Introduction to “Mental: A Novel,” Second Edition (2019)

mental 2 cover

Mental (2018), which took twenty years to complete, is based on Johnston’s late teens and early twenties in the 1990s in Texas. Weaving journalistic scrutiny with magic realism, Mental draws upon a broad set of themes, all of which reveal why one young woman’s emergence from childhood to take responsibility for her life was belated.

Told by identical twin narrators in three parts, Mental delves deeply into the inner workings of the psyche to achieve a hard won happy ending, leaving the reader with the suggestion that it is one’s attitude that directs one’s fate. Drawing upon Buddhist wisdom and with a strong foundation in the natural world, Mental‘s subject matter may at times be dark–but the message of the piece as a whole is overwhelmingly positive.

This Second Edition of Mental, released on the first anniversary of its original publication, is meant to inspire those who are struggling to find themselves in a world that can be full of evil, disappointment, loss and grief. This novel is about dealing with changes and transitions, and is offered to illustrate the importance of continuing the search for peace even in the midst of suffering.

This is Johnston’s second novel. Her first novel, Leaves Subsiding (2010), written under pen name M. Yoshida McCurry, is about the elusive search for happiness. She is also the author of Dandelions (2019), a long poem, Disaster and Harmony: A Poetry Collection (2019), and Cosmogony (2019), a rhyming and metered poem about the natural world and one girl’s place in it.

To read a preview of Mental (2018) for free now, go to, where you can also enter to win a copy of one of the four titles Johnston is currently promoting. Mental is an eBook ($9.99) and a paperback ($9.99) for sale now on Go to to add this novel to your personal library now!

Disaster bio pic

Marie K Johnston (aka Kristen M McCurry) is a novelist, poet, visual artist and website creator. She is a 42 year old married mother of one living in a little arty town just northwest of Houston, TX. She was educated at The University of Texas at Austin and Cornell University, wrote for and Rice University’s Web & Print Division, and taught high school English for ten years before she married. 


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