FROM TRADITIONAL TO INDIE AUTHOR

A writer takes a leap

 

Author Photo 2019There are many reasons why I decided to go indie and not one of them has anything to do with my original publisher, who was great and very supportive. In fact, if there’s anything I miss more it is the community that came along with them. So many writers came up with me and it was from one another that we learned how to write better books.

 

I’m on my own now, and with that isolation comes the daunting task of self-teaching through trial, error, tears and YouTube “how to” videos. How to format. How to submit. How to deal with roadblocks. It wasn’t easy.

 

Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that publishing platforms accept or reject works based on their own set criteria. For example, what some may see as funny or amusing others could interpret as insensitive or offensive. When that happens, it is up to the writer to decide whether to alter the work or move on to the next platform. Rejections can occur for simple things like submitting confusing keywords or author names. What if your legal name differs from your author name? Be prepared to explain and explain again until someone actually contacts you from the mothership. It all takes time and a level head.

 

Which brings me to my next points: go slow and be patient. Imagine working on a platform’s unique formatting program only to find that it’s an older version and won’t upload the finished book because of it? When this happened the other day, I had to let out a huge yell. Then I downloaded the current program version and started all over again.

 

Because the process is slow and precision driven, I would recommend engaging a professional for some elements of the process. For my first release, I went with a fantastic cover designer who took my vision and turned it around in a matter of days. I would have taken weeks had I dared to try that myself. For my next release, I will employ a line editor. No matter how good a writer thinks they are, there is nothing better than a fresh set of eyes. Grammarly is great and I wouldn’t send anything to the line editor without running it first. But it doesn’t catch everything: pore and pour. The difference is huge when it appears in a paperback glaringly out of context. Cringe is all I’ll say about that.

 

I’m told by those that know that the first self-published book is always a hair puller. Until the DIY author masters the rules of pagination, kerning, cover trims, and—here’s the big one—different formats for different platforms, it’s going to be a long march to getting everything out there in a way that we like. There will be do-overs a plenty. I left two family members out of the acknowledgements section in the ebook. Luckily for me, they are back where they belong in time for the print version.

 

Whether the writer is indie or trad, the pure act of creation is what makes all this worthwhile. We are lucky to be living and writing in year 2019. More than ever before, we have outlets where we can offer our creations for sale at prices we choose.

 

That is the stuff of variety.

Write on everybody and keep learning.

Adult, unapologetic and wholly cognizant (I wasn’t the other day, believe me),

 

I am

 

A.B. Funkhauser

May 11, 2019

 

A.B. Funkhauser is a multi-genre author with three titles currently undergoing do-overs and three new unreleased works that may see daylight before the end of the year.

 

Morticians and Mayhem: Take a walk on the wild side of funeral directing.

Facebook author page 2019

 

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CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE HEADS OUT WEST

Leigh Podgorski sets the stage for romance out west in the 21st Century.

 

As Song discovers the true power of freedom, Weston discovers he’s lost his heart.

Western Song - Copy - Copy (800x1200)When rodeo clown Cody Goode is killed by the notorious bull, Baby Face, a maelstrom of events unfolds in the small town of Wild River, Wyoming. The arrival of Cody’s secret Thai mail-order bride Song throws it and especially Weston Beaudurant into chaos. Immigration issues and Native American gambling explode. But at the heart of this poignant tale is the love story that emerges between the lonely cowboy and lovely Thai immigrant. The novel soars with romance, rodeos, Native Americans and cowboys who ride the range, rope, and even throw punches in a quintessential barroom brawl. Complete with a diverse cast of unique characters, this American saga plays out beneath the wide Wyoming sky tossed with stars.

About the Author

LeighLeigh Podgorski is an award- winning playwright and screenwriter. Among her favorite projects are a play and documentary on Cahuilla elder Katherine Siva Saubel entitled We Are Still Here and the one-act play Windstorm for which she interviewed Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross. Leigh’s novels include The Women Debrowska that is loosely based on her own Polish ancestry, Ouray’s Peak which follows the story of one matriarchal Ute Indian lineage, and the Mystic Mystery Stone Quest series that includes Desert ChimeraGallows Ascending, and the newly released Neuri Shape-Shifter. Her most recent novel is Western Song, published by Solstice Publishing who has published novellas My Soul to Take and The Season of the Neuri Knight as well as her short story Silent Night. Currently she is working on a murder mystery adapted from her play, Amara.

