Mental Damnation Part 1
by Konn Lavery
Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy
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?
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.
What made you want to be a writer?
I have always enjoyed an immersive world with complex characters and intertwining plots. A lot of this can be seen in RPG (Role Playing Games), comics and movie series. These have been a major inspiration for my writing. I wanted to re-create the same awe factor that movies and RPGs did for me as a kid, so I started writing story concepts.
Why not get into film production or video game development?
I could have, but I was more intrigued with the storytelling more than the cinematography or the mechanics of the games.
I came up with my first manuscript from a board game I made when I was in junior high. It featured a lot of backstories of the characters and factions that were in playable in the game. Eventually the story within the manual got too long and I unintentionally began writing my first novel. It was my first complete manuscript I had finished back when I was twelve, and most likely will remain shelved. It did spark my interest in being a writer, realizing that you can expand the storyline a lot more than what can be told in a 2 hour movie or 20 hour video game.
Who are your inspirations for writing?
Clive Barker is a huger encouragement for me. His take on the horror genre and persistence has driven me to continually write and be the best that I can be. Brian Jacques, the author of Redwall, was also a big inspiration early on for his world-building throughout his series.
What do you read when you are not writing?
I was given advice early on not to read novels within the same genre as what you write, so I try to restrict myself from that. Often I prefer to read non-fiction, it is stranger than any fiction can provide.
I read a lot of philosophical, spiritual and scientific related books. They broaden my view on life and offer different perspectives that I wouldn’t have come across if I didn’t pick up the book.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Looking In, Seeing Out: Consciousness and Cosmos by Menas Kafatos and Thalia Kafatou which is a heavy read for a short novel. Next on my reading list is The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.
Is there something that you won’t write about?
That is a tough one. I like to keep an open mind and I experiment with different writing styles, genres and tenses. Often these are done in short stories so I can get a feel of how the words flow and how easily I adapt to them.
Some of these experiments have been in erotica, science fiction, horror, mystery and psychological to name a few. They have all been challenging considering they are new concepts at the time. Out of the styles I have experimented with I don’t think I would write an erotica. The genre doesn’t interest me very much and feel it should be left in the hands of those that are passionate about it.
What are you passionate about writing?
As I mentioned previously I wanted to create the same awe factor that movies and video games provided for me as a kid. As I have grown older and read more, that passion has evolved. My primary drive to write is to inspire people to do and think differently from their normal thought patterns. It is the main reason why I read, hence why I read a lot of non-fiction to broaden my understanding of the world.
I write fiction because some of the best lessons can be learned through a story rather than cold hard facts. I believe I can reach people in a much more personal way when they are reading a story compared to preaching to them directly. People shutdown when you get to forward with a new idea, I know I do.
With that in mind, what book would you recommend people to read?
I’d say the Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey. It is a religious book and many people will shun it for that. If you’re willing to keep an open mind, the first half of the book is very powerful. It talks about self-empowerment and acceptance which has been my fuel to keep going on.
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