5 Questions for Carole McDonnell

 

carolemcdCarole McDonnell is another of my sisters in Broad Universe, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.

Carole is a writer of Christian, supernatural, and ethnic stories. She writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and reviews. Her story collections are Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction and Turn Back O Time and other stories of the fae of Malku. She has several stand-alone novels: Wind Follower, My Life as an Onion, The Constant Tower, Who Gave Sleep and Who Has Taken It Away? She’s also writing several series: The Brothers Worth, The Nephilim Dystopia, and Novels of the Malku Universe.

Carole stopped by to tell me about her book, My Life as an Onion:

After the loss of her fiance, Denise Higgins, a young Jamaican American college student, has fallen on hard times. Struggling with grief, her impoverished life, and a needy family, she accepts an opportunity as a sober companion. Her job is simple: keep Ben Moreau away from drugs and report back to his parents. Then she meets him. Ben Moreau, despite being three years her junior, proves to be far more alluring than she ever thought possible. Not only is he a gorgeous and wealthy French Korean with an ever so charming personality, he is also generous and willing to befriend her so long as he can have her loyalty. Following her heart may only bring her grief. Ignoring it is certain to.

MyLifeOnion

Did something in the real world inspire My Life as an Onion?

So, so many things happened. I wanted to write a book that contained all the strange things that had happened to me. I’ve had folks ask me if the book was “true.” My only answer is, “The weird stuff happened. The non-weird stuff is all made up.”

What is your favorite scene in the book?

The scene where the angel appears. There are scenes of demons, spirit-sight, generational family curses, but the angel scene is my favorite. Not much happens when the main character sees the angel, but by then her life is in such shambles that the sight of the angel gives her some hope.

What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?

I wanted to be free, totally free. I wanted it to be a Christian book, but I knew that would turn off a few people. I wanted it to be honest about the sexuality of new adults. I wanted to get everything off my chest. In addition, I’ve often disliked Christian fiction books that showed a normal mainstream kind of story, so I wanted to show the natural supernatural events that happens to people as they go about life: magical realism in a normal, casual way. I love Korean, Japanese, and Chinese dramas, so I wanted to do a reverse harem story based on Korean drama tropes. I also wanted to write a book where all these hot guys were in various states of crushes on a dark-skinned Black girl. I felt baring my soul in a book was something young Christian Black girls needed, but it took so much courage. One reviewer said he liked the book but he felt the love story was wish-fulfillment. I had feared that. Other readers loved it and I reminded myself that my book wasn’t made for certain male readers. I’m glad I was brave.

What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?

Someone emailed to tell me the book really touched him. That made my day.

What do you have planned next?

My wheelhouse is tribal fantasy — Wind Follower and The Constant Tower, but I figured I should try writing a paranormal romance. So My Life as an Onion is my only contemporary Christian book so far.

I’ve returned to my wheelhouse. Right now I’m working on two fantasies that are part of two trilogies. The book I’m working on is SeaWalker and it will follow the already published The Charcoal Bride, which is the first of a trilogy about an evil curse that goes through the bloodline of the Malku kings. Malku is a universe where humans, faes, and merfolk live in a pretty diverse society.

The other book I’m working on is The Chimeran Queen. This will be the second installment of the Nephilim Dystopian trilogy, a world where standard humans, chimeric humans, demonic princes, and clones all live in utter disharmony. The first published installment is The Daughters of Men. Folks liked those two books, so I feel I should just get my act together and write the next books in both series.

You can pick up a copy of My Life as an Onion from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Pxh9im.

Check out all of Carole’s books on her Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2PvGbhU.

Follow her new works on her blog: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/.

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5 Questions for Dawn Vogel

DawnVogel-compDawn Vogel is another of my sisters in Broad Universe, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, encouraging, honoring, and celebrating women writers and editors in science fiction, fantasy, horror and other speculative genres.

Dawn’s academic background is in history, so it’s not surprising that much of her fiction is set in earlier times. By day, she edits reports for historians and archaeologists. In her alleged spare time, she runs a craft business, co-edits Mad Scientist Journal, and tries to find time for writing. She is a member of Broad Universe, SFWA, and Codex Writers. She lives in Seattle with her husband, author Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats. Visit her at http://historythatneverwas.com or on Twitter @historyneverwas.

