This is the second half of last year’s year-end wrap-up. It’s taken me more than a week to pull together all the links to stuff I did last year, not because there was so much but because my dad fell in September and broke his pelvis. He was too fragile for surgery, so they kept him in the hospital for two months so he could heal and get physical therapy. That was the easy part. Things have been more difficult since he came home, especially since he’s in Michigan and I’m in San Francisco.
As all of that was playing out, my husband and I found a house we love, bought it, and moved in November. I’ve only lived here a couple of weeks, though, since I’ve been in Michigan so much. About half of my stuff is unpacked, so my records (and my thoughts) are more scattered than usual. The best thing about this new place is that it’s a short walk to the ocean.
Jennifer Brozek let me stop by her blog to tell her how I fell in love with cemeteries: http://www.jenniferbrozek.com/blog/post/2022/03/23/Tell-Me-Loren-Rhoads3
I wrote a post for E. M. Markoff’s Tomes & Coffee blog to explain some of the choices on the Death’s Garden Revisited playlist: http://www.ellderet.com/emmarkoff-blog/2022/4/6/guest-post-the-deaths-garden-revisited-playlist-by-loren-rhoads
I have three essays in the newest book from Horror Addicts Publishing, The Horror Addicts Guide to Life #2. My pieces include how to write when you don’t feel like it, the world’s most haunted cemetery, and working with horror writers when I published Morbid Curiosity magazine. It was really fun to see all those things collected up.
I assembled a list of five of “The Best Books about Cemeteries” for Shepherd.com. Please check it out: https://shepherd.com/best-books/about-cemeteries
A piece about my Halloween village collection appeared in Horror Curated, the new magazine being published by Horror Addicts. Please check it out on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/listing/1330791770/horror-curated-haunted-holidays
Bay Area Book Festival
May 7, 2022
I spend Saturday morning hanging out with the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Horror Writers Association at the Book Festival this year. Book sales were slow, but the company was really fun. It was a good way to ease into in-person sales again.
July 2-3, 2022
San Mateo, California
I was on three panels and worked at the Liminal Fiction table in the Dealers Room this year.
Creating your own anthology
How do you get submissions, where do you advertise, how do you handle the subs when they come in, how do you vet the subs, should you do blind submissions, how do you pay and contract the authors, and how to do a charity anthology? Whether you wanted to start a small ‘zine, publish a print book, or go eBook format, this panel discussed all the ins and outs. The participants were Emerian Rich (HorrorAddicts), Loren Rhoads (Automatism Press), and J. Scott Coatsworth (Other Worlds Ink).
This was a chance to pitch your story idea(s) live to industry experts and receive instant (and constructive) feedback. The participants were Steven Radecki (Water Dragon Publishing) and Loren Rhoads (Automatism Press).
We geeked out horror-style and also talked about our new book Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2, a mostly nonfiction horror anthology. The participants were Emerian Rich (HorrorAddicts), Loren Rhoads, R.L. Merrill, Laurel Anne Hill, MD Neu, and Mark Orr.
I presented “Using Crowdfunding to Support Cemetery Projects” during the online conference for the Association for Gravestone Studies on 6/9/22.
Amy Z. Chan and R. L. Merrill interviewed me and Hudson Lin about crowdfunding on their Clubhouse podcast, What Are You Reading? Airdate: March 18, 2022.You can listen to the playback here: https://www.clubhouse.com/room/xeR0ZKL3?utm_medium=ch_room_terc&utm_campaign=D93dJ9jgBUr1Us3hGVVpfw-109918
The Curious State podcast interviewed me about “What Makes a Cemetery a Tourist Destination?” Airdate: May 23, 2022. You can listen to it here: https://curious-state.simplecast.com/episodes/what-makes-a-cemetery-a-tourist-destination-rmU_cWWu
KALW’s New Arrivals featured me reading a snippet of This Morbid Life on June 9, 2022. Here’s that link: https://www.kalw.org/newarrivals/2022-06-09/loren-rhoads-book-a-memoir-about-life-in-san-francisco
Marsha Casper Cook and Trish Wilson invited me to their Michigan Avenue Media podcast to discuss Death’s Garden Revisited. Airdate: July 7, 2022. You can listen to the replay here: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/michiganavenuemedia/2022/07/07/author-interviews-michigan-avenue-media
The podcast of The National Funeral Directors Association, Remembering A Life, interviewed me about my cemetery work. Airdate: October 12, 2022. Here’s the link: https://rememberingalife.libsyn.com/episode-23-adventures-in-cemetery-travel
Horror Addicts featured me and Death’s Garden contributors Francesca Maria, E. M. Markoff, and Brian Thomas on their season finale. Airdate: October 15, 2022. You can listen to the playback here: https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2022/10/15/horroraddicts-net-217-loren-rhoads-cemetery
Sherry J. Fundin interviewed me about This Morbid Life on her Fundimental.com blog on January 13, 2022: http://www.fundinmental.com/this-morbid-life-by-loren-rhoads-review-morbidloren/#.Y7hXh-zMJ1E My favorite part: “HOLD ON TIGHT! These essays are dark and gritty, filled with truth. Loren lays herself bare. This Morbid Life is an apt title for the book and is not for the faint of heart. She lets it all hang out and I loved every minute of it.”
