Reinventing That Old Book
It’s been almost a decade since I took up the digital pen and started writing things down. I journaled, I made up words that existed nowhere else on the planet, and I mucked around with blended genres in a way that drove my writing teachers crazy.
Somewhere in all the lessons—formal and informal—I got hints of where I needed to go with this thing called writing.
Was I writing a series? Was I a horror author? Was I a true gonzo? Did my covers make sense?
The answer was “yes” and “no” to all the above. A frustrating place to be some days, kinda cool on others. I jumped in “boots first” all those years ago, never giving a thought to commercially viable fiction writing or monetary success. If I loved the book, it was good enough, wasn’t it?
“Yes” and “no.”
TRY AND BE ACCESSIBLE, STUPID.
It’s now 2019 and I have three books “out there” and four more in production. After a six-month hiatus where I repainted the house and crocheted an afghan while binging Sons of Anarchy and Ray Donovan, it hit me that some of the old ideas had to go. “100% Certified Zombie-Free Paranormal Romance with Happy Ending” read one of my more craftier tweets, but did it get at the core of what I was doing?
My covers said otherwise:
I thought I was writing comedy.
My favorite comment was “poignant, smart and wunderbar.” Was it true for the other books? Did readers have a different take on what I thought I was saying, and did that impact the way the books were being presented?
Scooter Nation, my follow up to Heuer Lost and Found, also has a door on its cover. At the time I thought it was a clever pairing with the first book, but then the reviewers said things like “Chilling”, “Irreverant” and “Visceral.” The package didn’t match the contents. A remodel was needed.
Sometimes a photo doesn’t do the contents justice. Sometimes you just have to go to the drawing board and with Scooter, I got inspiration from Hunter Thompson’s cover artist Ralph Steadman. Quirky, simple and suggestive comes to mind. The digital artist “gets it” and with extreme longing, I wait for the new cover to arrive sometime in early May 2019.
In addition to being described as funny and gory gross, Scooter Nation has also been tagged as mysterious with twists and turns a plenty. Blended genre again. Years ago, I was warned about blending and mashing. “No one will know where to put you,” was the prevailing wisdom. No kidding.
When a black cat appears on the swinger’s front lawn, neighbors die in search of meaning.
When a cantankerous know-it-all falls into a pile of sheep manure, a clueless neighbor wakes up.
When a secret society takes her cat and her man, a grieving widow fights back.
When my then-publisher asked me to select a genre, I went with “humor” and “satire,” labels more befitting a “psycho-social cat dramedy with death and laughs.”
It held up. A reviewer called this one “dark and excellent” which told me one very important thing, that I was getting closer to figuring out what my books—past and present—are actually about.
Adult, unapologetic, and wholly cognizant, I am
A. B. Funkhauser
Dark humor and satire fiction author A. B. Funkhauser is currently prepping her back catalog for release under the Out of My Head Publishing imprint. Her first mystery novel, Self Defense: A Kirsti Bruner Mortuary Mystery is expected this summer. Look for all her titles on Amazon.... Coming Soon.
In the meantime, you can find her on her website, on Twitter at @iamfunkhauser, where she runs the weekly Indie Author game #Thurds, and on Facebook.