Welcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with A.B. Funkhauser from Pickering, Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto on the banks of mighty Lake Ontario.
How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
HEUER LOST AND FOUND (April 23, 2015) Solstice Publishing
SCOOTER NATION (March 11, 2016) Solstice Publishing
It has been an ongoing privilege to work with Solstice. It was through their amazing network of writers that I was able to screw up the courage to submit the Heuer manuscript in the first place.
I have not self-published to date.
Congratulations, I signed with Solstice on August 1st. and am looking forward to having my third novel, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” published with them. My previous book, “A Stone’s Throw” was published by Limitless Publishing, and I self-published my first novel, “Cloudy Rainbow.”
Tell us a little bit about your books — what genre you write, if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
In addition to the two published novels, I have three others in the works: SHELL GAME told from the POV of a tabby cat with a recessive gene; THE HEUER EFFECT, which is a prequel to HEUER LOST AND FOUND; and, POOR UNDERTAKER, which traces the rise and fall of a family run funeral establishment from 1947 to 1975. All titles are joined by a theme “unapologetic lives” that allows characters to operate without filters. They say and do and get away with things we could never do in a civilized, ordered society; hence, the series: UNAPOLOGETIC LIVES.
It is more through the happy accident of high functioning eccentric characters that I write gonzo mortuary revenge fiction. Through it, subtext and nuance is as important as the scene set dressing. Everything on surface is questionable and the narrator is almost always unreliable. It’s so much fun!
I’m hoping to have SHELL GAME ready for submission by November, but as any complicated character will tell you, the novel isn’t done until the protagonist says so.
As a cat lover and author who also includes them in my writing, Shell Game sounds like something I would enjoy reading, and I agree with you completely that an author can’t finish a book unless the protagonist is ready for it to end.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My goal is a straightforward one: get the words down and get them out for as long as the muse remains with me. Creating and promoting go hand in glove and I enjoy discussing process, characterization, subtext and blending genres almost as much as creating the books.
Perfect goals for any writer.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
My characters are multigenerational, multilingual, and with few exceptions, morally elastic. The line between protagonist and antagonist often dissolves and I ask a lot of questions. How did he get this way? Why doesn’t she love him? Why is it so difficult to tell the truth? A sense of humor, a desire to get inside the characters’ lives, and an eye on the “long view” probably goes a long way.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Write. Keep writing. And never give up. And build your brand. Author and book are inseparable.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
Finding time to do what I wanted when I wanted and needed to. Time management helped with that. Also, I’ve enlisted the help of the teenagers. Today is vacuum the house day!
Lol. Yes, time management is often an issue with authors, especially those who have full-time jobs. I like your idea of recruiting teenagers to help with the housework.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I took a couple of courses with the Writescape Group through the Writers’ Community of Durham Region. Course leaders Ruth Walker and Gwynn Scheltema not only helped me out with hooks and arcs, but they also gave me the ‘thumbs up’ — that I had ‘something’ but that it needed work. That’s all I needed to jump in boots first and keep at it ’till I figured it all out.
Some authors swear by writer’s groups. We started one a few months ago, and participants have found a lot of benefit from it.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
Anything outdoors. Anything with wheels and a four stroke engine. Great people … and the cat!
Cats, books, and authors naturally seem to go together.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I never dwell on negatives, so if something bothers me I walk away. Cooling off is the best way to recharge and refocus. I write every day except weekends and holidays. Whether its new works, editing, tweeting, reviewing or blogging, it’s writing and I love that there is always so much to do. There are endless possibilities. The challenge, always, is figuring out which project comes next.
That’s the great thing about writing. The more you do it and the more types you do, the better you get and the more interests you discover.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so we can connect with you.
Thanks so much for the great interview, A.B. and best of luck with your upcoming books. I’ll keep an eye out for Shell Game.