At Solstice Publishing, we have some pretty amazing authors, and I’m not saying that because I think I am one, I say that because I am thrilled to even say I know them. Some are very chill, some are feisty and others are just unique and quirky. Now, if unique and quirky needed a poster child, she would look a lot like my friend who though she needs no introduction, I’m going to ask her anyway.
So, guest author….can you please tell us your name?
Funny you should ask. The “B” in A.B. was recently unveiled by fellow Solstice Author Susanne Matthews. I’m A. Belle Funkhauser. You can call me Belle if you like.
Beautiful. (bdump bum tish!) Okay, Belle. So glad to have you stop by.
Nice sunny day, outside plotting away. Rough gig, being an author! Got the gonzo thing down!
So, we know you’re an author, can you tell us about your book?
The book is called HEUER LOST AND FOUND and it’s my debut. I’m very excited about it because it’s been out since April and slowly, steadily, it’s getting some attention. It’s gratifying, given that it took me about thirty years to get it down on paper. I’m so glad that I took the plunge.
It’s published through Solstice, which is a medium sized e publisher out of Missouri. I’m incredibly grateful to them for believing in HEUER (rhymes with “lawyer”) and me. I still can’t believe it!
I know the feeling! It’s a validation for sure. What is Heuer about?
A dead lawyer “wakes” in his litter strewn home. Undiscovered for many days, he wonders where his friends have got to and begins to question everything; chief among them, the veracity of his own existence, what it meant before death and what it will mean from now on. Once found, Heuer’s preternatural residue travels with his body to the funeral home where he ‘meets’ Enid, his funeral director and ex. He hasn’t seen her in twenty years, so there’s a lot of baggage to work through. By extension, HEUER goes from irreverent philosophical to a relationship story, but without sentimentality on the part of the protagonists. It’s not so much that they lack humanity as much as they can’t be certain about what they’ve done and what damage their actions might have caused, so they suppress their feelings until compelled to confront them. In a sense, they both go on a journey to find out what their past means and how they can make amends to achieve a fitting end. The front cover of the book features a door and that’s where he’s headed; just what is behind the door and how important it is, is left up to the reader to decide.
A journey for sure. He’s doing a lot of reflecting. It’s always been said that when we die, our life flashes before our eyes. For Heuer, it sounds like he’s getting dosed with it as he struggles to figure out his life (and death) . Wow, I didn’t mean to get so deep. I like it!
I was always curious about the meaning of the door on the cover. It’s a cool visual, and now I know! It’s not just A door, it is kind of THE door. I like it!
With this being a decidedly unique premise for a story, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask what was the inspiration for Heuer?
This is a popular question and it has forced me to go deeper for an answer. Amazon classed HEUER under ‘humor/horror’ which was surprising and pleasing to me because the foundations of the story are rooted in a lot of good people I used to know and the good times we shared. “Heuer,” the man, is a composite character that combines fact and fiction from many sources: literature, film and personal observation. The short answer is that I lost a friend, and as a funeral director I was compelled to start a grief journal to cope with the loss. From that came imagination, humor and FICTION.
Sorry for the loss of your friend, but impressed that you worked through that process, and found a character and a world and a frankly kick-ass story that came from it.
All over my work space, I have quotes and images and phrases that speak to me, so it’s a corny, over-used question, but it is my blog, so I’m asking! What is a favorite, or go to line or quote that you like?
NOW AND FORWARD. It’s one of my own.
I like it.
Since we’ve known each other, I’ve found you to be smart, funny, talented as all get out, and generous to a fault. What is a fun ‘Belle’ fact that I, or now ‘we’ don’t know about you-yet?
I can sing!
What!? That is AWESOME! You heard it here folks. The amazing A.B. Funkhauser is a singer! So……don’t think I won’t ask for a sound byte from you next time you visit. She sings! To understand how cool I think this is, I am the person in the back of the room, animatedly and enthusiastically lip-syncing the hell out of ‘Happy Birthday!’ (Yeah, I act and dance, but don’t sing)
OK, now for the fun questions!
If Hollywood cast your book into a movie, who would you see as your ‘dream’ cast of, and for which characters?
I cast my characters from the get go because it was the only way I could choreograph the scenes and get them down on paper. I’m a cinephile—watched hundreds of films—so I had a rich treasure trove to mine from. Jurgen Heuer IS Leonardo DiCaprio in that he embodies that curious, ageless quality that hints at something almost supernatural. Heuer is physically ‘beautiful’ and makes a big deal of this after his death. Cat-like, elegant and intense in his gaze, Heuer’s qualities both attract and repel those closest to him. DiCaprio’s ‘look’ for me is enigmatic—my favorite kind of character trait. The funeral director Enid Krause had to be Kate Winslet because she and Leo have appeared so well together on film, so the chemistry was there…all I had to do was take down the electricity. Enid’s sidekick Carla Moretto Salinger Blue is a composite of two people I know, so I had to think about this a bit. She is Italian/Irish with flashing eyes and a smile that reassures and snarls at the same time – I would say–Sarah Michelle Geller (post Buffy), and with black hair. Charlie Forsythe IS Alec Baldwin, hands down. Jocasta Binns, for fans of classic cinema, IS Bette Davis, age 60+, but if I have to pick from the living I’d go with Irish actor Fionnula Flanagan (FOUR BROTHERS, THE INVENTION OF LYING, THE GUARD); she’s vulnerable and gritty.
Seriously, it would have been nice if you’d given this some thought! Needless to say, the casting directors will have their work cut out for them securing the pool of talent needed. Really good choices though, as I consider myself a bit of a cinephile as well.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, who inspires you? Sidebar: Do you dance?
I work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday about eight months of the year. The first thing I do after putting the coffee pot on to perk, is turn the radio on to CBC Radio FM 94.1, which plays Classical all morning and into the early afternoon, then switches to contemporary alternative. I love Mahler, Liszt, Satie and Holst.
Dance? Oh, yeah! Always! I groove. Always loved Disco. There! I admit it!
I seriously can’t stand it. You cannot possibly be human. Nobody should be that cool! Now, I’m almost afraid to ask my last question, as I fear it’ll send me over the edge. Damnit, I’m asking. What, pray-tell, do you/could you possibly have as a guilty pleasure? My personal phrase is ‘Nerding out’, so what do you nerd out about?
I will never feel guilty about my love for classic cars; specifically: Detroit muscle. I try to get to the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit every other year, and I love hitting the show and shines on weekends during the summer months. I don’t own a classic yet, but when I do, it will be a Chevelle SS 4 barrel V8. That’s a promise.
And, your a cool classic car chick! I’m shocked to my very core. (giggling!)
There is abundant brilliance within the creative bones of this author, my friend, A.b, who is a former funeral director, current and forever classic car enthusiast, mom of teenagers, and lover of all the wild things (probably animals mostly, but again, this is A.B!)
Many people have sent A.B. photos of themselves with their copies of Heuer, which is proving that there is definitely something of a movement happening, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon.
Heuer: Lost and Found has received a 4.9/5 stars on Goodreads. Impressive? You bet your bottom dollar (or Toonie is it?) .
So, you cool, creative, crazy-fun debut author you, where can we go when we want our Heuer?
Paperbacks and Kindle versions can be ordered through all of the Amazons, Barnes & Noble and my publisher http://solsticepublishing.com/heuer-lost-and-found/. The geo buy link is http://myBook.to/heuerlostandfound. That will take the purchaser to the location nearest them.
Thank you beautiful lady for stopping by!