Today I’m delighted to welcome my friend David Kummer to my blog. David and I met a few years ago when we read and critiqued one another’s works. I’ve read and reviewed several of David’s books and consider him to be a young man to watch for the future.
Hi, David. And Welcome to Dragons Rule OK. I’ve read your latest book, Everything Somewhere and consider it your best to date, although in a very different genre from your others.
My first question is, will there be a sequel?
This is a tough question to answer right now. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, as I move into my next book projects, and I do think I want to write a sequel. However, I think that will probably be five or ten years down the road. At that point, I’ll have more life experience and better understanding of what it means to go through your mid-20’s. I’d love to catch up with these characters and find out what they’ve been up to. So, yes, I really do expect there to be a sequel, but you’ll have to wait a while for it. In the meantime, I’ve written and will keep on writing other books, so check them out!
As I said before, this is a very different type of book from you others. What inspired you to write this?
This book is the most personal I’ve ever written, because it draws a lot on my personal experiences and those of people I’ve known. The characters are a mixture of people I’ve known and have heard stories about. I was also inspired to write it because I wanted to tackle the darker side of being a teenager and growing up through high school, things like mental illness, substance abuse, suicide, relating to parents. All subjects that are real and important, and that I think we don’t talk about enough. So this book did a lot of things I think are important, all of which made it very personal for me to write and publish, but people have loved it! That’s made this a very special book already, and I’m so thrilled about what’s happened with it.
There are a number of interesting characters in this book. Who is your favorite?
Willow has grown into my favorite character from the novel, which I didn’t expect when I started writing it. She’s been a source of inspiration for me to push through writing it and is a combination of a lot of people I know. Certain aspects of her strength and tenacity and integrity I drew from my mom, who the book is dedicated to. Willow also has this ability to see the town as it was, as it is, and as it could be in the future, making her an important character for not only the readers but also all the other figures in the book. In short, she makes the novel what it is, and she’s remained my favorite character throughout.
Can you tell us a bit about Willow?
I think WIllow is the best one to tell you about herself. At the end of Everything Somewhere, she finds herself pregnant. She has married Mason, her child’s father, and this is an extract from a bonus chapter I wrote.
We left shoe prints in the dirt, still damp from recent storms. The three of us, ambling between the trees, our voices free and our laughter wild. Hudson had a cigarette between two fingers and would raise it to his lips absentmindedly, between one-line stories or well-intentioned jabs at Mason. My husband stayed close to me, his hand clutching my own. We’d been married just under a month, and it still felt weird to call him that.
But his fingers were my only warmth against the biting, March wind, and I sank into his touch.
“I’m not smoking ‘til after the baby comes,” Mason replied when Hudson offered him one.
“I told you it’s fine, babe.” I rolled my eyes but squeezed his hand with affection. “Obviously, I can’t, but you can. Who cares.”
Hudson took another breath of his cigarette and exhaled behind us. The smoke drifted back the way we’d come, up toward the leaves, as our trio moved farther along the trail. He eyed me, questioning something, and I understood.
“Maybe I’ll stay off ‘em forever,” I said, granting him a relaxed shrug.
Hudson snorted. “Fat chance of that. I’m not the only addict here.” He grinned at me, and I smiled back.
We were headed to one of my favorite hideaway spots in downtown Little Rush. Perfect for any time of the year, any state of mind. I’d taken long walks there on my own, for years and years, spent countless hours in the shadow of those tall trees. The three of us had been here a few times before, though not often, and I figured today was as good as any. Our work schedules were so full now, it wasn’t easy to find a day where we could be together, doing nothing. But it had, at last, arrived, and so I led them to my once-secret spot.
There weren’t too many places in downtown Little Rush where I could exist for hours without encountering a single human. But this little grove of trees, right alongside the Ohio River, was the perfect spot of solitude. From my dad’s apartment, I walked straight down to the bricks winding beside the river, and turned my back on the bridge. Then, I would follow that sidewalk until it abruptly ended, meshing with the railroad tracks, at the end of the street. There were walking trails leading away, following the tracks, and they could take you all the way up the hillside, if you wanted. But I didn’t want that. I would simply step off the path, through a thick arrangement of bushes, and emerge on the other side into a different world.
The ground dropped a few feet there, as I climbed through the shrubbery, and it felt like I had disappeared into a place nobody even knew of. The trees were tall and thick, but sparse. It didn’t feel as enclosed or dark as a typical forest. And the river swept by on one side, bumping up against some of the trunks, turning the hardened dirt into squelching mud under my feet. From the railroad tracks I’d left behind, no hikers could even hope to see down here, unless they followed. And very few did.
