Kimberley Derting is best known for her Body Finder series, which in my opinion reached a brilliant new level in book 3, The Last Echo. She’s also started a new series, which starts with The Pledge.
Q. To start us off, please tell us a little about your books.
A. The Body Finder is a series about a teen named Violet, who has the ability to sense the bodies of those who have been murdered. She can also tell who has killed each victim because both the victim and the killer share the same unique echo / imprint. There’s also a boy named Jay…and there may be some kissing. I like kissing.
The Pledge is about seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie), who lives in the violent country of Ludania, where the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before and her secret is almost exposed. And there may be kissing…you know, because I like kissing.
Q. Tell us a little more about The Body Finder – where did the idea come from?
A. The initial idea first came from my husband when he asked me: “What if there was a kid who could find dead bodies?” In his head “the kid” was a middle-grade boy, but it was actually a great idea, so I changed his kid to a sixteen-year-old girl, and came up with the idea for the echoes. And then there was Jay, of course!
Q. In The Last Echo you introduce some more characters, with different abilities – how long are you hoping to write about them for?
A. As of now, there are four books scheduled for the Body Finder series, but who knows what the future holds. I love spending time with Violet and Jay, but I’ve also got some other ideas that I’m very excited to explore. Only time will tell!
Q. The Pledge is a different type of book completely – would you class them as dystopian or fantasy… is it meant to be a future world, or a completely different one?
A. This is a great question because most people who read it seem to assume that it’s set in our future. I’ve only ever clarified it when asked because I don’t think it really matters one way or the other.
To me, though, the world is an alternate version of ours—the way ours might have developed had there been magic in our royal bloodlines. As far as classification, because of the magic, I consider it fantasy set in a dystopic society. (Try finding that genre in a bookstore!)
Q. You end The Pledge on a darker note – does this mean there’s more to come?
A. Yes, there are two more books in the trilogy…and a lot of darker notes to come!
Q. Have you always been a writer, and how did it feel to have your first book published?
A. I started writing when I was a teenager and actually had my first agent in my early 20s. When my first manuscript didn’t get picked up, I did everything from going to school with the hopes of becoming a doctor one day to being a stay-at-home mom for several years. As for my first book getting published, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
Q. Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on at the moment…are you continuing the two series already started, or do you have something new?
A. The fourth book in the Body Finder series and the second book in The Pledge trilogy are finished. I’m currently working on some edits for both of those, and also writing the final Pledge novel. After that, I have some plans in the works, but hey, a girl has to have her secrets, doesn’t she???
Q. You’re currently in the middle of a busy schedule, doing talks and signings, and you’re active on twitter. Do you enjoy being in contact with your readers?
A. I love it! For me, it’s one of the most rewarding things about being an author. I’ve always been very social, so having the chance to connect (online or in person) with some of my brilliant readers has been amazing! I know some authors who just want to write in a cabin in the woods somewhere and never come out of their homes. I’m the exact opposite. I will not only come out of my house, I might just show up at your house one day for tea.
Q. A little about yourself…what do you like to read, and what’s on your bedside table right now?
A. I recently finished CARNIVAL OF SOULS by Melissa Marr, which was an absolute thrill-ride of a read by a brilliant author! I’m just finishing up BLACK HEART (the final book in the CURSE WORKERS trilogy) by Holly Black, and because of this series, Holly is my reigning author crush! Also, I’ve just started VELVETEEN by Daniel Marks, and so far it has everything I could want: a sadistic serial killer, a badass ghost bent on revenge, and a super snarky tone! LOVING. IT.
Q. And when you’re not writing, reading, or tweeting…what else keeps you busy?
A. Shockingly, I’ve become someone who goes camping a lot. I say shockingly because those who know me wouldn’t consider me the outdoorsy type. But my husband figured out a way to make camping fun for me. By buying an RV, he’s made sure that I have access to hot tea, hot showers, and my flat iron, so it’s all good!
You can find Kimerley at http://kimberlyderting.com/