Her steampunk series, Brass and Glass, is being published by Razorgirl Press. Here’s how Dawn describes the first volume, The Cask of Cranglimmering:

In the windy skies of the Republic, it’s not always easy to chart your own course. When Svetlana Tereshchenko, captain of the airship The Silent Monsoon, catches wind that a cask of mythical Cranglimmering whiskey has been stolen, she and her crew of outcasts fly off in search of it. With the promise of a reward worthy of the cask’s legendary lineage from both the Heliopolis Port Authority and the head of the Kavisoli crime family, Svetlana and her renegade crew embark on a breathless chase that takes The Silent Monsoon from one end of the Republic to the other.

What Svetlana assumes will be an easy search and recover mission quickly becomes more complicated as each step she takes uncovers secrets and lies about the cask and its contents. Now, with an ethereal Ghost Ship haunting their path, friends reveal themselves as enemies and alliances develop with the most unlikely associates. The lives of her crew hang in the balance as Svetlana makes the crucial choice of whom she can trust and whom she should fear.

FinalFinal

Did something in the real world inspire Brass and Glass?

I don’t know that it was in the forefront of my mind, but the whiskey found in the Antarctic several years ago was probably floating around somewhere in my mind when I set out to write about a lost cask of whiskey.

What is your favorite scene in the book?

About midway through Brass and Glass, Captain Svetlana Tereshchenko’s crew has dressed her up, complete with two corsets, to attend a fancy party. Said dressing up is very much not her thing. At the first available opportunity, she asks a gentleman acquaintance to help her get out of her clothes. And while she means it entirely innocently, things get a bit steamy as the scene progresses.

I really loved writing this scene because it’s absolutely loaded with layers of nuance and emotion. It does a lot to establish the relationship between Svetlana and Lar.

What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?

Brass and Glass began life as a short story, but everyone who read it thought it read like the beginning of a book. So while I was on a writer’s retreat, I crowdsourced some REALLY random ideas from my friends, and then cobbled together an outline from those pieces. I finished the first draft a few months later and set it aside for a bit. After a few rounds of my own editing and some beta readers, I found a small publisher interested in publishing the book. Of course, one of their first questions to me was “Are there sequels?” And now, two years later, yes there are. (Book 2, The Long Cursed Map, came out in April 2018, and book 3, The Boiling Sea, is slated for spring 2019.)

What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?

I did a local author event at a nearby bookstore, where there were about 20 authors promoting their books. It started with all of the authors taking a turn to talk about their books and other writing, along with some trivia and other games. The whole time we’re sitting there, there was a young woman in the front row with both of my books at the top of her stack. She hurried over to me as soon as it was time for autographs. She had come to the event especially because I was going to be there, and she was so excited to get my books and autograph! That was a fantastic moment for me. It was the first time I’d met a fan who had started out as a stranger to me!

What do you have planned next?

I still have the third book of the Brass and Glass series to edit, but I’m currently writing something completely different—a post-apocalyptic novel about recovering from past traumas and finding a new place to belong. After that, I’ve got a young adult novel and a middle grade novel in the earliest planning stages.

You can get a copy of The Cask of Cranglimmering at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EddpR4

Or check out the whole series on Dawn’s Amazon page: https://amzn.to/2EarcYG

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Never Enough 2018: the Finale

Considering I didn’t have a major release out this year, I’m pretty pleased with the number of interviews I did and the attention that 199 Cemeteries is still receiving.

Podcasts

Extreme Genes, my first genealogy podcast ever, chatted with me about cemeteries on 3/25/18. My bit starts 24 minutes in:
https://extremegenes.com/2018/02/25/episode-226-black-history-month-advances-in-african-american-research-199-cemeteries-to-see-before-you-die/

Venerable goth podcast Cemetery Confessions broadcast our conversation about cemeteries on 6/17/18:
http://www.thebelfry.rip/blog/2018/6/15/cemetery-expert-loren-rhoads

Mark from On the Odd chatted with me about 199 Cemeteries on October 26, 2018: https://ontheodd.com/199-cemeteries-to-see-before-you-die/

And I’ve recorded two more podcasts that haven’t been released yet: I talked with Timothy Renner about cemeteries for the Strange Familiars podcast and Paul G. Brodie about Shut Up and Write for his Get Published podcast.

