Today I am so pleased to welcome Devon McCormack to Joyfully Jay. Devon has come to talk to us about his release, Clipped. He has also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving Devon a big welcome!
Finding My Way
Thank you so much, Joyfully Jay, for having me on the blog today. I’m thrilled to be here to talk about what a transformative experience I had writing my first published book. Hope you enjoy the read. At the end of the post, there’s a chance to win an e-copy of Clipped, so make sure to sign up!
I sat at my desk, staring at a blank Word Doc on my laptop. I’d woken from a dream about an argument between a human and an angel. The inspiration for most of my stories have come from the brief, illusive images of dreams and nightmares. In this particular dream, a scrawny young man scowled as a muscle-bound, blond angel chastised him. The angel mocked the lowly human for his disgusting appearance. He told him he was the lowliest of creations…even for a mortal. The young man, wounded by the angel’s words, only let his pain show through a shimmer of a tear in his eye. But he stood up to his nemesis, insisting he wasn’t worthless and didn’t deserve to be treated so horribly. Then the angel pinned him against a tree and kissed him passionately. When I woke, I was intrigued. I wanted to know more about these characters. Who were they? Why were they together? And what about their chemistry fascinated me? I stared at the blank Word Doc on my laptop briefly before delving into a story about these characters, who became Kid and Treycore in my first published novel, Clipped.
At that point in my life, I had a lot going on…and nothing at all. A few months earlier, I’d broken up with my boyfriend of three years and moved back in with my parents while I attempted to put my life back together. I worked odd jobs wherever I could. I tried to find a direction for my life. My brothers and sister had found success in the business world, so I felt like the only failure of the bunch. If I was going to set forward on a path, I needed to do it soon. But what would I do? How soon could I get out of my parents’ house? Did I need to find a serious job? These questions haunted me as I embarked on a silly story about angels and demons—something I feared would amount to little more than a colossal waste of time.
Before this project, I’d written plenty of books, but Clipped was my first story featuring a gay main character. Most of my stories had been about straight characters. I never intentionally avoided gay ones, but none came to mind as I sat down to write. I’d never read stories with gay main characters, so when I thought of storytelling, I thought about straight people. I think my ignorance about gay literature had a lot to do with my self-resentment about being a gay man. I had accepted that I was gay, but while I had friends who knew, I still wasn’t comfortable about sharing that information with most people. I feared criticism and societal judgement. Many years before that, I was told by my screenwriting manager, “It’s fine if you’re gay. Just don’t let anyone know.” I believed it was sound advice, and I lived my life accordingly, fearing if I didn’t, I would miss out on opportunities.
But as I wrote Clipped, I challenged my personal fears about being gay. I also threw out all the dos and don’ts I carried with me from my creative writing training in college. I abandoned my notions of what was appropriate for a mainstream novel. And when confronted with visions that frightened and disturbed me, I pursued them rather than fleeing from them, as if facing off against some demon within myself. My approach to Clipped was far more reckless than with my previous books. Though I meticulously outlined the plot, when it came to the more disturbing and bizarre scenes, I channeled my imagination, freewriting without censorship. I set a twisted cast of characters free and allowed them to take the story where they saw fit. As I built the world and characters of the novel, I found myself transported into this other reality—one that fascinated, disturbed, and aroused me. I’d always enjoyed writing, but Clipped ignited a passion within me that I hadn’t felt in a very long time—a thrill and excitement about the creative process that left me spellbound. It was therapeutic to write about gay characters doing things I considered taboo or inappropriate.
It’s hard for me to explain exactly what about that story helped me break free of some of those old chains. Was it just that I was writing something that really spoke to a part of me I hadn’t previous acknowledged in fiction? Was it facing all those demons within myself that had finally showed me how weak they really were? Whatever it was, when I finished writing the book, I felt at peace. It reminded me of the way I felt as a child when I threw a tantrum. I would scream, shout, and cry. Then the fit would pass, and I would feel at ease, as if I somehow mystically came out on the other side of the pain. Clipped was my tantrum. It was my way of getting out all the worries I had about my life up to that point, and when I was done, I was freed from them. After I finished the story, I completed several unfinished projects I’d been working on over the years. I started seeing my current boyfriend. I moved out of my parents’ house. I began writing more stories I was passionate about. It was as if crafting that one story had shattered a mental wall that I had been incapable of seeing beyond. And since I finished that story in 2013, I haven’t ever found myself stressing about what I plan to do with my life.
Thank you for reading my guest post, and thank you Joyfully Jay again for having me on the blog today. I’m holding a Rafflecopter giveaway to win an ecopy of Clipped, so if you’re interested, make sure to sign up!
Though mortals have been convinced that God cares about their souls, nothing could be further from the truth. He created the world as a gift for his lover, Satan. But when Satan left him, he decided to end what he saw as his most grotesque creation.
Satan and his army of demons are man’s only hope…
The demon Kinzer and his lover, Janka, have been sent by Satan to spy on The Raze, a gang of rogue demons who are working with God to bring about Armageddon. When someone exposes their true allegiances, the Raze clips Kinzer’s wings and murders Janka. Kinzer manages to escape. He tracks down Satan’s allies to warn them about a mole in their midst when he learns that they’ve located the Antichrist—a powerful weapon that could prevent the apocalypse. Now, he’s on a mission to protect the Antichrist and avenge his lover’s death.
Warning: This title is erotic and contains homosexual content, graphic sex, violence, and strong language. Readers uncomfortable with rough sexual situations should not purchase this book.
Devon McCormack spends most of his time hiding in his lair, adventuring in paranormal worlds with his island of misfit characters. A good ole Southern boy, McCormack grew up in the Georgian suburbs with his two younger brothers and an older sister. At a very young age, he spun tales the old fashioned way, lying to anyone and everyone he encountered. He claimed he was an orphan. He claimed to be a king from another planet. He claimed to have supernatural powers. He has since harnessed this penchant for tall tales by crafting whole worlds where he can live out whatever fantasy he chooses.
A gay man himself, McCormack focuses on gay male characters, adding to the immense body of literature that chooses to represent and advocate gay men’s presence in media. His body of work ranges from erotica to young adult, so readers should check the synopses of his books before purchasing so that they know what they’re getting into.
Devon has brought an ecopy of Clipped for one lucky Joyfully Jay reader. Enter using the Rafflecopter link below.
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