Today I’m hosting author, Clarissa Johal as part of her blog tour for her new book The Island. Clarissa kindly wrote me a guest post about what inspired her to become a writer.
What inspired you to become a writer and why write about the paranormal?
Why would anyone want to become an author? Long hours, erratic pay, highly competitive, hours spent alone talking to oneself…okay, maybe that’s just me. So why? I wrote my first short story in grade six as a classroom assignment. The teacher asked me to read it aloud and I was mortified. I was ‘the new kid’ and terribly shy. When you’re in that situation, it’s kind of like being invisible. After I finished reading—I realized I had everyone’s attention! It was a pivotal moment and made me realize how powerful storytelling can be. From that moment, I was hooked on writing. So why write paranormal and gothic horror? I’m not brooding, scary or running off to join the latest séance. I don’t drive a hearse, wear a black cloak, or haunt the local cemeteries. I’m a ballet dancer, trapeze artist and vegetarian, which confuses people all the more. The topic of paranormal has always interested me. I moved a lot as a kid and we always ended up in older houses. With those older houses, came a ghost or two. Did they scare me? No. I was a sensitive kid and learned to co-exist. Ghosts were people. People with issues, people without issues. People who want to move on and some who don’t. I have yet to understand “other” paranormal entities (non-ghosts, if you will) but again, they are what they are. 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. But the best fiction is when writers “write what they know,” and a little of what I know, creeps into my novels. I hope you will enjoy reading them.
Title: THE ISLAND
Genre: Paranormal Horror
Author: Clarissa Johal
Editor: Marisa Chenery
Booktrope, Forsaken Imprint (2015)
Number of Pages: 210
About THE ISLAND:
Exploring a remote island can sometimes get you into trouble.
Especially when you stumble upon a cave and awaken two demons.
Rumors and superstition.
That’s what Emma thinks about local gossip concerning her grandmother’s “cursed” private island. Emma journeys to the island to ready it for sale. While out exploring, she unearths a hidden cave–a cave which holds answers to the island’s dark past.
There may be more to the rumors than she thought.
Excerpt from THE ISLAND:
She was jarred awake by a cry. The vestiges of her nightmare dissipated as she orientated herself. Nightmare. Emma let out a sigh of relief. The cry sounded again. A distant sound, high and wailing. A baby’s cry. Her heart quickened. Good god, surely that can’t be a baby?
The fire in the stove had burned down, its embers lending a glow to the living room. Emma looked out the front window. The yard was still. She unlocked the door and opened it a crack. The cry drifted in with the breeze, faint but unmistakable. She ran through her mind what possible bird or animal could make the sound and came up with nothing. Characteristically, the island was blanketed with silence, almost like a vacuum. She stood, uncertain. After several minutes, the sound started again—the unmistakable high wail of a baby. She slipped on her boots and parka.
Fog trailed like cobwebs in her wake. The mournful cry threaded through the trees and came from the direction of the house ruins. In spite of a growing anxiety at what she’d find, she quickened her pace. If that is a baby, it’s still alive, and I need to get to it. If it’s not a baby… She blocked out the possibilities of what else it could be.
She approached the ruins and the sound stopped. Her heart raced. I know it was coming from here. The area held an unnatural heaviness. A branch cracked behind her and she turned with a start. Something dark darted through the trees.
“Hello?” Her voice sounded muffled in the fog. Emma’s attention snapped to the left. The dark figure ducked out of sight. She took one step backward, and fled.
Heavy footsteps echoed from behind as she plunged through the trees. They were catching up with her. Emma pushed herself to run faster, terrified she’d lose her footing on the uneven ground. The cabin loomed large, a haven in the thick fog. Stumbling across the cabin’s porch, she hurdled through the door and slammed it shut, locking it.
Emma rooted her feet to keep from running around in circles. Straining to hear, she was greeted with eerie silence. Several moments passed before the baby’s cry started again. And this time, it sounded from right outside the door.
THE ISLAND Buy Links:
About the Author:
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 dancing, taking pictures of gargoyles, or swinging from a trapeze. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters, and every stray animal that darkens their doorstep.
Find Clarissa Online:
Author Website: http://www.clarissajohal.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Clarissa-Johal/e/B003KVTMPK/