Interview with Laurel Garver

interviewwithlaurelgarver
Hello everyone! Today (or rather tonight) I’ll be interviewing Laurel Garver, author of Almost There. Her favorite color is plum, partially (or completely?) due to her love of our dear Professor (points for getting the reference!). You know, at some point you’re all going to have to call these points … Anyway, on with the interview!
 *
What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
*
You get to have lots and lots of imaginary friends and get paid for it.
*
My feelings exactly. 😉
*
I was excited to be allowed to read Almost There. Where’d you get the idea for the plot? How about the characters? Are they inspired by people you know, other book characters, etc.? Is the main character similar to you? In what ways?
*
Hearing, during my teen years, my own mother’s stories of her difficult childhood has profoundly shaped my sense of writerly purpose–to imagine redemptive journeys for people in dysfunctional families. In Almost There, I wanted to explore a mother/daughter relationship in which the child becomes an agent of healing, in part to offer hope to kids with very broken parents. 

My characters are, I suppose, a blend of various people I know well, or have met or observed, with pieces of me mixed in. My daughter says I’m a blend of Dani and her mum, Grace. Dani resembles me in internalizing a lot, having a runaway imagination and sarcastic streak, and being intensely emotional.
*
Was Almost There a hard novel to write?
*
Already knowing the main characters made it somewhat easier to write than my previous book, but it has a more complex plot, and it required a lot of research. And I had to re-conceive several of the new characters before the story really worked.
*
Were you satisfied with the way Almost There turned out?
 *
I’ll quote Annie Proulx here: “I never feel that it’s finished, but you have to stop somewhere.” I think every author wrestles with this, because there are countless ways to tell a story, and it’s easy to become paralyzed wondering if you picked the “right” one. But I do feel like the characters changed and grew in a manner that embodied the themes I wanted to communicate, and they managed to surprise and entertain me along the way.
*
Will there be a sequel?
*
I hope to wrap up the series in Dani’s college years. I’m toying with the idea of writing the whole thing from Theo’s point of view.
*
Hmm … I liked Dani’s POV, but I think it would be cool to have another perspective. 🙂
*
What’s your next/current writing project?
*
I’m working on a Christmas novella that takes place between Almost There and my first novel Never Gone, told in alternating points of view from both Dani’s and Theo’s perspective. It’s their first Christmas as a couple–and the first anniversary of Dani’s father’s death–so the pressure is on for Theo to find the perfect gift.
*
Ooh, interesting! 🙂
*
What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Where do you prefer to write? Do/can you work on more than one novel at a time?
*
I’m a pantser and a voice-driven writer (a term I got from Matthew Quick, author of Silver Linings Playbook). I usually start stories with a character who speaks to me, and once I know this person and his/her desires and fears, situations will begin to occur to me. My personal experiences and curiosity also provide ingredients for the magical alchemy that is creating story plots.
 
I write best in a quiet environment, and prefer to work in my home office, up on the third floor of our urban townhouse. I like having my resource books in easy reach and being out of the fray of family life.
I always have several nonfiction writing how-to projects going as I write my novels. As ideas occur to me, I add them to the projects I have in process.
*
How do you conquer writer’s block?
*
A combination of things–reading and critiquing for others, watching movies, taking long walks, using writing prompts, and if all else fails, research.
*
Is there anything you’d like to say to wrap up?
*
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 where they feel most afraid and hopeless than change or healing is possible.
*
Well, that about wraps it up for today! Thanks for letting me interview you, Laurel! 🙂
*
~Kellyn Roth

About Laurel Garver

Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She enjoys quirky independent films, word games, British television, and Celtic music. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Blog/Website: http://laurelgarver.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Interview with Laurel Garver

  1. That doesn’t sound like ‘ALWAYS’ to me. 😄 Hmm. I wonder if the reason you play with Miss Scarlet is so you can go first… 😛

    CutePolarBear

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m generally Ms. Peacock. Or Miss Scarlet if I feel like (takingtheadvangate) it and no one else has her. Our Mrs. White is (basically) broken and generally (and sadly) gets abandoned. 😛

    Lovely interview! With all the amazing talk about Almost There, I’ll need to find some time to read it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Clue is really great, but I have to ask you, does Miss Scarlet win almost every single time for you too? Because for all the people I’ve talked to about it (which isn’t very many) it’s almost always been her, which I think is the oddest thing…

    Anyway, this interview was really interesting! I love hearing about different authors’ writing methods and ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s