This page is a compilation of all my guest appearances around the Internet. Learn more about my fiction, poetry and writing tips.

To request an interview, guest post, or a copy of my work for review, e-mail me at
laurels.leaves (at) gmail.com

Almost There


How Dani's faith sustains her: Finding hope in scripture

Lessons learned while researching medical plot complications in ALMOST THERE: How Fragile We Are

How I use life outside the story to make characters more real: The Secret to Compelling Characters

Shifting family dynamics explored in ALMOST THERE Grandpa Is Losing It: Teens and Dementia
(Cross-posted on AlzAuthors)

How unfamiliar settings reveal a character's inner workings: The amazing power of fish-out-of-water stories

How I use letter correspondence (aka epistles) in my fiction, and as a craft-building tool: Five Reasons to Write Letters


Tips on writing characters of faith without being preachy: Interview with Tessa Emily Hall 

The team behind my books, my process, and best writing advice I've ever received: Let's Write!

How the Dani Deane series was born, plus tips on making characters real and settings alive: my interview with Robyn Campbell

Something about Dani Deane only I know, series theme, and a bit more about my experiences as a city dweller, editor, and teen mentor: my interview with Peggy McAloon

Favorite characters, my writing process and more: Beyond the Rainbow 

Learn about my setting, meet some characters, and check out the ALMOST THERE playlist: Writer's Alley: YA in the Alleyway

Voice-driven writing, my writerly purpose and more: Reveries book blog

Inspirations for ALMOST THERE, and what led me to write for teens: Interview with Karen Lange


"Almost There made me fall in love with the YA genre all over again. This is the kind of teen fiction I enjoy: An authentic and inspirational novel that accurately portrays the teen life. Throw in a romance thread, family drama, teen angst, beautiful wordsmithing, an artistic element, and weave them together to create an original, page-turning-worthy plot." Review from Christ Is Write

"Almost There is engaging and will capture your heart. From the opening pages, I felt like I was a part of the story. The setting is written with beautiful detail. I stand amazed at Laurel’s sense of the world she is writing. I wanted to hang around in these pages long after the story ended." Review from Author Robyn Campbell

"The characters are really fun and supremely real" Review from Beyond the Rainbow

"The characters were well-developed and believable, even the most minor ones. I felt like they could be real people. [T]he plot was original and well-paced; it kept together and ended perfectly." Review from Reveries book blog

"I found Dani easy to identify with. Her struggles with trying to make things turn out right for everyone else really resonated with me. The faith elements play a strong role in the story, but they didn’t seem to dominate or steal the show. I liked that prayer was kind of a natural part of Dani’s life, and that the author included it in such an open, organic way." Review from The Story Sanctuary

"Well edited, interesting, and hard to put down, a definite recommend." Review from Rachel John Reviews

"This book was so refreshing to read.... I really liked Dani and felt her pain, confusion, and need to help so much. It was just a wonderfully written book that came just when I needed it!" Review from Carrie K's Book Reviews


Author Spotlight and Excerpt from chapter 12 on Catherine Bennett's Blog

Spotlight and excerpt from chapter 14 on Overactive Imagination

Spotlight and excerpt from chapter 9 on Erica and Christy and Perpetual Gardener

Spotlight and excerpt from chapter 8 on God's Peculiar Treasure and Zerina Blossom's Books

Spotlight and excerpt from chapter 1 with Frances Hoelsema, author and Charity's Writing Journey

Never Gone 


Exploring father-daughter relationships: Why Dads Matter

From high rises to cathedrals--setting a story in NYC and rural England: How I develop setting

Writing realistic romanceRepulsion, Attraction, Connection: Romance is more than "hotness"

Writing a character for whom faith is a natural part of life: The truth about...writing faith

How I use poetic techniques in my fiction to make it more musical: Make your stories sing

How I wrote Never Gone: inspirations and themes--Grief, ghosts and God

Advice on writing bereaved characters: Grief faces, not phases

Advice on developing distinct character voices: Elements of Voice

Learning to embrace a messy creative process: The two-faced life of a writing editor

Laurel's favorite book from childhood: Stories of our youth: empathy and transformation

On writing stories when you're mature enough to do them justice: Let It Simmer

Why community matters in Never Gone, and for me as a writer: The importance of community and support

Tips and tricks learned while creating the book trailer for Never Gone: Eleven book trailer tips

The opening scenes of Never Gone: Featured Author, Into Another World


Edgy and clean? Writing across genre divides
"KA: You call Never Gone’s genre 'YA edgy inspirational.' What does that mean?
LG: It means Christian in outlook, but with mature, challenging situations. 'Edgy' here is not what mainstream publishers mean by the term — they’re generally talking content and language that would earn an R rating if it were a film. My story is 'edgy' compared to other books in the Christian book market."
More here: interview with Karen Akins

