About the Book:
Author: Matt Schiariti
Published: September 28th, 2014
Word Count: 101,000
Content Warning: Mild sexual content, minor profanity and adult themes
Age Recommendation: 18+
Thirty-two-year-old Richard Franchitti didn’t believe in love at first sight until he met free-spirited Catherine and started a brand new life. A devoted father and husband, Richard fought to keep his family together when it would have been easier to walk away.
Tragedy left him with unfinished business.
Now a disembodied spirit, Richard relives his most important days. From the beginnings of unconditional love, to the joy of his daughter’s birth, and all of the difficult times in between, each treasured moment brings him closer to answering the question:
“Why am I still here?”
He was born Richard Franchitti, but his friends call him Ricky. Welcome to his funeral.
About the Author:
Matt Schiariti is an Engineeer by profession, guitar legend in his own mind, and would-be author, time permitting. When he’s not writing, he’s reading. When he’s not reading, he’s enjoying a beer sporting a fancy name on the label. When he’s not enjoying a fancy-named beer, he’s most likely reading some more. Sometimes he does all three at once, to disastrous effect.
Matt lives in southern New Jersey with his wife, two children, and insane dog. Funeral with a View is his second published novel, but not his last.
You have been warned.
I’d met Catherine Maddox (now the widow Catherine Frachitti) through a friend of mine. My best friend, in point of fact. Bill Henly.
While they were dating.
That tidbit must sound inherently evil. There are rules, especially among guys. The Man Code, to be more specific. Every male on the planet is born with these rules branded into his DNA. Don’t date a friend’s ex, don’t have sex with a friend’s girlfriend, so on and so forth.
Let the record show that I am no home wrecker! Bill and Catherine had been seeing each other when I met her. Nothing serious, and for reasons only known to them, their relationship didn’t last. After Bill did the requisite guy thing (read: talked post-breakup smack about her), I did the right thing and asked him if he’d be okay with me asking her out.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: So, you’re not dating Cat anymore, huh?
Me: Um, would it be cool if I asked her out?
Bill: Yeah, sure.
It was a conversation for the ages. A manly conversation of epic proportions. It may seem flimsy to an outsider, but to guys it was volumes’ worth.
I let the breakup embers fade, and a few weeks later, when I’d mustered up the testicular fortitude, I asked Catherine out. After a moment’s thought, she said yes. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Dating Catherine put no apparent stress on my relationship with Bill. Good looking in an All-American way, he never lacked for female companionship. At six-foot-five and almost as broad, he towered over my meager five-foot-eight. He’d played football in high school and college, earning an athletic scholarship to Princeton University, but blew out his knee in his second year. His spare time no longer filled with practices and games, he hunkered down and focused on his studies which paved the way to his future career as a financial advisor. Still, he remained an ever faithful workout freak. The combination of good looks, muscular build, and his large salary lured many a willing woman into his bed. Catherine was no exception, but that wasn’t entirely Bill’s doing.
The story is a simple one. Back in the day the three of us were nigh inseparable. Catherine and I were always double-dating with Bill and his love du jour. Even if he wasn’t seeing anybody (the exception to the rule), the three of us would go out to eat, see movies, hang out on lawn chairs in the summer drinking concoctions with little umbrellas in them.
It was on one such occasion when things took a change for the pornographic. I’ll never forget that day as long as I live. Or as long as I’m dead.
That day is where this story truly starts.
Matt’s Guest Post:
Thanks to D’eBook Sharing for participating in the Funeral with a View blog tour and for the opportunity to post on your blog. Much appreciated!
Today’s topic is, “How do you come up with your titles?”
The simple answer is that I get them from telepathic communications with my dog, Dizzy. And that’s a joke. Consider it an icebreaker!
Seriously, though. Coming up with a title for a story or novel is as much an art form as actually writing the story. It can also be just as frustrating. You never know when inspiration is going to strike. Then again, you never know if it’ll strike, either. I’ve had both good and bad times with titles. Every author has their own process for this, I’m sure, but here’s how it’s worked for me in the past.
