This coming Saturday afternoon — July 29 from 1 pm to 4 — I’ll be signing the updated new edition of Wish You Were Here in Flint, Michigan.
Even if you’re not into casually visiting cemeteries, come support my favorite Barnes & Noble and say hi. I would love to see you.
If you can’t make it during the signing, you can call Barnes & Noble and ask them to reserve a book for you. I can sign it on Saturday while I’m there. Their phone number is (810) 732-0704.
Almost every tourist destination has a graveyard: Yosemite National Park, Mackinac Island, London, Manhattan, Tokyo, Prague… Jim Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery ranks in the top five tourist sites of Paris. Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel contains 35 graveyard travel essays, which visit more than 50 cemeteries, churchyards, and gravesites across the globe.
“Loren Rhoads started visiting cemeteries by accident. It was the start of a love affair with cemeteries that continues to this day. In Wish You Were Here, Rhoads blends history with storytelling and her photos accompany each essay.”—American Cemeterymagazine
The Cemetery of the Week is going to be late again, but I did finally find the postcards I have been searching for to illustrate it. The research is done. The listing just needs to be written.
But tonight I’m celebrating the publication (yesterday!) of my first book of essays. Western Legends Press just published Wish You Were Here, which collects 35 of my travel essays exploring 50 cemeteries, burial plots, ossuaries, and catacombs from Tokyo to Prague and from Sleepy Hollow to Hollywood Forever. I’m so very proud of the book — and so very grateful to Western Legends for letting me include my photographs to illustrate it and allowing me to be a perfectionist about the design and contents.
I’m sorry to say that I’m not going to manage a Cemetery of the Week this week either. I have been completely swamped with my other writing and can’t seem to switch gears to researching. I am hoping to do the upcoming Camp Nanowrimo in April as a way to churn out a bunch of Cemeteries of the Week so I don’t get into this position again.
What have I been up to? I’m glad you asked!
First up is Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. It is scheduled to come from Western Legends Publishing the end of this month. They’re still working on the cover, but here’s the description:
Almost every tourist destination has a graveyard. You go to Yosemite National Park: there’s a graveyard. You go to Maui: graveyards everywhere you look. The Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park: both graveyards. The number one tourist destination in Michigan has three cemeteries.America’s best-preserved Gold Rush ghost town has five. Gettysburg is a National Park because it has a graveyard. Some graveyards are even tourist destinations in themselves: the Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague, the colonial burying grounds of Boston, and Kennedy’s eternal flame in Arlington National Cemetery. Jim Morrison’s grave in Père Lachaise Cemetery ranks in the top five tourist sites of Paris.
Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemeteries Travel contains 36 graveyard travel essays, which visit more than 50 cemeteries, churchyards, and gravesites around the world.
I’m really proud of that one!
Next up: I served as the editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two, which will be out in early April from Damnation Books. Again the cover isn’t finalized, but I have the back cover text:
In the Fall of 2012, seventeen horror writers and artists met in Northern California to spend four days together in a haunted mansion. Ten of them were survivors of the original Haunted Mansion Writers Retreat; the rest were virgins who encountered the house and its denizens for the first time. Joining them was the group of paranormal investigators who had recorded a plethora of EVPs as well as anomalous lights and ominous shadows in the mansion in 2010. This anthology collects short stories and poetry—as well as real impressions and investigative conclusions—inspired by that long weekend.
Contributors include Nicole Boscia, S.G. Browne, Christian Colvin, Alexa deMonterice, Fran Friel, Kristin Galvin, William Gilchrist, Sèphera Girón, Stacey Graham, Rain Graves, E.S. Magill, Chris Marrs, Rena Mason, Angel Leigh McCoy, Lisa Morton, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, Kim Richards, Loren Rhoads, Kay Sundstrom, Dan Weidman, and Steve Weidman.
It was great to work as an editor again, but the weekend at the Mansion was really scary. Reading everyone’s memories and stories inspired by our time there gave me nightmares. I turned that one in last Sunday.
Finally, I’m finishing up the manuscript of This Morbid Life, which has been requested by a publisher. I’m not sure I can announce any more than that, since nothing has been signed yet. The book collects 25 of my essays about growing up and growing older: from a morbid perspective, of course! From having my prom pictures taken in a cemetery to getting high with a friend dying of AIDS to the premature birth of my daughter, with stops along the way in a cadaver lab, the piercing salon, and my own backyard jungle, it’s a record of how morbid curiosity has made my life totally worth living.
Those essays have been previously published in places like Gothic.Net, Sex Toy Tales, Morbid Curiosity magazine, A Reader’s Guide to the Underground Press, and more.
The publisher is eager to see the book as soon as I can get it to them, but it was totally on a back burner until I could get The Haunted Mansion Project finished and turned in.
I still need to turn in photographs for the first two books and finish proofreading the third one before I can think about visiting a graveyard again.
I just didn’t want you to think I’d forgotten about you!
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