The Fabulist magazine did a really great interview with me, connecting the Death’s Garden project to my Morbid Curiosity magazine: https://fabulistmagazine.com/a-personal-relationship-with-cemeteries-loren-rhoads-in-conversation/ They reprinted the interview in The Pocket Pixelarium in August 2022.
Angela Yuriko Smith invited me to her Lit Up video series for one of the best cemetery conversation I’ve ever had. Check us out at https://youtu.be/U4Ziv2b2nlU or watch it below.
Lex Vranick of Write and Wine interviewed me about cemeteries and the Kickstarter: https://writeandwine.com/blog/an-interview-with-loren-rhoads
Horror poet Melodie Bolt interview me about the nuts and bolts of doing a Kickstarter : https://www.melodiebolt.com/post/interview-with-loren-rhoads
Blogger Jo Nell Huff interviewed me about the Kickstarter and the contributors to Death’s Garden Revisited: https://coastalcrone.com/2022/04/07/deaths-garden-revisited-kickstarter-interview-with-editor-loren-rhoads/
Anthropologist and horror writer Paul Stansfield interviewed me about how Death’s Garden Revisited fits in with all my other books: http://paulstansfield.blogspot.com/2022/04/interview-with-publishereditorwriter.html
Horror author and secret romantic Robert Holt interviewed me about cemeteries and travel: https://holthorror.wordpress.com/2022/04/11/deaths-garden-revisited-interview-with-editor-loren-rhoads/
Horror author Priscilla Bettis interviewed me about the Horror Addicts Guide to Life #2 on May 28, 2022: https://priscillabettisauthor.com/2022/05/28/horror-addicts-guide-to-life-2-interview-with-author-loren-rhoads/
Miscellaneous Good Things:
The Association for Gravestone Studies Book Club kicked off in January by focusing on 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die. I was thrilled to be able to join the discussion at the end.
The Washington Post quoted me (and a bunch of other cemetery bloggers) in “Why We Love Visiting Cemeteries” by Andrea Sachs. https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2022/10/24/cemetery-congressional-woodlawn-green-wood/
The Washington Post quoted me again in “This Woman Bakes Recipes She Finds on Gravestone Epitaphs: They’re to Die For” by Sydney Page. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2022/10/24/gravestone-recipe-epitaph-ghostly-archive/
And I was almost interviewed 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?
Lex Vranick, the mastermind of the Write and Wine chats on Twitter, wrote a wonderful piece called “Why Horror?” about why horror is important. She quoted me and a lot of other horror writers. https://lexvranick.com/updates/blog/why-horror
Doing my first kickstarter this year was one of the most intense months of my life. The second volume of my Death’s Garden books raised more than $5k. The campaign was chosen by Kickstarter as a Project We Love.
I hosted a Facebook Party which was attended by most of the contributors to Death’s Garden Revisited and fun seemed to be had by all.
I also 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
The contributors to Death’s Garden Revisited helped me put together a playlist of their favorite cemetery songs. You can listen along on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4S0255SPm7grf5NShTbLgT?si=ea4a5b5bb3d94d17
I continued hosting a session of Shut Up & Write on Tuesday mornings, up until my life fell apart in November.. 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 also hosted two hours of Creative Support on Wednesday mornings, which I also halted in November. I miss writing with people. Once things settle down again, I hope to start one or both of them up again.
This Morbid Life won a gold medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Best Regional Nonfiction eBook.
It also got this amazing review from Francesca Maria: “I loved this raw, intimate look into a fellow morbid soul. This deeply personal take on the dark things that fascinate us was enriched by Rhoads’s personal experiences, anecdotes, and journey of the self. Highly recommended.”
Bookworm of the Damned unboxed Tales of Nightmares on Tiktok on September 3, 2022: https://www.tiktok.com/@bookwormofthedamned/video/7139297316846013742
Xyzeereads on Instagram gave Tales of Nightmares ten ghosts and called it, “A delicious collection of frightening stories. Don’t ask me to choose a favorite.”
I put up 110 Instagram posts this year, which is amazing, since I still don’t really feel like I know what I’m doing. You can follow along @morbidloren.
I managed only 30 blog posts here in 2022, when my goal was to post every Monday. I’m going to work on that again this year.
I posted 17 times on Cemetery Travel this year, which was better than 2022. I’m going to work on improving that this year.
I’m going to leave you with my favorite tweet of last year:
It seems like more than enough to me, Loren! I hope your father recovers well, Enjoy that new home and the short walk to the ocean. Wishing more success in 2023!
That’s why I started making these silly lists: it never seems like enough to me, even when it’s a lot. Thank you for all your good wishes. I wish you all the best for the new year, too!
Sorry to hear your dad had such a bad fall. I hope he’s continuing to improve. Enjoy your new house. Have a wonderfully writerly 2023!
Thanks so much, Priscilla! I’m overwhelmed by the possibilities right now, but I’m sure things will sort themselves out. Happy New Year to you!
Whew1 You’ve been busy and you moved house as well! Wishing you all the best for a great 2023!
Thanks so much, Carole. I hope this year shapes up! Best wishes to you, too.