Review and Author Interview: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

When Violet Ambrose's morbid ability to sense the echoes of those who've been murdered leads her to the body of a young boy, she draws the attention of the FBI. She is reluctantly pulled into an investigation that will endanger more than just her secret...but her relationship and possibly her life as well. 

Violet's life seems to finally bear a semblance to normalcy. She's got her friends, she's dating Jay, and her morbid ability hasn't come out to play lately. Violet dares to hope that things might stay this perfect, at least for a while.

All those hopes crash down around her when Violet "hears" an echo of something trapped. Something dead. Unable to ignore the call of the dead, Violet places a anonymous call to the police. She just wants to do the right thing. She doesn't want any attention, just the body found.  

At first, it seems like everything will go back to normal. But then Violet starts getting the phone calls. Someone from the F.B.I. wants to talk to her. Badly.  And then Violet starts getting threatening notes, even stranger phone calls, and a gruesome gift left in front of her house in the middle of the night. Normal is gone. But Violet clings to it, keeping everything that's happening from Jay and from her parents. 

Who's out to get Violet this time?  Should she out her secret and help the F.B.I.? And will she lose Jay in the process?

It's possible that I may have liked this book better than the second. I haven't been able to decide. What I enjoyed most, by far, was the romance between Violet and Jay. It's just so real and rich; we get to see the relationship develop, and what's great is it isn't all roses and sweetness. There are bumps, too. Then, of course, there's the suspense. I love how twice now Kim has managed to surprise me at the end when I thought I had everything all figured out.  

All the characters from The Body Finder are present, and we also get to meet some new ones. I won't ruin it for you, but there's one character in this book that makes my mouth water! And it's not Jay...

All I can say is this: Read it, guys. Desires of the Dead won't disappoint.

About the author: Kimberly Derting lives in the Pacific Northwest, which is the ideal place to be writing 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 serve as an endless source of inspiration for her writing.

1) We've all grown to love Violet and Jay and the rest of the gang.
When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meanings?

For the main characters, I just picked names I really liked, but with the tertiary characters or the dead girls, I had a little more fun. For some of the killer's victims, I used the first or last names of people I know (mostly teens).  Of course I had to get permission from them and their parents first.  I sort of thought it would be hard to find people who wanted to be dead girls, but they loved seeing their names in the book! See, it's not just me who's creepy, apparently all my friends and family are too!

2) There were some emotional moments in Desires of the Dead. Have you ever cried while working on a manuscript?

I'll admit there was one moment in particular, where I got a little misty-eyed, but those are some of my favorite scenes to write the ones with big impact.  I feel like I'm rooting around in someone else's life and just
messing it up.  Please don't ask a psychologist to analyze that statement. ;)

3) How long does it take you to write a book? Can you describe your writing process?

It takes me about 4-6 months to get it ready to send to my editor, and then another few months of revising with her.  I'm a sporadic writer in the beginning, working here and there, until somewhere around the middle, at which point I can't seem to stop.  This is about the time I say goodbye to my family and sometimes to regular showers!

4) In Desires of the Dead, Violet actually has dreams before she finds the body. Are her powers growing, or was this more of a one-time-thing?

Since I can't answer this question without being too spoilery, I think I'll just send you the very first Desires of the Dead poster (when they're ready) to make you forget that I didn't actually answer this question.  You are getting very, very sleepy.

5) Assuming there's going to be a continuation for Violet, care to share any little tidbits that will make us grind our teeth in anticipation?

"Assuming" there is a book three, Violet will find herself in the most dangerous situation she has ever faced. And for Violet, that's saying something.

Thanks for your time, Kim! It was fun interviewing you.