 

 

My Review

Western Review

Links

Western Song  http://amzn.to/2sTk6CM
STONE QUEST SERIES BOOK SET http://amzn.to/2s2oq3i
Desert Chimera http://amzn.to/1fnIpZP
Gallows Ascending http://amzn.to/1jTTHrR
Neuri Shape-Shifter http://bit.ly/19kCNyu
The Season of the Neuri Knighthttp://amzn.to/2A7MQrR
My Soul to Take http://amzn.to/2E8jMDa
The Women Debrowska http://amzn.to/2sjgshM
Ouray’s Peak  http://amzn.to/1phcImX
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SMART WITCH CRACKS HAUNTED HOUSE

 

If you like witches, sentient kitty cats and gritty murder in a contemporary setting, this writer is for you! 

 

Susan Lynn Solomon PhotoFormerly a Manhattan entertainment attorney and a contributing editor to the quarterly art magazine SunStorm Fine Art, Susan Lynn Solomon now lives in Niagara Falls, New York, the setting of many of her stories. She is the facilitator of the Buffalo Writer’s Critique Group.

 

Since 2007 her short stories on serious topics have appeared in numerous literary journals. These include, Abigail Bender (awarded an Honorable Mention in a Writers Journal short romance competition), Ginger Man, Elvira, The Memory Tree, Going Home, Yesterday’s Wings, Smoker’s Lament, Kaddish, and Sabbath (nominated by the editor of Prick of the Spindle for 2013 Best of the Net and winner of second place in the 2017 Word Weaver Writing Competition). A collection of her short stories, Voices In My Head, has been released by Solstice Publishing.

 

Susan Solomon is the author of the Emlyn Goode Mysteries. A finalist in M&M’s Chanticleer’s Mystery & Mayhem Novel Contest, and a finalist for the 2016 Book Excellence Award, her first Emlyn Goode Mystery novel, The Magic of Murder, has received rave reviews, as have the novelettes, Bella Vita, and The Day the Music Died. The second Emlyn Goode novel, Dead Again, was a finalist for both the 2017 McGrath House Indie Book of the Year and the 2018 Book Excellent Award. In the latest Emlyn Goode Mystery novel, Writing is Murder, Ms. Solomon once more demonstrates that murder has a sense of humor.

 

 

Writing is Murder Ebook Cover (1)Cursed by a Native American, the Bennet House is one of the most haunted locations in Niagara Falls. This is where Emlyn Goode and all but one member of her writers’ group hunt for ghosts on Halloween. What they find in the house, isn’t a ghost, though. It’s the body of Daniel Bennet, the missing group member.

 

A few days earlier, Daniel had shown Emlyn a document he’d found in the Bennet House, and told her it would anger people if made public. When the body is found, the document is missing. Accused of Daniel’s murder, Emlyn is certain that document will identify the true killer. But her search for it becomes dangerous when her lover, police detective Roger Frey is shot in the Bennet House and then the killer comes after her. Without Roger’s protection can anything written in her ancient relative’s Book of Shadows save Emlyn this time?

 

 

Amazon Link

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625267916

 

 

My Links

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/A.B.-Funkhauser/e/B00WMRK4Q4

Website:  https://abfunkhauser.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/abfunkhauser/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/funkhausera/

Publisher:  http://www.solsticepublishing.com

 

 

SPOTLIGHT: LONG DISTANCE ROMANCE

Today, Spotlight welcomes Linda Lingle whose tale of love, loss and longing leaves us wanting more.

 

 

COVER - ORIGINAL - RESIZED 233 X 350Deirdre Reid and Hartley (Lee) Tate feel an immediate attraction when they meet at the office where they will work together and fall in love.   There is only one problem:  they are married to others and Lee has four daughters to whom he is devoted.

For 15 months Deirdre and Lee carry on a passionate affair.  Then Lee’s wife is offered a big promotion across the country.  With his heart breaking, Lee leaves Deirdre in San Francisco and moves East with his family so his wife can advance her high-powered career.  

Soon, unforeseen circumstances have Deirdre second-guessing her insistence on a clean break.  She resists every impulse to fly to Lee’s side, but on the first anniversary of their parting, Deirdre grows increasingly regretful and melancholy.  Then she receives a surprising Christmas present which sets in motion a 38-year ritual that, against all odds, keeps alive the love she shared with Lee. 

As her destiny unfolds, Deirdre dreams about finding her way back to her lover’s arms, and an unlikely guide emerges to light the path of her journey.

