Latrell R. Morris is an author of horror, science fiction, and thrillers, including Nova: The Executioner of Justice and The Making of a Friend. South Florida was where Latrell was born and raised, but she now calls Central Florida home. Latrell has been writing since she was a wee little one, and during that time, her love for horror and science fiction movies manifested. When Latrell’s not writing, she’s crafting, playing puzzle and logic games, creating chaos in The Sims, and dilly dallying around Florida theme parks.
1.) Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from South Florida but, currently living in Central Florida. I’ve been writing since I was very young. Poems and love stories were the first things I wrote but, as time went on, I moved into horror and sci-fi.
2.)Tell us what Nova: The Executioner of Justice is about.
Nova: The Executioner of Justice is a series of five short stories centered on the protagonist Nova. Nova is a supernatural being that sees all sinister goings-on after the sun sets. She became fed up with people committing and getting away with evil crimes so, Nova took justice into her own hands. She followings the saying “an eye for an eye”. I see her as an anti-hero.
3.) What inspired you to write this book?
As someone who believes in fairness, like Nova but not as twisted, I was sick of people getting away with the mistreatment of others in any situation. I wanted a powerful, supernatural character with a horror variation.
4.) What was one of the most difficult scenes to write in this book?
The death scenes. I teetered between whether I wanted them to be clean or a little gory. I gave it a little gore just to make a point about how awful the antagonists were. However, not all the stories have gore in them.
5.) Did you choose the horror genre or did the horror genre choose you?
Horror chose me. Since I was a child, it has always fascinated me. I think the bizarre stories and visuals drew me in. My go-to horror movies normally involve ghosts or some sort of supernatural being. The original Poltergeist is one of my favorite movies. I’m also a fan of the original Nightmare on Elm Street.
6.) Why do you think it’s important for Black authors to write in the horror genre?
I feel there is a stereotype that we don’t write in this genre because we do not enjoy it or because of our religious beliefs. Also, those of us who enjoy as sometimes looked at weirdly. I’ve seen the faces recoil when I tell people the genres I write. There are many of us, heck, most of my immediate family, who enjoy horror. Most people wouldn’t believe that by the actors Hollywood casts in horror movies. I am fortunate to have grown up watching horror movies starring black actors; Vampire in Brooklyn, Candy Man, The People Under the Stairs, Tales from the Hood (crazy fun), just to name a few. It started to taper off but, people like Jordan Peele have brought horror movies with a majority Black cast back to the forefront. I’m loud and proud of my love for the genre.
7.) Why did you choose to go the route of self-publishing?
I believe traditional publishing is sometimes a game of luck and a lot of waiting and hoping you’re going to be picked up for a book deal. I was ready to get my stories out there to be read. Plus, it’s having complete creative control over your work that’s appealing to me.
8.) What do you feel is the connection between self-publishing and preserving the authenticity and voice of the stories you tell?
With self-publishing, you don’t have that person hanging over your shoulder telling you to change this or that because they may not understand it or feel it doesn’t have mass appeal, which is what I believe most traditional publishers want. The events and the characters come from my mind. Let’s say, if an agent or publisher came along advising me they didn’t like certain parts of the story or the characters and requested me to change them, my vision is being dimmed for someone else’s. I feel there’s a reader(s) for every story.
9.) What are some of your upcoming writing projects?
I’m releasing part two of The Friend Trilogy on November 8, 2022. Part three releases early next year. It’s currently in editing. I’m also working on another part of Nova’s story. This time around, she’s doing things differently. Further, I’m working on a thriller/mystery/fantasy series that involves a small time and cryptids. Part one’s completed and it will be off to the editor this month, and I am currently writing part two, which is mostly finished. I’m looking to release part one in the spring or summer of next year.
10.) Where can readers buy your books?
You can buy my books on my website and I’m also on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Blurb.
11.) Where can we find you on social media?
12.) Please share your website(s) with our readers.
Audra Russell is a blogger, freelance writer, and published author. She holds two undergraduate degrees in journalism as well as a Master of Science degree in Education. She also completed the Wesleyan University online Creative Writing Specialization course series.
She is an avid reader and writer’s advocate. Her passion for promoting the works of up-and-coming authors inspired her to create her podcast, Between the Reads, as well as her website, Read It Black to Me. Her debut novel, BLOOD LAND, was published on August 29, 2020, as her fiftieth birthday gift to herself. She lives in Maryland with her husband of more than 20 years, her 3 amazing children, a 12-year-old perpetual puppy, two dueling cats, and her lone surviving chicken of 8 years who she affectionately renamed Gloria (she will survive!)