Monday, October 17, 2016


It’s funny how I can never be certain of what a book is about until long after I have written it. Sure, I spend a year mulling the thing out before I even sit down at the keyboard, and afterward I’m left with a synopsis and a blurb to give me clues. But the real heart of a story for me is not just the plot points and characters — all colossally important — but the themes that run beneath.

“Give me a dream and I’ll tell you what it means,” a fortune teller might say over tea leaves. The same goes for a book’s subtexts. For were it not for these, I would have nothing holding the volume together other than scenes and a lot of spent energy as characters chase themselves from one thrill to another.

Gonzo journalist Hunter Thompson made consciousness raising through subtext buried in gonzo zaniness a high art form that I didn’t consciously aspire to at first. In fact, I used humor to make more palatable —accessible—tough subjects like death and the complicated mourning that always follows.

SCOOTER NATION, like the first novel, HEUER LOST AND FOUND, has its fair share of death references; the core action taking place inside The Weibigand Brother’s Funeral Home. But this time, the focus changes to what happens outside on the street rather than inside the funeral directors’ mind’s eye. Characters coopting physical challenges and turning them into a ‘win’ is integral to the SCOOTER monologue. But so, too, is being comfortable inside one’s own skin. 

Jocasta Binns, the oft mentioned sybarite in SCOOTER advertisements, could make the case that she is badly misunderstood, and after decades of enduring the role of ‘baddy’ finds it easier to embrace her role rather than explain it.

In the same vein, Carla Moretto Salinger Blue and Scooter Creighton, both funeral directors from the first novel, back this time in the role of coprotagonists, appear selfish and self-involved, but will risk everything to right a wrong they believe has thrown an entire community off its pivot.

SCOOTER, it is true, is all about revenge, but it is also about reconciliation and understanding. Without these underpinnings, there can be no catharsis, no relief. With them, there is depth, not just of meaning but of character too; like real people in the real world.

The log line for SCOOTER reads as follows: What if heroes are villains, and altruism is priced? The funeral directors at Loom & Floy find out when a woeful sybarite takes control.

It took almost a year to come up with that log line, which by definition, is “…a brief (usually one-sentence) summary of a television program, film, or book that states the central conflict of the story, often providing both a synopsis of the story's plot, and an emotional ‘hook’…” (Google) If I got it right, then the reader can expect a great deal more from the shocks and laughs.

 Just look down, way down, below!

Adult, unapologetic, and wholly congnizant, I am A.B. Funkhauser

Scooter Nation
Unapologetic Lives
Book Two
A.B. Funkhauser

Genre: Gonzo Mortuary Revenge Fiction

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: March 11, 2016

ISBN: 1625263473, 978-1625263476

Number of pages:  194
Word Count: 48,854

Cover Artist: Michelle Crocker

Book Description:

Aging managing director Charlie Forsythe begins his work day with a phone call to Jocasta Binns, the unacknowledged illegitimate daughter of Weibigand Funeral Home founder Karl Heinz Sr. Alma Wurtz, a scooter bound sextenarian, community activist, and neighborhood pain in the ass is emptying her urine into the flower beds, killing the petunias. Jocasta cuts him off, reminding him that a staff meeting has been called. Charlie, silenced, is taken aback: he has had no prior input into the meeting and that, on its own, makes it sinister.

The second novel in the Unapologetic Lives series, Scooter Nation takes place two years after Heuer Lost and Found. This time, funeral directors Scooter Creighton and Carla Moretto Salinger Blue take center stage as they battle conflicting values, draconian city by-laws, a mendacious neighborhood gang bent on havoc, and a self-absorbed fitness guru whose presence shines an unwanted light on their quiet Michigan neighborhood.

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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, and Winner Best Humor Summer Indie Book Awards 2016, Metamorph Publishing, 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 SHELL GAME, a subversive feline “whodunit” begun during NaNoWriMo 2015.


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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for having me Wenona. Every article brings me a little closer to figuring out what the book is about! lol. Cheers.