Book Nerd Author Interview
I was born and raised in the Seattle area, with the exception of a few short stints in Phoenix, Boise, and San Jose. I had a colorful childhood, raised by a single mother who worked her butt off to make ends meet. She showed my brother and me how to enjoy life on a shoestring budget. She was the kind of person who, given the choice between paying a bill and taking us to the circus, would always opt for the circus...and somehow, she always managed to pay the bill. She was the one who taught me how to laugh.
My publishing career began at an early age, when I started making homemade coloring books with sheets of blank paper and a stapler, and then went door-to-door to sell them. Unfortunately, my neighbors had limited disposable income for such frivolous purchases, so I was forced to seek my fortunes elsewhere.
I first fell in love with writing (giving up my childhood dreams of being a Veterinarian, and then my later aspirations of "lady trucker") when I signed up for Journalism as my 7th grade elective. It was supposed to an easy A, but it soon became my passion. I moved on to be Copy Editor of the high school yearbook so that I could correct other people's writing mistakes and fill in when they missed their deadlines (and, hey, it was high school...deadlines were frequently missed!).
I still live in the Pacific Northwest, which is the ideal place to be writing anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. I live with my husband and our three beautiful (and often mouthy) children, who serve as an endless source of inspiration for my writing.
Tell me a bit about yourself. Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born and raised in the Seattle area, where I still live today. We moved around a lot when I was little, but my family ended up coming back to the Northwest because my mom (if you can believe this) missed the rain. Me, not so much.But my husband and I both have family and friends here, so it’s kind of hard to move away from that.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing The Pledge?
I’m not sure it was really a surprise, but I’ve come to realize that the books I write don’t always fit perfectly into a specific genre. Booksellers and publishers love to classify books with neat little labels, but I find it tough to categorize mine. For example, The Body Finder was kind of a mystery/thriller paranormal with a fair amount of kissing. And The Pledge is more like a fantasy-dystopic with a splash of romance. See what I mean??? Try and find those sections in your local bookstore! :)
What inspired you to write this particular book? Is there a story about the writing of this novel that begs to be told?
The original idea for The Pledge came to me in pieces. The first piece was just a simple question: “What would it be like if someone could understand all languages?” But I definitely wanted the story itself to be bigger than just that component. I spent a lot of time thinking about how Charlie’s ability would work, what kind of world she would live in, and creating the monarchies and her friends and family, before I’d ever written a single word.
I actually talk about it here:
What was your favorite chapter to write and why?
For some reason, I just loved writing the scene where the bombings start, probably because there’s so much going on at once: action, inner-turmoil, confusion and chaos. Those are some of my favorite scenes, the ones in which the characters aren’t sure exactly what’s happening, but their lives may be at stake and they have to make fast, possibly life-changing decisions in a split second.
Which author would you love to co-author a book with?
That’s a toss-up. It would be either JK Rowling, during which we would write while sipping tea and eating biscuits (cookies), or Stephen King. That book would be crazy-dark, and we would write it while locked in a windowless room, while depriving ourselves of all creature comforts. Except, of course heat. And toothbrushes. And food. Oh...and chocolate!
In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom….
I have to admit that The Pledge by Kimberly Derling is one of those books that I couldn’t put down. Story gets more interesting at every turn of the page. It offered a uniquely appealing dialogue that strongly interested me before committing to it.
Dystopian appears to be the hot genre lately. It is very easy for the stories to start becoming similar with all of the books out there. On the other hand, Derling succeeded in avoiding the trend with a revitalizing story jam-packed of danger, magic, intrigue, and of course, romance.
The setting that Derling created was extraordinary as she calls Brooklyn & Charlotte as “ancient cities”, although it is never clearly stated what year and what city the characters are living in. Speaking of the characters, I thought Derling’s astonishing creativity helped to create these amazing people and the relationships between them were solid. Most of the characters were extremely important in their own way.
The Pledge is a book that will be difficult to put down. It is very captivating from the first page to the last.
You can purchase The Pledge at these following retailers.
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Coming April 17, 2012
Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet's talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it's Violet's job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by "the girlfriend collector" she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship" and Violet may have caught his eye....
You can pre-order The Last Echo at these following retailers.
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Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.
As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.
You can purchase Desires of the Dead at these following retailers.
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Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world... and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer... and becoming his prey.
You can purchase The Body Finder at these following retailers.
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And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Kim Derting for making this giveaway possible.