Published: December 31st, 2013
True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy. Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks. When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom. But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.
I moved, but I didn’t do as he asked. I ignored his orders, and instead, got to my knees and dropped my chin to my chest.
I invited him to shoot me in the head.
I let my palm drift over the exquisite fabric of Max’s suit. I wondered if I’d ever tire of the feel of fine fabrics, if I’d ever grow accustomed to that aspect of my new life. Wools woven so tightly they could feel like silk; silks so delicate they were sometimes transparent; and velvets, creamy fleeces, and luxurious cottons that were weightless against my skin.
His fingers, however, ignored my clothing altogether. They slipped beneath the hem of my skirt and traced a path to the back of my knee, making my pulse quicken and my breath catch.
The Pledge is a SF Dystopia, The Taking (expected publication in April) is an SF Alien and The Body Finder is a Paranormal Series. What it takes to create so wonderful stories in so different genres?
Obviously, I’ve thrown out the old adage “write what you know,” because clearly, I’m not drawn to finding dead bodies. I also don’t understand all languages, and, as far as I know, I’ve never gone missing for five years. So what it really comes down to, for me, is writing the books I’d like to read. I want readers see my books as more than just the supernatural or science fiction, which is why I try and balance those elements with real life families and relationships, and what it’s to be a teenager in the worlds I’ve created. And also, kissing. I like to read (and write) books with kissing.
And why all of them are Young Adult?
I started writing Young Adult before I knew I was writing Young Adult. The main character in my first book was 16 years old but I thought it was an adult horror novel. I think I’m drawn to teen characters because everything they experience is so surface-level. Every day is the best day they’ve had or the worst day. Things are new and more exciting at this age and teens tend not to be as jaded as most adults are. Also, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a teenager in the house so that may have played a part too.
We can say that you have journalistic / editor training. How this training influenced you as a writer?
My formal training started with a journalism class in junior high, and ended with me being the copy editor for my high school yearbook. I’m not sure either had a huge impact on my writing style, but were more like catalysts to make me realize I wanted to write as a career. The greater influence, for me, has been other writers: Stephen King (who I grew up reading); Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird is my all-time favorite book); Dean Koontz, John Saul, Thomas Harris (all of whom have written some of the most terrifying characters and introduced me to serial killers in fiction). I think reading a little bit of everything is huge if you want to be a writer.
What an author feels when ends a series?
With THE OFFERING, the final book in the Pledge trilogy, I was worried about tying all the threads together in a way that would give both myself, and the readers, the closure we all deserved. I didn’t necessarily need it to be all “...and everyone lived happily ever after,” but I wanted it to be satisfying, and I hope readers feel that it was.
Some readers (and even authors) say they read just for fun and it's not important if the book send a message. What do you think about this and what is the main message delivered by The Pledge series?
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. If I had to choose a message, I guess I would 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.
I also spent a lot of time thinking about injustices in our world and trying to incorporate them into Charlie’s world. In THE PLEDGE, there was classism that I loosely based on India’s caste system and hints of Nazism. In THE ESSENCE, I took a page from the civil rights movement and included school integration. In THE OFFERING, there’s a much broader look at the toll war brings to the society as a whole. It’s not like I’m trying to be preachy or anything, but I definitely like to put issues under a microscope!
Praise for The Offering
"This was a truly epic ending to the series." --Crystal Perkins, Goodreads Review
"The final book in Kimberly Derting’s Pledge trilogy is a thrilling conclusion. I was immediately swept up into it and powered right through. It was pretty much what I wanted with a few surprises along the way." --Krys at Bibliopunkk Reads
Author Kimberly Derting Kimberly Derting is the author of the BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING (coming April 2014 from HarperTeen). She lives in the Seattle area, with her husband and three children, who often find the outrageous things they say either in the pages of her books or posted on Twitter or Facebook for the entire world to see.
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