writing thing — long before I actually got published. I wanted Cade to be relatable — neither too good-looking,…

Brooks Colter

A handsome, well-built young man standing in a graveyard at night with the moonlight showing on him. He's wearing a white suit jacket with a black pocket square, no shirt, and blood on his forehead and chest. One day, many moons ago, I met a pizza-delivery boy named Brooks. I’d never heard the name and immediately loved it — and that’s when Brooks Colter came into existence. He was originally written to be Cade’s lifelong best friend, but I ultimately decided that making them brothers would amp up the emotional ties between them, which was important to my vision of the…