About the Author

ME - 2 - LIGHTENED + RESIZEDLinda Lingle began writing at a young age and had some early success with her whimsical short stories. Then life intervened and she took a break from writing to build a career in public service. When the storyline for Dear Heart, and its companion book, Sweet Heart, came to her out of the blue, it sparked her imagination and reignited her enthusiasm for writing. She is currently working on a screenplay for Dear Heart which incorporates the plots of both books. Linda lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Arthur, and her dog, Sam.

Author Links 

Website:  https://www.lindalinglebooks.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/linda.lingle.10 and https://www.facebook.com/LindaLingleBooks/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lindalinglebks

G+: https://plus.google.com/s/lindalinglebooks

 

 

My Links

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/A.B.-Funkhauser/e/B00WMRK4Q4

Website:  https://abfunkhauser.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/abfunkhauser/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/funkhausera/

Publisher:  http://www.solsticepublishing.com

 

SPOTLIGHT: AN EROTIC FAIRYTALE

Spotlight is pleased to welcome its first ever fairytale eroticist. Welcome Cassondra Windwalker!

 

parabl of pronouns-001.jpgTwo women is a lot for any man to handle, but when one of them is a child-devouring demon and the other is Eve, Mother Of All Living, Harry Adams really has his hands full. An erotic contemporary fairytale that follows the reincarnations of Adam and Eve and, of course, the ever-hungry Lilith, throughout time, Parable of Pronouns finds the first dysfunctional family in what may be their final story. Harry Adams and Riann Haava don’t remember who they are, but that doesn’t deter destiny from catching up with them as they struggle to overcome their own demons and save Harry’s son from a fate worse than death.

About the Author

IMG_0403 (1)Cassondra Windwalker earned a BA of Letters from the University of Oklahoma. She pursued careers in bookselling and law enforcement before resigning her post to write full-time. Her poetry, short stories, and essays have been published in numerous literary journals, and her second novel, Bury The Lead, will be released by Black Spot Books in September 2018. She currently resides on the coast of Alaska with a supportive husband, a dim-witted dog, and a zombie cat.

 

Links

Book link: https://www.amazon.com/Parable-Pronouns-Cassondra-Windwalker-ebook/dp/B078RSGM2Y/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CassondraWindwalkerWrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WindwalkerWrite

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cassondrawindwalker/

Email: cassondrawrites@aol.com

My Links

SPOTLIGHT: MEET THE J. D. SALINGER OF SCI-FI J. D. SANDERSON

His origins are shadowy and he is never photographed, and that’s the author! Imagine what his characters are like. Please welcome to Spotlight, author J. D. Sanderson.

DcyKXRPV4AA63j7Who is the Mystery Girl?

Bernard Abbey’s life was routine, stagnant, and lonely. That all changed the day she entered his life. To save him from being killed, a mysterious young woman transports Bernard to another point in time. As he comes to grips with what has happened, Bernard realizes his new friend is unable to speak. She cannot tell him who she is, where she came from, or how she can travel through time. Even worse, she’s unable to tell him what is chasing her.

As she takes him back and forth in time, they cross paths with strangers who claim to know his new friend, each with a different story of her origin. The only thing he knows for certain is that the fate of humanity’s idyllic future is somehow connected with his new companion.

“Sanderson blew my temporally-frazzled mind multiple times as the battle ranged from past to present … and even in-between.” – William F. Aicher – Author of ‘The Unfortunate Expiration of Mr. David S. Sparks’

 

About the Author

J.D. Sanderson has been writing professionally in one form or another for the past seven years. He currently lives in South Dakota with his family and their bouncy miniature poodle.

Links

Twitter handle – @ascifiwriter

Facebook page – facebook.com/authorjdsanderson

Product page – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DVSH29W

 

My Links

 

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/A.B.-Funkhauser/e/B00WMRK4Q4

Website:  https://abfunkhauser.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/abfunkhauser/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/funkhausera/

Publisher:  http://www.solsticepublishing.com

 

HEUER LOST AND FOUND, The Second Edition, FREE TODAY thru February 26th

JPEG NEW COVER 2018I am thrilled to share HEUER LOST AND FOUND, The Second Edition. Out now as a #FREE #DOWNLOAD on Amazon, Heuer traces the day to day goings on at a ramshackle family-run funeral parlor.

Equal parts #paranormal #romance #horror and #humor, this novel has enough freak for the living and the dead.

