Sunday, May 7, 2017

Author Spotlight: Konn Lavery

Hello, fellow Booknatics!
We are so excited to share a new-to-us author with you all! Konn Lavery writes suspenseful and thrilling dark fantasy novels; and today, we have the honor of sitting down to talk with him and learn more about him and his series Mental Damnation.

Mental Damnation: Reality synopsis: 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 viewsThis 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?

Find the first book in the Mental Damnation series here: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)
And here: Goodreads

Our chat with the author:
Hi, Konn, and congratulations on your upcoming release! This novel sounds like one hell of a ride and we can’t wait to read it!
Hi Sky, thank you for having me! The novel is a rollercoaster, both in the story and the writing process.

From our understanding, this book is a second edition of a retired version. Was the process of re-writing an entire series a quick and easy one for you--or were there some struggles?
That is correct, the first edition of Mental Damnation: Reality came out in 2012 which was about 70,000 words. The new edition has just over 100,000 words and an encyclopedia in the back. The original manuscript dates back to 2007, so overall it has been 10 years in the works to get the story where it is today.
For this second edition – and the final – it was a fun process. I was not fully satisfied with the original release of Reality in 2012 but at the time it was the best I could do as a writer. Now in 2017, I have learned a lot of new techniques. Between my improved skill base and a collected list of feedback from readers, I was able to review Reality with a critical eye and make a lot of overhauls.
The one struggle through this new process was keeping true to the storyline of the series while making adjustments to characters, scenes and locations while remaining consistent. The early beta readers of the new edition have given good feedback and pleased to see that the story arch remains the same, while the narration reads like an entirely new novel.

What was your inspiration to write in your chosen genre?
My big inspiration for fantasy came from RPGs (Role Playing Games). I used to play a lot of Never Winter Nights, World of Warcraft and Diablo I. I was very much invested in these fantasy worlds, learning about the backstories and playing them over and over to see how different choices alter the story.
Ultimately the story intrigued me more than the gameplay which inspired me to write fantasy novels.

That's how Krystle and I met--we love RPG's!

Do you have any certain quirks while you write? For example, a certain space for writing, any music playing in the background, etc.?
Music without lyrics. I can mostly write anywhere, although I often choose a pub late at night. The big thing that I cannot work to is music with lyrics, I find hearing the vocalist really distracts from the written word. So I choose to only listen to instrumental music.

Do you put “Easter Eggs” in your books that only your close friends will know to find? Perhaps, maybe some true events that may have happened to you or someone you know.
Indeed. I have Easter Eggs that are related to my personal life. Only those that are close to me will really see the relation. I do my best to shroud it in fiction.
I also drop hints that connect my books together. I have always envisioned my novels being a part of the same universe and readers that want to search for the clues can find it.

For fun: Can you describe this book using only two words?
Mental Damnation :-)
Another would be: Twisted Fairytale

For your Mental Damnation series, did you have to do any research? If at all, maybe some research enlightened you on something new and even inspired an event or two in your book or any future writing?
I did do a bit of research into Christian, Aztec and Egyptian mythology to understand some of the different takes on hell, demons, angels and god. This was both for the novel and the visuals to go with it.
I also had to research different illnesses for the series to develop the brain disease Mental Damnation.

How many unfinished stories do you have stashed away? If any, do you think you will finish writing them?
Lots of stories, there is never enough time to tell them all. I am uncertain if I ever will. I keep an idea book by my bed and during my travels. Sometimes an idea sounds amazing at first and when I return to it months later, it wasn’t that good. Ideas also evolve and sometimes multiple ideas are merged into one.

What books do you like to read when you’re not writing?
I like to read nonfiction, a lot about spirituality, philosophy and science. Currently I am reading Looking In, Seeing Out: Consciousness and Cosmos by Menas Kafatos and Thalia Kafatou which is a heavy ready.

The first ever story you’ve ever written: What was it about and has anyone else read it?
My first story I finished when I was eleven, it was all over the map and had no congruency. My mother and brother have read it and will be the only two to ever read it.

Now that you are an experienced author: If you could give your younger-self just one tip on writing, what would it be?
Network earlier on. Writing is a very isolated experience and it is tough to get to know people in the industry. It is critical to introduce yourself to people so they know you and your writing.

We are so happy you stopped in with us and we sincerely hope to see you again for the next installment of the Mental Damnation series!  
Thanks for having me! The second novel will be out in the fall.

I'm about to hop over to his novel's Amazon page and smash that One-Click button! Happy reading, all! 

To get to know Konn Lavery even more and to keep up with what's new, visit his author pages!
Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads

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