Musa Monday – Interview with Clarissa Johal

Musa Publishing’s newest author is here to discuss her life and debut novel BETWEEN. Please give a warm welcome to Clarissa Johal.

Tell us about yourself.
I write adult paranormal and horror. I love ballet, photography, fencing and running with my dogs. I’ve lived in so many places that I’ve lost count, but I was born in California. Right now, I live in North Carolina with my husband, two daughters, dogs, cats, tanks of fish, rescue turtles, rats, gerbils…the list goes on. I used to work in veterinary medicine and as a zoo keeper volunteer. These days, I try and help out with very basic wildlife rescue rehab when I can, which doesn’t explain all the other animals in my house, but I’m a sucker for strays.

Tell us about your book.
BETWEEN was released through Musa Publishing on December 14, 2012.

(click on cover to take you to Musa)

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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.

BBQ? Carolina, Tennessee, Texas or Kansas City?
Oh yikes, none of the above. I’ve been a vegetarian for about 20 years now. My family is complicated. My younger daughter eats chicken, but doesn’t like fish, save for tuna. My older daughter eats fish of all kinds but no other meat, I don’t eat meat or fish, and my husband eats almost everything. Nobody eats beef, pork or lamb, because they don’t like it. Makes for an interesting dinner.

What are your five favorite Novels?
Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, Lirael by Garth Nix, and the Skullduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. I also really love Shakespeare.

If you could only have one vice what would it be?

I’m boring as I only have one vice now! But it’s mine so I’ll stick with it—I’m an unapologetic coffee drinker. And it has to be Peet’s Sumatra.

What do you prefer roller coasters, carousels or the bumper cars?
I used to love roller coasters. On the first date I ever went on, I rode every single roller coaster at the California State Fair and ended up getting sick in my purse. That cured me from roller coasters forever. The guy even asked me out again but I was just too mortified. I’d probably pick carousels now. And I’d have to ride the seahorse or I’d have a grown-up tantrum.

What are you working on now?

My next paranormal novel. It’s about a young woman that gets struck by lightning and then begins to experience unexplainable things. That’s all I can say.

What’s your favorite movie?

One favorite? Right now it would have to be Castaway on the Moon. It’s a Korean film that came out in 2009. Big Trouble in Little China and Woman in Black with Daniel Radcliffe are close seconds.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
The Dumfries and Galloway area of Scotland, hands-down. My husband and I backpacked all over the UK many years ago and I fell in love with Loch Skeen. I actually got choked up when it was time to leave. I wanted to sleep on the moors. The remoteness and beauty of the area really struck me.

Are you a Plotter or a Panster?
Oh, panster all the way. I have a general idea of plot and maybe one character, it may even be a supporting character, but I never know what’s going to happen until the characters tell me. With the exception of Between, which I wrote from beginning to end, I usually start by writing a random scene and it will build from there. If I tried to plot everything out, I think it would destroy my creative drive completely.

Where do you find inspiration?
In art and in mythology. My favorite artists are Waterhouse, Michael Parkes and BROM. I love reading all kinds of mythology but especially Celtic and British.

Name five things that are on your desk right now?
My gargoyle Victor, a handout from MOMA featuring one of Tim Burton’s awesome drawings, a painting my daughter did in grade 5, a lava lamp, and my Nikon camera.

How do you handle writers block?
With oven mitts. Kidding. I jump on my trampoline and ballet. Usually in that order.

Thanks for chatting with us today, Clarissa. Please come back when BETWEEN releases. We’d love to hear more about your book.

Absolutely! It’s a date. 🙂

To read an excerpt from Between, please click HERE.

Learn more about Clarissa Johal on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

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~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on December 17, 2012.

4 Responses to “Musa Monday – Interview with Clarissa Johal”

  1. Nice post, Clarissa. Off to download my copy.

  2. So, since your a vegetarian – what do you serve Christmas Day? And I thought writing a book was hard! Great interview, Clarissa! Best wishes for a stellar publishing career! Cheers!

  3. Thanks for hosting me, Dusty!

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