Friday, December 8, 2017

Interview with dark fantasy author Konn Lavery

Novelist Konn Lavery is my special guest today. We’re chatting about his dark fantasy book, Dream, the second in a series.

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.

Welcome, Konn. Please tell us about your current release.
The latest release is part two of the dark fantasy series, Mental Damnation. It is titled Dream, which continues the reptilian, Krista's journey while she deals with the nightmare-enhancing disease. She begins to experience the dreamworld known as Dreadweave Pass, a realm of the dead, during her sleep. While dealing with this disease's illusions, a human doctor is trying to help cure her of the disease. Mental Damnation is an obsession of his.

The timeline of book two has the first several chapters happen before book one, Reality which provides some insight into the events of book one. It also explores Krista's close friend Darkwing, who tries to find her after her mysterious disappearance in Reality.

What inspired you to write this book?
This book has been a long process (since 2006 actually) and has had many inspirations throughout the years. The current release, and Reality back in the spring are technically second and final editions of the series. The inspiration throughout the years has varied from when I used to play video games (RPGs) and read fantasy novels. I've also had a lot of inspiration from Clive Barker's work.

Excerpt from Dream:
The loud crack of a leather whip echoed throughout the red sandy streets. The noise muffled out the other surrounding groans, chiseling stone, and footsteps with its strident sound. The leather material lashed down onto the bare, charcoal-scaled back of a bony humanoid, splitting the scales aside and exposing black blood that oozed down the spine.

The humanoid hissed, flickering his tongue as his tail perked straight up reflexively to the sudden strike of pain. He dropped his chisel and hammer from the impact and glanced back to see the attack came from a well-built reptilian draped in gunmetal armour from head to toe. The assailant’s scowling face could be seen under his helmet; its metal frame formed two horns that extended past the jawline. A third point arched over the head and past the back of the skull. His armour had a glimmer from the distant molten lava that projected light onto the otherwise black environment, creating a sight orange hue over the scene. The armoured being raised his whip to the dark sky, ready to strike again.

“Work faster, scum!” he shouted with a scowl on his face. The mesmerizing red, smokeless flame that surrounded his eyeballs flickered rapidly, highlighting his grey skin. “You’ve been dragging your scaly ass around all day. This district won’t build itself. Put your back into it.” He lashed the whip again, striking the poor being in the outer thigh and collapsing him to his knees, limbs shaking.
The being let out a yelp as he fell, glancing around to see the other ‘scum’ around him work faster and avoid eye contact with him. “Please!” he cried. “No more.”

“Put some effort into your work and we won’t have an issue,” the armoured reptilian hissed while marching down the row of dirt-covered reptiles.
About a dozen workers were lined up along a clay wall, each one using their own chisel and hammer. They carved away at the rock, forming simplistic shape-based designs on the exterior of an incomplete building; planks of wood were still being nailed together above, creating the frame of a roof.

“Damn Renascence Guard,” the whipped reptilian muttered to himself while retrieving his tools with one hand. He used his other hand to brush his black scalp-feathers from his face.

Beside him, a young girl—also a reptilian—kept her head lowered while ignoring the scene and working quietly. Her long black and blue scalp-feathers draped down past her bare shoulders, hiding her face.

“They are supposed to help us regain order after our banishment by the humans. Instead they behave the same. Seem like a bunch of hypocrites if you ask me,” the whipped reptilian continued to complain.

The girl swallowed heavily and kept her focus on the task of carving her portion of the building’s exterior design. She chiseled faster with the tools, raising some dust in front of her face.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am in the process of finishing a thriller novel that is unrelated to the fantasy series. It is a standalone book that early readers have said is a cross between Marvel's The Punisher and Frank Miller's Sin City. This is projected to be out in early 2018.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I've always had a fascination with telling stories. I've tried many forms while growing up from comics, to video games, cartoons and even board games. I found that I got caught up in the technicalities of the medium and could not focus on the story. Eventually I began writing short fantasy stories for my games and they broadened into novels.

Professionally I started in 2011 and had my first release in 2012 (the first edition of Reality) and have continued to write new work ever since.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Writing is full time hours if that counts! Unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills, yet. I also run my own home-based business as a graphic designer and website developer. It is pretty time consuming as well but is another passion I have. This skill set has allowed me to create the book covers, branding and marketing materials used to promote the books.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I tent to write sentences backwards, even if they still work. Often these get corrected in the editing phase but sometimes they slip through into the final manuscript. This quirk is seen more often in my emails since they are sent out on a more regular basis.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer when I was twelve. Before that I wanted to make cartoons. I quite enjoy animation but found it to be very time consuming and I didn't want to invest the hours needed to become proficient at it.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you are interested in checking out the Mental Damnation series, check out the book pages on my website where you can explore the graphic-based illustrations I have done to accompany the books.

Or if you are a writer, my site has frequent blog posts about writing. It offers tips and ideas to improve the writing process.


Thank you for joining me today.
Thank you for having me! It's been a pleasure.

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