My first big book sale came in 2008, when Scribner bought a collection of essays I’d culled from my Morbid Curiosity magazine. Morbid Curiosity collected true first-person confessions from people around the world, talking about the crazy stuff they had survived. It was fun to pull some of my favorite essays together into a book.
When it came time to submit the book, I never had any question about what the title would be. Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues was the only thing I ever considered.
The title came from a quote about how the mere task of getting curious about something can cheer you up. It was just a throwaway line I read in a magazine, probably National Geographic. Once I added the “morbid” part to it, the title summed up exactly what I had intended for the magazine (and its book) to do: give readers some perspective. Yes, the world had dark corners and all of us are born to die. But, damn, look at the stuff these people survived to laugh about!
The book opens with M. Parfitt’s “Why,” which may well be my favorite essay that I ever had the luck to publish. She’s an artist who collects things other people throw away — dog fur, menstrual blood, playing cards — and makes art out of them. Her essay explains her original inspiration.
The book then went on to serve as a medical guinea pig, dance in a bikini bar, drink blood, visit Auschwitz, survive a car crash, dodge a pub bombing in London, and ends with some delicious ghost stories.
Fatally Yours said, “Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues is a collection of the strange, the shocking, and the sinister, but at the same time the stories are all so personal that they are heartfelt and heart-wrenching. These stories go beyond mere voyeurism. Through them, you take a journey to some very dark places. Like the authors, you won’t emerge unscathed, but perhaps you’ll have a deeper understanding of the dark side of the human psyche, including your own.”
I’d really love it if you are tempted to check the book out. You can buy a copy from me and I’ll even inscribe it for you! Here’s the link to my book store: https://lorenrhoads.com/bookshop/