Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Interview with A.B. Funkhauser

Unrepentant cooze hound lawyer J├╝rgen Heuer dies suddenly and unexpectedly in his litter-strewn home. Undiscovered, he rages against God, Nazis, deep fryers and analogous women who disappoint him.

At last found, he is delivered to Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home, a ramshackle establishment peopled with above average eccentrics, including boozy Enid, a former girl friend with serious denial issues. With her help and the help of a wise cracking spirit guide, Heuer will try to move on to the next plane. But before he can do this, he must endure an inept embalming, feral whispers, and Enid’s flawed recollections of their murky past.

Is it really worth it?

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 “The macabre black comedy Heuer Lost And Found, written by A.B. Funkhauser, is definitely a different sort of book!  You will enjoy this book with its mixture of horror and humour.”
—Diana Harrison, Author ALWAYS AND FOREVER

“This beautifully written, quirky, sad, but also often humorous story of Heuer and Enid gives us a glimpse into the fascinating, closed world of the funeral director.”
—Yvonne Hess, Charter Member, The Brooklin 7

“The book runs the gamut of emotions. One minute you want to cry for the characters, the next you are uncontrollably laughing out loud, and your husband is looking at you like you lost your mind, at least mine did.”

“The writing style is racy with no words wasted.”

“For a story centered around death, it is full of life.”

“Like Breaking Bad’s Walter White, Heuer is not a likeable man, but I somehow found myself rooting for him. A strange, complicated character.”
—Kasey Balko, Pickering, Ontario

Raw, clever, organic, intriguing and morbid at the same … breathing life and laughter into a world of death.

—Josie Montano, Author VEILED SECRETS

Interview with A.B. Funkhauser

1. Welcome back to the blog. How’s it going with HEUER LOST AND FOUND?

Thanks, Shyla. It’s great to be back, and I have a lot of news. Firstly, I have a print interview in an international glossy coming this fall as well as a couple of spotlights in in-town publications. That excites me. But what I’m really enjoying are the blog tours (like this one) as well as the rounds of book fairs and festivals. I love meeting and talking to people. I think that makes HEUER more alive than anything.

2. So you’re a promo beast?

Yes! I admit it. At first I was shy. I was brought up to not trumpet accomplishments. To do so was to be immodest. But that’s all forgotten now! LOL. I started out rather timidly, then I met other writers like you, started answering questions and before I knew it, had more personal confidence than I’ve ever known before.

3. How are you getting the word out?

I have to thank my friend, author Maighread MacKay, for putting me on to Vistaprint. They did up my posters, car door magnet and there’s a banner in the works too!

4. Show me…

  I also spent ten days in September promoting authors on my blog. TEN AUTHORS, TEN DAYS was hugely successful because of the breadth and variety of the talent: romance, scifi, paranormal, speculative and so one. I featured novelists and short story writers as part of the blog’s overall theme: Celebrating the Publishing Journey – Mine, Yours, Everybody’s. It’s been great. Lots of visitors to the blog!

5. Let’s talk writerly stuff. Is there a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

I can work practically anywhere, but what I do is dictated by the time of year. Since breaking from full time work, I treat writing like a day job. I have two teenagers, so once they’re out the door in the morning, I’m at my desk. A work day runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with breaks (dentist appointments, cutting the grass) Monday to Friday. Whether I’m blogging, tweeting, editing, promoting myself or others, I’m always writing. Summer months and NaNoWriMo are dedicated to NEW projects.

6. Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?


7. Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?

Title comes first. It usually appears during edits on the previous work. Next come pop scenes and a lot of mulling before I lay down the first draft during NaNo.

8. How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?

I apply the theory of good band names: take two unrelated things and put them together; or I’ll grab from a character trait. For example, a character who reads classical literature is bound to wind up with a name from that historical era – Jocasta, Socrates, Hephaestion are good ones.

9. Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?

After. They name themselves.

10. Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?

As I go along. They evolve, just as we do as flesh and blood human beings.

11. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")

Absolutely. There’s a point to everything. There are a number of themes in play. My favorites: identity, diversity, understanding and resolution. Quite recently, I rediscovered a pop form of writing we’re all familiar with—picaresque, which is basically, raw, rude, fun-loving offensive misunderstood characters and plot lines that somehow endear. A real conundrum, no? I think HEUER is picaresque and coming to terms with that is another theme/issue for the character.

12. Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

No preference. A book’s a book.

13. What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

 God Bless You Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut. I never laughed so hard at irony in my whole life.

14. Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?

It depends on the director, casting, and SCRIPT. I thought The English Patient was an absolute marvel.

15. What’s next?

Promotion, promotion, promotion. Then edits, edits, edits. I’m working on the edits for book two in the series UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES. SCOOTER NATION begins two years after HEUER in the same funeral home with characters old and new. I really love that tertiary characters like Carla Moretto Salinger Blue and Scooter Creighton take front and centre in this one. Although their quirks and foibles really showed in HEUER, I couldn’t wait to tell their story and I am.

 Meet the Author

A.B. Funkhauser is a funeral director, classic car nut and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism fueled by the belief that life chooses us and we not it.

“Were it not for the calling, I would have just as likely remained an office assistant shuffling files around, and would have been happy doing so.”

Life had another plan. After a long day at the funeral home in the waning months of winter 2010, she looked down the long hall joining the director’s office to the back door leading three steps up and out into the parking lot. At that moment a thought occurred: What if a slightly life-challenged mortician tripped over her man shoes and landed squarely on her posterior, only to learn that someone she once knew and cared about had died, and that she was next on the staff roster to care for his remains?

Like funeral directing, the writing called, and four years and several drafts later, Heuer Lost and Found was born.

What’s a Heuer? Beyond a word rhyming with “lawyer,” Heuer the lawyer is a man conflicted. Complex, layered, and very dead, he counts on the ministrations of the funeral director to set him free. A labor of love and a quintessential muse, Heuer has gone on to inspire four other full length works and over a dozen short stories.

“To my husband John and my children Adam and Melina, I owe thanks for the encouragement, the support, and the belief that what I was doing was as important as anything I’ve tackled before at work or in art.”

Funkhauser is currently working on a new manuscript begun in November during NaNoWriMo 2014.

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