The nascent author discusses funeral parloring, Six Feet Under, lasting friendships and never looking back in part 2 of her first ever radio interview for 102.7 FM Whistle Radio Stouffville. Woot! Woot!
Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a faraway galaxy, I worked in politics. It was an amazing world peopled with amazing speech makers, luminescent scribes, and ambitious policy makers jostling to get the words out.
Which is why there’s a little thing called ‘media training’. Broadly defined, media training encompasses everything from elocution to breathing to physical deportment. Perspiration was a “no, no” — Richard Nixon debating Kennedy back in ’60 cemented that — as was the exclamatory pause “um”. Um was anathema, and as I watched politicians prep from debates, I picked up a thing or two…
Good thing, because it’s my turn now. Last month, I talked up HEUER LOST AND FOUND with Charlene Jones on 102.7 FM Whistle Radio Stoufville. It was a privilege to have been given the opportunity.
“Don’t say “um,” I kept saying to myself, “for cryin’ out loud DON’T.” And I didn’t, thank gawd.
Scheduled to air March 24, I just had to share a “sneak peek”.
HEUER LOST AND FOUND available April 23, 2015. Advance orders begin March 26 at Amazon.com.
From Author Marissa Campbell’s awesome COVER COUNTDOWN PARTY Live on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/events/1578724672368510/
Please give it up for our next guest author, A.b. Funkhauser!
A.B. Funkhauser is a funeral director, fiction writer 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.
A.b. Funkhauser Here I am. Hello!
A.b. Funkhauser Is it wrong to like my picture?
Marissa Campbell lol I think it’s a great picture! Go for it!
A.b. Funkhauser I’ll take the thumbs up as a yes.
A.b. Funkhauser I love the top. I bought it years ago at the Canadian National Exhibition for real cheap.
Marissa Campbell lol, I have to share your trailer for your new book Heuer Lost and Found!
Monique Nadeau Massabki Funeral director stories…I’m in.
Marissa Campbell Tell us a little about this wicked book!
A.b. Funkhauser Thank you. I’ve been watching the trailer obsessively to boost the counter.
Marissa Campbell Hahaha
A.b. Funkhauser Funeral director stories always attract interest. The ones I’ve read are mostly memoir, which is really brave for the authors that penned them.
Marissa Campbell What makes yours different?
A.b. Funkhauser Oh my god Marissa. Do you have a couch? The book was born out of a grief journal.
Margaret Madigan First, it’s always good to like your own pix. I always hate mine, so I’m happy when others like theirs. Second–bahahahaha! Only the lamp knows!!!
Christine Haase Just watched the trailer! Looks awesome!
A.b. Funkhauser Mine is a fiction with lots of dark humor. You have to laugh in grief or you stay in the pit.
Monique Nadeau Massabki I worked in funeral service for twelve years and I’m married to a funeral director…we’re all demented.
A.b. Funkhauser We’re always critical of own looks Margaret Madigan. You’re beautiful.
Wren Michaels I don’t think I’ve read a funeral director story. I’m intrigued…
A.b. Funkhauser I had a great time making the trailer Christine. The back door you see is from the funeral parlor I used to work at. I fell down those stairs a few times.
Marissa Campbell A little about her book:
What’s a Heuer? Beyond a word rhyming with “lawyer,” Heuer the lawyer is a man conflicted. “Ever closer, ever farther, I will see you again one day, in the good place.”…See More
Wren Michaels The only funeral director story I know is My Girl and I loved that movie.
A.b. Funkhauser I know that if I don’t break from it every three months or so, I feel like breaking. That’s the work.
Margaret Madigan Funeral directors and the funeral industry is severely underrepresented in fiction…
Wren Michaels Wow I’m so in on this story. Sounds like quite a ride!!
A.b. Funkhauser I was also told at school to leave the work at the door. We all try to. Leave it at the door when we go home. But then, that’s when I started writing.
Monique Nadeau Massabki It’s almost impossible to leave that work at the door. However, I know that it’s great fodder for writing.
A.b. Funkhauser I think we’re underrepresented because of our mandate. We are tasked to protect our families–the deceased and the survivors. I chose fiction so that no one would ever think that I was writing about a real family. It’s important that everyone understand that first and foremost.
Marissa Campbell So, tell us a bit about Enid and Heuer.
Wren Michaels Writing is therapy.
A.b. Funkhauser Lol Monique. My husband and the majority of my friends are outside the business so that makes it a little easier for me. You on the other hand have it right next to you! xo
A.b. Funkhauser Enid and Heuer are wunnerful. Flawed, anxious, neurotic, selfish
A.b. Funkhauser It takes them forever to tell the truth.
A.b. Funkhauser The trouble is in parsing out what’s real and what isn’t How things were, how they are remembered and how they’ll be represented in future.
