The first edition will go out of print sometime next year, in preparation for the updated new edition. If you prefer the black & gold cover, get yours soon! Click on the cover.
Things are coming along nicely on 222 Cemeteries to See Before You Die. Since my last update, my editor went over the text, but didn’t make many changes except to rein me in when I went on too long. I loved the photos she chose for illustrations. There were a few cemeteries where we couldn’t find good images — but I had pictures of the Canadian churchyard and some of the Facebook cemetery groups submitted photos of the other two. I am really pleased with how lovely the update is going to be.
Last week, the copy editor sent me her notes. She’s the person on the editorial team who doublechecks all the names, dates, and statistics. She was really thorough and I am completely relieved. There’s nothing better than an editorial team who’s got your back.
I think the next time I see the book will be after the designer finishes with it. I’ve already seen a draft of the beautiful new cover. I can’t wait to be able to share it.
I think we’re ahead of schedule for 222 Cemeteries to See Before You Die to come out in Autumn 2024.
I got yet another draft of the Death’s Garden Revisited ebook back from that book’s designer. We’ve had a huge struggle with those ebooks because all the photos made the book too large to upload to a Kindle.
I think we’ve gotten the problem sorted finally. I want to go over everything one last time before I release it into the world. Fingers crossed that it will be out in September 2023.
The hardcover and paperback are already for sale on Blurb.com. You can get 20% off with the code AUGBSTORE20 until August 16!
In and around everything else, I’ve been chiseling away at the essays for Still Wish You Were Here. This is the sequel to Wish You Were Here, my cemetery travel memoir from a couple of years ago. The first book started with me discovering Highgate Cemetery in 1991 and stretched almost to my daughter’s birth in 2003. The new book overlaps the first one some, then will carry me all the way to buying my dad’s headstone earlier this year.
As you can guess, there’s some deeply emotional stories in it, so the book has been a challenge to work on this year. I feel like I’m finally in a better place to get the work done.
The scope of the book is still shifting, but it looks like the book will include 35 essays, visiting cemeteries from San Francisco’s Mission Dolores to the gate of Hell in Kyoto. I’m not sure how many cemeteries in all I will be able to squeeze into the book — that depends on how many I can cram into the introduction! At this moment, I have plans to write about visiting eight countries and eight American states: roughly 45 cemeteries so far.
I had really hoped to get Still Wish You Were Here out in October, but that’s not going to happen. I’d rather have it perfect than timely. I think the new publication date will be in the spring next year.
The primary cemetery project I worked on last year was the Kickstarter and publication of Death’s Garden Revisited: Personal Relationships with Cemeteries.
The book was the culmination of a dream I’ve held for decades. It collects 40 powerful personal essays — accompanied by glorious full-color photographs — to illuminate the reasons people visit cemeteries. Spanning the globe from Iceland to Argentina and from Portland to Prague, Death’s Garden Revisited explores the complex web of relationships between the living and those who have passed before.
I could not be prouder of how this beautiful book turned out. You can get a copy of your own from Blurb.com.
I’ve been working on another collection of my own cemetery travel essays, a sequel to Wish You Were Here. Still Wish You Were Here will be a collection of 35 (or so) cemeteries, exploring graveyards from the California Gold Country to Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo. I’d hoped to have it finished by the end of 2022, but family trouble complicated that. The paperback will be out this summer.
I only gave one lecture in 2022. I presented “Using Crowdfunding to Support Cemetery Projects” during the online conference for the Association for Gravestone Studies on 6/9/22.
Short Cemetery Nonfiction:
I had a bunch of short pieces published, most of them in connection with promoting Death’s Garden Revisited.
I was almost interviewed about cemeteries at the last minute by the BBC! It was the day after we’d moved into our new house and I didn’t yet know where my microphone was so, in the end, I was relieved that they booked someone else. I had a really nice interaction with the showrunner, though. Maybe this year?
Doing my first kickstarter this year was one of the most intense months of my life. Death’s GardenRevisited raised more than $5k. The campaign was chosen by Kickstarter as a Project We Love.
I hosted my first Ask Me Anything on Twitter. So many great cemetery questions! I look forward to doing another this year.
Dr. Sharon Pajka hosted a Cemetery Happy Hour. A handful of Death’s Garden contributors created cocktails to celebrate their favorite cemeteries. Check out this very fun and short video: https://youtu.be/H5BN8WWZq-c
It’s finally here! Today is the final day of Kickstarter campaign for the cemetery book I’m editing, Death’s Garden Revisited.
At this point, 100 people have backed the project, ensuring that the black & white photos will be upgraded to color, I’ll be able to commission a couple of essays to fill out the book, and there will be more cemetery photos than I originally planned. This book is going to be so beautiful!
Backers are giving me the ability to finish the sequel to my cemetery memoir, Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. Everyone who donated — from the $5 level on up — will receive a copy of the new ebook. I am really excited to find out what they think of it.
The best reward — at least in my mind — is that every backer will be thanked inside Death’s Garden Revisited. I’m thrilled to be able to acknowledge their faith in me.
In case you haven’t seen it, this is the video in which I talk about the book:
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