Giveaway runs February 22 thru 26, 2018. Get yours today!

https://www.amazon.com/Heuer-Lost-Found-B-Funkhauser-ebook/dp/B00V6KLAMA/

MARK ILES ROARS WITH BOOK 3 IN SCIFI SERIES ‘DARKENING STARS’

Blog favorite Mark Iles is back with a new release ROAR OF LIONS that’s currently ranking in the top 10 on Amazon in several categories. As you would expect, he has a lot to say about that!

Hello, Mark.

Congrats on the new release. Is it true that you’re already at work on something new?

A bit. I’m a firm believer in not giving away your story, as when you do so the train of thought tends to drain away with the words. I will say that the new book is a mixture of science fiction, fantasy and horror – done in a new way for me. I like to think about what really scares people, why, and how to put that into a tale.

 

Let’s talk DARKENING STARS

To what extent do you think your own military experiences influenced the series?

To be honest, a surprising amount. For instance, the bit where my character shoves her rifle towards a non-commissioned officer’s mouth and pulls the trigger. I was attached to the commandos for a while back in the early 80’s, and was training with them on Dartmoor one dark and snowy night. I was asleep, totally exhausted when, simulating an attack, this guy who’d been picking on me threw a thunder flash in my direction, quite deliberately I’m sure. Damned thing went off right next to my head. I leapt up, cocked my rifle, thrust it towards his face and before I realised what I’d done pulled the trigger. All I’ll say it went off exceptionally close. It pure reflex believe me and luckily my magazine was full of blanks.

That was a long time ago and luckily the guy concerned took it remarkedly well. He even bought me a pint the next time we were ashore but he never picked on me again. You don’t forget stuff like that and it makes kinda interesting reading. Guess you’d get in all sorts of trouble for that sort of thing now.

 

Armchair enthusiasts spend a lot of time musing over first contact with aliens. Personally, I think they’re already here and have been for eons. What do you think would happen if contact was made?

I think first contact with an alien species is open to misinterpretation on so many levels. I was told once that one of the first English people to talk to Bedouins was shown a sheep’s eyeball to show it was freshly killed. Thinking it was some kind of ritual or honour the chap ate it. Consequently, for many years we believed it was tradition while they thought it was something we did. Whether it’s true or not, it still gives an indication of how things can so easily be misconstrued.

In J. Michael Straczynski’s marvellous Babylon 5, the Minbari approach humans for the first time with their gun ports open as a sign of respect. The humans took it as a sign they were preparing to fire and engaged them, and so the first war began.

In answer to your question the answer is yes, first contact has the potential for disaster.

ROAR OF LIONS is the third book in the series. Is a fourth coming up next? 

I would like to return to Selena’s journey, and have left openings for such. But in ‘Roar of Lions’ her story comes full circle. Due to illness it took me a long time to write, and I now have another project demanding to be written – one I’m truly excited about. The new book has already been started and there are so many avenues to explore. As Bilbo Baggins might say, I’m going on an adventure…

ROAR OF LIONS IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AS A FREE DOWNLOAD THROUGH NOVEMBER 3

GET IT HERE

SELENA DILLON IS BACK AND HER CRACK TEAM OF COMMANDOS ARE BEHIND HER

ROAR OF LIONS_eBook_optThe ForeRunners have destroyed one of Capulet’s cities, and the joint Lenar-Human search teams are needed to root out the enemy. But when the empathic Lenars refuse to work without Selena Dillon and her team of commandos, they soon find themselves back on Capulet in an uneasy alliance with the planetary administration and in a race against time to stop the enemy from destroying other cities.

Throughout the galaxy billions are dying as the war spreads. Despite her fear that the alien Manta and their allies will turn against them, Selena needs to truly unite the Alliance of Worlds and find a way to destroy the ForeRunners before it’s too late.

Selena knows there’s no more running, and that sooner or later there will be a final reckoning between herself and the queen. But even if they survive that long she needs to discover who will stand with her, and who against her, in this final confrontation with the tyrannical monarch.

 

Excerpt

Collecting Singh and Shadow, Selena found Baron waiting for them when they arrived. To her surprise, he was wearing the uniform of the Royal Bodyguard.

“Nice to meet you at last, Commander,” Baron said, saluting as he led the way. “A shame it’s under such circumstances. Like many here, I’ve followed your exploits. Tell me, is it true you once fed an enemy their own pets and didn’t tell them until they’d finished their meal?”

