This is the second half of my year-end wrap-up. Normally, I’d talk about all the readings I did, the convention panels I was on, all the people I met. This year, being what it was, I lived all my professional life online.
I presented “So Busy Having a Good Time,” about my cemetery postcard collection, for the “How to Make a Museum” class I took through Atlas Obscura. They encouraged me to make a book out of the collection. Hopefully, I’ll get the proposal done in 2022.
I held an hour to discuss “The Future of Death” at this year’s Nebula Weekend.
I read “With You By My Side It Should Be Fine” from Unsafe Words for the Wily Writers: https://lorenrhoads.com/2021/06/23/with-you-by-my-side-it-should-be-fine/
I presented “Postcards from History: San Francisco’s Mission Dolores as Recorded in Tourist Postcards” at the online conference for the Association for Gravestone Studies on 6/24/21.
I read “Ghost-Inspired Fiction” from This Morbid Life for Fright Girl Autumn.
I read “The Drowning City” — about the creature that stalks Venice after dark — from Best New Horror #27 for The Story Hour. You can check out the replay here. I’m in the second half-hour, but settle in and enjoy KT Wagner doing her thing: https://fb.watch/8A7EKuvdZr/
I joined author & cemetery tourist extraordinaire Tui Snider for her Tombstone Tuesdays podcast. Airdate: March 17, 2021. You can watch the playback here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc8atGbwYis
A. F. Stewart hosted me on her Between the Pages Book Chat. Airdate: September 5, 2021. You can watch the replay here: https://www.facebook.com/afstewartauthor/posts/279841287283540
Tui Snider invited me back to her Offbeat & Overlooked podcast to chat about This Morbid Life. Airdate: September 16, 2021 You can catch the replay on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wd9nnnS-0M
Ken Volante invited me back to his Something (Rather than Nothing) podcast, where we had a great death-positive conversation about This Morbid Life and “dug into issues of how to deal with death, what it means for our life, the meaning of things, flowers, anatomy, something and nothing.” Airdate: September 28, 2021.
R.L. Merrill and Amy Z. Chan invited me to “What Are You Reading? the Horror edition!” on Clubhouse. The conversation included E. M. Markoff, Emerian Rich, and Naching Kassa. Airdate: October 15, 2021.
LaShell Scott and I had the best conversation, dreaming about the cemeteries we’d love to visit on her Stones, Bones & Shadows podcast. Airdate: November 7, 2021.
This one appeared at the end of 2020, but I didn’t get a chance to add it to last year’s list: Both Emerian Rich and I took part in a Chilling Chat interview on Horror Addicts about our Spooky Writer’s Planner on 12/29/20: https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2020/12/29/chilling-chat-swp-loren-rhoads-and-emerian-rich/
The Horror Tree chatted me up for their Women in Horror interviews on 3/2/21: https://horrortree.com/wihm-12-quick-six-questions-with-loren-rhoads/
How Stuff Works interviewed me for “Who’s Buried in Pere Lachaise?” which was published on 3/5/21 and updated in August. https://history.howstuffworks.com/european-history/pere-lachaise.htm
The Creatively Green Write-at-Home Mom interviewed me about This Morbid Life and its follow-up book, coming out next year. The interview appeared on 8/30/21: https://creativelygreen.blogspot.com/2021/08/author-interview-this-morbid-life-by.html
Serena Synn interviewed me and ran a taste of one of the ghost stories in This Morbid Life on 8/31/21: https://serenasynn.blogspot.com/2021/08/interview-with-loren-rhoads-author-of.html
The Deadlands interviewed me to accompany my “Cemetery Postcards” essay: https://thedeadlands.com/issue-06/the-morbid-life/
Fanbase Press interviewed me about the art that inspired This Morbid Life on 9/23/21.
The Write Start interviewed me on 10/20/21.
It was a good year for cemeteries, even if I didn’t get a cemetery book finished this year.
I was thrilled to see 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die amongst these wonderful books at the end of Roger Bowdler’s Tomb Tourism lecture for the Church Monument Society.
Wattpad chose my book Graveyard Field Trips for their Nonfiction Spotlight feature in February. You can read the book here. It will form the basis of Still Wish You Were Here, which I hope to have out in paperback in 2023.
My “Welcome to Cemetery Travel” video was finished finally this year, thanks to Brian Thomas for the camerawork and John and Leo Palisano, who did the editing. I’m really proud of it!
Witchcrafted Life included my Cemetery Travel blog in “13 Awesome Cemetery Focused Blogs Every Taphophile Should Be Following” on October 13, 2021.
Bookshop.org featured my list of Cemetery Books Every Taphophile Must Have in October.
Miscellaneous Good Things:
In January last year, I started hosting a session of Shut Up & Write on Tuesday mornings. Having the weekly date was so inspiring. Over the magic of Zoom, I met and wrote alongside authors from Hong Kong, Spain, Great Britain, and across the US. I’ve also been hosting two hours of Creative Support on Wednesday mornings. If you’d like to join us, let me know. I’d be glad to send you the links.
I hosted on episode of the great twitter chat Write & Wine on August 13, 2021. I love the concept of Twitter chats, but I’m not sure how you build the pool of contributors. Something to consider for next year.
This Morbid Life got some really great reviews this year:
Wayne Fenlon made a really beautiful animated cover for it, too:
My Goodreads giveaway attracted 665 entries for 100 copies. The reviews are still coming up there, but they’ve been better than I expected for a potentially prickly book.
As I try to get more comfortable making videos, I put together an Introduction to This Morbid Life on Youtube.
I was asked to blurb two books this year:
“Beautiful, heart-wrenching, and very funny, S. G. Browne’s Lost Creatures is the sardonic city-dwelling sibling of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Browne creates deep empathy for his characters, then breaks your heart with the surprising and entirely understandable choices they make. This book is so original, it’s breathtaking. I absolutely loved it.”
— Loren Rhoads, author of Unsafe Words
“This lushly described Malaysian ghost story shocks like a sudden arctic breeze in the middle of a Kuala Lumpur summer. There were times, as I read Finches, when my blood ran cold. A. M. Muffaz’s exquisitely portrayed characters will continue to haunt you long after their story is over.” — Loren Rhoads, author of Unsafe Words
The best two things from last year were publishing the Behind the Scenes booklets for As Above, So Below and the In the Wake of the Templars novels. I gathered my favorite guest posts I’ve written about the books, alongside a master interview culled from all the interviews I’ve given and a short story set in the worlds of the novels. If you’d like to read one or both of these for free, here are the links:
As Above, So Below: Behind the Books: https://BookHip.com/KHJFPA
In the Wake of the Templars: Behind the Books: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/wuagew2m0f
I “finished” the As Above, So Below playlist on Spotify, although I keep stumbling across songs that make me like of Lorelei & Azaziel’s romance. Check it out: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4XQGeCIyoCXzwMHvAwJ4Db
Thanks to Adagio teas, I created As Above, So Below tea blends to represent the succubus and her angel. It was really fun!
I started putting pieces from my cemetery postcard collection up on Instagram this year, which has been fun. Altogether I managed 110 Instagram posts this year, which is amazing, since I still don’t feel like I know what I’m doing. You can check it out for yourself @morbidloren.
I managed only 40 blog posts here in 2021, when my goal was to post every Monday. I’m going to work on that for next year.
I only posted 14 times on Cemetery Travel this year — and that didn’t even work out to monthly. I really need to get better about that in 2022.
Here’s to better days coming soon!