College experiences inspire former journalism professor to debut suspense novel

College experiences inspire former journalism professor to debut suspense novel
Bourne Morris

Bourne Morris, professor emeritus, Reynolds School of Journalism

Bourne Morris, Reno resident and Reynolds School of Journalism professor emeritus for the University of Nevada, Reno will introduce her first novel, “The Red Queen’s Run,” to the community at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 9,  at Sundance Books and Music in downtown Reno. The event is free and open to the public. “The Red Queen’s Run” is the first installment of her Red Solaris Trilogy suspense series. The series addresses the problems of campus violence.

“’The Red Queen’s Run’ is a psychological thriller that exposes the academic ‘Ivory Tower’ to be a hothouse full of monstrous egos, where bullying thrives long past the childhood playground days and academic discipline requires research skills of the detective kind,” said writer Kate Manning.

The story is about a famous journalism dean that is found dead at the bottom of a stairwell. Members of the faculty who’d had serious altercations with the dean – worse than schoolyard bullies – are the police department’s key suspects. But when Meredith “Red” Solaris, an attractive red-haired professor, is appointed the interim dean position, the faculty becomes furious. Notes containing threats are sent to Red, and the lead detective on the case who has tried to protect her believes she may be the next target.

Traditionally, Morris’ work has targeted academic scholars, but the Red Solaris Trilogy was designed for entertainment purposes.

“I am told the primary audience for most mysteries is women who have enough time to read,” Morris said. “Since I’m writing a series of academic mysteries about campus violence, I hope my books find favor with the my primary audience, and in particular, college professors, administrators and staff.”

As a lifelong writer, Morris explains the easiest and most difficult aspects of writing.

“Inventing dialogue that sounds real enough to bring my characters to life is my biggest challenge,” she said. “It is what makes writing fiction different from other work.”

Although this is Morris’ first novel, she is definitely not new to writing.

“I wrote my first play when I was in fourth grade and my first poem when I was in ninth grade,” she said. “I started my first novel 35 years ago. It’s still sitting on my hard drive, unfinished. I am not finished with evolving.”

Morris began her career as a writer for Ogilvy Advertising, taught advertising and marketing for 26 years, became University of Nevada, Reno Faculty Senate Chair in 2003, and retired in 2009 to fully devote her attention to her family and love of fiction writing.

“The Red Queen’s Run” is available for purchase at Amazon.

About The Reynolds School:

The Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno is a dynamic, student-centered program with a focus on the future. with an $8 million investment in facility renovations, launch of the Nevada Media Alliance – a multiplatform news partnership with regional media – and development of the Center for Advanced Media Studies, The Reynolds School is advancing scholarship and and media innovation. Additionally, the Reynolds School is home to the award-winning Integrated Marketing Communications competition team and is the only journalism school in the country to partner with National Public Radio, NPR, on its NextGen multimedia boot camp.

About The University of Nevada, Reno:

Founded in 1874 as Nevada’s land-grant university, the University of Nevada, Reno ranks in the top tier of best national universities. With nearly 20,000 students, the University is driven to contribute a culture of student success, world-improving research and outreach that enhances communities and business. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system’s largest research program and is home to the state’s medical school. Bringing outreach and education programs to all Nevada counties and home to one of the largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit

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