Wouldn’t it be cool if you could sense dead bodies? Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder Series, certainly thinks so. So much, that she wrote a whole series on them. Her enticing series will keep you on the edge of your seat and scare the wits out of you. We decided to pick Kimberly’s brains about her amazing series, so check out what she has to say!
Years (and years!) ago, someone in my family actually found a murder victim. Scary, right???
What inspired the idea of ‘The Body Finder’ series?
The idea actually first came from my husband when we were driving one day, and he asked: “What if there was a kid who could find dead bodies?” In his head, “the kid” was a middle-grade boy, but it was still a great idea…once I changed the kid to a sixteen-year-old girl, and came up with the idea for the echoes and imprints. And then I had to add Jay, of course!
Parts of THE BODY FINDER are written through the killer’s point of view. What sort of research did you do on serial killers to create such a convincing voice?
I actually research serial killers’ characteristics while writing the BODY FINDER books. Things like: what traits serial killers have in common, the kinds of childhoods they had, and what factors could play a role in making them so different from everyone else…to really get inside their heads, so to speak. I love trying to figure out what makes them tick.
The YA book market is a competitive place, what do you think sets your series apart from the rest?
A lot of readers have told me that one of the things they like about my books is that my main character, Violet, has a strong family to lean on. Of course, there are a lot of other readers who think it’s that best-friend-turned-boyfriend Jay Heaton!
What rituals do you perform before you start writing?
I actually write the first draft on a chalkboard in my office. I’m kidding…but wouldn’t that have been a cool answer? The truth is, I don’t really have many rituals except to make sure I have a stockpile of Skittles in my desk drawer and an insane amount of tea on hand. If someone could make Skittle flavored tea, I would be in heaven!
Which character did you find most challenging to write and why?
I can’t think of any character who was particularly challenging, although the easiest characters to write have been the serial killers. I don’t know why but they are really, really fun for me. This scares my husband just a little bit!
I think the biggest challenge is keeping the stories fresh. And then secondly, keeping them fresh without completely abandoning the format that your readers have already fallen in love with. I don’t want my books to be “formulaic,” but at the same time, I want readers to feel like they’re hanging out with an old friend when they’re reading the next book in the series. It’s like walking a tightrope, trying to find that balance that will keep readers coming back for more.
Tell us the most/least exciting part in your journey from being an aspiring writer to becoming a published author.
This is tough, but really, getting “the call” was the most exciting thing for me, just because it’s something that I’ve dreamed about for so long. It’s too long to post here, but click here for my “getting the call” experience.
The least favorite thing for me is probably all the waiting. I’ve gotten better at it over the years but sometimes certain things in the process seem to take FOREVER…
And finally, what would you like to say to your readers before diving into The Last Echo?
Have fun, and I hope you enjoy it! And of course…lock your doors and windows at night!
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.