Print/Online Interviews:

“Loren Rhoads takes us through the gates of the Cemetery” for Women in Horror Month on Library of the Damned 2/22/18: http://libraryofthedamned.com/2018/02/22/wihm-interview-loren-rhoads-takes-us-through-the-gates-of-the-cemetery/

Martha J. Allard interviewed me on her blog about the history behind the Alondra stories when Alondra’s Experiments came out. “New Contemporary Fantasy by Loren Rhoads” appeared  2/28/18:
https://marthajallard.blogspot.com/2018/02/new-contemporary-fantasy-from-loren.html

Terri Leigh Relf asked me about my work/life balance (which is more like a pendulum) for her A Day in the Life interview on 3/13/18: https://tlrelf.wordpress.com/a-day…/a-day-in-the-life-presents-author-loren-rhoads/

Christine Verstraete did a 5 Questions interview on her Girl Zombie Author blog on 6/12/18. We talked about Alondra’s Investigationshttps://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com/…/5-questions-with-horror-author-loren-rhoad…

Sonora Taylor invited me by for a Q&A on her blog on 8/15/18. Mostly we talked about 199 Cemeteries, but also got into the Alondra stories: https://sonorawrites.com/2018/08/15/ask-the-author-a-qa-with-loren-rhoads/

Ruschelle Dillon covered all my books in her in-depth Horror Tree interview on 8/20/18: https://horrortree.com/the-horror-tree-presentsan-interview-with-loren-rhoads/

Fiona McVie interviewed me for a second time on her Author Interviews blog on 9/16/18.  This time we talked about the Alondra chapbooks:
https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/here-is-my-interview-with-loren-rhoads-2/

Erin Al-Mehairi invited me by her Oh, for the Hook of a Book! blog for a long conversation about cemeteries and more on 10/30/18: https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/hookinterview-cemetery-travel-writer-and-horror-author-loren-rhoads-lohf/

Articles:

199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die still got some press attention this year, even though it’s been out a while. Most of these stories were a nice surprise when I stumbled across them online.

I served as a consultant about Potter’s Fields for “State-Funded Funerals: What Happens to the Unclaimed Dead” on How Stuff Works on  2/23/18. I’m a fan of the podcast, so this was an honor! https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/cultural-traditions/state-funded-funerals-what-happens-to-unclaimed-dead.htm

A feature story on 199 Cemeteries called “From Established to Eccentric, These Cemeteries are To Die For” appeared on Gonomad on 4/23/18: https://www.gonomad.com/109276-from-established-to-eccentric-these-cemeteries

Lifestyles over 50 reprinted Larry Bleiberg’s “10 Great Cemeteries to See Before You Die”: https://lifestylesafter50.com/10-great-cemeteries-to-visit-before-you-die/

Atlas Obscura did a lovely piece called “In Search of Cemeteries Alive With Beauty, Art, and History” for Halloween: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/cemeteries-to-visit-before-you-die-monuments

Halloween Lifestyle cautioned readers “Don’t Die Before You see These Amazing Cemeteries”: http://www.halloween-lifestyle.com/2018/04/23/dont-die-before-seeing-these-amazing-cemeteries/

And the Steampunk Explorer put together an in-depth 3-part series of historic cemeteries that would appeal to those of a steampunk persuasion:

Part 1: USA and Canada
https://steampunk-explorer.com/articles/exploring-historic-cemeteries-part-i

Part 2: Europe
https://steampunk-explorer.com/articles/exploring-historic-cemeteries-part-ii

Part 3: The Rest of the World
https://steampunk-explorer.com/articles/exploring-historic-cemeteries-part-iii

Miscellaneous Good Things:

This is my catch-all category of things that made me smile this year.

199 Cemeteries made the preliminary ballot for the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award in Nonfiction. While the book didn’t advance to the final ballot, it was still an honor to make the long list.

Martha Allard reviewed Alondra’s Experiments. This is my favorite part: “Because they follow a single main character they are less like traditional short stories and more like serial chapters of a book, much like Charles DeLint’s Newford stories. This is a good thing for readers, because it means there are more Alondra adventures in store.”

I took part in the Bloody Valentine Horror Event on Facebook on Valentine’s Day, which gave me the opportunity to promote the first Alondra chapbook, Alondra’s Experiments. It was really fun. Thanks to Anita Stewart for setting that up.

The podcast Two Girls One Ghost read my fan letter on air after they mentioned 199 Cemeteries in an earlier episode. Here’s a link to their Haunted Cemeteries podcast: https://audioboom.com/posts/6692482-episode-27-rest-in-peace This originally aired on 2/25/18.

