Getting personal with Pamela Morris

 

Raised in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, but forever longing for the white sands of New Mexico, Pamela has always loved mysteries and the macabre. Combining the two in her own writing, along with her love for historical research and genealogy, came naturally. Hours spent watching ‘Monster Movie Matinee’, ‘Twilight Zone’, a myriad of Hammer Films, and devouring books by Stephen King, Tanith Lee, and Anne Rice probably helped, too.

Outside of her work as a novelist, Pamela has written numerous historic articles for the Tioga County Courier, an Owego, NY newspaper. She has done genealogy research for family and friends and was a Civil War reenactor for close to ten years. In 2014 Pamela joined the ranks of writers for the online magazine, The Good Men Project. She also enjoys scrapbooking, bad B-Movies, road trips with her husband, and feeding the crows that frequent their back yard.

 

Please help me welcome Pamela Morris to Roadie Notes…………

1. How old were you when you first wrote your first story?
I was all of nine when I wrote and illustrated “Bill, The Worm Who Ran Away”. It’s an adventure about a runaway worm who was named after my father. This was soon followed by my first ghostly thriller/mystery “The Strange Well”. Both are 3rd Grade literary masterpieces, I assure you. Thanks to my dad, I still have both of the originals of the above titles in my paper files.

2. How many books have you written?
I have written eleven novels, ten of which have been published. One is currently out-of-print as it was never quite what I wanted it to be and it needs a lot of revisions. My first published novel was released in 2006 and started a four-year journey down the road of writing erotica. Once I got that out of my system, I began seriously writing what I love most; mysteries, thrillers and horror. “Secrets of The Scarecrow Moon”, a paranormal murder-mystery, came out in 2013. My most recent title, “The Witch’s Backbone 1 – The Curse”, came out in September of this year and we’re hoping to release the psychological horror “Dark Hollow Road” next spring.

3. Anything you won’t write about?
Bestiality, cryptid erotica, and dinosaur porn are at the top of the list. I have no interest in walking down the pure erotica-of-any-kind path again, either. I won’t write about anything that portrays any form of abuse in a positive light. “Dark Hollow Road” does contain both sexual and child abuse, but by no means is it done in a way that glorifies the subject, just the opposite.

4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job
etc…

I’ll be 52 in December and recently (in 2016) remarried. My first husband and I have two children. My son just turned 27 and my daughter is 24. No grandkids as of yet. I’ve worked for the Cornell University Library system for 30 years.

5. What’s your favorite book you have written?
This is tough. It’s like asking me which child is my favorite. I love them all for different reasons. I’m very fond of my Barnesville Chronicle books because they are set in the fictionalized region I grew up in. It almost feels like I’m cheating with those because it’s like going back home again and hanging out with old friends. “Dark Hollow Road” is probably the most complex and darkest thing I’ve written. It’s very psychologically dark and disturbing. While working on certain scenes I kept wondering where in my psyche it was all coming from. In that sense, it’s my favorite.

6. Who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve loved to write since I learned how, so I don’t think anyone was my initial inspiration. It’s as much a part of who I am as my hazel eyes and brown hair. However, my parents have always been very encouraging of my writing. As I mentioned earlier, my dad is the one who saved those first two hand-written stories I wrote over 40 years ago. My mom’s a big reader and belonged to a book club. Books have always been part of my life. Getting books for Christmas and my birthday was, and still is, one of my favorite things.
As far as writers whom I admire and who have influenced me, I’d have to say the stories of Rod Serling have had a strong impact on what I enjoy writing. As a teenager, I discovered the work of Tanith Lee, a British author that a lot of people have never even heard of. She has a very unique style that I very much enjoy. Shirley Jackson, Clive Barker, Wilkie Collins, Poe, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Anne Rice have all played roles in what I write and how I write, too.

Inspiration for a story can come from just about anywhere. My ghost story, “No Rest For The Wicked” (available through HellBound Books Publishing) arose from a friend and I discussing how he wanted to write a ghost story as if it were being told by the actual ghosts. He couldn’t quite get the idea off the ground so I asked if he’d mind if I gave it a go. He didn’t. I added several ‘dead’ characters from my erotica-writing days to the mix and “No Rest For The Wicked” was born.

“Dark Hollow Road” came about during a trip through Pennsylvania when we passed a side road actually called “Dark Hollow Road”. I saw that and was like, “If that’s not the name of a scary novel, I don’t know what is.” At the time, I had no idea what it would be about, but I had a title! The Barnesville Chronicle titles have a lot to do with my love of local history and historic research. Some of what is mentioned in those books is based on real event that took place (or are rumored to have taken place) in the rural area I grew up on.

