Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meet Author Kimberly Derting!

Author Interview: Kimberly Derting

Kimberly Derting lives in the Pacific Northwest, an ideal place to be writing anything dark or creepy—just what you'll find aplenty in her books (hint: morbid abilities, dead people, haunting interpersonal connections, etc.).

Her writing gig started when she chose journalism as a 7th-grade elective. It was supposed to be an easy A. Instead, she fell in love with writing. The rest is...well, you know.

Get to know Kimberly through our interview with her below. Then, check out her books before meeting her at YALLFest on Nov. 11 and 12! (Click on any book title to place a library hold on it.)

We’re all excited that you’ll be at YALLFest! What made you decide to come?

I'm SO excited to be coming to YALLFest, it’s such an amazing opportunity to connect with readers! And to be perfectly honest, I may or may not have highlighted a few of my own favorite authors to stalk while I'm there. If you’re curious as to who they are, just be on the lookout for the authors giving me very awkward half-hugs. :)

What prompted you to write for teens?

It all started when I read The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven. Soon after, I started writing for teens, and I knew immediately it was the right genre for me. It’s amazing to write characters whose emotions are so raw and new. Plus, it totally makes me feel younger!

                                                                     The Body Finder
How did you come up with the idea of a connection between killers and their victims as exists in The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead?

The idea just came to me while my husband and I were driving one day, and he threw out the original concept about a boy who could find dead bodies. I immediately thought of the echoes and imprints angle, mostly as a way to get Violet into more sticky situations. Oh, and I also changed his boy main character to a girl, and added a good deal of kissing. To this day, he jokingly tells me that I ruined his great idea!

Do your books reflect your own experiences as a teenager?

Only in the sense that I went to high school and had friends. I’m 99 percent sure I never found a body.

You were raised by a single mother. What did you learn from that experience?

First off, she taught me that it’s not appropriate to stick peanut M&M’s up your younger brother’s nose. Who knew???

Seriously though, she instilled in me the importance of family. It was just the three of us—my mom, my brother, and me—so we had to lean on one another...a lot! I think this theme is seen in most of my books. (Thanks, Mom!)

                                                                   Desires Of The Dead
Who did you look up to as a teen?

Stephen King. And I still do!

Are your characters modeled after your own experiences growing up?

I’ve been known to sprinkle a few real-life experiences into my books. As for which ones exactly...come on, a girl’s gotta have her secrets!

Are you anything like Violet? Ever known a guy like Jay? :)

Violet, not so much...unless you count our mutual love for running. I'm kidding, I seriously hate running! I think I made her a runner because I’m secretly envious of people who can achieve that runner’s high.

As for Jay, my husband will jokingly say that he's basically the grown-up version of Jay. Honestly, I'm not 100 percent sure he's kidding.

Which of your characters are most like you?

I may not be quite as “unfiltered” as Chelsea from the Body Finder Series, but I definitely have her “say it like it is” mentality.

Which character was the most difficult to create?

I’m not sure any of them were particularly difficult, but what I can tell you was that the serial killer was entirely too easy for me. For some reason, the sections from his POV just flowed. That doesn’t make me creepy at all, right?

                                                                     The Pledge
We're dying to read your next book, The Pledge, a dystopian book where the slightest misstep can mean executioneven speaking in one's native language. Yikes. Any symbolism there?

I spent more than a year thinking about this book before I actually started writing it, so I had plenty of time to consider the world, the rules, and the implications. Because the original spark for the story came from a German woman who’d grown up in WWII Germany, I spent a lot of time contemplating how that kind of dictatorial regime—and its constantly changing rules—would affect a population trying to adapt.

So symbolism? It would’ve been impossible to avoid.

See you at YALLFest!

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