Selena gave him the once over. “No, but it’s an idea. Why, do you have any pets?”

He gave a half smile. “Ah, we’re far from enemies Commander, despite my uniform. I want this killer caught as much as you do. And no, I don’t have any pets, thankfully.”

Baron was a tall but slim man, his gray hair crewcut with a large balding area on his crown. He looked wrinkled and haggard, tired beyond belief. Yet his green eyes were kind and his voice soft.

She eyed his uniform. “You’re a member of the Royal Bodyguard. How come the colonel put you forward for this?”

“I believe that Her Majesty thought it a good idea and had a word. I can advise on protocol and other such matters.”

Putting her distrust to one side, they followed him, and passed through the military cordon and under the high white-stone arch into an alleyway that was so narrow daylight struggled against the gloom. The rough concrete buildings around them were obviously some of the first made by the colonists when they arrived, their ancient machines churning out concrete from native material to quickly provide the housing and protective walls needed for the settlers.

Shadowy doorways beckoned, boxes were piled against the walls, amidst occasional pools of water. Cats and rodents slipped through the gloom while rubbish scampered over the flagstones, driven by the soft breeze tainted with the stench of refuse.

“You look familiar somehow,” Selena said to Baron, after a while. “Do we know each other?”

His bottle-green eyes remained on hers. “No, but I was born on this world so we could easily have bumped into one another. We may even have mutual friends. You never know. I pop up in all kinds of places and work all hours, but when working exclusively for the queen I mostly do nights. I like the way the moons dance.”

Selena froze as he uttered the last phrase, recognising it as a rebel recognition code. Knowing the others will have noticed the phrase was slightly out of place, she just gave a slight nod of acknowledgement. At that moment, they stopped at a doorway and her eyes slid over the blood splattered wall and passageway. “Can you tell me what happened?”

“A citizen came through here late last night and found them. They’ve been eviscerated—gutted if you will. There’s not a single organ remaining, not even their brains or eyes.”

“There was just their bodies?”

“Aye Ma’am. They’ve been taken to the morgue. We’ve never had anything like this before, I think we’re a bit out of our depth.”

 

FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS CLICK HERE 

Cull Cover

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Portrait optMark’s short stories have been published in Back Brain Recluse, Dream, New Moon, Haunts, Kalkion, Screaming Dreams, and the anthologies Write to Fight, Escape Velocity, Auguries and Monk Punk. With over forty years’ experience in the martial arts and a 9th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, he’s written features for the magazines Combat, Taekwondo & Korean Martial Arts, Fighters, Junk, Martial Arts Illustrated, profwritingacademy.com and calmzone.net. He also runs a writer’s group for the British Science Fiction Association, along with The Scribe for Veterans with the help of The Royal British Legion.

His first full length work ‘Kwak’s Competition Taekwondo’, was published in Hong Kong, while he was based there with the Royal Navy for three years in 1985. His debut novel ‘A Pride of Lions’, Book I in The Darkening Stars, was published byA Pride of Lions Solstice in September 2013. Book II, ‘The Cull of Lions’, was published a year later. ‘Roar of Lions’ is the third book in the series.

Solstice have also published four novellas: ‘A Connoisseur of the Bizarre’, ‘Sally Jane’, ‘Nightshade’ and ‘Santa Claws is Coming’ – along with the short story compilation ‘Falling From Grace & Others’.

 

Buy Links

A Pride of Lions: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pride-Lions-Darkening-Stars/dp/149425445X/

The Cull of Lions: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cull-Lions-Darkening-Stars/dp/162526089X/

Roar of Lions:

Falling from Grace & Others: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Falling-Grace-Others-Mark-Iles-ebook/dp/B00OYV3CHE/

 

Media Links

Amazon authors page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Iles/e/B004YZBP3I/

 

 

 

 

SPOTLIGHT: RACHAEL TAMAYO

This multi-genre author has a new one coming out next month.

CRAZY LOVE

Crazy+Love-001I love Emily. I know she loves me too, she just needs me to show her. One day, we will beReaders Favorite together forever. I’ll make sure of that. She’s only with this guy she’s been hanging around with to test me, see if I’ll stand true. Emily wants me to fight for her, to see if I can win her. Of course, I will. Once she sees how I’ve been caring for her, all the plans I’ve made, the lengths I’ve gone to in order to be with her, she will be so proud of me. If only she would stop pretending so I could stop hiding in her attic.

