How did your career as an undertaker begin and what made you stay in the industry?\r\n\r\nIn my case, there was a family connection. My Mother worked for the company for 13 years as manager of one of the branches. In 1993, I was looking for a change of career and a new challenge in my life. How about being an undertaker, I thought. After attending an interview with that company my mum worked for, I was offered the position of funeral assistant and started my new career path in the June of that year. It was a very interesting and rewarding career. My primary role was caring for loved ones of the bereaved and serving those in their grief.\r\n\r\nCan you give us a breakdown of your memoir and the parts of undertaking that it covers?\u00a0\r\n\r\nIt is as much about my life as it is about my time as an undertaker. I have woven in interesting stories of my life into the fabric of my tales during my time as an undertaker. In the beginning of the book, I cover my own experiences as the new boy who is still learning the trade. Later in the book, every aspect of the funeral business is covered in detail, including many fascinating and lesser-known sides of the job. Working for our local coroners was an eye-opening experience into some of the more bizarre sides of our species and the society we live in. For instance, one minute we could be collecting the body of a homeless person from a derelict shell of a house, balancing on the remaining joists and beams that had not been used as firewood for warmth. Moments later, in complete contrast, we could be standing in the grandest of stately homes.\r\n\r\nWhat sort of reactions did you get from people when asked what you did for a living?\u00a0\r\n\r\nWhen people found out I was an undertaker, they were generally curious and intrigued. They wanted to hear all about my exploits, humorous and gruesome stories, alike.\r\n\r\nWhat led to your decision to write a book?\u00a0\r\n\r\nIt was this curiosity and intrigue that people had for my career as an undertaker, and questions they would ask about stories they had heard. This led me to write a book that I felt very much needed to be written.\u00a0\u00a0\r\n\r\nHow did you find the process of writing down everything that has happened in your career?\u00a0\r\n\r\nWriting the book was definitely a labour of love, but it was also a very therapeutic process. I hadn\u2019t realised how some of the things I had been involved in had affected me until I was writing about them and reliving them, as it were. At times it was quite emotional. That said, there were many more light-hearted moments, and whilst I wanted the book to be interesting and factual and a little thought provoking at times, I wanted to put to rest some of the misunderstandings and anxieties some people have about the funeral business. Most importantly, I wanted my book to be an entertaining and humorous read. Getting the balance right between the humour in my writing and the sensitive subject of death was a little challenging at first, but writing with compassion and empathy in the same way that I carried out my role as an undertaker has helped me to achieve that balance well \u2013 as feedback from my readers would confirm.\r\n\r\nIn your opinion, is funeral service an easy industry to get into, and why\/why not?\u00a0\r\n\r\nWhen I started in the funeral business, 30 years ago, in my experience it was like many other industries. Some people, like myself, got into it through a family connection, or through word of mouth via family or friends. That aspect still applies today in many industries. There were, of course, other traditional avenues, such as jobs being advertised in local papers and in your local jobcentre. Again, similar to today, but now far more is through online recruitment sites. From what I hear, getting into the funeral business nowadays does seem to be harder than it used to be, but I think that is also the case in many other areas of industry. If someone is really interested in a career in the funeral business, like anything, you need to be persistent and keep trying all avenues. It\u2019s not everyone\u2019s cup of tea, but it is an interesting, varied and rewarding career in many ways.