Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Guest Blogger: A.B. Funkhauser

Amazon's Author Central Page:


Please tell us about your latest book.

SCOOTER NATION is the second novel in my UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series, which focuses comically on the foibles that drive human beings in their skins. From lofty ideals to baser aggressions, protagonists and antagonists are unshakable in their belief that they are right and that what they are doing will ultimately translate into a greater good. SCOOTER NATION is about a group of people linked by community, but separated by competing interests. Alliances are made and broken and, of course, only one can win. The ‘Scooter’ in the title refers to a person, Scooter Creighton, as well as the vehicles the aggressive protagonists roar around on while they’re wreaking havoc. The two—man and machine–are not always on the same side.

What can we expect from you in the future?

My WIP SHELL GAME moves away from the Weibigand Funeral Home that, in so many ways, was its own character in the first novels, into the seemingly pastoral neighborhoods of fictional Pictontown on the Downs. There, two neighbors, locked in a ‘hate match’ fueled by disputes over a home renovation gone wrong and a local election campaign, find common ground through co ownership of a tabby cat with a recessive gene. A death through misadventure and a possible murder case gone unreported will expose the rot at the community’s center anchored by a feline fetishist sex cult that gives the cat his own agenda. It’s going to be a cool trip. I promise!

How do we find out about you and your books?
You can find me through my Amazon author page, my WordPress Website and of course my publisher, Summer Solstice.

Why did you decide to write “gonzo mortuary fiction” novels?

I’m a steadfast fan of the late Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut, both socially conscious powerful writers. Their obvious joy at informing readers through subtext and off the wall humor struck me and stuck with me throughout the years. I thought that if I could get a message through with humor, then I’d really accomplish something. I keep writing and producing new work as the muse strikes. Hopefully, time will prove I’m on track.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

I’m all over it according to friends, colleagues and critics so I’d probably be in the wrong if I dispute it. I like to delve into things I’ve experienced firsthand — the life and times of a neighborhood funeral director being one of them. My latest character, Bronagh Caley, limps through life with a fractured fifth metatarsal bound by an ugly walking cast. The injury is a metaphor for things going wrong in her fictional life. The cussing and swearing come from me, as I had a broken fifth metatarsal at the time of writing and was livid with myself for falling off a ladder. Looking back, I can LOL it fully. At the time…no. *laughs*

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?

I began journaling after my 45th birthday. An old friend had just died and I found writing to be the healthiest way to come to terms with life, death, longevity, aging, unrealized dreams, bucket lists — the whole shebang! Six years later, I have two published works and three more manuscripts to whip into shape.  I submitted my ms on the recommendation of a fellow Solstice author who felt I had something a publisher might like. She was right! I never stop thanking her for giving me the heads up and the kick in the pants to throw in my lot.

Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?

One year, but that’s only after years of toiling over the first one. I had to learn how to do it. I’m still learning. Crafting the BIG novel — 100,000 words or more — is the next item on my bucket list. It will be a challenge and an entirely new experience since my first drafts usually come in between 50— to 65,000 words. I’m psyched.

Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I’ve taken time off from funeral directing, so I treat writing like a day job. From Monday to Friday I’m at my desk from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with routine interruptions from the cat, the teens, the spouse. LOL. Whether I am editing, promoting, reviewing the works of others, or composing new material, I do this from January to July each year, with a summer break in August. September and October are dedicated to prepping new submissions, while November belongs to NaNoWriMo and the next ms in waiting.

What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?

Lots of interruptions; lots of family oriented things to do. I don’t mind. Once I start writing something down, it’s transcription. The book is in my head.

What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?

I grab the ones I love and head outside. The worlds I create inside my head are immensely satisfying, but they can never take the place of real life in real time.

What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?

Putting a foot outside the door; opening my eyes wide; unclogging my ears and tuning in to the comedy and drama and tragedy that informs nuanced lives. There is more going on at the grocery store than you know … until you take a closer look. Then, and only then, do you realize that the stuff of great fiction is right there in the grocery aisle and that you, the writer, have an incredible opportunity to do with it what you will. Isn’t that cool?

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