But first, let's learn something about the Author.
The novel on surface is about a group of people linked by community, but separated by competing interests. Alliances are made and broken and, of course, only one can win. The ‘Scooter’ in the title refers to a person, Scooter Creighton, as well as the vehicles the aggressive protagonists roar around on while they’re wreaking havoc. The two—man and machine--are not always on the same side.
What genre is the story? Spec Fiction? Thriller? Crime-Thriller?
Crimes are definitely committed, but more in the white collar vein. The thirst for land and the desire for status and legitimacy will drive the characters to do terrible things; all for what they believe is for the common good.
Sounds interesting. When does the book come out?
I hoped to have it out by my birthday, March 13, but my Editor in Chief says that releases can’t happen on a Sunday, so we’re going with March 11. I’m thrilled! It’s releasing as an eBook first on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the publisher’s site www.Solsticepublishing.com but can be ordered I paperback format.
How many books do you have planned?
I thought seven at first, but it’s beginning to look more like nine. People working towards achieving a balance between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ never gets old for me. Plus, funeral service has a rich history not often spoken of because of the confidentiality component built in to every aspect of what we do. So I could probably write forever on the subject, but most likely won’t. I let the characters decide where I go next.
Are you a big fan of promotions? Not everybody seems to embrace it as enthusiastically as you do.
I think I was a Mad Man in another life because tweeting and tag lines seem to be my thing. I also like to design blip ads http://abfunkhauser.com/blip-ads/ and blog. Blog, blog, blog. Can’t stress enough the importance of blogging. I think we’re all pretty sure that E.L. James’ success with FIFTY SHADES OF GREY came in no small part from her website and fan blogs. And that makes sense. Writer’s need an audience; new writers get their audience from twitter followers, Facebook friends and through guest blogging. Oh, yes, and book reviews! Karmically I believe that we must read others in order to get read ourselves. We learn so much from our colleagues, and I like saying so through the reviews I do. It’s probably the altruist’s best way to get heard and do some good all at the same time. It’s a win, win.
You have a lot of bright, funny characters. Are they based on anyone you know, or are they bits and pieces of several people? If so, do they know about it?
I’ve said more than once that behind every fiction there’s a fact or two. I think my characters began as personal observations made either by me or by others over the last three decades. Things I’ve read in the news, places where I’ve worked, associations that I’ve belonged to gave rise to thoughts and feelings looking for a place to land. That’s where the characters emerged. They provided the voice; the novel: a place to hang them on.
Besides being an author, you’re a funeral director, do you find that helping others deal with their grief emotionally stressful? Is writing a way to deal with that?
I’m human so I felt it from time to time. But I never forgot what I learned in mortuary school: that the primary goal of the director is to be empathetic above all else, and to not bring the work home with me at the end of the day. A director is many things—artist, planner, communicator, and, most importantly, listener. When I was at work, the grieving family always came first. But when I went home, my own family took precedence. It’s a balancing act that I worked very hard at maintaining. And it worked. That’s how I did the job for so many years.
Writing, like funeral directing, was another calling that I had to follow. I carry stories from my life growing up in Scarborough (Ontario), from working in youth politics and later at the Legislature, and then four years with the auto lobby. Good times, rich with all kinds of mirthful fiction. I saw novel writing as a way of preserving some of this history. I’ve had a ball revisiting those times!
So, “Scooter Nation” is said to be book two in the “Unapologetic Lives” series. Tell us more about that. Will the same characters be featured?
Unapologetic lives and all that they imply came from two sources: some of the amazing people I’ve met over the years and the off planet writing of Hunter S. Thompson. Both sources keyed me in to the idea that messaging in novel writing can be strengthened if the characters operate without filters. That is, they are not governed by a societal rulebook of any kind. In reality, such a model would be disastrous—we’d be barricaded behind our locked doors if everyone said and did what they pleased. But in a world where this does not happen, where the sun rises the next day and our skins remain intact, the unapologetic get heard, often with comic results.
I’m working on my fifth manuscript now, so I can tell you that some characters come back either as living breathing people, or as memories to chew over in conversation. Others live on in portraits; one loses her earthly body to the grave, but lives on in essence inside a floor lamp. The joy of this series is that each book is stand alone, giving me the freedom to write non-sequentially. So a character that dies in 2017 at the end of book two is born in 1947 in chapter one of book four. This works for me because it keeps me interested, and it also allows me to comb over 20th century history, which is a favorite of mine.
Fascinating subject. Can we have links to your works?
See the Trailer: https://youtu.be/oqmrW_t92jc
Scooter Page: http://abfunkhauser.com/wip-scooter-nation/