Thursday, January 3, 2013

Interview♥Giveaway: The Essence by Kimberly Derting

The Essence (The Pledge, #2)
“Danger, dread, mystery, and romance” (Booklist) continue in the second book of The Pledge trilogy, as Charlie’s reign is under siege from the most unusual of enemies.

At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within.

Release date: January 1, 2013


1. If you could work with any author who would it be? 
I would have a hard time turning down the chance to work with JK Rowling, but who wouldn’t, right???

2. Who is your favourite author and is you writing style similar to theirs? 
I adore Holly Black’s Curse Workers series (WHITE CAT, RED GLOVE, BLACK HEART), but as much as I’d love to write like her, her style is uniquely her own.

3. What's your favorite part of a book? 
Definitely the ending! I love that mad dash toward the final conflict. I love the high-stakes action and drama that the conclusion allows. To me, that’s the absolute best part to write.

4. When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?
As far as the character’s names for THE PLEDGE trilogy, I thought about the way, in our world, cities have been named to honor monarchs. I considered what it would be like to have those cities stripped of their individuality by having their names taken away (which they were in THE PLEDGE), and how people might react to that. I imagined that some people might rebel by naming their children for those un-named cities. As a result, I named many of the characters (Brooklynn, Paris, Sydney, Cheyenne) after cities.
5. How do you get started with writing a story (as in, how do you start developing the story, how do you get inspired for it)?
It’s different for every book. With THE BODY FINDER, it was a simple statement from my husband: “What if there was a kid who could find dead bodies?”

With THE PLEDGE, the original idea 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 developing the monarchies and her friends and family, before I’d ever written a single word.

I actually talk about it here: 

6. What advice would you give to people who "run out of creativity" when writing?
When I hit a rough spot, I usually just hit the road and crank the music. I’ve found that if I drive around for 30 minutes or so and just blast whatever CD is available, that usually does the trick. And since I have kids of all ages, that music could be anything from Eminem to The Wanted. If my 11 year old daughter is with me, it’s definitely something by The Wanted. She’s a little obsessed right now. :)

I think the best advice is really to power-through and keep writing. I’d rather write a really bad page and have to edit the heck out of it, than write nothing at all.

7. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I’ve always been fascinated by language on so many levels. Not just how it can be used as a weapon—or a divisor, as in THE PLEDGE—but also how language can be used as a tool to bring people together. People often use language to judge others or make assumptions based on their grammar, idioms, or dialect. I guess I want readers to realize the way language can play a significant role (good or bad) in the way people view and judge each other, whether intentionally or not.

8. What books have most influenced your life most? 
My all-time favorite book is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee—it’s one of the few books I re-read every few years. And THE SHINING was—and always will be—one of my favorite horror novels.

9. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 
When I was growing up, we didn’t have the great Young Adult selection there is today, so I went right from books like BLACK BEAUTY and THE BOXCAR CHILDREN to reading the books my mom had lying around the house, which were ghost stories by John Saul and horror novels by Stephen King. So, I was introduced to the world of horror by the time I was 12 or 13, and Stephen King was the master as far I was concerned.

10. What book are you reading now? 
I just finished ENDANGERED by Eliot Schrefer, and I LOVED it!

11. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? 
I recently read GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, which was intense, and not AT ALL Young Adult. But I saw that she signed a deal to write a Young Adult novel that I can’t wait to read!

12. What are your current projects? 
I just finished working on the third book in THE PLEDGE trilogy and have started working on a super secret project that I’m very excited about. I’d tell you about it, but like I’s super secret ;)

13. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. 
I have the best agent in the entire world! Besides being a great business partner, she’s also a great cheerleader.

14. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 
I think I’d add more kissing. There can never be too much kissing!

15. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 
I knew I wanted to be a writer in the 7th grade, when I took a journalism class. Of course wanting to write didn’t mean I’d be good at it. I wrote my first book when I was 20, got an agent, and thankfully it never got published…it was awful. But, it was also really great practice!

16. Can you share a little of your current work with us? 
THE ESSENCE is the second book in THE PLEDGE trilogy, and in it (Spoiler Alert!) Charlie has taken her place on the throne and is now struggling to keep Sabara at bay within her.

17. Do you have any advice for other writers? 
I think it goes without saying that if you want to write, you should read everything you can get your hands on, even if it’s not in the genre you want to write in. You can often learn more in the pages of a book than you can in a classroom. But most importantly, if you really want to get published, my advice is: Don’t give up! Ever! This is a tough industry and rejection comes with the territory. You have to learn to take “no” and move on.

18. What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Most of the research I do is for my BODY FINDER series, and I’ve been doing that since I was in my teens, reading psychological thrillers and true crime books, watching documentaries on serial killers, along with every kind of crime drama out there (CSI, Bones, Medium, Criminal Minds, Law & Order). Writing the scenes from the killer’s perspective came shockingly easy to me…which sounds incredibly sick and twisted!

Kimberly Derting
Kimberly is the author of the BODY FINDER series (HarperCollins) and THE PLEDGE trilogy (Simon & Schuster). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.


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  1. I absolutely cannot wait to read The Essence! And any book by Kimberly Derting for that matter! Really looking forward to Dead Silence as well! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  2. O wow. It's great to read Kimberly Derting's interview. I always wanted to know how authors get their inspiration. Can't wait to read The Essence. Thanks.

  3. Amazing interview! Kim is by far my favorite author. I just finished reading this book yesterday an it's sooo good!!

  4. Awesome interview. Thanks for participating.

  5. Great interview!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  6. great interview and it sounds like a fun book!

  7. Fantastic interview and thanks for the giveaway (crochet addictcfs)

  8. I love the White Cat / Red Glove / Black Heart books too!

  9. I would love to read this thank you. It sounds fabulous.


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