THE BODY FINDER
Now available from HarperTeen
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 herself.
I read the first few chapters of this book on Harper's Browse Inside. I immediately went to Amazon and bought it. When it arrived I sat down and read the entire book in a few hours. Captivating and engrossing and just plain edge of the seat awesomeness.
Despite the whole serial killer lurking the the background, Kim managed to weave in an amazing romance too. This had to be one of the best character interactions I’ve ever read. There was no love triangle, no angsty bad boy who acts like he hates her but secretly wants her. No, the LI in TBF was a nice and normal guy. One that could have gone to high school with any of us. I’m not going to say more because I don’t want to give anything away, but seriously, it was HAWT.
So I emailed Kim because, yeah, I’m precocious like that, and told her how much I adored the book. She replied and thanked me and I asked her if she would answer a few questions so I could post it here with the review. She graciously accepted, so without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Kimberly Derting! *insert dramatic drumroll*
Welcome to YA Highway, Kim! Okay, let’s get right to the good stuff.
What made you decide to write a YA book with a serial killer in it? (I mean, it’s not the kind of topic you'd expect!)
I’ve always been sort of drawn to the dark-and-creepy—in books, TV, and movies—so it wasn’t a stretch for me to write what I love. I know, I know, that seems a little strange, right? And since I came up with Violet’s ability before coming up with the plot, it made sense that a serial killer would give her a chance to flex her “supernatural muscles,” so to speak. Plus, I REALLY liked writing the serial killer’s scenes. Again, I’m not sure what that says about me!
Because people are always dying to know how successful authors did it, can you tell me a little about your journey? Did you get plucked from the slush pile? How long did it take you to sell The Body Finder?
I actually met my agent at a writer’s conference. I’d gone the query letter route on a previous manuscript and collected my fair share of rejection letters. But, when The Body Finder was finished, my husband urged me to go to a conference to pitch it to agents in person. It was an incredible experience and led to me signing with my agent. After that, everything was a complete whirlwind! We were submitting within a month, and the book sold within another month!
And on that note, I see you have a sequel coming out on March 15, 2011, Desires Of The Dead. Is this a continuation of Violet's story? (And please tell me that she and Jay keep up their oh-so-hot relationship!)
It is a sequel to The Body Finder and yes, there will be more of Violet and Jay, although there will also be some new strains on their relationship as Violet’s ability draws the attention of________. Sorry, I can’t give away everything! Fine, I will say that there will probably be a dead body. Maybe even two! :)
You recently got back from tour. Can you tell me the most surreal moment of that? As a debut author, did you ever think you'd be jetting around North America signing YOUR book? (And from what I see, hanging with Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, and Alyson Noel!)
Actually, I won’t get to hang out with the amazingly talented Melissa Marr and Alyson Noel until September when I do The Smart Chicks Kick-It Tour. This last tour was the Supernatural Summer Tour (with Kelley Armstrong, Aprilynne Pike, Kim Harrison, and Ellen Schreiber…um, can you say powerhouses?!?!). It was incredible! I think the most surreal moment was sitting in Anderson’s Bookstore in Chicago and having Kelley Armstrong explain to the audience that just the year before she had met me when I was an attendee of the Supernatural Summer Tour, and now here I was…sitting on the stage! WOW, it gave me goosebumps to have it put in that perspective!!!
What words of advice would you give our readers, the ones who toll tirelessly to get to where you are now?
NEVER. GIVE. UP!!! Seriously, I have stacks of rejection letters that can attest to this advice. Also, give writer’s conferences a chance. I’m living proof that they can work!
Fast Five. Answer these questions without thinking about them to long.
1) What super ability would you most want to have? Flying, no question.
2) Favorite flavor of ice cream? Cake batter (from Coldstone).
3) What's on your desk right this second? First Pass Pages for Desires of the Dead.
4) Coffee or tea? Tea.
5) All time favorite book? To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Thanks so much to Kim for answering my questions, and if you haven’t read The Body Finder, you must run out right this second and buy it because you will not regret it! And don't forget to look for Desires of the Dead coming March 15, 2011 too!