It’s that time again, when everyone’s fancies turn to cemeteries. I’ve been out there, talking up the joys of visiting graveyards.
Horror Addicts focused the last hour of their October podcast on Death’s Garden Revisited. Horror hostess Emerian Rich (also a contributor to the book) interviewed me, then contributors E.M. Markoff, Francesca Maria, and Brian Thomas read tastes of their essays. If you’re trying to get in the mood for the season, check it out.
The National Funeral Directors Association interviewed me about 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Death’s Garden Revisited for their podcast, Remembering a Life.
The Washington Post asked me for some context for recipes appearing on headstones: They’re To Die For.
199 Cemeteries inspired another Washington Post journalist to begin exploring cemeteries. Along the way, she talked to a lot of taphophiles I’ve met via twitter. You have to love her headline: Why We Love a Good Cemetery.
In and around all of that, I’ve been getting the copies of Death’s Garden Revisited in the mail to the contributors and the Kickstarter backers. If you’d like a copy of your own (and who wouldn’t? It’s gorgeous!), you can click on the book cover above and be taken to Blurb.com. It’s available in hardcover and oversized paperback now. The ebook version should be coming soon.
Emerian Rich is a kindred soul, albeit with a much better fashion sense than mine. I met her through a a Facebook group dedicated to women who write horror. She invited me to contribute to The Horror Addicts’ Guide to Life, then invited me to join her — the first time I attended BayCon — in a group reading from that book. It was amazing to meet her in person. She is a bundle of energy. Since then, we’ve gone to conventions together, we’ve done readings together, we’ve poked around graveyards together… and I’ll have several cemetery pieces in her upcoming book The Horror Addicts’ Guide to Life 2.
Emerian wrote a really lovely piece for Death’s Garden Revisited called “How the Forgotten Angels Saved My Life,” which is about how she pulled herself out of a depression by caring for the neglected graves of long-dead children.
Emerian Rich is the author of the vampire book series Night’s Knights. She’s been published in a handful of anthologies by publishers such as Dragon Moon Press, Hidden Thoughts Press, and White Wolf Press. She is the podcast horror hostess for the internationally acclaimed HorrorAddicts.net show.
What’s your favorite thing to do in a cemetery?
Soak in the ambiance and write. I also like to do etchings of the gravestones, if they have an interesting carving on them.
Tell me about your favorite cemetery.
I think it’s St. Stephen’s, the one I wrote about. It’s small and forgotten, but that is part of what makes it unique to me. I also love the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, where the ashes are kept in books, but I don’t get there as often.
Is there a cemetery or gravesite you’ve always wanted to visit?
I really want to go to New Orleans and visit Metairie Cemetery and the graves there, especially now that Anne Rice is buried there. I never got to see her in life. I’d like to pay my respects at her grave.
If you could have a say in it, what would your epitaph be?
She tried her best.
Do you have a favorite song about cemeteries or graveyards?
“Don’t Go” by Matthew Sweet – Although it’s more about losing someone than the cemetery, but the line “I can’t watch them put you in the ground” is heart-wrenching.
I had a lot of fun putting together a playlist of cemetery songs recommended by the Death’s Garden Revisited contributors. You can listen to it here.
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