FogCon 2017

FogCon RFR poster2The first con of my year is this weekend in Walnut Creek, California. I’m very much looking forward to going back to FogCon.

Friday, March 10:

3 p.m. in Salon A/B: I’ll be moderating a panel called Social Media for Writers and Authors.  Joining me will be Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Valerie Frankel, Phyllis Holliday, and Heather Rose Jones.

Join our panelists for a nuts and bolts discussion from personal experiences in the brave new world of Social Media as Writer and/or Author. What platforms work for what? How do you get followers/fans? What is the most effective way to reach people who will buy books? How do you keep those people engaged and interacting on your networks?

4:30 in the Santa Rosa Room: Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading, with Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Sarah Grey, and LS Johnson.  We’re each going to do two short pieces. I think I’ll reading something from No More Heroes — and maybe an excerpt from the upcoming Strange California book.

Saturday, March 11:

4:30 in Salon C: I’m participating in a panel called Pitches, Presentations and Proposals: making your point without resorting to kidnapping your boss. The other panelists are Karen Brenchley, Marie Metivier-DeMasters, and Alfred Nash,.

Having to get a complicated point across in a brief “elevator pitch” — or even in an actual presentation — can be very intimidating, whether you have five minutes or fifty. The legal system and basic moral sense mean you can’t really kidnap your audience for appropriate brainwashing: let’s talk about tips for pitches, presentations and proposals that won’t end in your humiliating arrest — and that might get other people excited about your idea. Whether for work or passion, being effective often depends on communicating your idea compellingly. Learn the common — and a few uncommon! — mistakes, and how to avoid them.

It should be a good time. If you’ll be at the Walnut Creek Marriott next weekend, please say hi.

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A Dark Valentine

heart-images-vintage-graphicsfairy1Years ago, I wrote an Alondra story about the lengths she would go to for love called “Valentine.”  The story was podcasted on Wily Writers.  You can read it or listen to it here.

An excerpt:

Alondra had never done this kind of magic before. It felt awful, dirty. Her head ached from the concentration it took. Still, she sat in the quaint café, drinking peppermint tea. Teeth gritted, she traced sigils for summoning in the moisture her glass left on the birch tabletop.

She’d never been to Oslo before, spoke almost no Norwegian, but that hadn’t posed a problem. Scandinavians all spoke lovely English. It shamed her to not have more vocabulary. She’d scarcely prepared for the trip and didn’t know how long before her quarry moved on.

And he traveled a lot. Alondra wasn’t sure if he fled something or searched for something. Not that it mattered. She didn’t want to know more about him than his regular habits in this place. She needed to know enough to find him. Meet him. Get him alone and kill him.

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Women in Horror at Borderlands


This Sunday, February 5, at 3 pm in the Borderlands Cafe at 870 Valencia Street, San Francisco: come celebrate Women in Horror Month!

Join Horror Writers Association President Lisa Morton (GHOSTS: A HAUNTED HISTORY), Bram Stoker Award-winner Rena Mason (THE EVOLUTIONIST and EAST END GIRLS), Shirley Jackson Award-nominee Kate Jonez (CEREMONY OF FLIES), and local author Loren Rhoads (LOST ANGELS and 199 CEMETERIES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE) as they demonstrate the breadth of what women are doing in horror.

I’m really excited about this event.  Please join us if you can.  I’m thinking about reading from the that will be in Best New Horror #27.

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In Memory of William Peter Blatty

the-exorcist-coverI wrote this in the Fall about the impact The Exorcist had on me:

Halloween Haunts: Exorcism for Fun and Profit
by Loren Rhoads

I read The Exorcist early in high school. My mom was a school librarian and didn’t place any limits on what I read, figuring that if it was too mature for me, I just wouldn’t understand it.

She limited what I could watch, though. I wasn’t allowed to see The Exorcist in the theater, but I could read the novel. Long after everyone I knew was terrified – or claimed they were terrified – by the movie, I checked the novel out of the public library.

The part that struck me more than anything else was Blatty’s introduction, in which a man is tortured in a dirty prison cell with a cattle prod and a bucket of water. I was a farm girl. My dad’s cattle prod lived on the telephone desk in the kitchen, where it was close to hand in case the cows got out. I knew a cattle prod would make a 1200-pound steer sit down. I could easily imagine what it would do to a man.

