ILLMANIC: A Journey Through Mental Health Struggles and Hope by Anthony L. Kelly

Exploring the release of Anthony L. Kelly's powerful novel, ILLMANIC, and the impact of mental health awareness in literature during Mental Health Awareness Month.

Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with ILLMANIC

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and what better way to commemorate it than by celebrating the release of Anthony L. Kelly’s latest novel, ILLMANIC, which was published on April 26th. This poignant and captivating story follows Monte Jones, an African American Army veteran grappling with PTSD and the heartbreak of watching his mother struggle with mental illness. ILLMANIC not only raises awareness about mental health issues but also offers hope to those who may be facing similar challenges.

“I’d like the readers to realise how fragile the mind really is. If strained too hard and too often, it can break. We should all be mindful of what and who we allow to enter into our thoughts.”

Anthony L. Kelly

Drawing from his own experiences with his mother’s battle with bipolar disorder, Kelly has crafted an authentic and compassionate portrayal of the struggles faced by those impacted by mental health issues. As an African American author from South Carolina, Kelly’s unique perspective enriches the literary landscape and promotes inclusivity.

Gaining Insights from Anthony L. Kelly

We had the opportunity to sit down with Kelly for an interview where he shared insights into his inspiration for writing ILLMANIC, the challenges of portraying mental health and PTSD, and the importance of diverse voices in literature. Kelly revealed the driving force behind the book, stating, “My mother, a woman who’s been struggling with bipolar disorder for over twenty years, is what inspired me to write this book.”

Overcoming Challenges in Writing

Writing about mental health and PTSD presented significant challenges for Kelly. He explained, “The most challenging thing about writing this book was having to go to a place of potentially no return is what I dubbed it. I compare it to method acting. I became the main character, Monte, every time I went over this story.” Despite the fear and discomfort it caused, Kelly persevered, recognizing the importance of accurately representing these complex issues.

The Importance of Mindfulness and Support

When asked about the most important message for readers to take away from ILLMANIC, Kelly emphasised the fragility of the human mind: “I’d like the readers to realise how fragile the mind really is. If strained too hard and too often, it can break. We should all be mindful of what and who we allow to enter into our thoughts.” ILLMANIC offers a glimpse into the world of the mentally ill, raising questions about the use or overuse of psychotropic drugs and the critical role of support systems in the lives of those affected by mental illness.

Promoting Diverse Voices in Literature

Kelly’s perspective as an African American author enriches the literary landscape, promoting diverse voices and authentic storytelling. He explained, “As an (‘organic,’ I use the word organic because I’m truly self-taught) African American author, I know no other way than to write like the people and conversations I hear. I believe this is how we should sound in books—and I’ve been told this.”

Advice for Aspiring Writers

For writers interested in addressing complex issues like mental health in their work, Kelly offered the following advice: “I’d advise other writers to just write. The more you do it, though it may not seem so, the better you get. And to be bold, you won’t know if you can do it (whatever it is), until you try.”

Supporting Mental Health Awareness Through Literature

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s celebrate the release of ILLMANIC and the crucial message it delivers. By raising awareness, promoting diverse voices, and supporting the mental health of ourselves and those around us, we can help create a more compassionate and understanding society

To connect with Anthony L. Kelly and show your support for his incredible work, be sure to check out his website at where you can find all of his books. Follow him on social media, where he shares updates and insights into his writing journey. You can find him on Twitter at @writedisway, and on Instagram at @writedisway. To purchase ILLMANIC on Amazon, visit To further support Anthony’s writing journey and contribute to his ongoing success, consider sending a CashApp donation to $writedisway. Let’s celebrate Anthony’s contribution to mental health awareness and literature by engaging with his work and spreading the word about ILLMANIC.

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