My first self-published short story (say that three times fast, I dare ya), Words with Fiends, had a title before the story was written. This moment of inspiration, sneaky devil that it was, came to me in the kitchen one day, not long before my family and I sat down to dinner. I’m a Words with Friends addict, and I got to thinking about what would happen if a scrabble game on your cellphone took a turn for the haunted? Even before the story became anything more than a general idea, I knew what I’d call it. Something eeevil going down? I’ll call it Words with Fiends.
Giving my debut paranormal novel a title wasn’t nearly so easy. The book was written, beta reader comments had been received and incorporated, and edits were nearly complete. But I still didn’t have a title. It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if I hadn’t been up against a deadline for an open submission contest a Big Six publisher was hosting in the fall of 2012. I needed a title, like yesterday. It wasn’t as if I’d been waiting all that time to come up with one, either. Thinking of the title was just about all I did for months. How hard could it be? The book’s about a medium and small business owner who makes a living by clearing out ghosts from people’s houses. So, the word “ghost” has to be in the title. Cool, that much was done. Without getting too much into the plot or what happens (no spoilers here!), part of the main character’s back story (a guy named Seth Gabriel) is that he thought he saw a demon in high school when he was about seventeen. Demons! That should be in the title, too, yeah? Excellent. The title will have both ghosts and demons in it. Well, that sat and sat and sat for who knows how long, and I still couldn’t come up with anything for the aforementioned context. Tentatively, I called it “Of Ghosts and Demons,” which was rather lame, but it worked well enough for the purposes of the contest. It wasn’t until I was gearing up to publish the book and I started dealing with the cover that it really became a priority. Can’t promote something with a cruddy title, and I refused to ruin a great cover by putting “Of Ghosts and Demons” on it. Now, I don’t know why it went down this way, but A Christmas Carol came to mind one day for some unknown reason. “Hey, there’s ghosts in that!” I thought. That thought lead me to think of the ghost of Christmas past, which by some odd neurochemical process I won’t pretend to understand or question, lead to the final title for the book: Ghosts of Demons Past. It clicked. Seth Gabriel is a medium who deals with ghosts, he’s got a past that may or may not involve a demon …BOOM! A title is born.
Funeral with a View wasn’t nearly as hard as Ghosts of Demons Past, but that’s not to say it happened overnight. I wrote my new contemporary romance novel way back in the early part of 2012. It sat for well over a year until I revisited it again. I had a working title for it–Unfinished Business—which I’d come up with early in the writing phase, just so I’d have something to name the word document! Funeral with a View is about Richard Franchitti, a man who has died tragically and is now observing his own funeral. His biggest question is, “Why can’t I move on?” and as he relives his life in flashbacks, he comes closer to answering that question. So in a way, the working title did “work,” but it was so very very lame and tired and overdone. Now, I won’t even pretend to know what caused the spark that brought the title, but I do know it happened sometime around the summer of 2013 when I reexamined the story after a long layoff. “This title stinks. I think I’ll call it Funeral with a View.” I bounced it off a few people who knew what the story was about and they loved it.
I think the theme with how I come up with my titles is word play. Puns, twisting things around, etc.; this is how I like to name my books and stories. Oh, here’s another good example of one of my “punnier” titles. I have a short story that was recently published as part of an Anthology called Lucky 13: Thirteen Tales of Crime and Mayhem. The publisher wanted stories in which luck played a pivotal role. My idea–one that had been conceived long before I even knew about the anthology—revolved around a lottery ticket. Nothing luckier than winning the lottery, wouldn’t you say? Anyway, chaos happens, so on and so forth. What did I call the story? A Dollar and a $cream, which is a play on words based on the well-known lottery slogan, “All it takes is a dollar and a dream.” See? Punny! Funny, even. I could give more examples, but many of my titles are for stories that are yet to be written and I keep these things pretty close to the chest. I’m stingy like that.
Much like writing, there is no magic formula for coming up with a title. How I do it is not how Author X does it is not how Author Y does it. Sometimes it’s inspired, sometimes it’s hard work, and frankly, sometimes it’s just dumb luck!
Thanks for letting me spend some time on your page. Hope everyone enjoyed my babblings!