The Week in This Morbid Life news

The first week of the This Morbid Life blog tour is over! It’s been pretty amazing so far.

First off, the book has gotten some great reviews, including:

“Rhoads is the adventurous woman who’s done all the outrageous and brave things people like me wanted to do but were too scared. And she’s lived to tell about them. Five life-affirming stars!” Priscilla Bettis on Bookbub

“Candid, raw, unfiltered…Loren’s essays about life, death, dying, and living are utterly fascinating – completely engrossing. I picked up the book to read one or two chapters and before I knew it I had completed 3/4 of the book. I just couldn’t put it down.” — Roxanne Rhoads, Roxanne’s Realm 

“I almost wished that I was sitting in a coffee shop with the author and she was telling me these anecdotes, experiences and vignettes herself over a flat white. This is such a great book to dip into like a huge box of chocolates. It brought back memories of the ‘80’s and ‘90’s especially the ‘Modern Primitives’ book which gets a namecheck. I can’t recommend ‘This Morbid Life’ enough as I enjoyed it so much.” Carole Tyrell on Goodreads

The pieces I’ve written for other people’s blogs have started to go live:

I wrote about one particular “Unexpected Influence” that kept cropping up throughout This Morbid Life for

I remembered the first time I watched a total lunar eclipse for in an essay called “I Fell in Love with the Moon.”

I Fell in Love with the Moon

A Bewitching Guide to Halloween posted my video introducing some of my favorite stories in This Morbid Life.

Jennifer Brozek’s Tell Me featured my guest post about how I grew into being morbid.

Fang-tastic Books featured an excerpt from my “Anatomy Lesson” essay.

The Home for Wayward Spirits published my guest post about Near Escapes, a local tour company that took me to visit a local crematorium.

The Paranormalists featured my “Tips for Hunting Ghosts.”

And finally, the Creatively Green Write-at-Home Mom interviewed me about This Morbid Life and its followup book, coming next year.

The blog tour continues for 3 more weeks! The schedule is in last week’s blog post.

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This Morbid Life unleashed

Today is the day! My 15th book, a collection of death-positive essays posing as a memoir, is for sale. You can check the book out for yourself at Amazon:

The first reader review called This Morbid Life “a comfy old blanket that you just want to curl up with for days,” which I thought was a wonderful complement to the first Instagram review giving it 5 coffins. (Thank you, Kathy!)

The Goodreads giveaway ends tonight, so if you’d like a chance to win an ebook copy of the book, you need to act quickly:

The first of the promotional essays went up on Friday. It’s about the unexpected influence that crept into several of the essays in This Morbid Life. You’ll never guess what it is.

Tomorrow begins the blog tour to celebrate the book’s release. I’ll be stopping by:

August 23 A Bewitching Guide to Halloween (Video post!)

August 24 Lisa’s World of Books

August 25 Fang-tastic Books

August 26 Paranormalists (Guest Post)

August 27 Roxanne’s Realm

August 30 The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom (Interview)

August 30 I Smell Sheep (Guest Blog)

August 31 Serena Synn (Interview)

September 1 Roxanne Rhoads FB

September 2 Booklikes

September 3 Bewitching Book Tours

September 6 Jazzy Book Reviews

September 7 Sapphyria’s Books

September 8 JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder

September 9 Westveil Publishing

September 10 Fang-tastic Books FB

September 13 Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

September 14 Roxanne Rhoads Instagram

September 15 Midnight Musings with Bertena

September 16 Supernatural Central

September 17 The Book Junkie Reads (Guest Post)

September 20 Gail’s Gory Details

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The History of This Morbid Life

In less than a week, my 15th book — This Morbid Life — will be out from Automatism Press. It’s had quite a journey to publication, so seeing it in print finally is extra sweet.

Early in 2008, I submitted a proposal for a “best of” book that would collect some of my favorite essays from the confessional magazine I’d edited for 10 years. Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues attracted the second agent I sent it to, a young woman who’d just been promoted to full-time agent. She sold the book at auction to Scribner. It was only the second book she sold.

We had long conversations about my career. She wanted to represent both my fiction and nonfiction. I was excited to have my foot in the door of New York publishing.

Over the next several years, I pitched seven books to her. Among them were Wish You Were Here, the first two space opera books, Lost Angels, the first Alondra novel, and two books of essays. When she wasn’t able to place any of them, it was devastating for me to realize that the agency that had originally staked its claim on edgy, exciting books had moved into selling celebrity cookbooks. We weren’t compatible any longer.

I started to sell my books without an agent’s help. Lost Angels was published in 2012 by Black Bed Sheet Books. Wish You Were Here was published by Western Legends in 2013.