A.b. Funkhauser Enid and Heuer each have different recollections of the past. What is true, in the end, doesn’t matter at all.
Marissa Campbell Unreliable narrators … very awesome!
A.b. Funkhauser My own life recollections are unreliable now.
Alison Cronyn-Murphy Sounds intriguing.
A.b. Funkhauser Intrigue is a part of it to be sure. There are paranormal elements and things that are outright whimisical. I have a rat character for example. He speaks Latin and is immensely charming.
Marissa Campbell Rat is very charming!
Marissa Campbell Where do you mine your ideas from?
Wren Michaels Happy early birthday!
A.b. Funkhauser There is a rich oral history in the business that is communicated from old timers to youngsters. I’m somewhere in the middle now. The stories I hear go back to the 1930s. Embalming without electricty (I did it once with a bulb syringe–tough on the hands) Amazing stuff. I want to tell these stories.
Margaret MacKay Hefferman Hey, a.b., how’s it going? Have I joined the party?
Marissa Campbell You certaninly have, Margaret!
A.b. Funkhauser I also needed miles in order to unpack my own personal tropes. Nostalgia as harmful is a big one with me. Go back by all means, but don’t stay too long.
A.b. Funkhauser I keep hitting the “refresh button.” I’m paranoid about missing comments.
Marissa Campbell What do you admire in Enid. What intrigues you about Heuer?
Monique Nadeau Massabki What are you drafting now, a.b.?
A.b. Funkhauser Who is Enid? She is a boozy funeral director, married with kids on the cusp of the change. Eeks. She wears man shoes to do her job and she has the whiskers to match
Margaret MacKay Hefferman Ah, shucks, t’weren’t nothin’.
A.b. Funkhauser HEUER is part of a series titled “Unapologetic Lives” I’m working on the fourth novel right now: POOR UNDERTAKER. It runs from 1947 to 1975.
Margaret MacKay Hefferman Isn’t a.b.’s book trailer great. You can see it on youtube if you haven’t seen it already. and don’t forget to like it as that will get more people to watch. The book trailer course was fantastic.
A.b. Funkhauser Heuer? That’s easy Marissa Campbell I’m intrigued because I’m in love with him. But the love is a guilty one. He is an anti hero in every sense. He likes deep fryers, longer hunting seasons, and hasn’t seen a vegetable in years. When he dies and reemer…See More
Marissa Campbell The trailer is fantastic Margaret! As is the book! I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the one and reading the other
Monique Nadeau Massabki Brilliant! Not just one novel about undertakers but an entire series. I have several (too many?) funeral director friends who will like this.
A.b. Funkhauser With Enid, there is a lot not to like. There may be times when you want to lock her in a closet. But I hope you understand her.
A.b. Funkhauser She and Heuer were lovers back in the 80s and it didn’t end well. Then one day, she comes into work, hungover, and sees his name on the chalk board. Her manager Charlie throws her the keys. She must go to the coroner’s office and get him. She is expected to embalm him too. That’s hard. It’s unthinkable.
A.b. Funkhauser Thanks Monique. Characters come and go. But the building remains. At one point it is sold. It becomes a Euro Style resto bar and grille.
Marissa Campbell It’s heartwrenching and tragic just reading it!
Margaret MacKay Hefferman Will this be a series?.
Marissa Campbell Do you use your reliable memory for visuals or do you seek out pinterest or movies or the internet to ‘create’ the visage of your characters?
A.b. Funkhauser What is love? They break up, yet when he dies, he comes back to her. I know some embalmers (not many) who have “cared” for their parents. For them, it is an ultimate act of love. I could never do that. But I wondered what that would feel like, and so, Heuer was born.
Wren Michaels I love pnr books and this is a totally intriguing storyline out of the ordinary pnr style. Soundstage awesome.
A.b. Funkhauser I cast the “movie” in my head. I saw Leo DiCaprio at his various ages. But for voice and personalities, the characters are all composites of people I’ve known, or people I wanted to know. My friend Scooter believes he is Heuer. He isn’t. There is actually some of me in there.
Wren Michaels Darn you autocorrect!!!
A.b. Funkhauser Heuer returns Margaret MacKay Hefferman in book three: THE HEUER EFFECT. It’s 1980 and they’re alive and vital and young, doing terrible things to each other. And yes, Marissa Campbell it’s a little bit dirty.
Margaret MacKay Hefferman What’s book 2 about?
Marissa Campbell lol A.b. Funkauser, I hadn’t even asked if it was dirty yet … how did you know?
Christine Haase How do you pronounce Heuer?
