Clarissa Johal: Welcome to the Coffin Hop

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. 
Author website 
Amazon Author Page


Anonymous said...

I'm leaving a comment!!

Johanna K Pitcairn

johanna (dot) pitcairn (at) gmail (dot) com

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Excellent, Johanna! Thanks for stopping by. (:

Unknown said...

I want your book!! I want YOUR BOOK!!!

Happy #CoffinHop :)


Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Anne (: Your enthusiasm made my day! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Hello, fellow Musa author! You've got yourself a new follower and FB liker here.

milojamesfowler at gmail

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Thank you, Milo!

James Garcia Jr said...

Hello, Clarissa. It's good to meet you. I have followed your blog and social network accounts and would love to be included in your giveaway. Thanks.
Happy Hopping!

rapture22 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Will do, James! Thank you for stopping by (:

Eleni Konstantine said...

Good on you for going with the characters and exploring their journey. :) Looking forward to reading your book when it comes out.

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Eleni!

Anonymous said...

I agree: if a house is haunted, or has been the scene of violence, it is better to discuss it as a family. Maybe nothing will happen, but maybe a lot of things that can't be explained will happen - and it is better to not feel alone if the latter comes to pass. Your woman in the tub story is chilling, and I bet you did get a glimpse of some dark past.

One of my fears has always been that I would go into the bathroom and find a dead person in the tub. I blame The Shining. :) This just means that if I have to go to the bathroom at night, I never ever look at the tub... or the mirrors. Hmm. Neurotic, much?

I'm going to go follow your blog now; I enjoy your voice!


Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Aww! I do remember that scene though it's been awhile since I've seen The Shining. Personally, I'm afraid of butterflies so I can't say a thing about neurosis, lol. Thanks for stopping by, Aniko! (:

Anonymous said...

HI Clarissa

That nightmare does indeed sound horrific! I know about haunted houses and have lived in quite a few of them myself.
Also an insomniac so I usually write to keep the fears at bay and dark fiction is what comes out of the keyboard then.
Your books sounds right up my alley.

Happy Hopping!


- Kim
coffinhopping from Wrestiing the Muse

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kim! I wonder how many authors have insomnia, lol. Sounds like you found a creative outlet for your fears--very nice. I will hop over to your blog now...

Anonymous said...

I love haunted houses, though I've only managed to live in haunted apartments. :)

Your blurb has me intrigued, I hope I get lucky.

jasonsdarrick AT gmail DOT com

Jolie du Pre said...

Your ghost story is insane! I totally believe in ghosts, and I have some ghost stories of my own. You call yourself a horror/paranormal writer. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Some horror writers think you can't be both. They claim paranormal is not horror.

joliedupre (at) gmail (dot) com

Jolie du Pre
Precious Monsters

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Jason and Jolie--thank you both for stopping by! Jason--yep, been in a few of those myself. The curse of moving around, lol. Jolie--I absolutely think the two go hand-in-hand!

Paul Stansfield said...

Hello again, Clarissa. Found your post to be creepy. Just curious, have you ever considered researching the murder at that house, and finding out if the details matched your nightmare? Or do you not want to know?

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Hi Paul! I guess it would be nice to know but it's been such a long time and I'm not even sure if the place is still standing--it was in another country (:

Georgina Morales said...

I love the idea of haunted houses but I would do anything not to live in one. So far, I've been lucky. =) I'd love to win a copy of your book, so I'm in!

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

(: It always made life interesting, lol. Excellent, Gina! I'll put you in the drawing--thanks for stopping by!

Mary Rajotte said...

Hello, hair twin! Spooky story! I always say I'd love to encounter a ghost, but I wonder if I would be wishing the same thing while sitting beside one in the middle of the night :)


Clarissa Johal, Author said...

You never know how you'll react until you're face-to-face, I guess, lol (: Thanks for stopping by, Mary!