“Mental (2018),” A Novel

“But all the chartreuse buds on the new spring branches are also the brown crispy leaves that blow to the ground in the fall. It’s natural. It’s the way life works…”

–Chapter Sixteen, Mental

Mental (2018), which took 23 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 https://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston, 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 Amazon.com. Go to https://www.amazon.com/Mental-novel-Marie-K-Johnston/dp/1690980842/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1569337062&sr=1-1 to add this novel to your personal library now!


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 and was accepted into Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Marie K Johnston wrote for a variety of print and online publications (including Walmart.com and Rice University’s Web & Print Division) and taught English and Liberal Arts for 14 years before she married. She is the author of 2 novels and 3 books of poetry, which can be previewed and purchased at http://Amazon.com/author/mariekjohnston and http://www.BooksbyMarieKJohnston.com. She writes local color “faction,” taking a journalistic approach to magic realism to show everyday life in Texas where resilient female protagonists are both soft and strong. A preview of her visual art can be found at http://www.MarieKJohnston.com (“The Fiction and Folk Art of Marie K Johnston”). Johnston is currently working on two projects: 1) the publication of her journal, which explores the themes of love, loss, marriage, motherhood, dealing with mental illness, and coming into one’s own, and 2) a third fictionalized narrative dealing primarily with her daily, lifelong battle with Bipolar I with Psychotic Features. Both of these projects are due for publication and release in December 2020.

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