A small ebook publisher approached me early in 2013. I sent them the initial manuscript for This Morbid Life. The acquiring editor really liked it. We signed a contract in May. I started to get excited about the possibilities ahead of my punk-rock, death-positive memoir…

And then nothing happened. The book never got scheduled for production or even placed on the publisher’s list of upcoming books. By August of 2014, the editor admitted there were still no plans to publish it any time soon. Maybe I should have been more patient, but I withdrew the book from the publisher. Before I could figure out what to do next, my space opera novels sold (as a trilogy) to Night Shade Books. The next year was consumed with writing, publishing, and promoting those books.

It’s been a whirlwind ever since. Black Dog & Leventhal approached me to write 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die. I updated Wish You Were Here and published a second edition. I finished Angelus Rose, the sequel to Lost Angels, which came out last year, just before San Francisco was shut down in March.

Faced with having to entertain myself last year, I assembled Unsafe Words. I found another agent, then had two cemetery book proposals fall through last year. Emerian and I created the Spooky Writer’s Planner.

If nothing else, the isolation during the pandemic has given me a lot of time to think. It feels weird to have all these husks of books behind me: the Alondra novels, four or five unfinished cemetery projects, several books of essays. I don’t know if I would have chosen This Morbid Life as the next book to focus on, but once I bought Lynne Hansen’s cover last fall, I knew I had to put together a book to do it justice.

This iteration of This Morbid Life is one-third bigger than the last version. Both books started with the same essay — taking prom pictures in the cemeteries of Flint, Michigan — but the earlier book ended with taking my infant daughter to see the Body Worlds exhibit in 2004. This version includes morbid adventures up through Fire Season last year.

This Morbid Life got its first review already. The Bookeyman said, “I was blown away by the vulnerability and just how Loren laid everything out with no holding back. I loved this so much. What a fantastic life and what a beautiful love letter to her friends. I’m absolutely astonished. Everyone needs to read this ASAP.”

And then he gave the book 5 coffins. I cannot imagine higher praise.

You can check the book out for yourself at Amazon:

The Goodreads giveaway is running for a few more days, if you’d like a chance to win an ebook copy of the book:

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This Morbid Life is coming soon!

We’re two weeks away from the release of This Morbid Life, my death-positive memoir celebrating life, death, and all the lovely morbid things in-between. The ebook is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

You can pre-order the paperbacks (signed if you like) from my bookshop.

Other venues will follow soon, including, IndieBound, Smashwords, and Borderlands Books.

In the meantime, you can enter to win a copy of the Kindle edition on Goodreads. You need a Goodreads account to enter and you’ll be asked to add the book to your To-Read Shelf. Check it out here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

This Morbid Life by Loren Rhoads

This Morbid Life

by Loren Rhoads

Giveaway ends August 22, 2021.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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The Cover of This Morbid Life

I met Lynne Hansen at one of the World Horror Conventions so long ago now that I can’t tell you which one.  I got to know her at the World Horror in Atlanta, when we spent one evening talking about being women in the horror field, our hopes and dreams and future projects. It was one of the most inspiring conversations of my life.

Somewhere along the way, Lynne started to design book covers. Last year, when I decided to put together a short story collection, I paged through Lynne’s available covers. There were some things I really loved, but noting was quite right. For the first time in my life, I commissioned a book cover — and I was thrilled by what she designed for me.

In addition to all her commissioned covers, Lynne also designs a monthly calendar which she gives away to her newsletter subscribers. Those images are available to be turned into book covers. You can subscribe to her newsletter here and check them out for yourself:

Last October, Lynne also (because clearly this woman needs to keep busy!) challenged herself to make a book cover a day. All of them were for sale at a discount off her regular rates, first come, first serve.

One day, she put up a mock cover that I just had to have.  My hands were shaking as I sent her an email, hoping no one else had beaten me to it. I’ve never sent a payment so quickly in my life.

Then I had to come up with a book worthy of the book cover. I’ve been working on it all year. It’s a collection of confessional essays I’ve written for zines, including Morbid Curiosity magazine, online magazines from Gothic.Net to Scoutie Girl, print magazines like Unzipped, and the Sex Toy Tales book.

The 45 essays range from taking prom pictures in a cemetery to spending a couple of days in a cadaver lab, from nursing a friend who was dying of AIDS to raising a kid who isn’t afraid of anything. I am so excited to unleash this book on the world — and I am so grateful to Lynne for inspiring me to pull the book together.

This Morbid Life comes out August 22. It will be available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound,, and Smashwords. You’ll be able to get it in paperback and the ebook format of your choice. I’ll post the links as soon as I have them.

“Witty, touching, beautifully written, and haunting — in every sense of the word — This Morbid Life is an absolute must-read for anyone looking for an unusually bright and revealing journey into the darkest of corners.  Highly recommended!” — M.Christian, author of Welcome To Weirdsville

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