By Clarissa Johal
If you’re like me, you juggle writing time with other obligations. It can be extremely difficult to carve out writing time. In my case, it’s not just the time I need, but isolation. Isolation allows me to listen to the voices in my head, and experience what my characters experience. That may sound a bit cuckoo, but most of you will get it.
Last year, when I started writing THE ISLAND, I mentioned to my husband that I was having difficulty finding “isolation” time. I was also struggling with concrete details of where my story was situated. The story takes place on a remote island off the coast of Canada. I grew up around the area, but hadn’t visited the island since I was a kid.
My husband is my hero. As a surprise, he gave me a writing trip for my birthday. I’d never been away from our kids for longer than one night, so this was a big deal to me. But I took it. My agenda was to take an airplane to Canada, a ferry to one particular island, and then kayak to another, smaller island. There, I would reconnect with what was essentially the heart of my paranormal horror novel.
It was quite the trek but totally worth it. I was able to recapture the details I’d been missing. That feeling of remoteness and isolation. That feeling of wilderness. That feeling of, “what if everything went haywire and you were stuck here?” Plus, I spent a week doing what I love to do—hiking, exploring, and day-dreaming. Crucial things to my writer brain.
I’m going to do another one of these writing trips next year. This time, I’m searching for a lighthouse. One that I can sleep in, and preferably abandoned. If it’s haunted, that would be a plus. More exploring, more isolation, and more day-dreaming. All of what make up a good paranormal story.
If you’re intrigued, take a peek at my new release, THE ISLAND…which isn’t as abandoned as it seems.
Clarissa Johal is the author of paranormal novels, THE ISLAND, VOICES, STRUCK, PRADEE 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. *Member of the Horror Writers Association Find Clarissa Online: Author WebsiteBlogFacebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon Author Page and Pinterest