Reach deep into the mind of mentally ill millionaire Noah Burell as he turns Emily’s world upside down.

15% of this book’s proceeds go to www.NAMI.org, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

 

GET IT HERE

 

Coming Soon

LUCIFER’S GAME

Release Date: November 27, 2017

Preorder: November 6, 2017

 

lucifer+cover+2I’ve become obsessed with her.

Cora.

It wasn’t our intention when we started this, but as soon as I got my hands on her I feared this would happen. He dragged me here, to stop a child from existing that might bring an end to our reign on Earth. I have my orders from the one that watched as this prophecy was scratched on the scroll. He became the whisper in the ear of Judas, betrayer of Christ, laughing as they hammered the nails into his holy flesh. Satan himself. Of course, we lost that battle, but there is always the next. So, here we go, once again. Lucifer is determined to win this one, and all I’ve come to care about is tearing Cora away from her husband, from him, make her mine. Who I am? You’ve met me, felt me in your very loins. I’m the demon of lust. But you can call me Devin.

 

LEARN MORE

 

About this author

Best selling author Rachael Tamayo has written Romance, paranormal, and is now trying her hand at thrillers. “I’ve discovered that I love writing thrillers and believe I’ve found my genre. I doubt I’ll be returning to contemporary romance anytime soon, but everything I write will always have some element of romance.” When she’s not writing, you can usually find her with her family; mom of a four year old son and infant daughter, and wife of thirteen years. Her full time profession as a 911/police dispatcher in the Houston area gives her an interesting perspective into people that others might not have. Rachael was born and raised in Southeast Texas where she lives with her family.

Links

Google

Twitter

Facebook

Website

Pinterest

 

SAY WHAT? BEST SELLING AUTHOR CRYSSA BAZOS GRILLS FUNKHAUSER ON SHELL GAME

I’ve known A.B. Funkhauser for many years, and to say that she’s as gonzo as her characters is to get it wrong. Sure, she gravitates to larger than life characters on the page and in the public eye, but she appreciates the contemplative too. Claiming to be an “introverted extrovert” she relies on her characters to do all the heavy lifting, to do the things she’d never dream of doing in real life. Her latest work, SHELL GAME, is no exception. Here, characters stay behind closed doors, preferring to spy on one another through windows under cover of night. Interaction appears limited, but is it really? When they aren’t questioning themselves and the motivations of others, they take cues from a black cat that may or may not have real supernatural abilities. Everything is subjective, including what the omniscient narrator chooses to share when and where.

A.B., let’s talk about SHELL GAME, shall we?

 

 

Cryssa Bazos:

Since your publishing date was announced, you’ve been all over social media. Do you love it, or hate it?

 

A. B. Funkhauser:

I hear writers talking about promotions a lot; how it sparks their creative juices, how it saps their energy, how it calls them out and maybe forces them to be more “in your face” than they would normally like to be. And I agree. But promotion goes hand in glove with writing ‘The Book,’ and so it’s a must. There’s a great deal of competition in the writing world. There’s a lot of competition in anything that’s worthwhile. For me, chatting up SHELL GAME is equal parts excitement and self-interest; exciting for me because I’ve completed another project successfully and delivered it to market; self-interest because who else will know about it if I don’t say so?

 

C.B.:

I also notice you tagging yourself as a multi-genre author. What’s up with that? You turning in your gonzo badge?

 

A.B.:

No! Never. But the characters ultimately set the tone, and the people of SHELL GAME are conniving, dastardly, sympathetic and very often contrite. They can’t help it, really. That’s why they need the cats. My hero Carlos is renowned for his quiet, stolid ability to be where he needs to be, affecting certain outcomes because of it. He’s quite brilliant.

Poonam 2 w Cover for Twitter

At the same time, this piece tilts more in the direction of satire and social commentary in the sense that while the humans are behaving outside of the usual boundaries assigned western society, there is still a moral conscience at play that makes them question their actions. This makes them a little less mendacious than the characters in SCOOTER NATION, for example. They are still capable of doing harm, but this time they feel really bad about it.

 

C.B.:

Where did that come from?

