Wednesday, October 19, 2016

INTERVIEW with author AB FUNKHAUSER

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 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 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:

Geo Buy     Walmart     Amazon     Solstice Publishing     BN
 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.

AB: There 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 they’re good.
 
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.

Do I 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?

AB: 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 J├╝rgen 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!

True dat. 
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.”

  
Website: www.abfunkhauser.com

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/abfunkhauser

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

Branded: https://branded.me/abfunkhauser

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118051627869017397678

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1FPJXcO

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/unapologeticadult

FAQ’s: http://abfunkhauser.com/faqs/

 
AB came to us today via Bewitching Book Tours. Supernatural Central did not receive anything but good vibes for the interview. Namaste.
For more great books, check out BBT's Haunted Halloween Spooktacular.
 
 
 

3 comments:

  1. 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!

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  3. We love having gals like you hang around Supernatural Central. Come back soon!

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