Blatty’s point was that men did such evil to each other that demonic possession was easy to believe in. It would be decades before I wondered about humans possessing demons.


2011-09-24-exorcist40I came home from university one weekend when my parents weren’t home, so I invited a couple of friends over. My folks live out in the country, obviously. Because there was whiskey involved, everyone was expected to spend the night.

My memories of that night come in fragments, like a broken kaleidoscope: there was pizza. Whiskey, brought by one of the guests. Under-aged boys. My best friend from high school. It goes without saying there was puking.

In the middle of the night, I crawled out to the family room with my misery. Unable to sleep at the best of times, my friend Martha had the TV on. The only thing she could find to watch in the middle of that interminable night was The Exorcist.

I wonder now if the movie had been edited for TV. I remember the boils and the pea soup and the backbend and the spinning head. The possession was not, by a long stretch, the most horrific thing that happened that night.

Father Merrin, speaking the rites, lodged in my imagination.


Many years later, I wrote a short story for my friend Brian about a succubus pursuing an angel. Brian extended my story, possessing my succubus with a mortal girl’s soul. Clearly, if there was a possession, there would need to be an exorcist – and suddenly we were writing a novel.

I didn’t grow up Catholic, so I don’t know the rituals of the Church. I do know all too well how it feels to be a young woman completely out of control, when something takes control of your body and poisons you. The possession was easy to write. The exorcism worried me. I wanted to get it right, to do justice to my influences.

Poking around in the Brand Bookstore in Glendale, I came across Exorcism Through the Ages, published in 1974 by the Philosophical Library of New York. It was exactly the book I needed to guide the exorcism of a mortal girl’s soul from the succubus Lorelei. Wheels within wheels: a historical overview of exorcism inspired by a fictional exorcism inspired by the real-life exorcism of Roland Doe…and all of it inspiring the events in the back room at Lost Angels.

A taste of Lost Angels:

29741039The exorcism was working. Lorelei felt a dreadful tearing in her chest, like the agony a cell feels as it divides.

Joseph watched her closely. He raised his hands to shoulder height, palms facing her, and began to pray. “Satan, Father of Lies, Author of Evil, look in pity on this your servant, now caught up in the coils of this human spirit. Unravel this angelic labyrinth, break asunder these snares and traps, put this childish ghost to flight. By this sign,”—he drew an upside cross—“let your servant be protected. Keep watch over the inmost recesses of her heart, rule over her emotions, strengthen her will. Let vanish from her flesh the temptations of this human child. As we call on your name, O Satan, allow this child to retreat in grace and in peace, so that this servant of yours may sincerely and steadfastly render you the service which is your due.”

The agony spiraled beyond anything Lorelei had previously imagined. The more she tried to shove aside Ashleigh’s ghost, the more of her own spirit she felt ripped away. Her flesh had turned to stone, galvanized by lightning. She convulsed and arced and struggled, breathing out a steady tormented moan.


Lost Angels is available at:



Smashwords as a mobi, epub, or PDF:

Or directly from me at the Bookshop tab above.

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Son of Never Enough 2016


Carl Slaughter interviewed me about grimdark, violence in space opera, Mary Sues and kick-ass heroines for SFSignal February 29, 2016.

Eric from Deviant Worlds interviewed me about space operas and succubi: April 16, 2016.

In May, Margaret L. Carter interviewed me at length about Dracula and succubi for her deliciously dark newsletter. You can subscribe to it here:

Coreena McBurnie interviewed me on her blog about Lost Angels and writing: May 2, 2016.

Horror Addicts interviewed me about Lost Angels on September 16, 2016:

Lost-Angels-Cover-Front-SmThe Library of the Damned interviewed me about the scariest thing I’ve ever read and what terrifies me in real life:

J. Scott Coatsworth interviewed me for his blog on November 27, 2016:  I talked about Oscar Wilde and Philip K. Dick and the hottest lesbian scene I’ve yet to write, as well as Star Wars and Hammer Horror. You know, all my influences.

An interview with me about Automatism Press appeared on the Horror Addicts blog on December 4, 2016:

Guest posts:

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