Kimberly Derting is the debut author of The Body Finder, set to be released on March 16 of this year from HarperTeen. =]
KD: I fell in love with writing when I signed up for Journalism in the 7th grade. That was when I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I really thought I wanted to be a journalist. Seriously, traipsing through jungles or war-torn regions to get “the scoop” just really wasn’t me. Plus, there are all those facts you have to gather. And truth-telling. It didn’t take long to realize that I way preferred making stuff up.
When I was in college, though, I was very serious about getting into medical school. My undergrad work was primarily in biology, chemistry and mathematics. About halfway through my junior year (right about the time I should have been gearing up to take my MCATs), my husband and I decided to have a baby and I gave up my med-school dreams. So, of course, the obvious alternative was writing.
Fortunately for me (and for our daughter), it all worked out in the end!
KBB: What do you consider the hardest part of writing?
KD: Time. And it’s actually not so much that I have a hard time finding the time to write, that part seems to be relatively easy for me. It’s more that I’ll let everything else go, my household, social obligations, pretty much everything. Thankfully, I have a really supportive family and friends who are very forgiving. They’re also good at reminding me that sometimes I need downtime too.
KBB: What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?
KD: One of my big weaknesses is that I’m not an outliner, which makes it nearly impossible to synopsize a novel in advance (which agents and editors tend to like). I really enjoy working on the fly. I pretty much know where my story is going (in fact, I usually have a really good idea how it’s going to end), I just don’t know exactly how I’m going to get there. But that’s half the fun…figuring it out as I go.
My strength is probably that obsessive commitment I mentioned above. I can become completely consumed while I’m writing (like I said, to the exclusion of everything else!). I’d like to think that means I’m passionate about my work!
KBB: Do you have any must-haves while you are writing?
KD: Tea is an absolute must. I would say it’s a necessity of writing, right up there with my laptop and sweatpants. Skittles are good too. Not necessarily a requirement, but a definite bonus.
KBB: How does it feel, knowing that your book will be on shelves in stores in less than 100 days?
KD: Overwhelming. Exciting. Terrifying. Any of those words fit the bill. I can go from giddy to gut-wrenching fear in about five seconds flat. It’s been a little crazy-making!
KBB: Are any of your characters based on people you know?
KD: I joke that they all are to drive my friends crazy. But, seriously, none of them are. There are little characteristics that I “borrow” from friends and family, little inside jokes that I sprinkle in my manuscripts, but overall, the characters are made up. But if they were real, they would totally be the kind of people I’d hang out with (well…except for the serial killer).
KBB: Do you have anything in common with Violet, your main character?
KD: Not really, I guess. Violet is this regular girl with a really creepy ability. I think what’s cool about her is that she doesn’t shy away from it…or on the flip side, she’s not so kickbutt that she comes across as unrealistic and bad-assed. She’s just a girl who doesn’t want to sit around and wait to be rescued.
I’m more the terrified-of-finding-dead-things kind of girl. I just like writing about it.
KBB: What were your top five books of 2009?
KD: Ooh, this is SO tough…and you’re really putting me on the spot. I have WAY more than five, but here are just *some* of my faves (in no particular order): Fragile Eternity (because I’m completely hooked on the Wicked Lovely series. I can’t wait for the next installment!); Leaving Gee’s Bend by Irene Latham (this is a Tenner book that I had the chance to read, and it’s so incredibly awesome! I really can’t say enough about it!!!); The Forest of Hands and Teeth (because, well, you know!); Prada & Prejudice (I’m not usually a chick-lit kind of gal, but I just loved this book! I am dying to read Hubbard’s next book, You Wish); Beautiful Creatures (Okay, so I just started this one, but I don’t think I’m jumping the gun by saying WOW! this book is amazing!). I could just keep going…and going…and going! (Seriously, did you see how many exclamation marks I just used???)
KBB: You are definitely not jumping the gun on BC. It is totally worth being one of your top five. Thanks so much for the interview. I can’t wait to read The Body Finder! It sounds spectacular and I guess now I will have to check out the other books that you mentioned.
Readers here is your chance to win some awesome Body Finder swag donated by Kimberly Derting. =]
To be entered just comment on my interview. If you want extras, here’s how.
+1 become a follower
+2 if you are already a follower
+3 link to the contest somewhere (only one)
There will be two winners of the contest. One will receive a Body Finder poster signed by Kimberly along with a Body Finder tote bag. The runner up will win a signed dust jacket. The contest will end on January 30.