I Steal From The Dead

You know those disclaimers you read in the front covers of books about any resemblance to people–living or dead–being merely coincidence?

Let me state for the record and any attorneys fluttering about (do attorneys flutter?) that in my case and my books, that is absolutely true.


I’m a name thief.

I love graveyards. They are an unavoidable feature of any trip I take, any community I visit. Going to the beach in Beaufort, NC? Gotta stop in the town cemetery. Headed to New Orleans? St. Louis #3, baby! Bodie Ghost Town–head up the hill. Sligo, Missouri–head through the trees.

My poor kids. It ain’t any fun if we don’t visit the dead folks.

Anyhow, thanks to the wonders of the cell phone camera, I can quickly and discreetly steal their names. So many wonderful, beautiful and sometimes horrible names (like the Clay twins–Red and Green).

Here’s one from the churchyard next to my family’s house of worship in Richwood, KY:


Mr. Fullilove.

This is actually the second “Fullilove” grave I’ve seen in the area–the one in Walton, KY is a shared stone between husband and wife (they, um, “donated” their names to STONE KISSED).
Can you imagine their first meeting?
Him: “Hi. I’m Joe Fullilove.”
Her: “Heh. I just bet you are.”