Every year I recap the writing triumphs and disappointments of the previous twelve months and every year I feel like it’s never enough. 2013 might be the first year I was satisfied.
Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel came out from Western Legends Press in May. Publisher John Palisano was hugely supportive, soliciting my input on the interior design, using one of my photos for the cover, and making me feel like the luckiest writer ever. The book includes 35 essays, all revised for this collection, and some published in their entirety for the first time. I could not be prouder of this book.
Just before the 2012 Haunted Mansion Retreat, Rain Graves asked if I’d step into E. S. Magill’s formidable shoes and edit the second volume of The Haunted Mansion Project. It was my first time editing fiction by professionals, which made it a huge amount of fun. The book came out in June, just in time for the World Horror Convention in New Orleans. I love how it turned out. Totally worth the PTSD I suffered while reliving the last retreat over and over!
In May, I signed a contract with Renaissance eBooks for This Morbid Life, a collection of my morbid memoir essays. Here’s the back cover text: “From posing for prom pictures in a cemetery to getting high with a friend dying of AIDS, from eating bugs at the science museum to chasing and being chased by ghosts, from cross-dressing as her best friend to the premature birth of her daughter, This Morbid Life is a record of how one woman’s morbid curiosity made her life totally worth living. Loren’s morbid life encompasses adventures in a cadaver lab, in the piercing salon, and in her own backyard jungle.” Most of the essays have been previously published in places like the book Sex Toy Tales, the magazines Unzipped, Morbid Curiosity, Zine World, and online at Gothic.Net and Jane.
In August, I signed a contract with Black Bed Sheet Books for As Above, So Below, my first novel, co-written with Brian Thomas. It’s publication is immanent, so stay tuned.
Angel McCoy invited me to guest edit Wily Writers again. I chose two wonderful urban fantasy stories, but they haven’t been published yet. I can’t wait to see them in print.
I did three huge interviews this year about CemeteryTravel.com. The first was for the Weather Channel and the second for the venerable trade journal American Cemetery. The third will be part of Lynn Morgan’s amazing book Post-Graduate Goth. I’m really looking forward to seeing that one published.
One of my goals for October was to write guest posts for other people’s blogs. I’m proud of the pieces I managed to place:
* My piece about visiting Ray Bradbury’s grave on the HWA’s Halloween Haunts blog.
* My essay about the last Haunted Mansion Retreat on Armand Rosamilia’s blog.
* Jennifer Brozek invited me to talk about Wish You Were Here.
* I wrote my first entry for Atlas Obscura, too. It’s about the U.S. Marine Hospital Cemetery in San Francisco.
In terms of readings:
* I was honored to read part of “A Curiosity of Shadows” for the Haunted Mansion Project at World Horror in New Orleans, alongside Rena Mason, E.S. Magill, Angel McCoy, and Sephera Giron.
* I co-hosted the Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two reading at Borderlands Cafe, with Rain Graves, Fran Friel, and S.G. Browne.
* I was invited to read “The Shattered Rose” for the long-awaited genre issue of Instant City at the last event in the old Adobe Books space in the Mission. No one can rock a mic like Trent Tano, Alia Volz, and Alvin Orloff.
* The highlight, though, was reading part of “San Francisco: Crimes Seen” at the Obscura Society SF Salon: Vice, Crime & Vigilantes in the City by the Bay.
I only did one radio show this year, but it was DJ Lilycat’s show on FCC Free Radio. You can listen to us talking about San Francisco history and cemeteries here.
Finally, in terms of blogging, I finally took down my old livejournal. I wasn’t good about keeping up the Red Room blog, only managing 23 posts this year. After I started this Morbid is as Morbid Does blog, I achieved 88 posts (some of my favorites are the interviews with the contributors to the Haunted Mansion Project). Cemetery Travel hit 92 posts this year and crossed the line into 70,000 page views. And I started the Cemetery Postcards tumblr in December.
I’ve got some good stuff coming up, too. I won’t announce it until the ink is dry, but while this may have been my best year ever, the years to come promise to be even better.