Welcome one and all, let me introduce you to a young up and coming author, David Kummer. His new book, Everything Somewhere will be coming out soon and I got the opportunity to chat with him about it. Read his interview below. Please drop a comment, ask questions, and be sure to check out his website at the end for a sneak peek at chapter one!
How did this idea begin?
This book originated from a few different ideas and intentions. One of the first and major ideas was to write a book about my hometown, specifically the people and stories that make up the place. That hometown, Madison, Indiana, is a major character in the book, though under the name of Little Rush. I tried to write honestly and openly about the good and the bad, from different point of views.
That idea evolved into two major themes throughout the book. Everything, Somewhere is all about normal life. Sure, there are some incredible things that happen, ranging from the unlikely to the improbable, but everything is about accepting and treasuring average life. Writing this allowed me to explore the idea of a normal life, what that means, the pros and cons, and this eventually led to another big topic. Writing about mental illness and suicide gave me the chance to write a heartwarming but brutally honest story about the state of today’s teenagers, but also adults. Balancing these two themes and a plot full of big characters, big ideas, was an incredibly rewarding experience. I have no doubt that it’ll be just as rewarding for you to read.
I've seen you mention on social media that this has been one of your most difficult books to write, why?
This book is the most open I’ve ever been about mental illness, suicide, and substance abuse. Not everything in the book is stuff I’ve experienced personally. Instead, I tried to paint a realistic and brutal picture of what the average teenager goes through nowadays, but also with adults and their own struggles in mind. I chose the POV characters specifically to show the town and major issues from all different angles.
While this makes the book dark and gripping, there are hopeful moments as well. I think the honesty and openness that I put into the book are what make it such a captivating read. There’s something for everybody, pieces of life that are relatable and hardships that we all face. In that same vein of thought, there are heroes and friends that we all know, relationships we long for or maybe have already. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
What did you edit out of this book?
There were a few plot points and threads that I took out of the book. Some were fully developed chapters, others just paragraphs, but I do have one story to share.
One part that you might find interesting occurred near the beginning of the book. One character is named Willow. There were two chapters written out where she interacts with a friend who is moving out of town, and it’s sort of a goodbye scene meant to foreshadow some events later in the book. The chapters were good, but I decided not to include them. For sake of brevity, sure, but also the friend’s character never got developed enough. Trust me, in the end it was a good thing, though it did have a few killer lines I held onto for later use!
What do you plan on writing next?
I’ve got a weird thriller/mystery/kidnapping story mix that I’ve already written. It’ll need a few rewrites and lots of editing, but I’m super excited for how it’ll turn out. That book is one I’ll consider querying, maybe finding an agent for. It’ll be really fun to advertise, since the hook is pretty great. It’s been a while since I wrote something so exciting or action-packed, but also dark. It’ll be a blast for everyone, as soon as I get time to work on it! College gets in the way a bit.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
For this answer, I could easily have said “Where the Crawdads Sing,” but instead I’ll go with something a bit more obscure. I’ve written about it extensively on my blog, because I have some really weird/cool stories to go along with the book review, but “The Little Stranger” by Sarah Waters is wildly good! It’s the kind of book I wish I could have written.
While the book is a thriller and a mystery, the beautiful writing takes it from being great to legendary. The plot itself is slow-burning and unnerving, one of the most memorable. There are hints of love and of ghosts, the struggle of grief. It’s all put together perfectly and sticks to your skin even after you’re finished. The last page is, I think, the best closing I’ve ever read, as haunting as the whole book that preceded it. There’s even a movie, if you’re into that sort of thing! So, yeah, this was kinda just another book recommendation. You’ll thank me later.