Today I’m having a bit of a rest for myself while author, Clarissa Johal, entertains you with her writing story and the odd ghost or two she’s met along the way. When Clarissa isn’t busy penning supernatural tales, she’s taking photos of gargoyles! Take it away, Clarissa.
Writing Supernatural Fiction by Clarissa Johal
People often ask me how I began writing supernatural fiction. 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 supernatural has always interested me because I moved around quite a bit when I was young. It seemed we were always living in an older place and with those older places, came a ghost or two. Now, before you chuckle and roll your eyes (or not) 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. I know what my rational mind tells me, and I know what I’ve experienced. There’s a lot of arguing in my head over those two things. But we’re a collection of what we’ve experienced in our lifetime, and I’ve experienced plenty.
One will always stick with me above all the others. When I was 10-years-old, we moved to an island and rented an older house for a couple of months. 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, though my mom would get quite irritated because I would roam around at night and wake her up.
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 washroom 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 a graphic nightmare 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.
So, back to writing supernatural fiction. I started out writing fantasy. While working on the second installment to my Pradee series, I was interrupted by two characters that truly didn’t fit. I kept setting them aside, but they would return, stronger than ever. Finally, I gave up and began Between, a story of the supernatural. I had the rough draft finished in a month and a year after that, the full novel was complete. Six weeks after I submitted, Musa Publishing accepted it.
I have to say, I’ve been pulled into the Otherworld permanently and the ideas come faster than I can write them down. I love presenting the supernatural in a 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, I write fiction. However, the best fiction is when writers “write what they know” and a little of what I know creeps into my novels from time to time. I hope you will enjoy reading what I come up with!
If you like ghost stories, here’s a peek at my newest release from Musa Publishing.
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 Buy links:
Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles.
Clarissa shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Author website: http://clarissajohal.com/
Author blog: http://clarissajohal.blogspot.com/
Photography Portfolio: http://faerie–moon.daportfolio.com/
Thanks for spending time on Emma’s Ramblings and introducing us to your work, Clarissa. I love that you politely waited for the ghost to finish her song! BETWEEN sounds like a deliciously spooky read. What is it about doors that is so creepy? (the cover).
Have a great weekend everyone, and if you have a moment, why not pop over to Goodreads and add BETWEEN to your TBR list.
Thank you so much for hosting me, Emma! Have a great weekend 🙂
You’re welcome, Clarissa. Good luck with “Between”.
Wonderful post, as usual Clarissa. Love reading all about this fascinating novel!
Thanks Rita! I appreciate you stopping by 🙂
Great teaser, Clarissa. I’ve been to Ireland twice and while the ghosts intrigue me, I find the friendliness of the Irish makes me feel at home there. Maybe it’s because I live in the deep south where we say, “Y’all come,” or could it be that my heritage is Irish?
In any event, I want to read BETWEEN.
Musa has published 3 of my books and they’re considering a fantasy now.
Mary S. Palmer
What part of Ireland have you been to, Mary? I live in Cork 🙂
Very nice, Mary! It’s a beautiful place, for sure (and figures into my novel–no spoilers!). Thanks for stopping by!
Excellent blog site Emma. Never been here before. I don’t write supernatural but read a lot of it. Clarissa – Ireland. What can I say. My great-grandmother was Irish but frankly, she stood sturdier and less inclined to think of the supernatural than her French husband who hit the bottle on a regular basis. But like yourself Clarissa, I’ve had experiences in one particular place that have made me very cautious about sweeping statements about the supernatural.
Thanks, Vonnie. I have a bit of an obsession with supernatural stuff!
Everyone has their own experiences, Vonnie, that’s what makes life interesting!
Oh man, I would love to visit Ireland. Heck, right now in the dead of winter, I’d settle for a trip to the next to town. Cabin fever!! No supernatural experiences, but the older I get the less inclined I am to roll my eyes. Anything’s possible!
I’d also like to think anything is possible. I’ve always had an open mind when it comes to spirits, psychics and such things.
Oh good! Yes, anything is possible. Not sure we’ll ever really “know” about things that go bump in the night, but…
I said it before and I’ll say it again, you still freak me out! Now I’m looking over my shoulder in dark places! Cheers for a great post, and wishing you a hauntingly awesome publishing career!
My job is done, then. lol Thanks, Sharon.
Great post as usual, Clarrisa!
Thanks for stopping by, Lizzie!
Your nightmare sounds terrifying! But what a great experience for fiction writing! I love the supernatural and have always been so intrigued by ghost stories. Great post. Nice to meet you Clarissa 🙂 Your book sounds great and I’ll definitely be checking it out!
BETWEEN is now definitely on my TBR list. Thanks for stopping by, L.J.
Thank you, L.J! It was one of “those” experiences that has stuck with me. Nice to meet you too! 🙂
Just finished reading this post, and am still encased in gazillions of goosebumps! I’ll have to read a ghost story this year, and Between might just be the one. Great post, Clarissa, and as usual great hosting, Emma.
Have a good weekend.
Enjoy it, Sandra. I’m checking out that programme you were talking about 🙂
Oh good! (heehee) Thanks for stopping by and I do hope you’ll check it out, Sandra.
Between sounds excellent, Clarissa, nice one, I’m very much looking forward to reading it. I’m like you in that I don’t come out with everything I believe in…not yet anyway, but methinks it’s all going to come out in my writing. I love dancing too and dance as often as I can. Also have 2 daughters, and whilst not a wayward troll in the garden, definitely some tree spirits :). Wishing you many kerchings of the sales till!
Indeed it does, Cait. Subconsciously, anyways! Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by 🙂 Tree spirit–very cool! We have a huge, lightning split oak in our backyard that I’m quite attached too.
attached TO not too. Sorry, doing this before morning coffee…bad
There’s what we think we know, and what’s true. Sometimes they are the same thing. Others, not. Anyway, great post Clarissa, and great site Emma.
Thanks for stopping by, Nancy.
Another fabulous writer you’ve introduced to us, Emma!
Your book sounds intriguing, Clarissa and the story of your childhood ghost ~ gave me chills! I’m so glad you moved and she left you alone.
I got chills reading it, too.
Thanks, Tameri! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂
I love reading ghost encounters, they’re always so interesting. Not sure if I believe in ghosts, but that may be because I’ve never had an “encounter.” I’m open to possibilities, though, and I like to hear about the experiences of others, no matter how real or psychological they may be. The book sounds very intriguing too. Congrats on the publication!
Thank you so much! It is interesting to read of people’s experiences because, you never know!
I’m open to possibilities, too, but then I think if I ever did see a ghost, I’d probably have a heart attack.
LOL! Well, you’d be joining them, then.