Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Katherine Ramsland's Cemetary Stories


Sometimes research can be a pain in the ass, and sometimes it's simply fantastic. This past week I took a carnival ride with Katherine Ramsland and her fantastic book, Cemetery Stories: Haunted Graveyards, Embalming Secrets, and the Life of a Corpse After Death. I bought those little fluorescent tabs you can stick on the edges of pages, label, and use to find highlighted areas.

Waste of time. The book looks like a porcupine on acid and about 1/3 of it is highlighted in shocking, electric pink.

Ramsland gave me everything I wanted, from how they get scars off a corpse (sandpaper), to the procedure, steps A-z, when a person dies.

I needed the information for my current WIP, which takes place largely in a funeral home, where my MC has grown up and lives with her family. Honestly I believe the people who run small town funeral parlors do amazing work. They help us at our darkest hour, when we are very often too numb and broken to show the kind of gratitude we surely would under better circumstances. They deal with family snits and grief inspired rudeness. And they sandpaper the gash off Uncle Henry's forehead after the accident so Grams doesn't wig out on the casket.

Big shout out for this book. If you need to know about embalming, funerals, mortuaries, or anything about the dead and those who care for them... check this one out!

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