 

A.B.:

An event in real time, actually. I hadn’t intended to write a cat book and I’ve gone on about that on this blog and others. I wanted to tuck into the prequel to HEUER LOST AND FOUND, which currently sits at a tantalizing 89,000 words with no end in sight. (I did figure out the ending half way through SHELL GAME, and if I can pull it off it will be quite diabolical.) But like the opening paragraphs of SHELL GAME, I did receive a snarky letter from Animal Control that specifically mentioned the street I live on. I wasn’t the only person on the street to get it—it was a blind drop—but I did take it very personally. The cat I share with a neighbor had brought so much joy into my life and the lives of my family that the faceless person(s) behind the letter threatening his freedom and my pocketbook just infuriated me. The $5,000 fine for not keeping the kitty inside was either a deterrent or tax grab—popular where I live—and the intrusion could only be answered through a ragin’ fiction that sees the cats win for a change. Of course, I can see both sides to the argument for keeping cats indoors in urban areas, and I’m happy to report that my shared kitty spends far more time indoors. But that’s owing to his age and the natural order of things, not from some crummy letter from a human in an office.

 

C.B.:

And SHELL GAME, like SCOOTER NATION, features characters from many different ethnicities. Is this your response to the current debate on cultural appropriation?

 

A.B.:

Ha! That’s a minefield and I’m not stepping into it until I have all the information. From the gonzo side of the street, my read of the issue is that writers should keep to their own pasture so as to be authentic. If that’s true, then all I can really write about are past middle-aged straight white human females and that would be a shame. It would be boring for me to write, and boring for anyone else to read.

Bronagh Character Reveal

But, research, foreknowledge, personal history and cumulative story-telling must play a big part in any writing project if the characters are to ring true and shine. To know what we’re on about—that’s our job—and that’s pretty much all I can say about this topic until I learn more.

 

C.B.:

So, what’s SHELL GAME about?

 

A.B.:

Oh, that. Lol. Well, I always say that I don’t really know for sure until some reviews come in and I get a few interviews under my belt. The best I can say right now is that it’s about a cat, a community, unwanted change, and the mechanisms employed to cope with this change that result in positive and negative resolutions. Change, I believe, cannot be stopped, but it can be messed with, and with these characters you will see activities that are silly AND life threatening. That’s the gonzo element. But there’s a love element to it as well. And of course, the cats are at the center of things, calling the plays, controlling things, just like they’ve done for millennia.

Mr know it all

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Twitter https://twitter.com/iamfunkhauser

Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound

And this website

 

 

BUY LINK AND FREE DAYS:

SHELL GAME COVER 1As a ‘thank you’ to everyone who ever  believed in my crazy plan to quit work and write full time, I’m offering SHELL GAME for FREE for the first three days of it’s release. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! ❤

A. B.

GET IT HERE

IMG_20160411_121457About 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, not we 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, and Winner Best Humor Summer Indie Book Awards 2016, Scooter picks up where Heuer left off, this time with the lens on the funeral home as it falls into the hands of a woeful sybarite.

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 THE HEUER EFFECT, the prequel to HEUER LOST AND FOUND.

 

About the Interviewer

fullsizeoutput_d9Cryssa Bazos is a member of the Romantic Novelist Association, the Historical Novel Society, the Writers’ Community of Durham Region and the Battle of Worcester Society. Her articles and short stories have been featured in various publications, both in Canada and the UK. She is a co-editor and contributor of the English Historical Fiction Authors site and blogs as the 17th Century Enthusiast. Her debut novel, Traitor’s Knot, placed 3rd in Romance for the Ages in 2016 (Ancient/Medieval/Renaissance).

 

Traitors Knot Cover“A thrilling historical adventure expertly told.” – Carol McGrath, bestselling author of The Handfasted Wife

England 1650: Civil War has given way to an uneasy peace in the year since Parliament executed King Charles I.

Royalist officer James Hart refuses to accept the tyranny of the new government, and to raise funds for the restoration of the king’s son, he takes to the road as a highwayman.

Elizabeth Seton has long been shunned for being a traitor’s daughter. In the midst of theamazon best seller new order, she risks her life by sheltering fugitives from Parliament in a garrison town. But her attempts to rebuild her life are threatened, first by her own sense of injustice, then by falling in love with the dashing Hart.

The lovers’ loyalty is tested through war, defeat and separation. James must fight his way back to the woman he loves, while Elizabeth will do anything to save him, even if it means sacrificing herself.

Traitor’s Knot is a sweeping tale of love and conflicted loyalties set against the turmoil of the English Civil War.

GET IT HERE

 

Cryssa’s Links

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Website

 

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FUNKHAUSER AND THE OMNISCIENT VOICE

 

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