Western graduate John Hennessy, who graduated this past June with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies, has recently authored and self-published his debut fantasy novel, “The Cry of Havoc: Life Descending.”
The story focuses on Tom Navo, a man who loses his life only to gain a new one in another world. In this new world, he must fight dark forces and search for an ancient impermeable suit of armor: the lost enchanted armor of legend.
The AS Review: What inspired you to write this book?
John Hennessy: My sophomore year of high school, my family went on a cruise to Alaska. I was in the cabin reading a lot, and I bought this book, “Diablo: Legacy of Blood,” and I found this armor that was cursed. It got me thinking about cursed amour and it soared off from there. I started writing the book when I was a junior and senior and used the paper for my senior project.
ASR: How would you describe your book without giving away too much to readers?
Hennessy: The book is mainly about [Tom Navo’s] journey. In the first chapter, he’s thinking of committing suicide. He’s on the rooftop of a building and jumps, so he does end up dying in the first chapter, but he’s brought back to life on another planet. There [he] starts his epic journey where he gets new memories as a solider. He thinks he’s going to retire and go to his family, but he discovers his memories have been tampered with and that he has no family.
ASR: How did your education here at Western play a role in writing this book?
Hennessy: In liberal studies classes we would learn about battle tactics. We would also learn about religion and culture from around the world. Most of the book is an eastern European, middle-age mindset. As the book goes on, each country has its own religion and culture.
ASR: For those who haven’t been able to read the book yet, how would you describe it in a way to make them want to read it?
Hennessy: If you like epic fantasy or epic fantasy mixed with other genres; If you like past and future mixed at the same time. For instance, most of the setting is swords and sorcery, but there’s a leprechaun in there that has a grenade launcher, so it’s a little different.
ASR: How would you say your book separates itself from other books people might see on the shelves?
Hennessy: Well for “Life Descending,” it has a futuristic part to it. For that, I would say it has the blends of medieval and magic with futuristic rockets and grenades. It brings the past and the future all into one.
ASR: Anything else?
Hennessy: The e-book is only $3 on Smashwords [an online and e-book self-publishing and distribution service.] I just released a sample for people to try it out and read the first four chapters. They don’t have to read it, but it’s there to give people a chance to see it.