04 August 2020

Author Spotlight || Pamela Morris


I'd like to welcome horror author Pamela Morris to Cats Luv Coffee today!  I love what she has to say about gatekeeping in the horror community. Read on for the full interview!



What's your latest release?


I had two titles come out in early 2019. The first, in January, was Part 2 of "The Witch's Backbone", subtitled, The Murder. A couple weeks later I released the short story, "Because, Spiders".

Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work?


Earlier this year, I finished my 8th horror novel, "The Inheritance". The story is based on very traditional Gothic plotting, but I've placed it in a contemporary setting in southwest Texas, added some bad ass bikers and a bunch of pissed off Apache spirits to make it more interesting for a modern reader.


Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


Years ago, my husband suggested a name for a main character, Liberty Hill. It's a small town just a little ways north of Austin, TX. I loved it, but the name sat with me for several years before finding a home. I'm a big fan of the old Gothic authors, Ann Radcliffe, Poe, Stoker, Wilkie Collins and the like. I thought it would be fun to create something based on their styles, the works of the early to mid-1800s, very traditional. However, I didn't want it to be too predictable and I certainly didn't want to set it in that time period. It needed to be modern. In 2018 we made a trip to Terlingua, Texas to attend Dia de los Muertos where I took feverish notes about the landscape; sights, sounds, the feel of the winds, the smells. This would become the setting for the book. It was just a lot of different elements coming together into something I hope will be out there for people to read very soon.



When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?


I may have a vague idea who they are, but as with Liberty Hill, all I had to start with was a name. No description. No story to plant her in. No kind of history of who she was. She was just a name. Other characters are much more in my face and eager to tell me all about themselves and their story. I don't plan characters. They come to me and tell me about themselves when the time is ready. Oftentimes, they don't do what I tell them to do, either. In some cases, I only find out about a character through another character dropping hints. It's a fun process which I will never really understand the workings of.



Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


I think I have two of those but the main one would be Nell Miller, the pagan librarian in my Barnesville Chronicles series. Nell is sort of alternate reality version of me. She's who I may have become were I to have had more sense about what I wanted to do and be for a living when I was in high school. I didn't have a clue back then. I barely have a clue now! But, unlike me, Nell is very out-going, very out-spoken, very gregarious. She's not afraid to speak up and have her say and lead the way down the darkest paths in order to find answers. She's very brave. I'm kind of a chicken. She's just a lot of fun to write because in a way I feel like I'm sometimes living vicariously through her and wishing I could be a lot more like her in many ways.


What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?


They are equally important. Without a good plot, there's nothing for the characters to do. Without good characters, the plot won't go anywhere. Both need to be created in conjunction with each other, they need to react to each other and work with each other to pull the reader along through the story. Dull plot, dull story. Dull characters, dull story.


A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


No, not songs that I put on repeat or any real concrete soundtrack. I do, however, but on a blues channel and just let it flow over me. I think it's because it both relaxes my brain and stimulated my creativity at the same time. I don't know why... it just does.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?


Look, kid... just do the college thing. Get the damn degree in Library Sciences... you'll be SO glad you did! Trust me!


Which animal would you say is your spirit animal while writing?


Definitely crows and ravens. My writing space is full of them... not literally. That would be rather noisy and distracting, but artwork and statues and the like. Pillows, glassware, dishes, a Tarot card deck, jewelry, clothing - crows are always around me in some form or another. I even have a special whistle that calls them in for breakfast nearly every morning at around 7:00-7:30.


What is something about the genre that annoys you?


Not so much what's annoying about the genre, but about people who can't accept that what they love about Horror may not be what someone else loves about Horror. Some really get into slashers and all the gore. Others want suspense and a bit of mystery. I love vampires, but am pretty indifferent to werewolves, for instance. But, hey... if you love werewolves, that great! They're Horror, too, and we can still be friends. I really hate when fellow Horror fans get nasty about what is and isn't Horror. No, I don't HAVE to like the same kinds of things in the genre as they do to be called a Horror fan.


Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?


I can be found on Twitter @pamelamorris65. I am quite active on my Facebook author page which is www.facebook.com/PamelaMorrisBooks/ and I have a regular website at pamelamorrisbooks.com. There's also a page on Goodreads where you can find me; www.goodreads.com/author/show/908656.Pamela_Morris


Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?


Heh. Well, it's obscure but it cracks me up every time I think about it. In "The Inheritance", Liberty Hill and her wise-cracking twin brother Choice, are traveling via car from Temple, TX to Alpine, TX. It's a LONG drive! At one point during this monotonous trip, Liberty asks if they're having fun yet and her brother replies, "More fun than twin midgets in a titty bar." Choice is quite a piece of work in more ways than one.

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?


I have several things going on right now. The main one is called "The Night Room" set in New Mexico and is very loosely based on the legend of Lechuza. She's a witch that turns into an owl in Mexican and Mexican-American folklore.





Raised and currently living in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, but forever longing for the white sands of her 'native' New Mexico, Pamela loves mysteries and the macabre. Hours spent watching 'Monster Movie Matinee', 'Twilight Zone', 'The Night Stalker', 'In Search Of... ' and a myriad of Hammer Films probably helped, too.

Pamela proudly claims the title of a 7x great grand niece to Rebecca Towne Nurse of Salem Village, MA. Witches, both good and bad, play a predominant role in many of her novels.

When not exploring the dark side, Pamela enjoys online gaming, sunny days on the back deck, drawing & painting, day trips on the Harley with her husband, and trying her hand at Tex-Mex cooking.


Pamela, thank you so much for being the author spotlight today!