Today, I am proud to interview A. B. Funkhauser on my blog.
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?
Jürgen Heuer did many things in his lifetime, but murdering another human being was not among them. Of course he considered it at times—having Fuhrer blood in his veins practically demanded it—but logic always trumped emotion and that was what kept him from breaking the law this time. Standing over enough explosives to level a half block, he replaced the matches in the pocket of his pimp suit, leaving Werner to curse and mutter at the 61 Division cops who had better things to do than visit the hermit house a second time.
“That, I can explain—” he interjected, relishing, somewhat guiltily, all the drama he’d created. “I merely sought to dispatch any papers incriminating to me. Instead, I found a bunch of tawdry shits besmirching my name.” He flapped his arms chicken-like. “They decided I was peculiar and with all these rainbow flags going up over town, they were making allegations.” He was not gay. He was nothing at all. Why did everybody insist on assigning labels? He was dead. It didn’t matter. And he hadn’t meant to set all the juice-o machines to malfunction in tandem, nor had he intended for Miss Samantha to go ass over heel and break an arm.
Irmtraut laughed at his childish protests, suggesting that he busy himself with the World Cup soccer scores. “Germany is leading, and the betting octopus is expected to weigh against the Spaniards.”
He scoffed at the suggestion; a German victory was a foregone conclusion. “Why waste time on a sure thing?”
“Indeed?” Irmtraut said. “Let’s look at something unsure then—your peccadillos, for example.”
“My what?” He was not familiar with the term ‘peccadillos.’
Irmtraut wiggled her ponderous mid-section to an unheard smoky beat.
“Oh, that,” he recalled, cringing over his play at self-release.
“Yes,” she said. “When you thought I was sleeping, only I wasn’t.”
wandering hands and the miracles they accomplished.
“You will not do that again,” she commanded.
About 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. Her debut novel, HEUER LOST AND FOUND, released in April 2015 after five years of studious effort, has inspired four other full length works and over a dozen short stories. Her sophomore effort, SCOOTER NATION, is in edits for a 2016 release.
1) Who has been the biggest influence in your writing career and how?
This is a two parter:
a. My work as a funeral director and my grief over the loss of a friend gave rise to a grief journal, which, essentially, is a record of the bereaved’s thoughts. It can include reminiscences, dialogue and even scenes of ‘how things were’ and, sometimes, ‘how they should have been.’
b. My sister began writing a 17th century English historical fiction novel six months before I began the journal, so I stuck my neck out, gave her call, and read some of it to her. The sections I read were quite humorous, as my friend was in life, and the scenes and stories I read to her had devolved into a kind of silliness that bore little resemblance to any kind of reality. My sister told me to keep going. Said I was writing something real. I told her none of it was true. She said “Even better. It’s fiction. Keep writing.” The truth, whole truth and nothing but.
2) Explain how some of your opinions/views have changed since you began your writing career.
Hmmmm. I’m more open-minded. I can see that there are two sides to every character and that if I’m to present something honest and ‘real’ in fiction I have to look at both sides. This approach has spilled over into the headline news. I’m not as quick to judge events until I’ve done the reading.
3) Tell us a bit about your next release.
You have the press kit for HEUER LOST AND FOUND which has been out since April 2015. I’m so proud of it, because it really was the sum total of thirty years of observations and experiences. HEUER is the platform from which I was able to support and launch these gems. A kind of love letter to a life similar but very different to my own.
My next release, SCOOTER NATION, is a big departure from HEUER in that tertiary characters from HEUER LOST AND FOUND now take centre stage as the protagonists. They get their say, and they do it with gonzo. The second in my UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES series, SCOOTER NATION takes place two years after HEUER in the same funeral parlor, but with a host of new characters. They are adults with one shot at this life, and they don’t waste time. At the same time, they careen out of control with little regard to political correctness. In essence, they get away with things we, as flesh and blood human beings, cannot, including murder.
4) Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently if you were just beginning your writing career?
Nothing! I don’t do ‘do overs’. It’s like an admission of regret, and I can’t move forward if there’s regret behind me. My blog’s the clue: Celebrating the writing journey. And it is. It’s still underway, so I wouldn’t change anything because it’s not finished.
5) How much of your own personality/mannerisms come into play in your characters?
I take from what grabs me; a favorite memory; a boy I longed for forty years ago, but never met; old movies on TCM. My characters are composites, so there’s bound to be a little of me in there somewhere.
6) From the start, what was your most successful method of reaching your readers? What “false paths have you traveled?
Too early to tell. I don’t look at the Amazon stats – my partner does that – and I begin each day with optimism and a desire to try new things. I love Twitter. There’s something about the Wild West feel to it that appeals to me. At the same time, I enjoy book fairs and meeting people face to face. I can’t cite anything as ‘false’ because every interview (I give or give to others) every book review I write, every open mic I participate in brings something to the experience of reaching people. I can only hope that those I meet become readers, but I have no way of knowing that right now.
7) What’s the worst advice you’ve received for one of your books or your career?
I must have blotted it out if I got any. I’m open minded. I remember getting ripped apart by an agent / author early on. I kept calm, turned my attention to another piece, and when I went back to the bludgeoned manuscript (six weeks later), I found that he was right! It was two books, not one. So to my great joy, I learned that over five years I had written not one book, but two. Great advice. Love that guy.
8) Tell us your views on book contracts, series vs single book.
I loved getting a contract at all! Thank you SOLSTICE PUBLISHING! It’s a single contract because, at the time, I didn’t know that I was writing a series. That came later. I love my time with Solstice, the staff, from editing to accounting. I hope they’ll keep me for awhile.
Praise for Heuer Lost And Found
“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 … breathing life and laughter into a world of death.
—Josie Montano, Author VEILED SECRETS
Meet The Author
You Tube Video Interview
Interview Part 1:
Interview Part 2:
Geo Buy Link: