Making time. All too often, we wake ourselves in the night in a panic because the impish muse has struck again, and it’s so intrusive! In the early days, I had a notebook next to the bed so that I wouldn’t miss anything, which was good. The bad of it came in the loss of priceless REM sleep. Years later, these savage invasions have lessened…but I still keep the notebook nearby!
The answer to making time—I hate to say it—is managing it, and while this may sound a bit scrubby and clinical, it really does work. I assign certain times of the year to certain activities as opposed to trying to do everything at once. This takes a lot of the pressure off. For example, November is for new work only. During these precious four weeks, I do not blog, interview, edit old stuff or even promote. NaNoWriMo has taught me that I can bang out 50,000 words in a month and it’s a life saver because there’s always a new manuscript to look forward to. Prior to November, I devote the summer to workshopping and editing the MS that I submit for publisher approval in October. That gives me December to read and review the work of others before the January-February whirlwind that is final edits and promo prep for the next release. I’m always tweeting (because I LOVE Twitter) but I try not to work past 3:30 in the afternoon if possible. That’s because I have to switch to my other job, which usually involves a lot of driving here and there. That said, I’m looking forward to my teens getting their drivers licenses! Lol.
Can you give us a short synopsis of Scooter Nation?
Scooter Creighton and his work colleague Carla Moretto Salinger Blue are funeral directors clinging to an old work model that is no longer relevant in a fast food age. When their business is sold to a visionary bent on dismantling everything they believe a funeral should be, they fight back with the help of Alma Wurtz, a neighborhood activist, sextenarian and all around pain in the ass. In changing times, one must strive to retain the best of the past or risk being lost in the sparkle and pop of things shiny and new. As hidden agendas come to the fore, the line between good guys and bad blurs. People die. It’s altruism at all cost. Is it right?
What inspired you to write this book?
I was lucky this time out because it’s a second novel born of the first. I didn’t set out to write a series, but response to the characters in the first book was such that I pretty much had to. What about Carla? What about Scooter? These were the questions put to me and I would talk at length about them. They were secondary characters in HEUER LOST AND FOUND, but managed to shine. All at once, this whole amazing back story emerged and as I began to put it down, I realized how funny and engaging these characters were. A classic case of character driving author. That’s how I look at it.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
I’m on hiatus from my day job so I’m very fortunate in that I can work every day. I begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday to Friday and try not to go past 3 p.m. There are of course many interruptions—driving this kid or that to an appointment, feeding the cat, defrosting the meal—but these are helpful in that they give me valuable mulling time. As I said above, I work on different things at different times of the year, so the rhythm is always fresh and my interest level remains high. I love book tours because they feed me the questions I need to answer and in doing so, I really get a handle on what the book is about. I will spend the rest of the month doing things like that. Then April 1 comes, and I disappear into Camp NaNoWriMo until May. That’s where I’ll finish my WIP. So excited!
Name your top five favorite books.
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
God Bless You Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Child of the Morning by Pauline Gedge
Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian
What are you working on now?
I’m halfway through a juicy whodunit as seen through the eyes of a cat protagonist. Carlos the Wunder Cat lives free traveling from house to house on a quiet suburban block. Known by everyone, his idyllic existence is threatened when a snarky letter from animal control threatens to punish kitty owners who fail to keep their pets indoors. The $5,000 fine / loss of kitty to THE MAN is draconian and mean, but before Team Carlos can take steps, he is kidnapped by a feline fetishist sex cult obsessed with the films of Stanley Kubrick. Stakes are high. Even if Carlos escapes their clutches, can he ever go home?
Title: Scooter Nation
Author: A.B. Funkhauser
Genre: Humor / Noir
Aging managing director Charlie Forsythe begins his work day with a phone call to Jocasta Binns, the unacknowledged illegitimate daughter of Weibigand Funeral Home founder Karl Heinz Sr. Alma Wurtz, a scooter bound sextenarian, community activist, and neighborhood pain in the ass is emptying her urine into the flower beds, killing the petunias. Jocasta cuts him off, reminding him that a staff meeting has been called. Charlie, silenced, is taken aback: he has had no prior input into the meeting and that, on its own, makes it sinister.
The second novel in the UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series, SCOOTER NATION takes place two years after HEUER LOST AND FOUND. This time, funeral directors Scooter Creighton and Carla Moretto Salinger Blue take centre stage as they battle conflicting values, draconian city by-laws, a mendacious neighborhood gang bent on havoc, and a self absorbed fitness guru whose presence shines an unwanted light on their quiet Michigan neighborhood.
Toronto born 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. Her debut novel HEUER LOST AND FOUND, released in April 2015, examines the day to day workings of a funeral home and the people who staff it. Winner of the PREDITORS & EDITORS Reader’s Poll for Best Horror 2015, HEUER LOST AND FOUND is the first installment in Funkhauser’s UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series. Her sophomore effort, SCOOTER NATION, is set for release March 13, 2016 through Solstice Publishing. A devotee of the gonzo style pioneered by the late Hunter S. Thompson, Funkhauser attempts to shine a light on difficult subjects by aid of humorous storytelling. “In gonzo, characters operate without filters which means they say and do the kinds of things we cannot in an ordered society. Results are often comic but, hopefully, instructive.”
Funkhauser is currently working on SHELL GAME, a contemporary “whodunnit” begun during NaNoWriMo 2015.
HEUER LOST AND FOUND
Unrepentant cooze hound lawyer Jürgen 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.
Geo Buy Link: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-C5qBpb0Yc
Praise“Funny, quirky, and sooooo different.”
—Jo Michaels, Jo Michaels Blog
“Eccentric and Funny. You have never read anything like this book. It demands respect for the outrageous capacity of its author to describe in detail human behavior around death.”
—Charlene Jones, author THE STAIN
“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.”
—David K. Bryant, Author TREAD CAREFULLY ON THE SEA
“For a story centered around death, it is full of life.”
—Rocky Rochford, Author RISE OF ELOHIM CHRONICLES
“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 time … breathing life and laughter into a world of death.
—Josie Montano, Author VEILED SECRETS
Scooter Page: http://abfunkhauser.com/wip-scooter-nation/
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser
Interview Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2yhaXfh-ns
Interview Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoPthI1Hvmo
HEUER BUY LINK: http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound