From the moment I randomly stumbled upon this lovely lady's blog, (many months before her novel released) I knew this lady was awesome and that I would LOVE her debut novel, The Body Finder.
You're probably wondering how I was so certain of this fact. And I do have an answer: Her name is Kimberly.
In my opinion, anyone with a name as cool as that is.... well, made of awesomness in my book. Simple as that! (Not that I'm biased or anything. HA!) Also, it didn't hurt that she writes YA, her book's title and cover are fabulous and intriguing, and there's also a little someone named Jay Heaton in her novel. (I knew I would love him as soon as I read the synopsis on her website, KimberlyDerting.com.)
But you want to know the best part? I was 110% right! [Brushes shoulders off] No lie! All joking aside: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting has been one of my favorite reads for the year. Not that I ever expected anything different. So, naturally, the moment I finished, I knew I HAD to interview Kimberly. Like immediately.
I know you guys are practically jumping up in down in your seats, like giddy school girls and boys, right now. So, I won't prolong this any longer.
Cue Awesome Author Interview now!
Let me get right to the important stuff. Your cover. The first time you saw it, what did you do?
I think I cried a little. Not so much tears of joy (although, yes, I'm sure that was part of it), but mostly out of relief. I'd been stressing over the cover for months, even having nightmares about it in which there were these incredibly vivid--and very ugly--covers involved. So realizing that I LOVED MY COVER was such a weight off my shoulders.It is beautiful. I hope to have a cover as pretty as that one day! One thing I notice the most about the cover is the contrast between the breathtaking blue flower in the background and the sharpness of the title: The Body Finder. It's an eye catcher, for sure.
I, myself, am very bad at coming up with book titles. And I love your title so much. It's just so... simple, and I think that's the key to the beauty of it. How did you come up with the title? And did you ever have anything else in mind?
When I first started writing the manuscript, I used the title THE BODY FINDER as a placeholder name on my computer because.... well, Violet could find dead bodies. I was POSITIVE that my publisher would change it so I'd never seriously considered any alternatives. Months later, I found out that Sales & Marketing loved the title, so it stuck. Now that I've let myself get attached to it, I'm so happy that it did; I can't imagine it being called anything else!Me neither! It really is perfect, in every way imaginable.
So, I have to admit, I have a crush on Jay. (To everyone reading this, it's a shocker, I know.) And I was wondering how you came up with his character, and why you made him so sweet when in this day and age, YA is all about the bad-boy?
I'm actually not a fan of the bad-boy, not in real life and not in my books. I get the appeal, and like reading about them, but they just don't "do it" for me. I like a nice, sweet, funy guy. And I really liked the idea of Violet and Jay being friends first, having that history together before getting involved.I have to agree. 100%. Them being friends first was a nice touch. It made me want them together all the more, which leads to my next question:
Who was your favorite character to write? And, has it changed since you began writing the sequel?
Aside from Violet and Jay, I fell in love with Chelsea. She's the say-it-like-it-is kind of girl, even when people don't always want to hear-it-like-it-is! And because of that, Chelsea plays a much bigger role in the second book, Desires of the Dead.I can't wait! I really do love her, and that may just be because she reminds me so much of my sister in that say-it-like-it-is kind of way. With that being said: Did you base any of your characters on anyone you know, personally?
I love to tell my friends that they're all in the book; they just hve to figure out who they are. But, really, I didn't base any of my characters on people I know... although I may have (stolen) borrowed some of their personality traits! Now, I get to just sit back and laugh while they all try to figure it out! :)Oh, Kim, you're so.... devious. I love it!! Ha-HA!
As a writer, I always spend way too much time trying to figure out what POV I want to write my stories in. So, I'm curious to hear why you chose 3rd person POV, opposed to the norm for YA of 1st person.
I've written in both 3rd and 1st person, and I'm not sure it was a conscious decision to write The Body Finder in 3rd person. I think I'd written several chapters (and really liked them) before I was even aware that was what I was doing!Amazing! I love getting a inside look into authors minds!!
Do you happen to have a favorite scene in The Body Finder?
I really (REALLY!) liked writing the serial killer's scenes in The Body Finder, which probably says something disturbing about my psyche. Initially, there were fewer of those sections because I was afraid that it was too dark for a YA novel, so when my editor came back and asked me for more, I was thrilled! (And, yes, I know how twisted that sounds!!)Second to only the Jay and Violet scenes (because, hey, I'm a sucker for romance!) I loved the serial killer scenes, too! They added this underlying eerie-ness and urgency to the novel. It was fabulous!!
Speaking of editors: How many drafts of The Body Finder did you write (obsess over) before you knew it was ready to query?
Fortunately (or unfortunately), I didn't have much time to spend rewriting or obsessing over my drafts. I was scheduled to go to the BEA's writer's conference at the end of may and I only finished The Body Finder in the beginning of the month, so I only had a few weeks to shape and polish before I was off to pitch it to agents and editors. It was both exhausting and incredibly rewarding (that was where I met my agent!).Wow! I think it's amazing that you met your agent at that conference. Sounds like it was meant to be. But I'm curious, since The Body Finder's querying process wasn't the typical experience, did you ever query any other novels, and what was you experience? Did you ever get discouraged?
Since I met my agent at a writer's conference I didn't do any querying for The Body Finder, but I had spent years (and years!) querying on my original manuscript, a horror novel that I'd written in my early twenties and continued to rewrite (and obsess) over for the next fifteen years. I have STACKS of rejection letters for that book! So discouraged, yes, I think everyone going through this process gets discouraged sometimes.I have to say: I'm not looking forward to those rejections or feelings of discouragement. But, it's apart of the experience, and almost a right of passage for an author, I think. Most of the time, anyway.
So, do you have any suggestions for all of the aspiring authors out there?
I really believe that the people who make it are the ones who never give up. Like I mentioned above, I have stack of rejection letters, and I doubt there are many published authors who can (honestly) say they have none. It's the rare exception that someone writes a book, pitches/queries, and it sells overnight. R-A-R-E!
Very true! (Note to self: NEVER GIVE UP!!)
Moving back to The Body Finder, I've read there will be a sequel, Desires of the Dead. Can you reveal any deep, dark secrets about the sequel??
I can't say much yet, but I will tell you that there may or may not be a dead body. Or two. :)Okay, well, can you tell us if there are any steamy love triangles headed our way??
Again, you'll just have to wait and see...I swear, I can practically hear the evil laugh escaping your lips right now! ;)
Can you at least, maybe, reveal the release date for Desires of the Dead?
As far as I know (which doesn't always mean anything!), it's scheduled for March 2011. Although in publishing these things can change in an instant.Thanks for that, Kim! I'll be sure to circle the month on my calendar right now!!
Lastly, I've come up with a few questions--kind of a flash round--to be answered quickly, off the top of you head. Though, I wouldn't really know if you answered them quickly or not... since I'm not there! Ha-ha.
So here we go:
What's playing on your iPod right now? EVANESCENCE. (At least that's what I'll admit to.)
Favorite place to write? My office.
Snacks: salty or sweet? Sweet, always!
Mac or PC? PC. But very curious about Macs. (Curious about Macs? I have two words for you: Indescribably Awesome!!)
What's the one food you couldn't live without? Skittles.
Say you met a genie and he agreed to let you bring ot life one character from any book, who would it be? Babs (from Some Kind of Normal). I just know we'd be friends.
I want to thank Kim for being such a doll and taking the time to answer all of my pressing questions. Thanks, Kim!!
Be sure to pick up your copy of The Body Finder (in book stores nationwide) today!
Now, for The Body Finder Giveaway!! But this just isn't any ole book giveaway. Nope! Not at this blog, baby. I'm doing much better than that! I am actually giving you guys a chance to win a personalized, autographed copy of The Body Finder! How cool is that?!
The prize packs are as follows:
Grand Prize Winner:
, and a $5 Amazon giftcard. (Personally, I would use it to put towards the sequel to The Body Finder: Desires of the Dead. But that's just me! You can do as you wish.)
Personalized, autographed copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, some awesome The Body Finder swag
Personalized, autographed copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and chocolate (or candy of some sort). Because, after you read this book, in all its greatness, you will want the comfort of CANDY! I mean, that serial killer is one scary dude! Seriously!!
I'm so excited to be able to share this with you! And here are a few things you must do to be entered into the giveaway:
1) You must be a follower of my blog.
2) You must leave a comment on this post.
3) You must fill out of the form below.
Now, how easy was that? But wait, there are ways to get extra entries.
+2 for Tweeting about this contest (@kimlfranklin). I'll even give you 2 extra entries for following me on Twitter. And 2 more extra entries for following Kimberly Derting on Twitter, too!
+2 for Facebooking about this contest (Kim Franklin's Facebook page). Same as with Twitter, you can receive 2 extra entries for friending me up on Facebook, and two more entries for friending Kimberly Derting on Facebook, too!! (I'm feeling extra generous today!)
+4 for posting my, The Body Finder, giveaway in the sidebar of your blog or website.
+5 for blogging about this giveaway.
+10 for posting a blog post solely dedicated to this giveaway! ( You heard me right!! 10 extra enteries!!)
There are a lot of extra entries up for grabs here! The contest deadline is August 11, 2010. So you guys better get busy now! Believe me, you don't want to miss out on this!
Have fun, everyone! And good luck!!