Author Latrivia S. Nelson has firm roots in Memphis as a graduate of The LeMoyne-Owen College and as a marketing and public relations professional with over 14 years of experience with some of the cities most recognized organizations. She leans on that background to write her steamy love stories and incorporate all things Blues City in her books.
"Memphis is so rich with culture until if I never wrote about another locale in the world, I'd still have plenty of subject matter," said Nelson. "Each day, I find something or someone new to write about. It never gets old or boring. All you have to do is step outside of your door and you're bombarded with notable personalities."
Her latest novel, "The World in Reverse," has topped several Amazon best sellers lists, including #1 for African American Mystery and #1 for organized crime. And it's all about Memphis politics, police and crime.
"I was sitting on a bench downtown having lunch when I thought up the idea after reading a news article. The characters just fell in place over time, but they have no real counterparts," said Nelson. "The book is simply one big what-if scenario."
"The World in Reverse" is a sequel to her first book, "Ivy's Twisted Vine," and centers around one of Nelson's former leading characters, Nicola Agosto, a white Memphis police officer, his African-American wife and four children. During the course of an investigation into a series of child murders, Agosto is accused of using excessive force against an African-American suspect, suspended from the department and accused of being a racist.
To solve the city's biggest case, protect his family and clear his name, he enlists the help of the seedy Russian mafia organization he had once been in charge of investigating to uncover a bigger conspiracy that includes a local politician and a fellow officer. The journey includes a riot that erupts downtown during a vigil, bombings and shootouts. And it ends with an even bigger twist.
With 14 novels under her belt, Nelson has had five national bestsellers in the last three years. After going through a pain-staking divorce, many of her readers questioned if she could come back strong.
"My most popular novel was based around my experiences at Camp Lejeune and the passion of my marriage. When I announced my divorce to my readers as the reason that they wouldn't see new work for me for a while, the rumors started. It didn't help that the next book that I released, "The Contingency Plan, didn't do so well," said Nelson.
"But I stayed focused. I realized that I needed to get my personal life in order and find peace through prayer in order to truly write something of quality. My readers deserved it and so did I."
As a romance author, Nelson has set records, writing the largest interracial romance novel in the genre, "Ivy's Twisted Vine," in 2008. She also had three books on Amazon's Multicultural Best Sellers List at the same time in 2011. "The World in Reverse" has now topped her former record as the largest interracial thriller to date with 741 pages.
Nelson, who owns RiverHouse Publishing, LLC in Mid-Town, has six authors whom she represents.
"The great thing about owning and running your own business is your ability to control your message and grow your ideas. I was taught by the best. RiverHouse Publishing has been a blessing, because I not only have had my own dreams realized, I've been able to help others reach their own goals. It's hard work, but it's truly fulfilling."
("The World in Reverse" is available for $5 via e-book on Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble's nook. It will be available in paperback format on Sept. 1. For more information, visit www.latrivianelson.com.)