Interview with Clarissa Johal

Published 2022-12-07.
What are you working on next?
I always said I'd never write a sequel because I have too many ideas! However, my readers liked "Poppy" quite a bit and kept asking if I'd ever consider writing more about her. When I asked Poppy how she felt about that, she told me she definitely had another story to tell. And so "Evergreen" was born.

"Evergreen" synopsis:

A pink-loving mortician who can speak to the dead.
A moody funeral director who’d prefer not to speak to anyone.
Poppy and Dante are back

When Skyview Funeral Home burns down, Poppy and Dante decide to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning their own funeral home. Settling on another Victorian, they discover the house holds many secrets. And not just what lurks in the basement.
The lonely spirit of a little girl with a gift
The ghost of a woman cheated in life
And a small town with a questionable history
These secrets come together to make Poppy and Dante’s dream...a nightmare
When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first short story in grade six. I was asked by the teacher to read it aloud to the class, which terrified me. After I was finished, I realized that I actually had everyone’s attention! I was shy and we moved every year, so I was always the new kid. When you’re in that situation, it’s kind of like being invisible. Finding my voice through story-telling made me realize how powerful writing could be.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When a reader tells me my story was unique and stuck with them. That's probably the best compliment I could get. I love to pull readers into another world.
Who are your favorite authors?
Neil Gaiman, Robert Holdstock and Gerald Brom
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm pretty active! I've been taking ballet for 20+ years. I run, fence and am an avid photographer. I also just finished taking a trapeze class. When I'm not swinging from the ceiling or writing, I do wildlife rehab and run my own pet-sitting business.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a rather gruesome short story about a shark attack. My parents took me to see JAWS and it probably ruined me for life.
Describe your desk
I hate desks! I write in a recliner. But I keep my laptop computer on a "sort of" desk in the kitchen. I have a ton of little toys and ridiculous things scattered all over it. I'm a bit of a packrat.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
We moved yearly, so I experienced a lot of different cultures and people. That was the good part! The bad part was that I was always the new kid. In a way, it gave me an understanding of what it's like to live as an outsider--much the same as a ghost or paranormal entity.
What do you read for pleasure?
I can't read fiction when I'm focused on writing, it taints my writing style. I read a lot of world mythology and folklore when I'm not actively writing.
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Books by This Author

The Lighthouse
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 47,960. Language: American English. Published: June 13, 2021. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural
Sent to cover a lighthouse haunting, Riley vows to write a historical piece instead. Dillon, her photojournalist, is happy to treat their assignment like a ghost-filled vacation. But when night falls, the mood in the dilapidated lighthouse shifts. Unexplained sounds, fleeting shadows, and icy breezes keep them both awake. And when Dillon acts strangely, Riley fears something she can't explain.
Whispers in the Wood
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 62,760. Language: English. Published: June 13, 2021. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
When Rowan travels to England, she discovers a remote village, hidden in the shadow of an ancient forest. Vague warnings from the locals aren’t enough to stop her from venturing into the trees, or from picking up a single acorn. It seemed a simple action. But when a stranger emerges from the forest claiming the acorn belongs to him, Rowan is pulled into something both centuries-old and deadly.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 63,100. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Caught in a terrible storm, Gwynneth is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of a mysterious stranger. Following her release, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift. One that will stay the hands of death. She is uncertain whether Julian is a saviour or something sinister, for as he shares more of this gift, his price becomes deadly.
The Island
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 60,250. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
Rumours and superstition. That’s what Emma thinks about local gossip concerning her family's “cursed” private island. After the death of her grandmother, Emma journeys to the island to ready it for sale. While out exploring, she unearths a hidden cave that holds answers to the island’s dark past. There may be more to the rumours than she thought.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 65,340. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Dark
A red-headed, pink-loving mortician who speaks to the dead. A moody, unsociable funeral director. Poppy and Dante from "Struck" are back. Something is lingering around Skyview Funeral Home, and it's stealing the souls of the dead. With Dante in tow, Poppy is determined to put a stop to it. Can she protect those who are trying to cross over, or will her soul be next?
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,740. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » General, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
After a devastating accident, Lucinda moves to a small town to start over. But when her grief threatens to spiral out of control, two strangers move into town. One wishes to protect her at all costs, while the other is as dangerous as he is intriguing. Drawn into a bitter tug-of-war, she learns not only are they locked in a battle for her life, but a battle for their salvation.