That expanse of dried mud and fallen leaves became a comfortable place for me. I would wander deeper into the trees, which stood around like the crowd at an amusement park when all the rides are closed. Dancing my way through their shadows and touching their rough trunks, I found an area of large stones where I could sit and soak my feet in the water. As the Ohio flowed by, its touch loving and familial, I looked across at the banks of Kentucky or to the right, where the river curled around a jutting hill and disappeared out of sight. There was a large, wooden structure near my spot, sticking out of the water, like it might’ve been support for a dock, long ago. Down that direction, I could make out the power plant, and often a barge in the distance.
A line of trees behind me. The river in front, stretched out, endless. The rolling hills of Kentucky, like staring into a mirror, with beautiful, leaf canopies glowing in the sunlight or waving in the breeze. This place felt like a step back in time, like a setting all its own. Nobody could find me here. Nobody could shatter this mirage.
“How many weeks are you out now?” Hudson asked. He continued to work on the cigarette, nearing the end of it now.
Mason stumbled over a root and we chuckled about that for a moment. Just a few minutes now and we’d reach that sacred spot next to the river, with large rocks meant for seating and small, rippling waves that brought in plastic cans, bits of floating wood, and an assortment of little fish. They would swim right under the surface, as if putting on a show, and I would stare at them more intently than anything else.
“Due in just over two weeks,” I answered Hudson once Mason had regained his balance. “Before you know it…” I placed a hand on my protruding stomach, though he didn’t kick in response.
“What happens if he comes on St. Patrick’s Day?” Hudson asked, a glint in his eye. “You have to dye his hair green. That’s just a rule.”
“Shut up! God, can you imagine?” I covered my hand with a mouth, laughing. The image of a green-haired baby, my baby, was almost too much. “I feel bad for your kids, if you ever have some.”
Hudson chuckled at this and blew one last cloud of smoke into the air. Then he ground out the cigarette butt on a passing tree.
“Speaking of…” Mason jumped into the conversation. “When’s the wedding? For you and Layla?”
Hudson stuffed both hands into the pockets of his jacket, throwing an exasperated look at Mason. “Whatever. It’s only been a few dates.” The corner of his mouth twitched and his eyes gleamed with something like mischief. “But… we are going on a weekend trip this summer, up near Indy. Brown County, you know. It’s kinda crazy. Did you know when I first met her, I gave her a handshake?”
Mason burst out laughing and Hudson smacked himself on the forehead. “I’m such a dumbass.”
This news about him and Layla made my heart skip a beat. I smiled at Hudson, imagining him and her, off in a cabin somewhere, a place all to themselves. I wondered if they’d go to college in the fall, if they’d go together, but I didn’t want to pry. Hudson deserved a peaceful, relaxing summer with a girlfriend and a future. I hoped he would really soak it in, before everything started to change at a relentless pace. Then again, maybe we were too late and things already had.
“Oohh.” Mason winked at me. “That’s the first step, right, babe?”
“We’ve got big plans this summer, too,” I said to Hudson, ignoring Mason’s question.
Read the rest at: https://davidkummer.com/2021/07/17/bonus-chapter-everything-somewhere/
Thank you, David. I can thoroughly recommend Everything Somewhere to everyone. I found it an engrossing read.
For everyone, here’s a bit more about it.
The power of memories.
Little Rush is a sleepy town on the Ohio River. Bruce Michaels is a renowned Hollywood actor. The two should never cross paths, yet one summer everything changes. The actor, haunted by demons, chasing a ghost. The town, unaware. Until the two collide.
Hudson, Willow, and Mason are high school seniors with very different upbringings, but all on the verge of adulthood. As the sun sets on their final summer, questions abound. Will they ever leave the town? Is there a future here? As their plans waver, time is running out.
The struggle of mental illness.
As he loses his friends and sinks deeper into depression, Hudson forms an unlikely bond with the actor, Bruce Michaels. But the old man is a ticking time bomb. As Hudson relies on him more, the danger to them both grows.
When dark secrets are revealed, Hudson must confront the truth about his idol and himself. Bruce Michaels isn’t who he seems. Hudson is nearly lost. And in the end, they may be more similar than different.
The search for meaning.
Different paths, converging in a web of alcohol, fights, and romance. Worlds collide one summer in Anywhere, USA. The question is who will make it through.
EVERYTHING, SOMEWHERE is an ambitious, sprawling look at the stories, people, and places forming the nuanced landscape of rural America.
And a review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Reviewed in Canada on 3 June 2021
This book takes you deep into the souls of it’s characters. You feel their longing, pain, wonder and joys. Anyone whose lived in a small town will instantly relate to their need for escape. It touches on depression and substance abuse, but also how it feels to grow up and what changes transpire for the adults who also grew up and stayed in the small town.
The prose is stunningly beautiful and nostalgic and worth reading over and over.
You can purchase the book by following this link which will take you to Amazon.com. Amazon.com : everything somewhere by david kummer