Clarissa Johal: October 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Welcome to the Coffin Hop

Prize drawing just for stopping by and following my blog OR Liking my Author Facebook Page:
A $5 gift certificate to my publisher, Musa Publishing, and an ecopy of my novel BETWEEN, to be released on December 14, 2012.

Be sure and leave your contact info in the comments section! 
Prize winner will be announced on November 1st
*Please visit other Coffin Hoppers for more chances to win cool prizes.

*Coffin Hop Art by RL Treadway

Journey into the Paranormal
by Clarissa Johal

People often ask me how I began writing in the genre of paranormal. I’m not brooding or scary or running off to join the latest séance, which I think is what they expect. And my silly sense of humor oftentimes gets me into trouble, especially with my two daughters. The topic of paranormal has always interested me. As a kid, we moved almost yearly. It seemed we were always living in older places and with those older places, came a ghost or two. Now, before you chuckle and roll your eyes (or not) let me tell you, I walk the line between skeptic and 100% believer. On the surface, I may be rolling my eyes with you, but inside, I believe in a plethora of things I won’t even begin to discuss until I’ve known someone a very long time. I know what I’ve experienced, and I know what my rational mind tells me. Believe me, there’s a lot of arguing in my head over those two things. But we are a collection of what we’ve experienced in our lifetime.

When I was 10-years-old, we moved to an island and lived for several months in an old house. I’m an insomniac and have been since I was a kid. Consequently, being awake while the rest of my family slept was nothing new. One evening, and after hours of tossing and turning, I decided to get up. While I sat on the couch trying to figure out what to do with myself, I heard singing in my ear. It was as if a woman was sitting right next to me singing Time in a Bottle. The song was popular at the time (and yes, that dates me) but I didn’t know the words. At that point, I did what any kid would do if they weren’t compelled to run away screaming--I politely sat and listened until she finished. Afterwards, I went back to bed and proceeded to have the worst nightmare. I dreamt that I walked into our bathroom and found a naked, young woman wrapped up in a shower curtain in our bathtub. She was blonde, had a bullet hole in her head, and was quite dead. It was graphic for a 10-year-old, I never watched television and rarely had nightmares. I had it for weeks until we finally moved. Each time, it became more intense--it had gotten to the point where she was clawing her way out of the tub and trying to speak to me through the shower curtain. Needless to say, I was a bit of a wreck by the time we moved. Years later, I found out from my parents that there was indeed, a murder at that house. They didn’t elaborate, but I always wondered of the details.
Parents, tell your kids these things ahead of time, because if they ever experience anything, they will always wonder.

So, back to the genre of paranormal. I began writing fantasy fiction when my kiddos were younger. It's what we were reading at the time so it made sense that I would choose that genre. While working on the second installment to my Pradee series, I was interrupted by two characters that truly didn’t fit into fantasy fiction. I kept setting them aside, but they would return, stronger than ever. Finally, I gave up and began working on BETWEEN, a story of the paranormal. While Pradee took me ten years to complete, I had the rough draft of BETWEEN finished in several months and a year after that, the full novel was complete. Six weeks after I submitted, Musa Publishing offered me a contract.

The novel I’m working on now is paranormal/horror. I have to say, I’m hooked. I love presenting this genre in new and interesting ways. Now, I know what you’re probably going to ask me: Do I write of my experiences or make stuff up? I’m a writer and I write fiction. I know the difference between fiction and real life. However, some of the best fiction is when a writer “writes what they know” and a little of what I know creeps into my novels from time to time. I hope you will enjoy reading them.

by Clarissa Johal

How far would you go to redeem yourself?


As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn't come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.

After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.

As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life...but a battle for their salvation.

BETWEEN will release under the Thalia imprint of Musa Publishing on December 14, 2012.

Clarissa Johal has done everything from working as a veterinary assistant and vegetarian chef to volunteering as a zoo-keeper aide and swimming with six foot sturgeons. Writing has always been her passion. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day she fully expects a wayward troll to wander into her yard, but that hasn't happened yet. 
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