"Konn Lavery has taken me into his mind and carried me on a richly woven tapestry of metaphors for the human condition. Beginning his tale with a comprehensive explanation of the world you are about to enter, His story is intricately laid out on a backdrop of history wrapped in legend and tied off with a myth." - Amber, Goodreads
Published: April 2017
Having her family murdered by the humans during her people’s banishment from the surface world, Krista and her only friend, Darkwing, struggle to remain alive. The pair of reptilian street scum live in their newfound home, the City of Renasence, dictated by a fascist military known as the Renasence Guard. The two find themselves at odds when Krista puts her faith in the Five Guardians’ goal of unification, while Darkwing chooses to stand with a notorious gang, the Blood Hounds, who are known for their anarchist views
This divide in their friendship forces Krista to persist on her own as the Five Guardians become crazed from an unknown disease - Mental Damnation. After their infection, the Guardians develop a bizarre interest in her, claiming they must reap her innocence for their newfound master, the Weaver.
With a military dictatorship, politically-driven gangs and their guardians infected and on a hunt for her, Krista has limited options for survival: Does she fend for her life in the City of Renascence, against menacing forces, or risk leaving everything behind and enter the uncharted realm of the underworld?
How did Mental Damnation come to be? What are the inspirations?
The Mental Damnation story has been a long process dating back to 2006, so a good 10 years. Its inspiration and motive have evolved over time. It originally began as a sketch back in high school (2006) of a female reptilian – Krista the protagonist in the story – split between two worlds. On one side was a forest and the other was a hellish landscape with demons and flesh-monsters. In the drawing, Krista clutches her head, representing her reality being split between two worlds. It seemed like a great story concept and I wanted to see where it would go.
I’d say the inspirations for the atmosphere and story of the series would go back to my love of RPG videogames. I used to play games like Diablo, Never Winter Nights, Nox and World of Warcraft to name a few. They greatly inspired me to create an immersive world that those created for me.
Ten years is a long time, care to elaborate a bit on the journey?
After that initial sketch I began to draft story outlines on where the plot could go. Krista was a character adopted from a previous manuscript unrelated to Mental Damnation. So in a way Mental Damnation was intended as an origins story, however this idea is no longer relevant to the plot.
I finished the first draft of Mental Damnation in 2007 and sent it off to a number of publishers with only one rejection letter. It was discouraging at the time and I had shelved the idea of a writing career until 2011 when a friend read the manuscript and encouraged me to continue with my writing.
From those heartening words, I decided to find an editor and revisit the world of Mental Damnation with fresh eyes. After months of editing the first novel in the series was released in 2012.
Wait, Mental Damnation: Reality just came out in April 2017?
That is correct, the second edition did come out then. The first edition in 2012 was my first release to the public and it was followed by two more sequels: Dream and Fusion. In 2016 I returned to the series to finish the story and realized it was an opportunity to revisit the plot from the beginning and polish the story after receiving feedback from readers over five years.
The benefit of releasing the second editions has also allowed me to write book one, two and three with the ending in mind.
Re-releasing Reality has allowed me to clean up the writing, story and characters. The second edition is lot more than a re-release. It features the original 70,000 words rewritten and an additional 30,000 expanding on characters and the overall plot. An encyclopedia of the world is also included in the new edition.
How many books will be in the whole series of Mental Damnation?
There will be four books in total. Reality, Dream, Fusion and Mortal. The first three will see second editions, since they were previously released. Mortal will be a first edition, finalizing the series.
So you have the ending of Mental Damnation figured out?
I do. I didn’t before I re-visited the novel in the fall of 2016 and now I am adding hints within the new editions that will be revealed in the final novel.
Outside of the Mental Damnation series, what else do you have in the works?
In 2016 I released Seed Me, which is a stand-alone strange fiction piece that has been favorably compared to When John Dies at the End by David Wong. I do have some additional novels in mind as well, one half-written thriller and an anthology splatter punk novel that is currently in the outline-phase.
So in short I will have a lot of new and exciting novels within the next three years.
About the author:
Konn Lavery is a Canadian horror and dark fantasy writer who is known for his Mental Damnation series. The second book, Dream, reached the Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list. He started writing fantasy stories at a very young age while being home schooled. It wasn’t until graduating college that he began professionally pursuing his work with his first release, Reality. Since then he has continued to write works of fiction ranging from fantasy to horror.
His literary work is done in the long hours of the night. By day, Konn runs his own graphic design and website development business under the title Reveal Design. These skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications supporting his fascination of transmedia storytelling.
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