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. 


Marie K Johnston Releases Second Edition of “Mental (2018)” & 3 Books of Poetry Today, 9/23/19!

I have made the most of a year in basic good health to complete quite a large book project!

I now release the second edition of Mental (2018) and its three companion books of poetry: Dandelions (2019), Disaster and Harmony: A Poetry Collection (2019) and Cosmogony (2019) on the first anniversary of the original publication of Mental (Sept 2018).

All four of these titles were published this calendar year (2019) after being worked and reworked by your dear author these past twenty-five years.

In partnership with Halcyon Days Press, Inc., I am proud to reveal the pieces that I have been polishing these past two and a half decades, and also to unveil the cover art that I created in my art room for Mental and Dandelions.

Stay tuned for posts and pages devoted to each of these titles! I hope you will add them to your personal library soon!

Follow me (and get a sneak peek of the new books) at!

Stay tuned for posts about my upcoming book contest so that you can enter to win a free copy of one of my books!


Kristen M McCurry/Marie K Johnston