“Grief,” Martha J. Allard’s piece about how reading my space opera books got her through her dad’s death was published on 4/4/18. It is the nicest thing anyone ever said about my writing. https://marthajallard.blogspot.com/2018/04/grief.html

199 Cemeteries made a Buzzfeed list! “30 Gorgeous Products for Anyone with a Morbid Mind”  appeared on 4/13/18: https://www.buzzfeed.com/malloryannp/gorgeous-products-morbid-mind

I came across the first edition of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel listed on Amazon for $1200. I’d be glad to set you up with one for 10 bucks.

I sold out of Morbid Curiosity #7 in June!  Only #10 left to go.

I got to spend another wonder retreat at Gilchrist in Three Rivers, Michigan. That definitely was a highlight of the year.

Donnie Mirasou wrote in August to say they were using 199 Cemeteries as part of a burlesque routine. That is so cool!

Nancy Kilpatrick blurbed Alondra’s Adventures:

Sonora Taylor mentioned 199 Cemeteries in her list “October Reads: Time for (More) Darkness” recommendation list on 10/5/18: https://sonorawrites.com/2018/10/05/october-reads-time-for-more-darkness/

I contributed in a small way to Christine Verstraete’s list “October Frights: Favorite Monsters” on 10/14/18: https://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com/2018/10/october-frights-day-5-favorite-monsters.html

I contributed in another small way to Atlas Obscura’s “The Foods You Want People to Leave on Your Grave” on Halloween: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/food-or-drink-you-want-placed-on-your-grave

Through the month of November, I hosted a series of Nanowrimo Write-ins at the Borderlands Cafe in San Francisco.

I got a new series of author portraits taken by Anna Carson Dewitt. She did a great job of making me comfortable and getting a whole lot of different expressions from me. Check out her work: https://annacarsondewittphotography.shootproof.com/

I got to provide a cover blurb for the first time.  I am really excited about Erin-Marie Legacey’s Making Space for the Dead, which is coming from Cornell University Press in April 2019.

I’ll have more to say about this soon, but I blended a series of teas to represent the characters in my Alondra short stories.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

In the meantime, you can check them out at Adagio Tea:

https://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/group.html?group=15483

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Never Enough: Live in 2018

Never Enough doesn’t really describe this year’s live events, because I’m pleased with how many times I got invited to speak or read in public. I’m not sure I could have managed anything more. 

Lectures:

At Cypress Lawn in Colma in September

I spoke to Angela Hennessy’s “Over My Dead Body” class at the California College of the Arts on 2/20/18. My lecture was called “Memento Mori: Even Graveyards Die.”

For the “Memento Mori” evening of the Reimagine End of Life week, I talked about the history and dismantling of “Laurel Hill Cemetery: San Francisco’s Garden Cemetery” on 4/17/18 at the Swedish American Hall. The evening’s whole lineup is here.

I talked about how I came to write 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die at the Association for Gravestone Studies conference in Danbury, Connecticut on 6/21/18.

I showed slides of my favorite cemeteries from 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California on 9/15/18.

One of my favorite events of the year was speaking at the National Novel Writing Month Kick-Off Party at the Bindery on San Francisco’s Haight Street on 9/29/18. I talked about writing The Dangerous Type and Kill By Numbers during Nanowrimos — and using the skills I learned during the annual challenge to finish the third book in the trilogy, No More Heroes. It was really great to be able to give back to the program.

Professor Steven Brown invited me to speak to his horticultural class as San Francisco’s City College on October 1, 2018.

My last lecture of the year was near to my heart.  For years, I wanted to trace the development of San Francisco’s Old Mission Cemetery through tourist postcards.  I finally got to do it as part of the Odd Salon’s “Cemetery Stories” event during the Litcrawl on 10/20/18. My lecture was called “Postcards from History.”

Readings:

Love to Death
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Old Devil Moon, 3472 Mission Street, San Francisco
With Anna Avery, Danny Thanh Nguyen, and Sumiko Saulson
I read the bloody bits of “Valentine” from my brand-new collection Alondra’s Experiments.

FogCon
The Spectrum of Horror
Friday, March 9, 2018 at 8 pm
E.M. Markoff and I talked about the Horror Writers Association, then read selections from our work. I reading two of the ghost stories from 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and the bloody bit from “Valentine” in my Alondra’s Experiments chapbook.

Me and E.M. Markoff at FogCon.

FogCon
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Friday, March 9, 2018 at 9:30 pm
Members of Broad Universe read a 5-minute excerpt in two rounds, hosted by Rebecca Gomez Farrell. Participants included Sarah Grey, LS Johnson, and Liz Green.
I read the initial seduction from Lost Angels and the beginning of “Catalyst,” another story from Alondra’s Experiments.

