INTERVIEW and EXCERPT
Never Look Back
by Sabine Bummel
Author Sabine Bummel joins me today for an interview and shares an excerpt from her book, Never Look Back.
Self help writer, Jen Butler, finds herself wavering between a fragile reality and a world of nightmares that she cannot escape. In a chance encounter, at her first book signing, Jen meets the handsome Will Lawrence. For a year, they are inseparable until one morning after a terrifying nightmare, she wakes to find every shred of his existence gone. Her reality suddenly becomes her nightmare.
The sheers fluttered in a slight breeze from the open balcony door as the moonlight partially illuminated the bedroom of self help writer, Jennifer Butler’s Manhattan town home. A lone siren faded into the distance. Sounds from the nightlife of the city had died. The bed moved as he rolled over and slid his arm gently under her waist. Returning to her place, she pressed herself into his smooth muscular chest and closed her eyes. The intoxicating smell of his cologne lingered in the sheets. Could life be better than it was at this moment? After years alone, she had finally met her soul mate. His steady breathing lulled her back into a blissful slumber.
The ear piercing sound of shattering glass catapulted her upright. Massive pieces of glass from the patio door crashed to the oak floor. Terror filled her senses as the rapid fire of gunshots filled the room, sprays of bullets pierced holes into the brick wall behind her. More shots fired into the bed spewing pieces of fabric and tiny down feathers spewed into the air. He threw himself on top of her in a futile attempt to protect her from the violent attack. She gasped as the weight of his body took her breath. Suddenly the protective shield went limp. Then silence.
She peered out from underneath his arm, looking toward the patio doorway. A blanket of shattered glass on the floor glistened from the moonlight. A ghostlike outline of a man stood motionless in the open doorway. A cigarette dangled from his mouth, the glow amplified with his steady breathing.
He stood silently, watching her. She crawled from under her dead lover’s body shrieking uncontrollably. Frantically, she tugged at the wet, blood soaked sheets until she reached the edge of the battered mattress. She slid off the side of the bed ... falling, falling, falling into the murky waters below. The icy churning blackness pulled her deeper and deeper squeezing the air from her lungs.
Jennifer Butler woke on the cold hardwood floor in the darkness of her bedroom. The only sound she could hear was from the late night traffic below. Still gasping for air, she pushed herself up to a sitting position. In the muted light produced by the narrow opening of the bedroom door, she scanned the surroundings of her bedroom. The walls behind her were intact. The oil painting of the Venice sunset hung on the wall in front of the bed. The painting’s tiny gondolas floating in their place, locked in time. She rubbed her forehead and winced in pain. Tiny beads of perspiration dripped down the back of her neck. It was a dream. It had happened again. The same dream that haunted her for weeks. What did the dream mean?
Exhausted, she pulled herself back into the bed while pieces of the nightmare filtered into her mind. Something was different this time. Her eyes drifted to the doorway where light pressed through a small opening. The dream faded. Where was Will? His voice echoed from the kitchen below. Relieved, she slumped into the pile of rumpled pillows.
“Dammit, Ian how could something like this happen?” His agitated voice raised. She heard the sound of objects being moved around and caught glimpses of his pacing movements in the distant kitchen. “Ian, do you know what this means?” Will barked. Then, the conversation became a whispered one. The pacing stopped and his shadow slumped into one of the kitchen bar stools. Eager to investigate but her exhaustion took over. She would ask him in the morning. She succumbed to the tiring effects of the dream and soon fell into a deep sleep.
Praise for the Book
"Excellent reading!! Sabine has the makings of a female James Patterson ...couldn't put it down. Her vivid details put you right in the story ... Can't wait for the sequel!!!" ~ Michelle
"It was a nice combination of romance, mystery, a love triangle and adventure! Especially loved the ending! Looking forward to the next one!" ~ Judy R.
"Get your hands on this book and they won't let go! I don't often indulge myself in pleasure reading, as I have to read for work. However, I picked up Never Look Back by Sabine Bummel & immediately got thoroughly engrossed! A wonderful diversion from the day - Will Lawrence enchants you into a different world & yet brings back memories & stirs emotion. I am still reading and already wondering what will come next from this interesting author. This book is truly worth taking some time for yourself!" ~ MJ
Interview With the Author
Hi Sabine, thanks for joining me today to discuss your book, Never Look Back.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Probably 17 an up - although my 14 year old tells me, “Mom, kids our age read that stuff all the time.”
What sparked the idea for this book?
My daughter Alexa sparked the idea for the heroine, Jen, and traveling through Italy a few years ago, the whole plot came to me.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
This time the character’s story for sure.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
I had a solid beginning and then an ending, it was hard to bring the two together.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I tried to make Jen’s character more realistic, she’s a girl with issues and emotions, not just a cheerleader Barbie who gets the hot guy.
How long did it take you to write this book?
To write it only took a few months; to tweak it, probably another year.
What is your writing routine?
There’s a lot of chaos in my house and I’m not one of those people who gets up at 4 in the morning to write, I’d rather sleep. I usually try to go to a coffee shop with my daughter, who also writes, and just have a good cup of coffee and tune everything out. Sometimes there are ideas there if you can sit back and listen to the background chatter.
How did you get your book published?
Well, since the conventional print route is near impossible, a friend told me to self-publish online.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Go for it! If you have those characters running around in your head, sit down in front of a computer and give them the life they are looking for!
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Spend time with my girls and my husband. And I like to bake.
What does your family think of your writing?
My daughter is a writer too, so she is really excited. We sit on the computer and compare sales. My husband didn’t much care for the computer taking some of his time but, once the sales started coming in, although small, he was totally down for it!
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
Wow, in a nutshell, I was born in Germany, hence my frequent trips overseas. Raised in Port Colborne [Canada], an amazing place to grow up during that time. Then my family moved to the States. First Buffalo - another amazing place and very close to my friends in Port Colborne. And finally, I was an only child, so I followed my family to Charlotte [North Carolina]. Then, I got married here and had three amazing daughters. When I’m not writing I have a catering business and hope to open a coffee shop one day.
Wow! Did you like reading when you were a child?
Yes, there weren't enough books. It started with Nancy Drew - Carolyn Keene couldn’t have written enough books. Rebecca was one of my favorite books. Then I turned to Robert Ludlum for my excitement, then Robin Cook, Dan Brown … and the list goes on.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I was always writing stories. I wrote my first book when I was 14, it was about hockey and was pretty dumb, but I finished it.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Sure, whose wouldn’t?
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Not that much yet, I did get someone asking for a sequel recently though. That was fun!
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I am working on Another Life, the sequel to Never Look Back. Same problem, trying to close the gap in the book. I also have another one, more on the supernatural side, I’m calling it Alex Powell. I love the element in this one but my mind is forcing me to finish Another Life.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Sabine. Best of luck with your future projects.
About the Author
Sabine, mother of three girls, makes her home in Waxhaw, North Carolina. Born in Germany and immigrated to Canada at two and later to the States, her life has taken her many places which she shares in her stories. A graduate in Journalism from St. Bonaventure, Sabine has been writing stories since she was young but it wasn't until 2010, when her catering business went through a slump, that she finally started her first novel, Never Look Back. The characters fighting for a place in her mind finally came to life.
Her three girls, Alexa, Carly, and Olivia are a constant source of inspiration for her characters. Alexa, much like Sabine, has begun her own writing career and published a novel as well. Sabine is currently working on Another Life, the sequel to Never Look Back, as she just wasn't finished with Jen Butler. She is also working on Alex Powell, another mystery with a psychic twist.