Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Met Kimberly Derting!

Today our public library hosted its first ever Young Adult author, Kimberly Derting, who wrote THE BODY FINDER series. Her first book of a new trilogy, THE PLEDGE (a dark, dystopic fantasy), is out now.

Of course I went. And ate pizza. And tried not to embarrass myself by saying anything stupid. Kimberly was so nice and down to earth. I had a great time meeting her and absorbing as much of her writerly wisdom as possible.

Here are a few nuggets I took away from the time (paraphrased, of course):
  • Kimberly stopped listening to books on CD on car rides because she realized it was stunting her creativity. She needed that down time when driving to let her mind work through new ideas. I could absolutely relate to this. Anyone else?
  • Kimberly made sure we knew that there was no right answer to the "How should I write a book?" question.  She writes books without an outline, but with linear plot points in mind. But she has friends who write "schizophrenically" -- one scene here, another there, and in the end it seems to magically gel as a book. Others write outlines that are so detailed they're almost novellas. Some friends edit extensively as they write. Others write without ever looking over their shoulder. She told us to pick what works for us and throw everything else out. Never believe someone who might claim to have THE ONLY working writing process. Good advice, yes?
  • Kimberly writes two books a year (wow!). Usually, she works 6-7 days a week, 10-13 hour days (wow!!). A lot of this time is spent writing, but she also spends time social networking. She has found that publishers do in fact expect (especially YA) authors to be social networking, and they'll even use tracking programs to check up on their social networking activities/influence. Interesting, yes? 
Do you enjoy meeting authors and hearing about their writing lives?


  1. Yay! I met Kimberly today too... she was very nice and had a lot of knowledge to share.

    Last week our library hosted Matt Bondurant whose book, The Wettest County in the World, was made into the film Lawless coming out in a couple weeks. So cool!

  2. Well, it's always fun to meet writer-friends :)

  3. SO JEALOUS! I am a HUGE fan of Jay... I mean The Body Finder series. And I've bookmarked Kimberly's post about the rejections she received while on submission because it's such a great reminder of just how subjective this business really is.

  4. Very interesting! Like Gina, I'm a huge fan of Jay. :) Sounds like a fun event!

  5. YAY! I've read the first book in The Body Finder series and I really liked it. Glad you got some advice and got your picture with her!! :)

    I had no idea publishers checked up on how much social networking their clients were doing!! WOW!

  6. I love attending author events and meeting writers on the other side of publication. You look like your face is having a hard time containing your smile. :)

  7. It kind of freaks me out to think about agents and editors monitoring my social media whereabouts. I'm just sayin'!! :)

    Nice to meet Kimberly. Love face-to-face author meetings. I will definitely be checking out her books.


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