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Author Gloria Squitiro talks about her new humor book

Author Gloria Squitiro chatted about her humor fiction book “C’mon Funk Move Your Ass: How a Demure Little Wife Made Her Husband a Big City Mayor.”

Gloria Squitiro
Gloria Squitiro. Photo Courtesy of Gloria Squitiro
Gloria Squitiro. Photo Courtesy of Gloria Squitiro

Author Gloria Squitiro chatted about her humor book “C’mon Funk Move Your Ass: How a Demure Little Wife Made Her Husband a Big City Mayor.”

Aside from being a writer, she is a former First Lady of Kansas City, Missouri.

She discussed being an author in the digital age, and how the digital landscape influenced her approach to writing and connecting with her reading audience.

Synopsis of the book

The synopsis is: “When Funk, the quiet, ethical auditor of Kansas City, announces he wants to run for mayor against an entrenched political regime, his wife, Gloria, puts aside her own ambitions— temporarily (ha!)—to run his campaign.”

Here is a true story of democracy at work: a rented, broken-down trailer for HQ; a campaign cobbled together by scrounging, loans, and thousands in family savings; a staff of one plus volunteers; fear, anxiety, financial instability, and the recognition that with Funk’s resignation as city auditor, the family has no income unless he wins. Gloria is the heroine of this memoir, which reads like a novel.

Her book peaked at No. 1 in Amazon’s Biographies of Social Scientists & Psychologists category, as well as No. 2 in Travel Humor, and No. 16 in American Humorous Fiction.

Background on the author

Gloria Squitiro has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has been married to Mark Funkhouser (affectionately known as “Funk”) for over 40 years. It seems her mission in life is to make every other man on Earth grateful he’s not married to her.

In 2006, Gloria became Funk’s campaign manager by default. She has the rare distinction of being the sole First Lady to be legally banned from the city hall office where her husband was mayor.

Q&A interview interview

What inspired you to write this book? Could you share a little about your motivation and the message you aimed to convey through your book?

To answer this question, I’d have to begin with what inspired me to write the first book in the C’mon Funk Series: May Cause Drowsiness and Blurred Vision: The Side Effects of Bravery.

The short answer is that I never set out to be a writer.

I had debilitating anxiety in my early twenties, and again in my early thirties. In 2005, I realized that in trying to control my anxiety, my life had greatly diminished, and who wants that?

I decided to suck it up and reach for my dream of living in Europe for a summer, even though I was a homebody who was afraid of leaving home.

I was terrified of taking that trip, but I did a ritual in my backyard where I asked Spirit to give me the strength to go. Since I was afraid to fly, I took a ship. It took five days to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

To pass the time, I decided to write notes in a travel journal so that when I died, my children would remember the big adventure we took. As I wrote, entries became quotes, and those quotes eventually led to the first book in the series.

The second book in the series, C’mon Funk Move Your Ass: How a Demure Little Wife Made Her Husband a Big City Mayor, was just a natural progression of that story.

Whereas the first book was about overcoming anxiety despite being in a fetal position on the ground, the second book shows the rewards of sucking up fear and following my dreams.

Today, I am much less anxious, and I believe a large part can be attributed to having the guts to take that trip. In the nine weeks that I was away from home, I became a new and better me; so much so, that I don’t think I could’ve handled the pressures of running my husband Funk’s mayoral campaign had I not reached for bravery that way.

While the first book wasn’t intentionally written, the second book certainly was.

More than anything, the second title, like the first, is meant to entertain. After that, C’mon Funk Move Your Ass has many messages. And because it took me so long to write it, I feel like those messages are timelier today than ever before.

The topics include: anxiety, apathy, feminism, the political climate in America, the income disparities, and how lonely and disconnected from Spirit we are in this country.

I wanted to share my experiences with all those burdensome topics in the hopes that my experience might help inspire others to reach for bravery.

Building a successful political career often involves navigating complex relationships and overcoming obstacles. Can you discuss some of the strategies you employed to support your husband’s goals while maintaining your own identity and aspirations?

Maintaining my own identity was easy because I simply cannot stop myself from being who I am, no matter how scared I am, or who I upset.

My aspirations were put on the back burner during the campaign and all throughout Funk’s time as Mayor. To say that the job was 24/7 sounds cliché, but that’s the truth of it. If you’re doing the job “right,” there is no time for anything else.

The strategies I employed to get my husband elected came from my basic nature.

When I do things for others, I try to do the job how they want it done, not the better way, which is my way.

That said, my husband actually believes other people can, and often do, have better ideas than he does. So my main strategy in getting him elected is that I used my gut to tell me true.

I can usually tell when someone is trying to pull something over on me. When Funk would tell me about a meeting he had with some mucky-muck, I employed that same tactic in feedback to him, because my husband can’t read between the lines to save his soul.

Funk is the complete opposite of me. He’s Mr. By-The-Book, whereas I push things to the outer edges of what’s legal and moral. Since I played the campaign his way, I often had to fight with him to convince him to stop being stupid with his ultra-do-gooder morals.

It is my basic nature to be observant; to notice other people and their personality traits; to infuse humor into every situation, even the difficult ones, which the campaign surely was. It is also my nature to be kind. All of these personal skills served us well during the campaign.

In your book, you explore the idea of women finding their voices and taking on roles traditionally associated with men.

How did your experiences as the wife of a mayor empower you and help you break stereotypes or expectations placed on women in politics?

During the campaign, I was put on a pedestal for not only working my ass off for my husband, but also for helping him win the campaign, and without any political experience whatsoever.

The mayor’s office was a completely different story. As a woman, I was treated so brutally, and in such a perverse way, that my experiences in the mayor’s office created an animal in me—I became a feminist!

Before that, all this little nothing New York Italian gal ever wanted was to be a wife and a mother. But now? Whoo-boy! Watch out! I speak my mind without flinching, though I do try to step with kindness whenever I do.

As an author in the digital age, how would you describe your experience and how has the digital landscape influenced your approach to writing and connecting with readers?

When I was strongly advised that I had to keep up a digital presence online I balked. I wanted to write, not go into the business of writing. I still feel that way.

Knowing the answer, to keep my name in front of readers until my next book releases, I post longer essays on Facebook to keep them with me. “Longer” essays being totally the opposite of what you’re “supposed” to do on social media. As you can see by now, I never listen to rules that are stupid.

I believe the reason I’m able to keep readers engaged is because I am completely open and honest in my writing. If they read me, then they know most everything there is to know about me. I have a pretty loyal following because of this. With the heavier stuff that I write, I often wish they couldn’t resonate.

The feedback I receive from readers encourages me so much. It makes me even bolder in my writing, as if I needed to be any bolder!

When you finish a new book what do you do to celebrate?

Embarrassingly enough, nothing. I fret about the paperwork and other chores I’m behind on, and I worry about when I’ll find the time to begin writing the next book.

I’m working on this character flaw! Americans have forgotten how to celebrate, just as much as they’ve forgotten how to grieve and honor our ancestors.

Her book is available on Amazon by clicking here.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 20,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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