FogCon
Strange California reading
Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 1:30 pm
Contributors to the Strange California anthology read portions of their stories, moderated by J. Daniel Batt. Participants included Lara Blackwell, Marion Deeds, Chaz Brenchley, K. A. Rochnik, Juliette Wade, and me.
I read the necromancy scene from “Guardian of the Golden Gate,” the Alondra story that appeared in the anthology.

Marion Deeds, K. A. Rochnik, and me at FogCon

Author Fest
San Mateo Public Library
Saturday, July 14, 2018 at noon
Emerian Rich gathered a mob of authors: S. G. Browne, Jonathan Fortin, Tina Gibson, Laurel Ann Hill, Mercy Hollow, Lea Kirk, E.M. Markoff, R. L. Merrill, Valerie Frankel, Sumiko Saulson, J. Malcolm Stewart, Dave M. Strohm
I read the attack on the beach from No More Heroes.

WorldCon
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Saturday, August 18, 2018
E.C. Ambrose, Sue Burke, Elizabeth Crowens, Rebecca Gomez Farrell, Jude-Marie Green, Sally Wiener Grotta, J. Tullos Hennig, L.S. Johnson, E.M. Markoff, Tina LeCount Myers, Roberta Rogow, Katheryn Sullivan, Wendy Van Camp, Erin Wilcox, moderated by me.
I read Haoun flirting with Raena in the arcade from No More Heroes.

The Vogue Theater
Thursday, September 13, 2018
I read “Sado,” the scene in the Japanese restaurant, from Lost Angels before the showing of Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade in Quills.

30 in 30 Portals reading
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Old Devil Moon, 3472 Mission Street, San Francisco
I read my succubus Lorelei meeting David Bowie from an unfinished story that I started during the class, thanks to Carson Beker.

Me, with Mercy Hollow, E.M. Markoff, and Emerian Rich

Tales of Horror
San Mateo Public Library
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Participants included Emerian Rich, Mercy Hollow, E.M. Markoff, R. L. Merrill,
I read part of “Sakura Time,” the Japanese ghost story from the third Alondra chapbook, Alondra’s Adventures. The well-attended event was even more fun because all the authors wore costumes.

Miscellaneous Live Events:

Bay Area Book Festival
Saturday, April 28, 2018
I spend another Saturday hanging out with the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Horror Writers Association at the Book Festival this year. I didn’t sell as many books, but the company was really fun.

Ken Hueler, Jeff Seeman, EM Markoff, Matthew Brockmeyer, me, Anthony De Rouen, Ambyrhawke Shadowsinger, and Crystal Romero with Carlos.

The 2nd Annual Imagination Fair at Bay Con
Saturday, May 26, 2018
I joined the crew to chat about cemeteries. Setting up my table was extra fun because I brought along some of my favorite Halloween decorations.

Book Signing at BayCon
Sunday, May 27, 2018
I did my first book signing at BayCon this year.  And yes, I rocked my “Call Me General” t-shirt.  I split the table so that half was my nonfiction (in this case, cemetery) books. The other side was space opera and succubi.

Book Signing at WorldCon
Thursday, August 16, 2018
I also did my first book signing at this year’s WorldCon. In fact, I did two!  The first was at the SFWA table in the Dealers Room, where people surprised me by being most interested in 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die.

I did a second signing at the Broad Universe table, thanks to Wendy Van Camp.  In that case, people were more interested in The Dangerous Type, the first space opera novel.

Convention Panels:

BayCon:

Fan Fiction: A Stepping Stone or a Waste of Time?
Saturday, May 26 at 10 am
Moderated by Denise Tanaka, with me and David Coronado.
Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments series, started building her fan base by writing serious Harry Potter fan fiction. The novel Fifty Shades of Gray started out as Twilight fan fiction. The panel will discuss and debate the pros and cons of writing unauthorized media tie-in fiction. Can a beginning writer gain any worthwhile skills in plotting, dialogue, or narrative exposition by writing in an established franchise?

On Beyond Rey
Sunday May 27, 2018 at 11:30 am
I moderated, with Carrie Sessarego and Denise Tanaka.
Now that women are central to the new Star Wars movies (other than Solo), what are some more female-centered projects that should come to the big screen? Bonus points for older works that should be rediscovered.

Master Class:  Getting Out of the Slush Pile
Sunday May 27, 2018 at 5:30 pm
Emerian Rich and I talked about all we’ve learned about how to pitch, how to submit, and how to behave so you’re invited to submit again.

