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Monday, October 17

Q&A with A.B. Funkhauser, author of Scooter Nation




Now available from Solstice Publishing is the thriller Scooter Nation, book two in the Unapologetic Lives series, by author A.B. Funkhauser.



The author has taken a few minutes out of her busy schedule for a Q&A about her novel.


When did you become interested in storytelling?

When I was seven years old, I found an unused ledger book in the crawl space. Green, hardcover, with clean ruled pages on one side, and blank white pages for illustrations on the other, it made good sense to me to write my own children’s book and draw the pictures too! I filled it with short stories printed neatly in pencil. The only story title I remember is “Fish Head the Cat.”

What was your first book/story published?

I published HEUER LOST AND FOUND through Solstice Publishing in 2015. It took a long time to write, but it was worth it. Heuer taught me how to write.

What inspired you to write Scooter Nation?

I’m a licensed funeral director, and so after I explored the concept of “what happens after we die” in Heuer, I took it back to earth and asked, “what happens when your life and everything you know about it is turned upside down?” in Scooter.

What characters in Scooter Nation are the most/least like you, and in what ways?

Friends and critics alike say that I’m all over it, so it’s hard to nail down just two. I’m a character author, so I like to take bits and pieces from everywhere and put them together to create someone completely fresh and new. But since you’ve asked me, I’d say I’m nothing at all like Alma Wurtz and probably a little bit like Esther Canadas Villa Lobos. (We both wrote a thing called POOR UNDERTAKER *wink*) Alma Wurtz is a demagogue who uses time and circumstance to sway those around her. Her goals are varied, but many of them are just window dressing to a single purpose, which is all about her and no one else. Esther is a planner. Driven by a more sedate ambition, she takes time to ask questions and ponder the results of a course of action before trying it out on her fellow humans. That’s me, for sure.



What is your favorite part in Scooter Nation?

Dragging the old funeral home into the 21st century was —to quote a work colleague—a hoot and a holler. Funeral service has changed a great deal over the last few decades owing to changes in technology, culture, and economy. That the oldest among the funeral directors embraces the new, while the others cling to the past and fight to keep it, often in unsavory ways, was an interesting twist, and a lot of fun for me to explore.

What was the hardest part to write?

I had to put someone down, and it was a tough decision. I had two versions: heads she wins, tails she dies. Through the fourth novel (set to release in 2018) I’ve found a way to have both, so I’m immensely satisfied.

What would your ideal career be, if you couldn't be an author?

If I could get my knees to behave (arthritis), I’d be back at the funeral home in a blink. It’s what I was meant for.

Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

I make it a policy to read and respond to all reviews — good and bad. If someone takes the trouble to give their opinion, they deserve to be acknowledged. My ideas are pretty singular; it’s not a group thing with me, so I don’t know that my writing is participatory beyond my critiquing group.

What well-known writers do you admire most?

Carl Hiaasen
Christopher Moore
Erma Bombeck
Nora Ephron
Alice Munro
Cynthia Ozick
O. Henry

Do you have any other books/stories in the works?

I’m putting the finishing touches to SHELL GAME, a story about a community in shambles as seen through the eyes of a cat. Pictontown on the Downs is a pastoral place coming to terms with meteoric change both politically and developmentally. But while residents quibble over a new casino and airport, their polymorphous disregard for the feelings of others is the real heart breaker. When the cat escapes the clutches of a feline fetishist sex cult, neighbors align in ways they never could have before. And people die.


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About the Author: 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.”

Funkhauser is currently working on Shell Game, a subversive feline “whodunit” begun during NaNoWriMo 2015.

You can learn about the author on her website www.abfunkhauser.com.

You can also follow the her on Facebook, Branded, Twitter, Amazon, Google +, Tumblr, and Goodreads.


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