Today we welcome Devon McCormack to talk about his new novel, When Ryan Came Back. It’s a YA paranormal mystery!
Secrets and Lies:
When Ryan Came Back
by Devon McCormack
Blurb: Steven’s life changes forever the day he discovers his childhood friend and lifelong crush, Ryan Walters, standing in his bedroom. The problem? Ryan Walters committed suicide just days earlier.
Ryan tells Steven that he didn’t kill himself. He believes he was murdered and that his death is linked to an article he was working on for the school paper. Steven sets out to solve the mystery, but as the story unfolds, so does Ryan’s secret life of sex with guys and depression. Steven realizes suicide is more plausible than Ryan’s conspiracy theory, but he struggles to convince Ryan of the real cause of his death. And despite revelations of his friend’s closeted life, he must face the truth that Ryan doesn’t—and never will—love him.
Hey guys! Thanks for having me on the blog today to talk about my new YA paranormal novel, When Ryan Came Back.
When I first started working on this book, I knew I wanted to write a story about lies. Maturity from teenager to adult is really about those defining moments where you realize the world isn’t what you were told it was. Morality is complex. There are no easy answers. And there are more important things in the universe than getting a high score on the SAT. Not everyone faces life as it is at the same age. Circumstances force some to grow up faster than others. Some are so protected by their family they don’t experience it until later. In general, though, I think the real transition that marks one’s maturity into adulthood (beyond just their age) is when simplistic versions of the world are shattered and they have to grapple with its complexities.
I chose a mystery for When Ryan Came Back because the genre is all about finding unwanted truths on the way to solving one particular mystery. As the main character, Steven, digs around to discover the truth behind his friend’s death, he discovers dark secrets in the pasts of his friend, his town, even his parents. He doesn’t want to know any of these secrets, but that’s what happens when you start digging around where you don’t belong. Now, Steven’s wondering if he ever really knew any of these people, and the truth is, he didn’t. He saw what they wanted him to see. So where does that leave him? With one hell of a trust issue. I think this is something most people develop at one point or another. We’ve all been betrayed. Betrayal is something that terrifies me, and it’s a shame, because it’s something that is unavoidable.
One of the greatest betrayal Steven experiences is from the person he’s trying to help, Ryan. He and Ryan were childhood friends, but after Ryan moved out of his school district through middle school, they don’t talk until they wind up attending the same high school. Eventually, they form a new friendship, one based on who they’ve become, but it’s cut short by Ryan’s death. When Ryan’s ghost asks Steven to help him find out how he died, Steven finds all these skeletons in his closet–antidepressants, sex with guys…things that leave him wondering if he really even knew the real Ryan at all. And if he’s been lying to him all this time, how can he ever learn to trust him again? This is the real question Steven has throughout When Ryan Came Back. What is a real betrayal, and how do we know who we can trust? Or can we really trust anyone?
Interested in reading When Ryan Came Back? It’s now available at:
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About the author
Devon McCormack spent his childhood climbing trees and hopping over gullies in the woods of the Georgian suburbs. Growing up, he found few gay role models in books and movies. This inadequate representation of gay heroes led him to creating his own. He likes dark, action-packed stories in which characters overcome terrible odds and sinister forces. Though his books take place in worlds where paranormal is the norm, his characters triumph over very real problems by using their strength, will, and determination. A huge fan of love stories, he can’t resist throwing in a couple of charming love interests to make the adventures all the more entertaining. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and spends his