From the EYES Of…Jo-Anne Russell, a light in the darkness

Jo-Anne Russell (courtesy photo)

By AK Dale


 LINDSAY, Ont. – She may be legally blind, but there is no doubting the shine Jo-Anne Russell gives off in any discussion with her.

Be it via interview or online chat, Russell has always given it her best. A constant image of positive energy and perkiness, Russell is.

Therein lies the irony.

“I have always been drawn to the dark, morbid and forbidden of all things,” Russell said. “I absorb the vibes of the shocked and disbelieving who question my true connection to the macabre. My personality has been labeled as split as I am called sweet on one hand, and morbidly obscene on the other. Regardless, my family still loves me.”

It would be hard to guess Russell to be so morbid in thought, but regardless, it must be working for the author of 10 years.

She is also an affiliate member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and Publisher/Editor at Scarlett River Press.

Russell is quite busy, thus she needs plenty of kicks to get her into high gear.

“I need lots of light,” Russell said. “I get too sleepy and my brain becomes resistant to work otherwise. Oh, and I also need gallons of coffee.”

The formula must be working since this Canadian lady has found her niche after toiling for the first few years.

“I have been writing seriously for the last ten years, but started getting published only about four years,” she said. “So far I have about twelve shorts and flash in various anthologies, magazines and my own collection called Trespass.”

During her time as a novelist, Russell has had plenty of support while finding ways at times to stymie her own ability to progress at times.

“Scarlet Whispers” is one of the works by Jo-Anne Russell (courtesy art)

“My husband has been my greatest source of inspiration, courage and strength to motivate me along this twisted path,” Russell said. “I would never have had the confidence without his encouragement and reverse psychology. Thanks Rick. My shrink will send you the bill.

“Honestly, I was my own worst enemy,” she added. “My inner critic was a maniac, and tormented me constantly. I would love to go back in time and tell myself to stop wasting it.”

Mother to nine kids, her first and foremost place to seek strength and a foundation of support comes from home.

“My success is first attained by my family’s reinforcement to follow my dreams, and just their support and belief in me,” Russell said. “After that everything is a bonus.

“For me success is also the look in people’s eyes after they meet me and then read my work, and the tremble in their voice as they try to have a normal conversation with me.” Russell said. “I love that my work and my personality can have such conflicting effects on people.”

Maybe one of the future project planned by Russell, who plays darts, enjoys riding her horse, creating ebook covers and spending time with family, will have the same type of impact.

“I would absolutely love to do a horror novel that takes place on the Titanic,
she admitted. “I love the Titanic and horror, and I think it would be interesting to have some sort of entity or creature be the real responsibility for its demise; and cover-up. Anyone want to co-author with me?”


At Amazon

Scarlett River Press

“The Nightmare Project” trailer

WERZOMBIES Press thanks you for taking the time to read this column/article. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!


3 responses to “From the EYES Of…Jo-Anne Russell, a light in the darkness

  1. Thank you for the interview. I am really enjoying learning all about the people who have shared their stories with the tour.
    And folks, don’t pass up the chance to grab your copy of DNA! It is a fantastic work with a totally new and gripping twist on zombies. I guarantee you have never read anything like it!

  2. this is amazing. Thank you Joanne for writing this and sharing it with us, and thank you too to Alan!
    I am so moved. You are an inspiration, Joanne! My goodness.

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