This Morbid Life

What others have called an obsession with death is really a desperate romance with life. Guided by curiosity, compassion, and a truly strange sense of humor, this particular morbid life is detailed through a death-positive collection of 45 confessional essays. Along the way, author Loren Rhoads takes prom pictures in a cemetery, spends a couple of days in a cadaver lab, eats bugs, survives the AIDS epidemic, chases ghosts, and publishes a little magazine called Morbid Curiosity.

Originally written for zines from Cyber-Psychos AOD to Zine World and online magazines from Gothic.Net to Scoutie Girl, these emotionally charged essays showcase the morbid curiosity and dark humor that transformed Rhoads into a leading voice of the curious and creepy.

Publication Details:

This Morbid Life: Essays by Loren Rhoads

Cover artwork by Lynne Hansen Art

Publisher: Automatism Press

Publication date: August 22, 2021

ISBN (paperback) 978-1-7351876-2-4

ISBN (ebook) 978-1-7351876-3-1


This Morbid Life won an IPPY Award in 2022. The Independent Publisher Book Awards gave This Morbid Life a Gold Medal for Best Regional Nonfiction eBook.

Purchase Links:

Amazon paperback:

Amazon ebook: paperback:

Smashwords ebook:

Signed copies from my bookstore:


“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.” — Fundinmental

“This Morbid Life is wholly unique, but I if I were to give this book an elevator pitch, it would go something like this: ‘Chuck Palahniuk’s Stranger Than Fiction meets HBO’s Six Feet Under.’ This single-author collection of death-positive essays delves deep. While some of Rhoads’s essays are dark and intimate, others are lighthearted and laugh-out-loud funny.” —

“Rhoads’s This Morbid Life offers a compelling premise for readers. Her work is highly unusual and bold in its intentions and readers will strongly connect with the many poignant and memorable moments.” — The BookLife Prize

“A wonderful collection of essays that lead with a curious mind and an openness that we are often asked to avoid. Loren’s writing is touching, amusing and strange. It isn’t just an attempt to be morbid for morbid sake – each essay is an intelligent romp through the human experience – it is weird as it is beautiful.” — Black Flowers

“I am so honored that I got the opportunity to read this book a little early. I laughed and I cried. 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.” — The Bookeyman

Promotion Highlights:

My list of the “Best Death-Positive Memoirs” appeared on The Shepherd List.

The story behind Lynne Hansen’s glorious Cover of This Morbid Life

Top 5 Weird Facts about Me and how they inspired essays in This Morbid Life.

I wrote about one particular Unexpected Influence that kept cropping up in This Morbid Life.

The Heart of This Morbid Life, about exploring a cadaver lab, appeared on

Living in a World of Ghosts including an excerpt of “The Ghost of Friends” (The Book Junkie Reads)

Blood-Drinking Freaks included an excerpt of “Late Night Talk about the Reality of Vampires” on

Fanbase Press interviewed me to discuss the art that inspired This Morbid Life

How I Grew into Being Morbid” appeared as a Tell Me feature on Jennifer Brozek’s blog.

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

My “Ghost Hunting Tips” appeared on The Paranormalists.

Hungry? Readers Entertainment magazine featured one of my favorite autumn recipes, inspired by one of the adventures in This Morbid Life.

Videos, Podcasts, & Radio:

Intro to This Morbid Life:

Offbeat & Overlooked with Tui Snider:

Something (Rather than Nothing) podcast with Ken Volante:

This Morbid Life was featured on KALW’s New Arrivals podcast. (They call it a pocket-sized “socially-distanced book tour.”) You can hear me read a snippet of my 1989 earthquake essay here:

I recorded “Ghost-Inspired Fiction” for Fright Girl Autumn 2021.

Wayne Fenlon made a beautiful animated cover for me.