About Clarissa Johal:
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’m inspired by dreams, art, mythology, and historical locales.
Tell us about your writing process.
My idea usually begins as a flash of the location (usually in a dream, or when I’m in the shower, oddly enough). That gives me a locale. The characters seep in later (again, they’ll usually come to me completely formed in dreams, or in the shower). Then, I’ll sit and write the story from beginning to end. I do my “details” research after the first draft is completed, and then work on my edits. The process of completing a book usually takes about a year.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
At the risk of sounding cuckoo, the characters tell me what to write, not vice versa! So, yes. If I didn’t listen to them, they would end up having hissy-fits.
What advice would you give other writers?
Writing is always subjective. You can always improve your craft, but I equate writing/publishing a book to a new outfit. You may show up at a party dressed in a tutu, striped tights, and Doc Martins. It may be the most awesome tutu ever. But there are some who are going to hate it. Do you scrap the outfit, and cry into your champagne? No, you go to different party. I guarantee you, someone will think your tutu rocks. Writing is like that. Brush off anything negative, and keep at it. Never let anyone kill your dream.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I research the heck out of publishers before I submit to them. I check writer forums (Absolute Write is a good one), talk to other authors, and check out the publisher’s Amazon sales, cover art, and samples of books they’ve released. If I like what I see, I will query. If I like the contract they offer me, I will sign on. And most important, if I like the experience of releasing my book through said publisher, I will submit my next book to them. Simple as that.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s always changing. I see a trend to move beyond the “Big Five,” and branch out into smaller publishers, and self-publishing. To be honest, the future is in the palm of authors and readers, not the publishers.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Paranormal, gothic horror and fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.