Walter Harp: I wrote the first pages when I was recovering from my bone marrow transplant; at the time I was looking for distractions

Into the Funhouse received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Walter Harp.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Into the Funhouse, December 2016

What’s the book’s first line?

I should have died by now—on more than one occasion.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

Into the Funhouse takes you on a hair-raising, unpredictable front seat ride through a scary and sobering yet heartfelt and funny account of a father and his family fighting a menacing, recurrent leukemia while trying to live a ‘normal life’. It’s a story of endurance, love, and hope, yet one that weaves unblinkingly into an oncoming stream of frightening encounters and death, all relayed in fast-paced, dialogue-rich narrative and raw candor. Into the Funhouse isn’t a motivational treatise, although it’s inspiring. It’s cinematic, honest storytelling. To quote IndieReader, “The book will let you laugh through your tears as you celebrate being alive.”

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

I wrote the first two pages when I was recovering at home from my bone marrow transplant in May of 2009. At the time I was looking for distractions. Somehow, it grew from there.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Well, there are three reasons. The book is best for individuals who…

…enjoy memoir-ish true accounts that are humorous, suspenseful, raw, honest, and shine a new light on human nature and resilience.

…are dealing with cancer or another critical disease and looking for the story of a friend that may help you feel less alone (just know the book includes some pretty sobering accounts of death from cancer).

…are interested in how other people think about and face mortality.

If I had to choose just one reason, it would be the second. This is a book that people facing difficult, extracted illnesses can relate to.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Whoever plays me should be more emotive than I am. I tend to lean a bit towards stoicism, which might not be super engrossing on a big screen. Angela would need to be portrayed by someone tough and practical yet vulnerable. Natalie Portman?

When did you first decide to become an author?

I still don’t think of myself an author. I’d love to be one, but the reality is that I’m a working stiff with a day job. I just happened to make time off and on over the last several years to write (and rewrite!) this story. That said, I do already have an idea for my next book.

Is this the first you’ve written?

Yes.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’ve been working as a full-time employee in the high-tech industry for years. Writing Into the Funhouse was a labor a love and a side endeavor.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

It really depends. I’ve worked on this story off and on over a period of several years, leaving the writing alone for months at a time, only to return, wince at the quality, and chip away anew. I’ve leveraged early mornings on vacations, the odd thirty minutes in a parking lot while kids warm up for soccer games, the backseat of taxis, and many a Sunday.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

I really enjoy being an independent author. Lots of freedom, speed, agility, and control. And it appeals to my entrepreneurial side. I can’t think of an aspect that has proven particularly difficult, which probably means I’m not doing enough.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?

If the publisher were offering a fair deal and truly added value to the effort, sure—I’d consider it. It’d be nice to have help.

Is there something in particular that motivates you?

I knew I had something unique to contribute.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Living, probably Cormac McCarthy. Dead? John Steinbeck.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Green Eggs and Ham.

 

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