Wren Michaels I have a severe love/hate relationship with my smartphone
A.b. Funkhauser Book Two is called SCOOTER NATION. It takes place two years after Heuer Lost and Found. It’s the same gang at the parlor with a few notable exceptions. Essentially, they are part of a business community terrorized by a local gang of scooter bound octogenerians. The funeral home aligns with local businesses in self defense.
Robin Eastcott The book sounds fascinating — possible book club selection
A.b. Funkhauser Thank you Christine Haase for the million dollar question: Heuer, as in lawyer. Heuer the lawyer. And he was.
Monique Nadeau Massabki Bad ass scooter bikers. Brilliant!
A.b. Funkhauser Thank you Robin. My head is swelling…
Dawna Lovejoy Oh wow! What an intriguing story line.
A.b. Funkhauser Alma Wurtz and Edna Pounder can take out the nimblest. Those scooters boot at quite a clip.
Margaret MacKay Hefferman do you have a release date yet?
A.b. Funkhauser I actually snuck in a bathroom break *yay*
Margaret MacKay Hefferman woohoo…only a few weeks to go. Will you have a launch party?
A.b. Funkhauser That has been a hoot and a holler too. I didn’t know I liked blogging until I tried it.
Marissa Campbell Rachael is up at 5:00pm EST
Dawna Lovejoy I’ve been told i should start a blog. How do you manage yours? Like do you have any problems with remembering to update it?
Marissa Campbell A.b. Funkauser has offered an ADVANCED pdf version of her book Heuer Lost and Found … who wants it??
A.b. Funkhauser HI Dawna. With the blog, I just jump in, but I only write when I feel the muse. I don’t have a theme per se. One day, I’m on about Leonard Nimoy, the next it’s my trip to the flea market. I refuse to put pressure on myself. It has to be fun, and it is.
Marissa Campbell Last minute to comment ….
Christine Haase Who are some of your favorite authors?
Dawna Lovejoy Thank you.
Monique Nadeau Massabki Who doesn’t want her book???!!
Dawna Lovejoy Want want
A.b. Funkhauser And I watch a lot of TV. TV is my university. xoxoxoxoxo
Margaret Madigan Me too! Lots of TV.
A.b. Funkhauser I watch GIRLS and Doctor Who. I love The Affair, The Knick.
Marissa Campbell Drum Roll …
A.b. Funkhauser House of Cards and House of Lies work for me too. And yes, I own Six Feet Under, the box set.
Marissa Campbell DAWN LOVEJOY! You just won yourself a sneak peek!
Dawna Lovejoy Oh wow!!!! Thank you.
Marissa Campbell Send A.b. Funkhauser a private message! Give her your email and she’ll set you up! https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004110336663
A.b. Funkhauser Hey, Dawna!
Marissa Campbell For more on our wonderful guest … check out her blog, like her page, give her some author love!
Celebrating the publishing journey.
Marissa Campbell Thanks so much A.b. Funkauser for coming out to play! xoxo
A.b. Funkhauser Love all. Time for more COFFEE……
A.b. Funkhauser I’ll be right back. xo
Rachael Stapleton I believe i’m on at 5 PM. I’m just driving home from the gym so fingers crossed. Otherwise I may need to pull over.
Patricia Anne Pierce-garcia Schaack From what I’ve read, your book sounds amazing. It’s on my reading list.
Nicki Lou Welcome!! It’s really interesting to here a bit of the story behind the author
Alison Cronyn-Murphy Definitely on my reading list. I am excited about the paranormal elements.
The COUNTDOWN PARTY CONTINUES UNTIL 8 PM EST SUNDAY, MARCH 8. Visit Marissa’s page and chat with other authors about their published works and works in progress. 😀
February 18, 2015
Today, I have a cover. In the next few days, a trailer. Then comes the BIG DAY, Blog Tour, reviews, and then back to the grindstone. SCOOTER NATION calls. But for now, I’ll pause and just enjoy the feeling. Thanks abound for the great people at Solstice Publishing,
from Editor-in-Chief K.C. Sprayberry to C.E.O. Melissa Miller, Editor Judi Mobley, and Cover Artist Michelle Crocker. Special mention must go to fellow Solstice authors Bernard Foong, Diana Harrison, and Rachael Stapleton for assisting on the proofing side. Call on me anytime. I’m here!
I’d be remiss, if I didn’t mention my on the ground sistas in writing: Cryssa Bazos, Ann Dulhanty, Marissa Campbell, Susan Croft, Connie DiPietro-Sparacino, Sally Moore, Gwynn Scheltema, Rachael Stapleton, Ruth Walker and Yvonne Hess. This is a dream and I’m glad you’re here with me.
Now time for a coffee and a little laundry lite. My family has been very patient and so has the house and all the little spiders with their contributing cobwebs. There is much to do on the home front too.
Cheers darlin’s and a big ragin’ WOO HOO. It’s now and forward.