Clarissa Johal is the author of paranormal novels, THE ISLAND, VOICES, STRUCK, and BETWEEN. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s swinging from a trapeze, or taking pictures of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters, and every stray animal that darkens their doorstep.
What inspires you to write?
I have to write or I’d go cuckoo! I read a LOT of world mythology and folktales. They offer quite a bit of inspiration!
Tell us about your writing process.
I write what the characters tell me to write, not vice-versa. They come to me perfectly formed, and I usually dream their back stories. I keep a pen beside the bed for when I wake in the middle of the night. I’ll write scenes and sentences on my arms and legs (I never seem to have paper). That sounds a bit demented, but it is what it is.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
They speak, I write down what they tell me to, we argue, and eventually, the story gets told. So….no, not at all.
Who are your favorite authors?
I really like Neil Gaiman, Robert Holdstock, Gerald Brom, Graham Joyce, Amanda Stevens, Simone St. James, Keith Donohue, and Melissa Marr.
I have a soft spot for Gerald Brom’s character of Krampus from his novel, “Krampus: The Yule Lord.” He’s the epitome of a sympathetic antagonist, which I feel is important. My antagonists always have a back-story. They’re never evil for the sake of being evil. I hope readers feel ‘slightly’ sympathetic to their plight.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve self-published, and gone the traditional route. It depends on what’s best for the book.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s forever changing, with many different ways to publish. I have to say, contrary to what most people think, the power lies with the authors, not the publishers. Write something great, and the readers will come.
What genres do you write?
paranormal, gothic horror and fantasy
What formats are your books in?