GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: Dark Fantasy Author Konn Lavery + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Friday, August 14, 2020

Interview: Dark Fantasy Author Konn Lavery + giveaway

What inspired you to write this book?
Mortal was long overdue. The Mental Damnation series has been the burning flame with my writing for 14 years since its conception as a single 190,000-word manuscript. Even then, the story wasn't complete and a second book was fully outlined, which was scrapped entirely. The book had a ton of revisions applied to it and grew in size. Eventually, the manuscript split into three books.

The first book Reality was the first professional release back in 2012. I've taken several detours since then and had also released two more novels in the Mental Damnation series, which concluded the original 190,000-word manuscript from 2006. Still, the ending wasn't defined.

Fans wanted to know the ending, and I wanted to too. So the inspiration was to give the fans and characters the ending they deserved. All of last year, I thoroughly reviewed the first three books, plotted, wrote, and spent many hours on the book to get it out.

What can we expect from you in the future?
More writing, of course! In the near future, I am compiling a wide range of short stories I have worked on into a transmedia anthology, which includes a musical score, artwork, and a multiverse world of multiple short stories ranging in genres.

Do you have any "side stories" about the characters?
The Mental Damnation tetralogy has a ton of subplots going on. I have over a decade's worth of backstory notes, a lot of it never made it into the series. There are also expanded universe short stories that will appear in the anthology.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Mortal?
Sure. The characters are a continuation of the Mental Damnation series. There are a few new characters and others that have been long foreshadowed since the first book. The protagonist is Krista, a reptilian who is struggling with being imprisoned by humans. They are racist to her people and are using her as a political tool while trying to study the brain disease she has – Mental Damnation. The disease makes her believe she crosses into hell during her dreams, where she is trying to escape. While all of this is occurring, she is dealing with her coming of age struggles. She has conflicts with friends, romance, learning self-defence, making choices on her own, and developing confidence.

How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
The concept came to me from an illustration I sketched out back in 2006. Krista was already a pre-established character to a story I had written. The Mental Damnation series was intended to be an origin story of how she came to be. The sketch was of a younger Krista clutching her head and split between the real world and hell. The hell side would explain who she became in that other story.

A few other characters had been defined as well, such as Darkwing and Malpherities. Other than that, the split reality illustration sprouted the storyline.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?
I'll add to the previous question; the name came to me from the initial sketch of the concept I did back in 2006. The sketch which had Krista and the split world also had a title banner, as I thought this sketch would become the book cover. It didn't. But seeing her head clutched, the ordinary world, and the hell world, the title Mental Damnation was self-explanatory and it stuck.

For the Kingdom of Zingalg and the fantasy aspects of the tetralogy, I pulled influences from naming conventions seen in Brian Jacques’s work such as Redwall and the videogame universe Warcraft by Blizzard. The theory is mashing two words together as a single word or with hyphens describing what it is.

For Dreadweave Pass (see the mashing of words there?), the hellish realm and the afterlife, I used some of the same techniques but also made reference to biblical mythology and Latin names.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
For Mortal, I enjoyed writing the conclusion to the Mental Damnation series. It brought a sense of completeness to me on a deeply personal level.

Who designed your book covers?
I am a graphic designer by trade and work as a freelancer. Naturally, I designed the cover and interior formatting. For Mental Damnation, the series uses a custom drawn typeface seen in the titles and chapters. There are also glyphs and illustrations within the books that I did too.

For my other novels, I too did the covers and interior formatting and most of the artwork that accompanies them.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Of course! Hindsight is 20/20. I almost did third editions of the Mental Damnation series so I could do more foreshadowing for Mortal. But perfection is the enemy of progress, and these minor details are only things that grew in recent years. Fans love the books as is, and I was more interested in giving them the next book in the series than going back and re-releasing the first three for the third time to make Mortal slightly different.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I did! I learned not to spend 14 years on a series, haha. In seriousness, Mortal was the first book where I wrote the first draft with speech to text software. Other authors I know have talked about how much fun it is to speak your story out, and how much faster it is. I finally tried it out and quite enjoyed the process.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you, sincerely, for all the years of support. Some of you have been a part of the journey since I first released Reality in 2012—others, even longer. Finishing Mortal is for you.

How did you come up with the name of this book?
Oh, well, that would be giving spoilers. Let's just say thematically from the first three, it was bound to be.

What is your favorite part of this book, and why?
Spoilers! Chapters 17 and 24 gave me a real strange hit in the chest with warmth going all the way through, like when you have a crush on someone, or your pet dies.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must-read.
Short pitch: Lord of the Rings meets twisted Alice in Wonderland.

Long pitch: The Mental Damnation tetralogy brings readers into a dark, surreal, twisted world of Dreadweave Pass and the Kingdom of Zingalg. Necromantic Rituals. Holy spells. Demons, ghouls, angels, and gods. The classic good vs evil is shrouded with uncertainty as moral lines blur from the vast unbiased void of realism.

Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have. Two will NEVER see the light of day. One might, it needs some T.L.C., but there's an excellent foundation to work with. I also have a couple of books fully outlined chapter by chapter, but they too are scrapped.
by Konn Lavery
July 17, 2012
395 pages
2 edition
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Banished to the Underworld. A Ritual. The Disease.

Enter the rich mythical world of Konn Lavery's debut novel containing a military dictatorship, cults, and politically-driven gangs.