Fiction Set in or around the Bay Area
Monday May 28, 2018 at 11:30 AM
Moderated by Chad Peterman, with Fred Wiehe, Jennifer McGaffey, Katharine Kerr, and me.
Come talk about your favorite hometown books and maybe get some new ideas for your reading list.

WorldCon:

What Turns People on to Horror?
Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 3 pm
San Jose Convention Center
E.M. Markoff moderated, with Fred Wiehe, Scott Sigler, Richard Kadrey, me, and LS Johnson.
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. Roller coasters and skydiving, horror movies and dark fiction, mythology and folklore: what scares us and why are we drawn to it? Members of the Bay Area chapter of the Horror Writers Association share their first experiences with horror and discuss how their fears inspire their work. Audience members are encouraged to share their own experiences.

Photo from Ellderet.com, used by permission.

 

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Never Enough 2018

Every year I recap the writing triumphs and disappointments of the previous twelve months. Every year I feel like I haven’t done enough. This year in particular, with my kid’s still-undiagnosed constant headache, I spent way too much time calling doctors, driving to medical appointments, and sitting in hospitals. I wish I’d had the energy to hustle more. Hopefully next year will be better.

Book publications:

Nothing major came out this year.

I did put out a collection of cemetery essays called Graveyard Field Trips: A Memoir on Wattpad in July and August. It gathers essays I had published on Gothic.Net and GothicBeauty.com, along with the introduction to the original edition of Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries.

I have a proposal out for The Pioneer Cemeteries of the San Francisco Bay Area and another for a project with Lisa Morton that I’m excited about.  Hopefully those books will find homes in 2019.

Short fiction publications:

“Elle a Vu un Loup,” the short story I’m most excited about this year, was published in Weirdbook #40. My recurring character Alondra DeCourval traps a predator in a graveyard on an island in Northern Michigan.

Letter from New Orleans” is about the first day Alondra spent in the Crescent City, when she wanders into a ghost story. It introduces characters who appear in “Last-Born,” the most anthologized Alondra story (most recently republished in Alondra’s Investigations). “Letter from New Orleans” was published in the Ladies of Horror Flash Project.

Mr. Moonlight,” a very short story from Alondra’s childhood, is also available at the Ladies of Horror Flash Project. I’m really proud of how this one turned out.

I put together a chapbook of “The Fatal Book” to give away at WorldCon.  It served its purpose, in that it got me to talk to people so I could hand them a copy of the booklet.

I made 3 ebook collections of previously published Alondra stories:

Alondra’s Experiments was published on Valentine’s Day. Alondra explores alchemy, vampirism, and just how far she will go for love.

Alondra’s Investigations was published at the end of April. Alondra faces elemental magic, a ghost story, and a book that can cause the end of the world.

Alondra’s Adventures appeared in June. Alondra befriends a nature spirit in the heart of Tokyo, solves an ancient vendetta in Venice, and stumbles into a Japanese ghost story.

Short fiction sales:

“Something in the Water,” an Alondra story set in San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences-in-exile, will appear in the next issue of Occult Detective Quarterly. My name made it onto the cover! (This issue may be out before the end of 2018. They are very close to having it published.)

Other than that, I collected 12 rejection slips for a handful of stories. Maybe next year my hit ratio will be better.

Short Nonfiction Publications:

10 American Cemeteries to See Before You Die” appeared on The Daily Beast on April 7, 2018. This is my collection of cemeteries to see in springtime.

I wrote 9 columns for the Horror Writers Association’s newsletter about the histories of burial and cremation, cemetery ghost stories, and gravestone iconography.

I interviewed 44 authors on this blog, including my idols Gemma Files, Nancy Kilpatrick, Yvonne Navarro, and a whole lot more. You can search on “5 Questions” to find all the interviews.

On CemeteryTravel.com, I was proud to put together a two-part series on the “Resting Places of Horror Icons.” Here’s part one.

Guest Post Publications:

Despite good intentions, I didn’t get many guest posts written this year.

Four Graves for Harvey Milk” appeared on The Cemetery Club on February 1 to kick off Great Britain’s Gay Pride Month.

The Madam’s Haunted Tomb” was part of the Ghosts in the Graveyard series on Roxanne Rhoads’s All Things Halloween blog. It appeared on 9/14/18.

I wrote about my “Ghost-Inspired Fiction” for the Halloween Haunts feature on the Horror Writers Association blog. It was published 10/18/18.

 

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