Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Is it really worth it? - Heuer Lost And Found by A.B. Funkhauser

Heuer Lost and Found is a quirky and irreverent story about a man who dies and finds his spirit trapped in a funeral home with an ex-lover who happens to be the mortician. The characterization is rich the story well-told.—Cryssa Bazos, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, Ontario, Canada

Release Date: April 23rd, 2015
Cover Artist: Michelle Crocker

Unrepentant cooze hound lawyer Jürgen Heuer dies suddenly and unexpectedly in his litter-strewn home. Undiscovered, he rages against god, Nazis, deep fryers and analogous women who disappoint him.

At last found, he is delivered to Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home, a ramshackle establishment peopled with above average eccentrics, including boozy Enid, a former girl friend with serious denial issues. With her help and the help of a wise cracking spirit guide, Heuer will try to move on to the next plane. But before he can do this, he must endure an inept embalming, feral whispers, and Enid’s flawed recollections of their murky past. 

Is it really worth it?

Fresh writing filled with rich vocabulary, this story features a vivid cast of colourful, living-breathing characters. This one will keep you reading late into the night until the final page.—Yvonne Hess, Charter Member, The Brooklin 7

Ms. A.B Funkhauser is a brilliant and wacky writer …Her distinctive voice tells an intriguing story that mixes moral conflicts with dark humor.—Rachael Stapleton, Author, The Temple of Indra’s Jewel and Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire

The macabre black comedy is definitely a different sort of book! You will enjoy this book with its mixture of horror and humour. —Diana Harrison, Author, Always and Forever

Author A. B. Funkhauser strikes a macabre cord with her book "Heuer Lost and Found". I found it to have a similar feel to the HBO series "Six Feet Under".--Young, Author, A Harem Boy’s Saga Vol I, II, and III


I remember vividly the first time I took Heuer out for public view. Beyond the critiquing group I belong to and a few trusted friends who knew the genesis behind the story, no one really got a glimpse of the book’s subject until three years ago. As a member of the Writer’s Community of Durham Region (WCDR)*, I was lucky enough to develop friendships and acquaintances with writers from all over the province of Ontario and that brought me to an early morning breakfast one winter morning in the fine town of Barrie. Hosted by the then newly minted Writer’s Community of Simcoe County**, the breakfast provided an opportunity for writer’s of all competencies to pitch their darlings to an esteemed member from the publishing industry.

What a nerve wracking experience. Aside from not really knowing if my story stood up next to the hard work of others, I really hadn’t fine tuned the nuts and bolts of it: 

“What is your story about?” the distinguished fellow asked.
“A funeral director and her charge.”
I went on to explain what that meant. 
“He’s a dead man whom she is responsible for preparing for burial.”
“Who’s the protagonist?”
“Well,” I stammered, “he is.”
“So he’s a ghost?”
“Well, no. He’s more like a presence, watching over events.”
“But she sees him?”
“No. She feels him.”
“That won’t work. What’s a Hooer?”
“Heuer, ya know, like lawyer. He’s german. It’s his name.”
“You’ll have to change that. No one’s ever going to be able to pronounce it.”

Other comments included things like getting rid of the Latin speaking rat character as well as other whimsical asides that ranged from coaxial flesh rings dancing in tandem with Spirograph “Bond” girls to analogous goatmen dancing with multi-colored ribbons in a peat bog.

I listened, biting back disappointment and rage.

“And I see two books here, not one,” the gentleman continued.

It took a long time—almost a year—to get over the assessment. I had worked so hard and had grown so close to the character and his name that I couldn’t bear to change it. It was, to me, like asking that I rename my first born.

Luckily, I had other projects in the wings and it was to these that I turned until I was able to take up the keyboard and Heuer once more.

Know what? The criticism I received that day was not only accurate on several fronts, but it spawned a second book. And then a third. And now a fourth.

Heuer, it turns out, was more than just a name, but a wellspring for a host of new characters and plot lines that I hope to explore for the next several years. 

More than just a man; more than just a character; Heuer the lawyer gave me new ideas. He gave me a career.

About the author: 
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. 

“Were it not for the calling, I would have just as likely remained an office assistant shuffling files around, and would have been happy doing so.” 

Life had another plan. After a long day at the funeral home in the waning months of winter 2010, she looked down the long hall joining the director’s office to the back door leading three steps up and out into the parking lot. At that moment a thought occurred: What if a slightly life-challenged mortician tripped over her man shoes and landed squarely on her posterior, only to learn that someone she once knew and cared about had died, and that she was next on the staff roster to care for his remains? 

Like funeral directing, the writing called, and four years and several drafts later, Heuer Lost and Found was born. 

What’s a Heuer? Beyond a word rhyming with “lawyer,” Heuer the lawyer is a man conflicted. Complex, layered, and very dead, he counts on the ministrations of the funeral director to set him free. A labor of love and a quintessential muse, Heuer has gone on to inspire four other full length works and over a dozen short stories. 

“To my husband John and my children Adam and Melina, I owe thanks for the encouragement, the support, and the belief that what I was doing was as important as anything I’ve tackled before at work or in art.” 

Funkhauser is currently working on a new manuscript begun in November during NaNoWriMo 2014. 

Author's Giveaway


Penny's Tales said...

Holy Moly - look at your site! It's fabulous. Good luck on your release. The book truly sounds awesome!


Penny's Tales said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda K Sienkiewicz said...

I'm so excited for you! I wish you much success!

Unknown said...

Thank you Penny and Linda. It's a joy seeing Heuer alive and in print. It was something I never dared think about while I was committing him to the page. I think I worried that i'd lose my creative edge if I did that. There is so much to learn now as far as marketing and promotion are concerned, but I'm ready. And of course, I can't wait to get back to Volume 2 which I hope to have ready by fall 2015. Cheers.