Talking Thrillers with Author Sebastian Fitzek: The Package

Sebastian Fitzek is one of Europe's most successful authors of psychological thrillers. His books have sold 14 million copies, been translated into more than twenty-four languages and are the basis for international cinema and theatre adaptations. Sebastian Fitzek was the first German author to be awarded the European Prize for Criminal Literature. He lives with his family in Berlin.

Sebastian Fitzek was born in Berlin in 1971. After going to law school and being promoted to LL.D., he decided against a juridical profession for a creative occupation in the media. After the traineeship at a private radio station he switched to the competition as head of entertainment and became chief editor later on, thereafter becoming an independent executive consultant and format developer for numerous media companies in Europe. He lives in Berlin and is currently working in the programme management of a major capital radio station.

Sebastian's latest release The Package has just hit Amazon stores everywhere. And, we're excited to share the official book trailer below sure to send shivers down your spine and get you especially excited to read this enthralling thriller.

Then, keep scrolling because we have a fun interview with the author himself.

TFx: Where did you come up with the idea for The Package?

Fitzek: One day my mailman asked me to accept a package for a neighbor. I did it of course, being polite, but as soon as I carried the package into the entry, where I meant to leave it, it got me thinking. The recipient’s name wasn’t at all familiar to me. You should also know that I’ve been living on a very small street for years and thought I knew every neighbor personally.

People with a healthy repression mechanism might’ve wondered for a second but then just waited to see who came to pick it up. Paranoid people like me, who earn their living by creating hazardous thoughts, start getting scared: What kind of a package is it? Does it contain anything illegal? (I smelled it, shook it, pressed my ear to it.) Is there a particular reason that I of all people was receiving it? Should I be scared of whoever’s picking it up? I knew this situation was the starting point for a thriller plot, and it inspired me to write The Package.

By the way: The unfamiliar name on the package belonged to the Airbnb guest of a neighbor whom I know quite well. Don’t worry, it’s not such a harmless resolution in my thriller.

TFx: What can you tell us about the book's setting in Berlin?

Fitzek: Most of my books take place in Berlin, a city that for Ur-Berliners (a rare species I rank among) doesn’t really personify the rest of Germany. Berlin is basically Germany’s only metropolis and a gift for any author because anything can happen here and you get to meet people from all over the world.

Born Berliners have a habit of staying in their neighborhoods because the city is simply too big (for German standards). The Package is therefore located in an area I know my way around best: Southwest Berlin, on one of the streets in Charlottenburg where I grew up. A comfortably middle-class, single family-home neighborhood fantastically well suited for letting the horror gradually make its entrance on the other side of that nice façade.

TFx: Where do you draw inspiration from when writing your characters?

Fitzek: There’s another advantage I can point to for living in Berlin: All you have to do is ride the subway to encounter people displaying dysfunctional behavior, in both a positive and negative sense. I do however always try to avoid depicting an exact replica of a real living person. Who would ever want to recognize themselves in a psychological thriller?

TFx: What are you reading now, and what good books have you read lately?

Fitzek: I keep returning to an old volume of stories from Edgar Allen Poe, whom I very much admire. The Raven ranks among my all-time favorite poems.

I’ve read every book by John Grisham since studying law. I’ve just finished Camino Winds. Next I’m going to attempt the biography of Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is a bit older now but it came highly recommended. And I’ve read Barack Obama’s work of course, like so many others.

TFx: What are you working on now?

Fitzek: I’m working on a thriller in which music will play a very big role. I can’t say much more unfortunately. If I did, my German publisher would shoot me. 

Get Fitzek's latest release, The Package, out now on Amazon.

Emma's the one that got away.

The only survivor of a killer known in the tabloids as 'the hairdresser' – because of the trophies he takes from his victims.

Or she thinks she was.

The police aren't convinced. Nor is her husband. She never even saw her tormentor properly, but now she recognises him in every man.

Questioning her sanity, she gives up her job as a doctor in the local hospital and retreats from the world. It is better to stay at home. Quiet. Anonymous. Safe. No one can hurt her here.

And all she did was take a package for a neighbor.
She has no idea what she's let into her home.

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