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Adam Interviews...Clarissa Cottrill!

Happy Monday!

Hope you had a good weekend and are ready to dive back into work!


Well, let's delay it then!

Today I have a new author, Clarissa Cottrill, dropping in. Once upon a time, in the rolling hills of West Virginia, a young girl named Clarissa R. Cottrill fell in love with the written word. She devoured books like they were candy, and soon her passion for literature grew into a burning desire to create stories of her own. Clarissa’s Appalachian roots and complicated history with mental health are evident in her writing. Her words are both haunting and beautiful, capturing the essence of the human experience in a way that only a true wordsmith can. As a horror and literary fiction writer, Clarissa’s imagination knows no bounds. She weaves tales that will keep you up at night, and characters that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. Her upcoming novella, Cafe Vengeance, promises to be no exception. But writing isn’t the only thing that Clarissa excels at. She also co-hosts the millennial lifestyle podcast “30, Dirty, & Dying“, where she and her co-hosts explore the ups and downs of being a thirty-something in today’s world. Clarissa R. Cottrill is a force to be reckoned with in the literary world. Her passion for storytelling is contagious, and her words will leave you breathless. So grab a cup of coffee (or a stiff drink, depending on your nerves), and let Clarissa take you on a journey you won’t soon forget.

Link to Tea With Coffee Author bio and photo:

Reboots – a great idea or a lack of creativity? A little bit of both. I think they can be so fun and introduce new generations to stories, but it can definitely be overboard. I think to be a great idea, a reboot has to have an angle that specifically speaks to the generation it’s in, whether that’s a shift in character focus or a new plot line — we need a reason why this version is better suited for today’s audience.

Coffee, tea, or cacao? Coffee hands down.

Favorite hangover recovery recipe? An egg and cheese biscuit and lots of iced tea

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? It’s been an on-and-off dream since I was a child. I always loved writing and storytelling but fell out of it creatively around college. In the last five years or so, I’ve really shifted my focus back to creative writing and pursuing that in full.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? I wrote a thriller novel over a couple of years, just adding to it when I had the time until it overtook me, starting when I was 25 and finishing it when I was almost 27. I queried and worked very hard on it, but it never picked up steam and I decided to shelf it within the year. Right after as a sort of palate cleanser, I wrote a horror novella which is now set to be my debut this October at 29 years old! So while my first book never took off, I’m glad things worked out the way they did

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I cohost and produce a millennial lifestyle podcast that takes a lot of my time. Hobby-wise, I’m honestly a bit of a homebody — I love to just relax at home with my partner and my cats watching movies and reading books. When I can though, I do enjoy traveling.

Is there a trope you find yourself going back to in multiple works? Or one you avoid? As a horror writer, I definitely love some classic genre tropes like the feeling of being watched and being alone in a mysterious place. Also, not to give any spoilers to my own work but I love the “final scare.”

What does your family think of your writing? My family is very supportive even though I write a genre far outside their interest. My partner is always great at reading my drafts, letting me bounce ideas off him, and helping me work through plot holes. My mother is also supportive and loves spreading the word about my writing. It means a lot to me that she especially is so supportive because I know horror is not her genre of choice at all. She may not understand or love the content, but she loves that I love it.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? I work with the theme and subgenre of religious horror quite a lot. And I’ve had to do some deep dives into religious texts in order to create my stories. The details of some of the stories we have heard growing up are always surprising.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? So far other than the one I shelved early on, I’ve written one novella, “Café Vengeance,” which will be published this year. I’m currently working on another horror novel I’m excited about, but Café Vengeance holds a special place in my hard.

Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they? Read. Don’t be afraid to take criticism. Write what speaks to you.

Do you like to create books for adults? I do. I’ve never written for children or too far down the YA spectrum. A lot of my work is darker and I draw themes from heavy subject matter that I believe is best suited for an adult audience. However, I know when I was a kid I was reading things outside of my age range so I suppose it’s all individual.

What do you think makes a good story? A good story has to have a certain grit. It can be the most fantastical, outlandish setting or plot, but it should still feel real in a way. I think a good story doesn’t shy away from darkness, and forces the reader to have at least a few questioning or uncomfortable moments in order to grow with the characters.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? A writer mostly … also a vampire until I turned about 8.

What is the first book that made you cry? The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Do you write novels, novellas, short stories, episodic fiction, poems, screenplays, or something else? What is your preferred format? Novels and novellas. I tend to write on the shorter side so I love stand-alone stories that support my style.

What do you have coming next? My debut novella “Café Vengeance” is being released in October 2023 with small press Tea With Coffee Media. It is the fast-paced, horrifying journey of a man who crosses too many lines and commits too many travesties

In his time on Earth and must be condemned to damnation while he’s still alive. Through a supernatural portal known as Café Vengeance, he is transported to the deepest circles of Hell and must try to claw his way back to humanity. I am thrilled for this book to come out and introduce me as a horror writer to any and all potential readers. It is available for pre-order now at for less than $10!

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