Apr 7, 2013

Guest Post: Kimberly Derting on Villains

Hi all! I have Kimberly Derting here today to talk about her latest release, Dead Silence! I love her Body Finder series! I find it exciting and intriguing with a fresh twist to the mystery genre! Made even more amazing in the YA light!

Have you ever wonder where Kimberly gets inspiration for her villains' points of view? Every book has a few chapters from the bad guy/murderer's point of view and every chapter is gives me the heebie jeebies! Do you wonder if Kimberly feels the same? If she finds it challenging to write such chapters? Well, I asked her! See what she has to say:

I’ve been unknowingly doing research for the Body Finder series for as long as I can remember—reading horror, psychological thrillers, and true crime novels, as well as watching documentaries on serial killers. As an adult, I’ve pretty much watched every kind of crime drama out there (CSI, Bones, Medium, Criminal Minds, and, more recently, The Following). It makes sense that some of that disturbing subject matter would find its way into my writing too. 

When I first wrote The Body Finder, I worried that the scenes from the serial killer’s point of view would be too disturbing for a Young Adult audience, so there were far fewer of them in the first draft.  So when I got the note from my editor saying, “we want more of these!” I was thrilled!  I loved writing those scenes, and they were entirely too easy for me to write. (And, yes, I realize that makes me sound all kinds of sick and twisted!)

It’s really all about building up those moments before the protagonist is wandering into dangerous territory that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat and makes them want to jump out of their skin. As a writer, I try to take my time constructing those “moments before.”  I set the scene by describing the atmosphere, and what my character is smelling, hearing, and feeling around them.  I think about the emotions that my character is going through: Is their heart racing?  Is their breathing shallow?  I try to give the reader some time to really fret over that character’s well-being.

“The Girlfriend Collector” in The Last Echo, the third Body Finder novel, is very loosely based on Ted Bundy, but only in the sense that he’s charming and can appeal to the girls he wants to abduct. In Dead Silence, the fourth book, I based the killer(s) on a Manson-like cult.

Maybe I should be worried that writing from this darker place doesn’t come harder for me, but I’m not. I actually really enjoy it! And hopefully that comes across in my books.

Dead Silence releases April 16, 2013. You can check out my review for the book just below this post! It was truly awesome and I highly recommend reading this series if you love a good mystery! And if you're curious as to what that murderer is thinking half the time!

Violet thought she’d made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers…that is until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team Violet works for have no intention of letting her go.

When someone close to Violet becomes a suspect in a horrific murder, she finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a madman with an army of devoted followers. Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

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.

My publishing career began at an early age, when I started making homemade coloring books with sheets of blank paper and a stapler, and then went door-to-door to sell them. Unfortunately, my neighbors had limited disposable income for such frivolous purchases, so I was forced to seek my fortunes elsewhere.

I first fell in love with writing (giving up my childhood dreams of being a Veterinarian, and then my later aspirations of "lady trucker") when I signed up for Journalism as my 7th grade elective. It was supposed to an easy A, but it soon became my passion. I moved on to be Copy Editor of the high school yearbook so that I could correct other people's writing mistakes and fill in when they missed their deadlines (and, hey, it was high school...deadlines were frequently missed!).

I still live in the Pacific Northwest, which is the ideal place to be writing anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. I live with my husband and our three beautiful (and often mouthy) children, who serve as an endless source of inspiration for my writing. 


  1. I've never looked at it this way before; writing from a villain's POV sounds like a lot of fun! I don't think it's creepy at all but I am also addicted to crime drama!

  2. I agree with Carmel, I think the most fum to write are the villains.. and besides they are the ones who make any story more intriguing and better, :)
    Thanks for the post!

    - Diana @amalia_chartres

  3. I love that she writes in the villains POV too. I think having that makes it even better!
    Thanks so much for hosting a tour stop!

  4. A wonderful guest post! I'm a huge fan of The Body finder series and can't wait to read Dead Silence.

    I love how KD's publishing career started :-) and reading from the villains POV is great because we also get to know their thought process.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I really need to start this series!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  6. I havne't had a chance to read this one yet but I can't wait!! I've been a fan for years. :)

  7. I am so so so excited to read this series!

    - Ava


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