I was completely burnt out by the time the Death’s Garden Revisited Kickstarter ended in April, but I meant to post that not only did the book reach its funding goal, it bypassed it by a factor of five!
The book is in the proofreader’s hands now. Once she finishes with the text, I should be able to finalize the book’s layout and start ordering printer samples. Backers will have their copies on schedule in October.
I’ll post the order link for everyone else once I have the book is ready for preorders.
Tomorrow I’m giving a talk called “Using Crowdfunding to Support Cemetery Projects” at the virtual portion of the annual Association for Gravestone Studies Conference. I’m excited to share what I learned during my Kickstarter.
I had the honor of being a guest on two really great podcasts this year.
In March, I chatted with Tui Snider on her Tombstone Tuesdays video podcast. We talked about Wish You Were Here and 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die, how I came to love cemeteries, and some of my favorite cemetery sculptures. It was really fun.
In November, I hung out with LaShell Scott for her Stones, Bones and Shadows podcast. We talked about our favorite cemeteries that we haven’t visited yet — Highgate for her, Savannah’s Bonaventure for me, and so much more.
Things have been slow on the cemetery book front this year. While I’ve been waiting to sign another contract, I’ve gotten two fiction books out:
What if Romeo had wings and Juliet a barbed tail?
Angelus Rose is the second novel in the succubus/angel series I was writing with Brian Thomas. Of interest to cemetery folk is that the book visits three cemeteries in LA. It’s available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, Indie Bound, and Smashwords.
Finally, my brand-new collection of short stories, Unsafe Words, came out on Sunday.
From the back cover:
In the first full-length collection of her edgy, award-winning short stories, Loren Rhoads punctures the boundaries between horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction in a maelstrom of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Ghosts, succubi, naiads, vampires, the Wild Hunt, and the worst predator in the woods stalk these pages, alongside human monsters who follow their cravings past sanity or sense.
Unsafe Words is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound. It should be up at Bookshop.org and Smashwords soon.
I hope to get back to work on the cemetery updates soon. In the meantime, tell me…have you had a cemetery adventure lately?
Considering I didn’t have a new book out in 2018, I was pleased with the attention that 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die continued to draw. It opened doors for me to speak at a bunch of new (to me) venues last year, too. Hopefully, I persuaded some new people to check out the beauty of these fragile historic places.
I put a collection of my cemetery essays up on Wattpad in July and August. Graveyard Field Trips: A Memoir gathers essays I published on Gothic.Net and GothicBeauty.com, along with the introduction to the original edition of Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries.
At the moment, I have a proposal out for my new book, The Pioneer Cemeteries of the San Francisco Bay Area, and another proposal for a nonfiction book with Lisa Morton, president of the Horror Writers Association, that I’m excited about. Hopefully those books will find homes in 2019.
I’m not sure what cemetery project I’ll work on after those are done. Maybe I’ll finally finish the second volume of Death’s Garden.
I wrote 9 cemetery columns for the Horror Writers Association’s newsletter about the histories of burial and cremation, cemetery ghost stories, and gravestone iconography.
“The Madam’s Haunted Tomb” served as part of the Ghosts in the Graveyard series on Roxanne Rhoads’s All Things Halloween blog. I talked about a ghost legend centered on New Orleans’ Metairie Cemetery.
Here on CemeteryTravel.com, I was proud to put together a two-part series on the “Resting Places of Horror Icons.” Here’s part one.
At Cypress Lawn in Colma in September
I spoke to Angela Hennessy’s “Over My Dead Body” class at the California College of the Arts in February. My lecture, called “Memento Mori: Even Graveyards Die,” covered the demolition of the historic cemeteries of San Francisco.
In April, for the “Memento Mori” evening of the Reimagine End of Life week, I talked about the dismantling of “Laurel Hill Cemetery: San Francisco’s Garden Cemetery” at the Swedish American Hall.
I talked about how I came to write 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die at the Association for Gravestone Studies conference in Danbury, Connecticut in June.
In September, I showed slides of my favorite cemeteries from 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.
Professor Steven Brown invited me to talk about cemeteries to his horticultural class as San Francisco’s City College on October 1, 2018.
My last lecture of the year was near to my heart. For years, I’ve wanted to trace the development of San Francisco’s Old Mission Cemetery through tourist postcards. I finally got to do it as part of the Odd Salon’s “Cemetery Stories” event during the Litcrawl on 10/20/18. My lecture was called “Postcards from History.”
199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die continued to get some press attention this year, even though the book’s been out more than a year. Most of these stories were nice surprises when I stumbled across them online.
A catch-all category for things that made me smile this year.
199 Cemeteries made the preliminary ballot for the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award in Nonfiction. While the book didn’t advance to the final ballot, it was still an honor to make the long list.
Finally, I got to provide a cover blurb for the first time. I am really excited about Erin-Marie Legacey’s Making Space for the Dead, which is coming from Cornell University Press in April 2019. You can preorder it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RkuyiT.
I had the honor of being a guest on Blueprint for Living on Australia’s ABC network last Friday. We talked about what draws people to cemeteries, what they might find there, and why it’s worth going out of your way to visit graves of people you don’t know. Here is the link to the podcast:
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