Why I wrote Never Gone: tackling the question of "where is God when we suffer?"
"I wanted to explore how loss and grief are handled well – and poorly – in Christianity. People of faith can at times have an unhealthy stoicism about death.... But when someone isn’t given space to fully grieve, the emotions will come out sideways and be far more damaging."
More here: interview with Carmen Ferrerio Esteban

The draw of writing for teens
Teens today struggle to be real in a culture that glorifies superficiality. When beauty, strength, and charisma are idolized, all the ways we are broken never see the light, never have a chance to heal. Instead, they fester under the surface, filling our lives with poison. So I write about kids in crisis who learn to let go of their pretensions and falseness and allow God to remake them as people who humbly hope, believe, and love.
More here: interview with Kristen Otte

In loving memory: How autobiographical is Never Gone?
"I also knew if I tried to write directly about my experience [losing a parent], I’d have trouble keeping the emotional distance I needed to really shape the story and not err toward clinical detachment or maudlin sentiment. In that way, fiction can be more truth-revealing than 'true' stories."
More here: interview with Angela Felsted

Why ghosts and God?
"The idea of a parental presence lingering to help a child fascinated me, especially when it’s unclear why it’s happening (is it supernatural or psychological?)."
More here: interview with Mary Aalgaard

Teen grief and "third culture kids"
"Dani struggles with expressing her deepest feelings, suppressing and self-managing more than the typical American teen might.... Losing her British father requires Dani to reassess how she fits in the world, and how to reconcile with her American half."
More here: interview with Margo Berendsen

Let Setting Emerge From Character
"I wanted the time that Dani spent in her late father’s hometown to challenge her strong identification with him. The setting had to be a big contrast from her very American, very urban home, so her dad is not only foreign, but rural."
More here: interview with Melissa Sarno

Style, roadblocks and growing as a writer
"I strive to use language in a way that’s musical like a movie soundtrack, undergirding the emotion and action. In tender moments, expansive and flowing; in tense moments, terse and staccato. Beautiful doesn’t have to mean slow paced."
More here: interview with Kayla Black

Teen experiences 
"Like the busy teens I know in real life, Dani 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."
More here: interview with Tessa Emily Hall

Writing life, projects and favorite resources
"Talk to real people when researching any aspect of your story. It not only gains you insider perspective, but also can stimulate your thinking and help generate stronger plots and characters far more than static library and Internet research can."
More here: interview at New Zeland blog YAlicious

Inspirations and comparison titles
"BK:Which books are your book’s 'cousin' (Similar set-up or style)?
LG: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, and Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr."
More here: interview with Brandi Kosiner


"I couldn't put this one down": a review

"The perfect fall-into-winter book": a review

"A story of redemption, of hope in the face of intense sorrow, and of great personal growth, Never Gone is a touching read." review from A Word's Worth

"Laurel Garver approached the hard issues of grief, doubt, and fear with an honesty I have never read.... Even with the tough subjects in this novel it is a very hopeful book.  I recommend this novel to young adults and not so young adult readers." review from A Novel Review

"This book is full of twists and turns, of love and forgiveness, and of faith and clarity. This story is beautiful and inspirational and can reassure someone in pain that things will get better....a great read." review from O.D Book Reviews

"I've read a lot of Christian fiction for young adults, and this is by far one of my favorites." review from Emm's Wonderland

"I enjoyed the character development in the story, especially the relationship of Dani and Heather along with Dani and Theo. Never Gone was an interesting read for me because of the direct weaving of the Christian faith into the story. As a Christian, I found the faith aspect surprisingly refreshing and realistic." review from Kristen Otte

"I found it to be a very well written story about how a fifteen year old feels the loss of her father, written with a very realistic feel.... The author weaves a serious story, but instead of it feeling sad, it was a story of new beginnings, friendships, faith and family." review from WV Stitcher

Muddy-Fingered Midnights

Interview with Crystal Collier
featurette and e-book giveaway with Deniz Bevan
"Skills + soul = my publishing journey"; guest post for Michelle Davidson Argyle
"Make words your playground"; guest post for Connie Keller
Interview with Anne Gallagher
"Writing through Fear"; guest post for Jennifer R. Hubbard
"Stories that sing: poems with a plot": guest post for Caroline Starr Rose
"Save Your Life, a patchwork approach": guest post for Jessica Bell
"Why read poetry?" guest post for Tyrean Martinson


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