Thursday 6 March 2014

YA paranormal 'Getting a Life, Even If You're Dead' author, Beth Watson is here today!

If you died, could you live with your regrets?

When Kendra’s mother drags her to a creepy Paris cemetery for work, the last person Kendra expects to see is Amber, her best friend who moved away three years earlier. Amber helped Kendra through a dark time, and Amber’s departure was just one more loss for Kendra. Amber was Kendra’s confidante but it turns out Amber failed to share her biggest secret: she was dead. 

Amber never planned to disclose her true identity to Kendra, but a boy’s life is at stake. Amber is suddenly unable to connect with troubled kids and she needs Kendra to console Pierrot, a despondent boy who holds the answers to the suspicious death of his brother, Loic. Although Loic needs closure to cross over, the truth about his death might impact everyone’s future, including Kendra’s, since she has fallen for Pierrot, the mysterious boy and murder suspect.

But dead or alive, there is no going back…

I love that tag line 'if you died, could you live with your regrets?' so I snapped myself up a copy pretty darn quick, liking it so much I wrote a review. Then when Beth announced her blog tour, I was thrilled for the opportunity to ask a few questions about her book. 
Hi Beth, thank you for coming to Cait’s Place.Let me start by saying how much I enjoyed Getting a Life. I’ve always been drawn to paranormal activity books and this one lived up to expectations. 

You dealt very compassionately with the theme of teenage depression, is this something you experienced yourself? I very much felt the reality of this theme and you dotted it throughout as matter-of-fact, which I think is a great message to convey to teenagers and older folk with depression.
Thank you, I’m so glad you felt I handled the subject of depression well. One of my biggest concerns when writing this book was being able to keep a lighter writing tone without making light of depression and teen suicide. As a teenager, I had my share of typical heartaches; boyfriend break-ups, friend issues, etc. However, I don’t think I suffered from clinical depression. I’ve had periods of depression in my adult life, which I think gave me a deeper understanding of people who suffer from severe depression.

The second theme I was drawn to was that of redemption. Amber, her choices and the effect of those decisions leading her to want to help others, I found to be inspiring. Bringing it down to earth (!) the message of helping others is a lovely one to convey in such a relaxed manner. Did this theme develop as you wrote GaL or was it something you always wanted to write about?
This question brings up an interesting topic. When I first started writing this book, Amber was a secondary character and the story was told solely from Kendra’s point-of-view. Partway through the story, Amber started taking over and it was apparent that she had a much stronger story to tell.
How lovely to be looking forward to the next stage of the journey, to finding out how Kendra manages her life and the choices she’ll have to make now that she is aware of a spiritual life. 

The trappings of teenage life such as Facebook, wanting boys to like you, jealousy over other girl’s figures gave the book such a real edge. Was that tough to do, given that the book itself is paranormal? You struck a very fine balance, nicely done, Beth!!
Thank you! I think these subjects transcend decades (Amber being an 80s girl, Kendra present-day) as well as life and death. :)

Have you much experience of teenagers? I ask because the voices throughout strongly reminded me of my teenage nephews and nieces.
No, I don’t have children or a career that involves working directly with teens. A critique partner suggested my voice would be a good fit for YA. My everyday vocabulary consists of words like awesome, cool, totally, etc. I think I’m still just a teenager at heart.  
LOL I think I am too…teenager at heart but with experience of life. ‘Tis a nice way to be, although sometimes it does surprise me that I’m getting older :).

And finally, I enjoyed watching Kendra’s relationship develop with her mother, who photographed cemeteries. How on earth did you find the inspiration for this particular vocation?
I am so obsessed with Paris’s cemeteries I wrote an entire blog post about them. I’ve visited Paris numerous times and have dozens of grave pics in my photo albums. I was repeatedly drawn back to one grave. Louise Thouret’s grave is hauntingly captivating and makes several appearances in my book. The first time I saw her grave, my mind was bombarded with questions. Who was she to have had such an elaborate statue erected in her memory? How had she died at the young age of sixteen? Who had recently placed fresh flowers on her grave when she’s been dead for over a hundred years? Every grave has a story to tell, both fictional and non-fictional.
I must admit to loving graveyards too. There’s a Victorian one in Nunhead in London that I used to visit with such detailed tombs, all so very nostalgic and haunting. When I travel, I always make a point of visiting the graveyards to see how different cultures deal with death. I think it is a shame that we’ve lost that creativity in burying our loved ones, although the logical part of me does acknowledge the necessity to being economical with space etc.. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to compile such insightful questions Cait!
It’s been wonderful having you there, Beth. I loved Getting a Life and so I appreciated the opportunity to ask you a few things about it. The very best of luck to Amber and Kendra, I’m looking forward to meeting them once more.

If anyone would like to ask Beth a question, please do leave a comment below!! Thanks!!

Beth has a rafflecopter with some great prizes 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio
When Beth isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home in Wisconsin working on her next novel. She enjoys bouncing ideas off her husband Mark, and her cats Quigley, Frankie, and Sammy.

Connect with Beth:


  1. Thanks so much for having me here today Cait! These questions really made me think! Merci!

  2. de rien, ma biche :). Thanks for being here.

  3. Great post! I loved the Q&A!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Kimberly!

    2. Thanks Kimberly, Beth was a joy to interview :)

  4. I loved how all the relationships interacted with each other! As if they were all in the right place at the right time - for a reason. Do you create each character first and then decide how they are going to cross paths?

    1. I generally write character driven stories and even though this one was more plot driven than usual I would still say I created my characters first. It's nice, if I create them first, they can help me write the plot. :-) Thanks for reading Getting a Life, and for popping by! (Google account is acting up so can't post under Google, so no pic, but it's really me here!)

  5. There are two big twists in the book - did you know those were coming before you wrote it or did they just happen as your fingers were flying across the keyboard?

    1. I only knew the ending hook. The rest surprised me also! Thanks so much for reading Getting a Life, and for stopping by!

  6. I commend you for writing a book that addresses the difficult topic of suicide in such an insightful manner. I like how your book provides the perspective of both the suicide victim and that of those who loved her regarding the impact of suicide. This awareness is needed in our society!

    1. Wow, thanks so much Sandra. I'm glad you connected with the story. Thanks so much for the wonderful comment and for stopping by!

  7. Ladies, excellent Q&A. The insight into Beth's character development was fascinating. Much continued success with Getting a Life, Even if You're Dead.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my interview Deborah!