Monday, December 5, 2011

Kimberly Derting Author Interview

Photo Content from Kimberly Derting

Kimberly Derting is the author of the award-winning THE BODY FINDER seriesTHE PLEDGE trilogyTHE TAKING trilogy, and UNDRESSED (her first book in The Men Of West Beach series). Her books have been translated into 15 languages, and both THE BODY FINDER and THE PLEDGE were YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selections. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where the gloomy weather is ideal for writing anything dark and creepy. Her three beautiful (and often mouthy) children serve as an endless source of inspiration and frequently find the things they say buried in the pages of their mother's books, or on Twitter for the world to see.


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.
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.

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you KIMBERLY DERTING for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one signed copy of The Pledge + Swag by Kimberly Derting.


  1. Senior Prom. I know its a very cliched answer, but that's how it is. I will always remember wearing the sari and walking in with my date (who i later found out wanted to get with my best friend...something i can never forget. Sad part is...everyone knew apart from me.)

    I have the first entry! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  2. This is another amazing giveaway!! Thanks Jean. I would love this pack!! The entire thing ROCKS!! Thanks for giving us a chance to win!! My most memorable High School moment would be when someone ran into the side of the school due to an ice storm!

  3. Memorable High School event. Honestly shopping for Prom Dresses after my mom died. They were the best at getting me out of the house and making me feel better about things!

  4. Sorry my friends were the best. Don't know how I forgot to type that!

  5. Thanks for another awesome giveaway Jean.

    I don't really have a memorable high school event haha my school life was boring.......though I could say I have a memorable high school injury, which was a tiny piece of plastic got stuck in my eye and nobody believed me =/ until the following day when I cam to school with an eye patch and the piece of plastic as proof lol according to the dr's I was very lucky coz the plastic was very close to the nerve and if it touched it I would have lost the sight in my left eye. Oh and I now have a phobia of eyes haha

  6. One of my most memorable high school events was my senior year Drama Club Banquet. We'd had Senior Award Night the evening before, and I had been up to the stage too many times to count. In Drama Club, each senior was given an award unique to them, and mine was the "I've already won everything else, why not this?" Award. It was rather embarrassing, but super funny.

  7. the day i left high school was the most memorable. my high school holds no happy memories for me. thank you for the giveaway

  8. My high school years were a blur. Not many happy memories.

  9. not really, there were a few fun events though


  10. Not really, mainly missed it! Plus I lived across the street from the school, I saw way more than I wanted to.

  11. Senior prom, I remember having to climb in my friends window in my dressed because she forgot her keys :) It was a good night

  12. Besides senior prom, the date I actually said yes to Dating my best friend. Even tho were ex's now I wouldn't have my oldest if I wouldn't have said yes to him after 3 years. .

    Terri m

  13. Most memorable is when I graduated. I was not a big fan of High School.

    your1chef at aol dot com

  14. There were plenty! I guess one of the best memories was a taking a road trip with my best friend and two other friends to a football game that was two hours away during my senior year. It was a Friday night and the referees apparently forgot they were supposed to be reffing that we had to wait for some other refs to finish the game THEY were reffing and then for them to drive to the football game. The game didn't start until after 10, and we ended up getting home at 2 a.m., but it still turned out to be a great night with great friends.

  15. um...I don't think I have a memorable I'll just go with my senior prom...I'll never forget...

  16. Hi wonderfull interview Jean :) My most memorable memory from High School is the stripteess of my gym teacher it was funny and the teacher was really fit sooo.... yep teenager hormones :)
    The Wolfs Library

  17. The most memorable thing was not going to High School was homeschooled loved it! Thank you for the great giveaway I look forward to reading this book!

  18. It is a famous answer but I really enjoyed prom. I only went to my Junior prom but it was fun. I still look back at pictures all the time. Also all the football games and parties afterward.

  19. Nothing much to say when i was in high school. but i remember i really enjoyed being in the school band especially when we were invited to go in other barrios.

  20. Probably the end of high school! LOL I wasn't a school lover at all.... Maybe the High school dance party!

  21. My memorable high school event was the excursion we went before graduation. It was for five days in Rhodes ( Greek island ). It was five amazing days which I will never forget.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

  22. What a great giveaway! Thank you for the opportunity to win!
    My most memorable High School moments were from our Senior Trip - it wasn't much, we went to Sioux City, South Dakota, but we sure had some wild times at the motel we stayed at, LOL!

    Gena Robertson

  23. What a wonderful post!!! My memorable moment was being voted most friendly in my senior year :) that means everyone thought I was extra friendly :)

  24. Ok fingers crossed...i want this one!!;)) THANKS for the giveaway love;)))

    My most hight school memorable moment...well everything I loved High School wish I spent more time enjoying it!!


  25. I have been looking for The Pledge at my closest book store for the past few weeks and they never have it. So disappointing!

    thenightbookmobile at yahoo dot com.

  26. Thank you so so so so much for this amazing giveaway :D If it isn't international, I do not mind paying shipping if I win. <3 (A) :D
    Hmm. I don't really have any. I only had bad experiences in school :p And I try to block them all out ;p
    Love, Carina