7. What do you like to do for fun?
Other than writing, you mean? I read a lot. That’s rather part of being a writer, I think, the love of reading. A warm summer day spent with my husband out on the Harley is always amazing. Apart from writing, I think being on the motorcycle with him is my second best form of mental therapy. Whatever stress I’m having, pretty much evaporates during the ride. I dabble a bit with various forms of art; drawing, painting, photography, making book trailers, clay sculptures, and a touch of scrapbooking. And I love to travel to places I’ve never been before.

8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
No, not really. I sit back and bask in the afterglow for a while, but that’s about it.

9. Where do you write? Quiet or music?
The majority of my writing takes place in the living room on the desktop, but I’ve also enjoyed getting work done outside on the back deck with the laptop. Nothing really beats that, to be honest. I’d do it more often if weather and time allowed. For some reason that big mug of hot coffee and those cheerful chirping birds brings out the horror in me. I prefer to write in solitude and when I do play music, it’s the Blues. Anything else I find very distracting. I’m very much a morning writer, too.

10. Anything you would change about your writing?
I’m always looking to improve so I guess I’d say fewer typos! That, and to hone my skills to the point that my readers aren’t just reading a book. I want them to feel involved in the atmosphere and setting and invested in what’s happening to the characters.

11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I dream of the day when I can make a living as a fiction writer, but I’m a realist and understand that’s incredibly hard to do. I’d love to have multiple homes, to be able to keep the one I have now, fix it all up properly, and get a second one either in New Mexico or Texas – something that’s very Southwestern. A log cabin in the woods would be nice, too. Mostly, I just want to be able to share my stories with people and hope that they enjoy what I’ve spent so much time and love creating.

12. Where do you live?
I live in the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York State. Our house was built in 1886 and I’ve lived here since 1995. It’s a great old house and came with its resident ghost, Herman. He’s an older gentleman who keeps quiet for the most part, but every now and then he’ll make just enough noise so we know he’s still around.

13. Pets?
The wild crows who visit and demand peanuts probably don’t count, do they? No, no pets at the time. I’d love to have a cat. My husband would love to have a dog, but it’s also nice not to have the responsibility of having either. We are free to come and go as we please without having to worry about their care while away.

14. What’s your favorite thing about writing?
The part about writing that always amazes me is when the characters take over. That’s the magic right there. Although I will have a general idea of where I want the story to go, I don’t outline. I allow each scene to unfold logically from what has come before, while attempting to steer it along. However, there are times when the characters say phooey to what I have in mind and go off on their own little tangent. I let them. I figure they know more about what’s happened or happening than I do and I’m just along for the ride. To a non-writer, that may not make any sense. It’s fiction, how can that happen? Well, it does, a lot. It’s a thrill ride for me to see what’s next and then try to pull in those reins to maneuver that ending I was shooting for. Sometimes that sort of things throws a wrench into what I had in mind, in which case I make the adjustments and follow where the characters seem to want me to go instead.

15. What is coming next for you?
As I mentioned, “Dark Hollow Road” is scheduled for a spring 2018 release. I’m really looking forward to getting this one out to people because of its depth and darkness. Half of it is told in 1st Person. That has a lot to do with why it’s so different from my previous novels. You really get into the head of that particular character and that’s not always a place the reader will want to be at all. My current WIP is “The Witch’s Backbone 2 – The Murder”. It picks up exactly where TWB 1 – The Curse ends. I’m about 1/3 of the way through writing the first draft.

Aside from the novels, I was asked to write a foreword for a friend of mine who’s working on his first short story collection. I was both surprised and honored he asked. And, I’ve accepted a gig writing book and movie reviews for The Final Guys website. This will force me (yeah – twist my arms, right?) to watch more horror movies if nothing else.

I have a couple of poems in HellBound Books most recently released anthology “Beautiful Tragedies.” I’ve not been able to get a copy of it myself just yet, but plan to do so as soon as I can. I hear they are doing a second volume for this and although I was asked if I’d be interested in submitting something for that, poetry of the type they are looking for, and that I’m willing to share, isn’t something I produce a lot of.

You can connect with Pamela Morris here:
You can find me lurking in a few places in Cyberspace.
My main website is http://pamelamorrisbooks.com where you’ll find info on all my books, some free short stories, and my blog where I write book and movie reviews, a monthly author interview, and share a little something called “The Horrors That Grew Me” where I talk about the things and people who have influenced me as a lover and writer of the Horror genre.
I post and share a lot over on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PamelaMorrisBooks/
and you can find me on Twitter as @pamelamorris65.
I have an author page on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Morris/e/B00BCJTNP6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 and one over at HellBound Books where you’ll find not just my titles, but some other awesome authors. http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com
And finally, as mentioned, you’ll be able to read more of my movie and book reviews over at The Final Guys http://finalguys.com/ soon. As of this writing, it’s still a work-in-progress.

 

Some of Pamela Morris’s books: 

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