I don't know where you are, but where I live the days are
getting shorter, the air is getting chilly and the smell of autumn is in the
air. I'm missing those long summer nights when you had time to read a book outside
after work. I guess all of us in this neck of the woods are in the same boat. Those dark in the morning , dark in the evening days are just ahead of us. But I digress...today I've got a gal from Toronto to talk about.
Author AB Funkhauser is stopping by today to chat about
SCOOTER NATION, the second book in the UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series. That sounds like fun!
What's the book about? We'll tell you:
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
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 center 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.
Here's the book trailer if you'd like a closer look.
And here's where you
can get it:
We had a chance to sit down with AB and ask a few questions. Here's how it went:
SC:Tell me a little bit about
your main character in this book.
are several in SCOOTER NATION, but for the purpose of things supernatural, I
would like to focus on Jocasta Binns. The illegitimate daughter of funeral home
founder Karl Heinz Sr., she has
dedicated the better part of her life to attaining legitimacy through conquest.
The funeral home, Weibigand Brothers, has been in her sights for a long time,
but as the unacknowledged family member, her life and work has been
marginalized. For example, in keeping with the conventions of the time (1950’s,
1960’s) she is not encouraged to become a licensed director like her half-brothers.
She is in fact consigned to menial tasks until the matriarch passes away and
she can assume a larger role. The extended ‘wait period’ is what erodes
everything good about her.
Jocasta is a mix of many things: she is
loving, caring, vicious and deceitful. She is also immensely spiritual and it
is through this spirituality that she is able to connect with the after body entity
of Heuer in the first novel. She is also keenly aware that she is being
watched, the fact that she puts the floor lamp containing the paranormal
residue of the matriarch in the darkest reaches of the second basement
reinforces this as well as her malice.
That she can commune with the spirits and
places a value on a lowly rat that might be sentient makes her the character to
watch, particularly when we put this sensitivity next to the viciousness that
allows her to commit murder.
SC:Do you believe in the
paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
AB: I’m a funeral director and a fiction
writer, so I’m careful to keep the beliefs of one separate from the other. It’s
important in the day job to remember that people have different beliefs grown
over time from social, cultural and historical experience, and as a director,
it is not my job to reshape or add to these. When a bereaved person asks me for
‘proof’, I answer honestly: it is not something I look for, but if they (the
bereaved person) have these feelings or beliefs, then they are theirs and
SC: I can see where that might get a bit tricky... AB: The writer in me takes a different view.
With so much literature and so many investigations; with all the first person testimonials
regarding things seen and heard, and the debates about the changing states of
matter, I dearly hope that there is something. It would be wonderful.
have experiences to share? Yes. Many. Unfortunately, each and every one of them
can be explained. Lol. My favorite has to be the ‘heartbeat’ that pounded
through the funeral home “late one night” (of course) when I was working alone.
The “lub dub” was loud and quite distinct. I didn’t know what I wanted to do
more: run, or hide. I elected to tough it out. I had work to do and a funeral
to lead first thing in the morning, so I stayed on. The lub dub stopped as fast
as it had begun. When I sheepishly mentioned it to the funeral home manager the
next morning, he laughed. The part of the building where I was working is below
ground; the room I was in abutting a busy main street. Although it was late,
the part of the city where the business was located was filled with bars, pubs,
clubs. Clearly a major event had ended, and the cars leaving the neighborhood
barreled at higher speeds over the sewer access point covers. The lub dub was
the sound of the cast iron plates bouncing against tires.
SC: I think that would have creeped me out as well. What titles are you
working on now that you can tell us about?
I’m working on three right now. The first
is a subversive little “whodunit” as seen through the eyes of a tabby cat.
SHELL GAME traces the decline, fall, and rebirth of a seemingly pastoral
neighborhood with a lot to hide. A wonky election, a young widow looking to
live again, and an old fella who may or may not have chopped up his wife are
some of the wonderful old tropes I trot out. There’s also a feline fetishist
sex cult that my cat hero has a run in with. How they pay and how all these
disparate elements relate tie directly back to the cat’s agenda.
The second one, beginning November 1 with
NaNoWriMo, involves a Horror Smut writer who has lost her groove. Frantic for
inspiration, she applies to mortuary school a gets in. The overarching questions
of the book is, has she found her true calling and will she ever write again?
Supernatural elements will figure prominently in this one along with an
examination of what makes us human and how we retain our humanity in the face
of daunting tasks. I’m so stoked for this one!
The third manuscript has been on waivers
for a while and I’d like to get back to it asap. It is the prequel to my first
novel HEUER LOST AND FOUND and sees my dead, flawed protagonist lawyer Jürgen
Heuer alive and well living as a young man with a border line deviant obsession:
the young Enid Engler (who later becomes his mortician and peculiar savior in
HEUER LOST AND FOUND). THE HEUER EFFECT currently sits at 89,000 words and is a
mix of rage, romance and wreckage. The scariest part about this story (I hope)
is that the predator is not who the reader thinks he is. There’s
someone/something far more evil afoot.
Lots to do, as you see!
Would you like to know a little more about AB? Here's the scoop. (I love this picture, BTW)...
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, and the New Apple EBook Award 2016 for Horror, Heuer Lost and Found is
the first installment in Funkhauser’s Unapologetic Lives series. Her sophomore
effort, Scooter Nation, released March 11, 2016 through Solstice Publishing.
Winner of the New Apple Ebook Award 2016 for Humor, Scooter has also been
nominated for Best Humor Summer Indie Book Awards 2016.
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.”
Thanks so much for hosting me Janine. I had a blast. I'm happy to add that since we talked, I've also joined Instagram. This is me. https://www.instagram.com/funkhausera/ Having way too much fun!ReplyDelete
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We love having gals like you hang around Supernatural Central. Come back soon!ReplyDelete