I’m so excited about today’s post! Lisa Medley is discussing something near and dear to my heart and haunts . . . OLD CEMETERIES! Okay, so I’m weird but I adore searching out hundred year old headstones with unique carvings and epitaphs. (I also enjoy taking along my recorder in case I catch an EVP or two.)
Lisa has been kind enough to share some of her experiences during her research of old cemeteries for The Reapers Series! Enjoy! (And read on to learn more about Book Two, Reap & Redeem.
Cemeteries are an integral part of the setting for the characters of the Reaper Series, who spend a lot of time traveling to, from, and through them. All of the cemeteries of the Reaper Series were inspired by real-life cemeteries near my own hometown. In fact, I’ve done an entire series called Grave Discoveries featuring unique and interesting headstones I’ve encountered in my travels.
Before beginning the Reaper Series, I had little interest in cemeteries. My own mother knows I’ll likely never visit her grave once she’s passed and has taken matters into her own hands by purchasing and placing her own headstone in the family plot, complete with engraved flowers in a vase on the face of the stone.
Perpetual flowers. It’s a thing.
Yesterday I got completely lost in my travels.
For my day job, I’m a vampire for a local blood bank. I travel around organizing blood drives across five counties, and I am responsible for nearly ten thousand donations a year. Most days go smoothly since I’ve covered the same ground for the past fourteen years now, but one wrong turn yesterday took me completely off the map and into parts unknown.
The unexpected writerly benefit was I found some super cool graveyards.
You probably don’t really pay much attention to cemeteries. But once you start looking, you’ll see they are like Chinese restaurants and banks…there’s one on every corner.
I am particularly drawn to decrepit and neglected graveyards. There is an abundance of such places in the rural countryside. Most rely on volunteers to mow the grounds and some haven’t been mowed in a very long time.
Those are the best.
I especially like broken tombstones and those worn slick by time and the elements.
If you’d like to read my sentiments on the tradition of burying our dead in steel boxes, you can find a post here.
No one will ever admire my broken tombstone, but that’s okay.
Since I write reapers, I find graveyards inspiring.
Sometimes you can find inspiration in the strangest places.
Just be careful, some cemeteries are more proactive than others.
Have you ever visited a place that begged for a story afterward? Have you ever visited a place because it was mentioned or featured in a fiction work?
Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them. Reapers. The grim kind.
She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.
She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case.
Reap and Redeem
The Reaper Series
Genre: urban fantasy
Publisher: Harlequin E
Date of Publication: Oct. 6, 2014
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 78K
He’s a reaper who has given up on saving souls. Will a dying woman be his salvation?
After a century of enslavement to pure evil, Kylen Larson is finally free. But he’s long past caring. The only woman he ever loved is dead, and he’s tormented by memories of the horrors his demon parasite forced him to commit. Now, he lives for nothing more than hunting down the infernal creatures invading Meridian, Arkansas, and destroying them.
Olivia Evans is in the final stages of cancer when Kylen accidentally saves her from demonic possession. When he rescues this innocent soul, Kylen rediscovers his mission—and his heart.
All he wants is to help Olivia stay alive. He’ll just have to fight off an invasion from Hell first…