After Krista's people were banished from the surface by the humans, they were reduced to violence and hatred.

She and her only friend, Darkwing, survive as street kids as their people's leaders 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.

Krista has limited options for survival: Does she fend for her life in the City of Renascence, or risk leaving everything behind and enter the uncharted realm of the underworld?
"Konn Lavery has taken me into his mind and carried me on a richly woven tapestry of metaphors for the human condition."- Amber, Goodreads Reviewer

"Both well-written and well thought out, Mental Damnation is an instant classic and I can't wait to see what happens next!"
- Joshua Grant, Goodreads Reviewer

"When I finally got into the actual book, I found myself unable to put it down, even reading it on my break at work"
- Dawn Herbert, Goodreads Reviewer

**Only .99 cents!** 

Mental Damnation: Dream Book 2 

Mental Damnation: Purity Book 3 

Mental Damnation: Mortal Book 4 

Blood. Flesh. Discomfort pulsated through the body. The typical reaction when one is experiences pain. Feelings that all mortals suffer. The warning signals when the system is under attack. Each of us handles these signs differently. Crying, anger, and fear are variations of how we cope. All three can be combined into one strange, muddled mess.

“There are only a few scenarios when you will find yourself in need of killing: either as a favour to end one’s suļ¬€ering. . . .” The words echoed in the girl’s mind. A statement that had stuck with her from her days growing up as ‘street scum’ back home in the underworld. The phrase was one that she reflected upon again and again in her life.

“I see it in your eyes, and in your words.” More words bounced around in her mind from a different, darker, source. “In time, you won’t have any doubt in your heart and mind that you can indeed follow the path of a warrior.” More words from another figure, a deformed one, who once informed her that a warrior is nothing without pain, fear, and ultimately, death. The traits of the warrior’s path.

“. . . Or in self-defence.” The words of her father returned.

I’m a warrior. I can handle pain, she thought. The teachings swirled around her, creating a vague sense of unreality. Her eyes flickered open, shooting out a smokeless flame that projected from the sockets. She could see, yet she had no spatial awareness of her body, other than a stinging heat from her leg. The pain that she felt could not be real. Her actions could be a figment of her imagination, symptoms of Mental Damnation. She was floating. No, she was being held. Someone was escorting her from the place where she was wounded.

“She’s losing a lot of blood,” came a raspy voice.

“Krista, stay with us,” a gravelly voice pleaded, closely followed by a second voice that sounded disembodied, as if two people were talking simultaneously.

The girl—Krista—blinked a couple times. She could see remnants of a red sky with black swirling clouds. They were familiar; this landscape was not the underworld. It was also not the surface, where the humans were. Unfortunately, she was still asleep and this was Dreadweave Pass. The realism of realm-crossing came back to her. The strange ability that her ghoulish friend had told her about. It was a gift. Or a disease, as others claimed. Dreadweave Pass certainly felt real, especially with the giant gash in her outer thigh.

“Cursman,” the disembodied voice said, “we really cannot stay at the Ruins of the Mortals Run any longer.”

“Observant, aren’t you, Malpherities?” the other voice said. “As you can see, my hands are a little busy right now.”

A growl came in response.

“Pain will encourage you. . . .” Words spoke inside Krista’s mind. Her eyes closed again, allowing her to mentally paint vivid images, create smells, and amplify sounds that were long lost in her memories. A small, brown, scaly child couldn’t stop squawking. Two larger reptilians were behind the little boy. One male, the other female.

Mum, Father . . . Salanth, she thought. They’re so different. The fumes. . . . Krista hadn’t considered them lately due to the chaos of her life. The faint memory of her people on the surface projected in her mind. Her childhood recollections contrasted sharply with the reality of modern vazeleads. After the metamorphosis fumes mutated their forms, their past selves were erased from existence. They were not the same anymore as they were when her family was alive. The events of Mount Kuzuchi had happened so long ago, and their people had changed drastically.

I miss you.

The vision of Krista’s family began to dissolve as the visuals guided her through the darkness. Her eyes began to flicker again, distorting the image of her mother, father, and brother within the black-and-red sky. Her mind guided her through a dark, descending vertical tunnel. She was brought deep into the darkness until she arrived at a desert landscape, complete with pools of lava and a distant city.

The City of Renascence. I’m home! she thought. The vision soared her into the city made of clay and blackwood. She was brought directly to a group of three vazeleads. Two of them had red bands around their arms, while the other did not. The one without a band had long, straight black scalp-feathers. Darkwing. Krista knew him anywhere. One of the red-banded vazeleads handed Darkwing a red cloth. Bloodhounds. They initiated him.

“Darkwing, no!” Krista thought she had said it in her mind-vision, but her voice shrilled out into the open.

About the Author:
Konn Lavery is a Canadian author whose work has been recognized by Edmonton’s top five bestseller charts and by reviewers such as Readers’ Favorite, and Literary Titan.

He started writing stories at a young age while being homeschooled. After graduating from graphic design college, he began professionally pursuing his writing with his first release, Reality. He continues to write in the thriller, horror, and fantasy genres.

He balances his literary work along with his own graphic design and website development business, titled Reveal Design ( His visual communication skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications supporting his fascination of transmedia storytelling.

$20 Amazon giftcard, ebook set of Mental Damnation books 1-3 (1 winner each)
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