My first name is Meredith, but everyone including a few people I don’t even like very much, call me Red. Some genuinely unpleasant types started calling me The Red Queen after I was appointed interim dean of my journalism school. My boss, the former dean, was found dead at the bottom of the stairwell and several of the faculty members were suspects in his death.
Of course I have red hair, my best feature. I‘m less certain about the rest of my looks but I’m having an on-again off-again affair with an incredible detective who says I’m lovely. Lovely is a lovely word for an insecure college professor whose life story so far has been punctuated with turbulence.
For starters my mother was an alcoholic who killed herself driving into a tree. Then I dated a lawyer who liked it rough, if you know what I mean. So rough that one night I clonked him with an iron lamp base and broke his nose. In response, he proposed. I was a newspaper reporter then but, after this guy kept calling, I fled to grad school, got a PhD and started teaching journalism at Mountain West University in northern Nevada.
I hoped for a quiet and contemplative life on a university campus, but it’s been nothing but one disaster after another. A typical day for me opens with two members of my faculty who like to duke it out in faculty meetings and act like schoolyard bullies. This can be followed by a student threatening a professor who has flunked her for cheating.
And we haven’t even gotten to my enemies list of fellow professors who think me unqualified, unreasonable and too young to tell them what to do. Or stop doing. I’ve gotten three anonymous notes suggesting I resign and leave town or I might be the next person to end up dead at the bottom of the stairs. Come on.
What I really want is a day when I can enjoy the beautiful scenery of northern Nevada under a clear blue sky followed by an evening when the air is dry and soft as velvet. Add a glass of wine and my erotically skilled detective and that day would be perfect.
However, that day never comes. I’ve just been told that one of my students is close to death and I have to rush to the hospital.
Maybe I will find some peace and quiet after my detective and I have solved the mystery of the brutal death of the former dean and discovered the author of those terrifying notes.
Then again, here’s a disturbing thought. Maybe I am the sort of woman who is destined to attract violence.
You can read more about Meredith in The Red Queen’s Run, the first book in the new “Red Solaris” mystery series, published by Henery Press.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on December 16 for the chance to win a copy of THE RED QUEEN’S RUN. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
About the author
Bourne Morris began writing when she was ten and her teacher suggested she write a play. She learned to love writing almost as much as reading. She wrote poetry and literary criticism at Bennington College, and after that, worked in the fiction department of McCall’s Magazine and then found a job as a copywriter in an advertising agency. She worked happily at Ogilvy&Mather, New York during the “Mad Men “ era. David Ogilvy and his colleagues treated her wonderfully, promoted her several times and then sent her west to become head of their agency in Los Angeles. She had a splendid run in advertising.
In 1983, Bourne joined the University of Nevada Reno as a full professor in Journalism where she taught until 2009. She learned about campus politics when she served as chair of the faculty senate. She retired to write fiction in 2009 after a wonderful teaching career. Now she lives in a beautiful part of northern Nevada with a generous and supportive husband who puts up with her obsession with murder, betrayal, sexual assault and all kinds of criminal behavior. Fortunately, they are owned by a golden retriever who keeps them safe.
“The Red Queen’s Run” is the first in a trilogy that focuses on Bourne’s interest in the causes and consequences of campus violence. Visit her at bournemorris.com.