Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Interview With Author Laurel Garver

Author Laurel Garver is here with us today to discuss her latest debut novel, Never Gone. This YA novel is a well-written inspirational ghost story that deals with grief and loss with a realistic approach. Read the back cover blurb on Amazon here.

Everyone, please welcome Laurel Garver!

In your debut YA inspirational novel Never Gone, your protagonist is faced with the death of her father. In dealing with this issue, were you having to write from experience?

I wrote the novel a few years after losing my father, but my circumstances were quite different from my fictional protagonist’s. I was a married adult with a toddler, not a teen. My father was elderly and in poor health, rather than in the prime of life and killed in an accident.

However, my dad had been in a coma for the last week of his life. I drew heavily of my experiences in the hospital, especially how it felt to ache with every fiber of your being for this person to just wake up so you could talk, even if it was only once.

As I processed those feelings, I realized how much harder it would be to go through this as a teen still living at home. The emotions I felt are amplified and shaped by Dani’s specific circumstances of losing the ally parent and being stuck with the enemy at a vulnerable time of life

I've never read a Christian YA ghost story that deals with grief in an inspiring way. Sounds interesting! Would you mind telling us a bit about where the idea for Never Gone came from?

The TV show Providence, which aired from 1999-2002 ( featured a young woman whose dead mother regularly appears to her, guiding and sometimes arguing with her. I was really taken with the idea of a dead parent lingering to care for a child--and the deeper questions of whether that lingering is a spiritual or a psychological phenomenon, and what causes it. I’m also heavily influenced by two British Christian authors who write adult novels about faith and the supernatural, Charles Williams and Susan Howatch.

Why did you choose to write a novel in the YA genre, and do you see yourself continuing to write books for this age group?

I write YA because it’s what I enjoy reading. The transition from childhood to adulthood in the teen years is naturally full of high stakes and high drama. It’s the time when you truly begin to wrestle with the big questions: why am I here? What is my purpose? Where do I fit? Who do I want to be in the world?

I have several more books planned for this age group, and God willing, I’ll complete them.

In what ways do you think teenagers will be able to relate to your main character, Dani?

In the midst of losing a parent, she sometimes loses perspective, but she never loses her sense of humor. I think her wit will appeal to many readers. She takes refuge in creativity, specifically drawing, but kids with musical, literary or theatrical interests will also relate to that. Like the busy teens I know in real life, she juggles many things that compete for her time: school work, extracirriculars, friendships, romance, family, and her own spiritual health. But most of all, she faces a moment when she has to grasp her own faith rather than lean on her devout dad’s faith--a moment every teen raised in a Christian home will face at some point.

What do you hope your readers will take away from Never Gone?

Getting to know your parents’ stories is an essential part of growing up the relationship. It’s easy to misjudge them when you don’t know what struggles, hardships and heartbreaks they’ve endured, and how those things have shaped them.

Most of all I hope readers will gain a better understanding of who God is for them in places of great pain, anger and even rebellion.

Laurel Garver is a word nerd, Indie film enthusiast, incurable Anglophile, and follower of the Good Shepherd, who is faithful when we are faithless. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Her writing explores the places where heart and soul are tested and growing up truly begins. 

Check out Laurel's blog, add her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Read a sample chapter. Add this book on Goodreads, find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords.


  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Tessa. You asked such wonderful, deep questions!

  2. Great interview! I took away a message about the goodness of people and really came to appreciate the idea that a person is not always what they seem. So many great morals in this book.

  3. Love your blog girl! I couldn't find your email address to ask - but if you'd ever like to interview me (wow that sounds so tacky! haha) regarding my YA novel I'd love to be a guest here. How's that for inviting myself over?? ;)
    Thanks for your comments at and You rock!

    1. Of course, I'd love to do an interview with you! I'll send you an email. =)


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