Author Spotlight: Richard Parks
by Jude Griffin & Kevin McNeil
Most cultures want to memorialize, if not actually venerate, those who have died, and we do it mostly with cemeteries. But in an agrarian society with a limited amount of arable land like the one in my story, wasting so much valuable farmland on a graveyard makes no sense. I considered all the cultures that preserve their dead in such a way as to keep them visible and, in a way, part of the living community, and combined that with a society with an almost instinctive need to make the best use of space and resources. In that context, the role of the skull-carver made perfect sense.