I love beautiful book covers but, unfortunately, the story inside does not always live up to my expectations. Yet, in 2014, I saw the cover of Hideous and before I even read the blurb, I knew it was a book I wanted!
Hideous is a Young Adult M/M paranormal romance about Luke, one of The Cursed, his sad existence and friendship with two young men, Tom and Zack. The story is emotional and frightening and at the time of my 6-star review I said it should be renamed “Awesome”!
Devon McCormack has written one other Young Adult book, When Ryan Came Back; a New Adult title, The Pining of Kevin Harding and the adult novel, Clipped. He is planning to release Bound, the sequel to Clipped very soon.
I am really excited that Devon McCormack has agreed to feature as an author on Male Monday and be interviewed by me, even answering some unexpected questions! So here it is . . .
DM: First off, I’d like to say thank you so much. Kirsty, for having me on the blog for Male Monday. It’s a privilege to be here.
Me: What would you say to encourage someone who is considering reading the m/m genre?
DM: Turn back now! Just playing. I’d tell them to have an open mind. What is now called m/m is a sea of distinct, diverse voices and stories. You can pretty much find anything to satisfy your man on man fantasies, which is a great thing. But it can also be overwhelming. Anytime you venture into a new genre, there are piles of authors and books that people quickly recommend, and all you can really do is read a synopsis, look at a book cover (because let’s be real, that’s a major deciding factor for all of us), and decide if that’s something you’d be interested in. You’ll find some crap and some brilliant work out there. And if man on man action is your thing, you won’t be able to resist m/m for long.
Me: Which of your books was the hardest to write? Why?
DM: Hands down, When Ryan Came Back. It’s a young adult book about a kid who faces a lot of issues that I dealt with in high school. I think the personal nature of the material made it more difficult. Clipped and its sequel Bound were walks in the park. Those characters, the scenes, the plot—everything about that concept unraveled before me, and I knew it was just my job to make myself sit down and let it all come together. Hideous and The Pining of Harding were the same way. I won’t say they were effortless, because writing isn’t entirely effortless for me. No matter how inspired I am, there are a lot of places in a novel where I have to make myself push through. With When Ryan Came Back, I struggled in several areas where the main character’s experience too closely mirrored situations in my own life. I say that, but anyone who reads this and then picks up When Ryan Came Back isn’t likely to see the similarities. I wasn’t running around solving mysteries, nor did I have some boy who I pined away for in high school. It’s more about the character’s confusion about his future and feelings of betrayal…this ultimate sense that everyone has a secret and finding a way to cope with that.
Me: Who is your favorite m/m author?
DM: I don’t feel like I’ve read enough in the genre to say. Like what I was saying before, there’s just so much out there now, and I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near familiar with the layout. Although, I really enjoy Quil Carter’s Fallocaust series. I haven’t come across anything like it. I’m a little behind on the series, but if you’re looking for something original with a fresh voice, I think Carter’s your guy.
Me: What are the top 3 books on your TBR pile?
DM: Oh, don’t do this to me! The list is endless. Here’s the top three:
Barry Brennessel’s Tinseltown. I actually started this one, but quickly realized it’s too similar to one of the books I was already working on. Not that similar, since mine is YA, but similar enough that I didn’t want anything from his book to sneak in mine while I was reading it. Once I’m finished writing my Hollywood-centered YA book, I plan on picking this one back up, because Brennessel is a genius. Seriously. That man is a wordsmith.
Candi Kay’s Saving Travis. Candi Kay writes bi-erotica, and I absolutely adore her work. She wrote the most charming, hilarious little Christmas story, Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad Ass Reindeer. I’m also a fan of her Lance books. I don’t like things that fit into nice cookie cutter molds, and Candi Kay definitely doesn’t do that, which is why I’m infatuated with her writing. I can’t wait to get my hands on Saving Travis!
Looking After Joey by David Pratt. It’s a title that’s been on my list for a while. I started this one, too, but I need to get back into it. It’s brilliant, but I’ve just been so busy recently that I haven’t had time to finish it. If I didn’t write so goddamn much, then I would have plenty of time to enjoy these books!
Me: Which of your characters would you like to have dinner with?
DM: It’s awful to do this, but Hayde. I’m sorry, but no one’s going to know what I’m talking about until Clipped‘s sequel Bound is released. Hayde is my literary husband. During the war between Heaven and Hell, God created a massive army to combat Lucifer and his army of fallens. He manufactured a rather sloppy group of creatures known as flits. To higherlings, they rank slightly above humans, slightly below fallens. Hayde is very human in his appearance. He has moles, freckles, various imperfections. However, he has some of the aesthetic qualities of immortals. Because he’s considered lower than higherlings and even God’s enemies, fallens, he has a lot of insecurities about his appearance. Anyone who’s read my books knows I have a lot of love for less-than-perfect characters, and that’s why Hayde stole my heart. I say I’d want to have dinner with him, but I hope it would be a short, get-to-know-you sort of deal, and we could get on to more important things promptly. Bottom line is: I love him, and I secretly hope no one else does when the book is released. I’m very selfish like that.
To give a fairer answer, one that readers can understand before the TBD release date for Bound, I totally would have dinner with Luke from Hideous. We’re very similar, but I think Luke is a lot stronger than I am…or at least becomes a person who embodies the sort of strength I admire in a person. He’s also a far more kind and generous than I feel as if I’ve ever been. I would love to be as sincere, authentic, and caring as he is. Also, dinner with him would probably help me work through the sequel to Hideous!
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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. 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.
My experience of reading Clipped was like a ride on a high-speed train, but rather than ending up at my chosen destination, I was left in the middle of nowhere and looking for someone to help!
Clipped is hugely different than Hideous, the previous novel I have read by Devon McCormack, but then it is aimed at an adult audience and deals with a meatier subject matter. Initially, it appears that Devon McCormack is entering into a good vs evil debate; the Almighty vs the Leader; Fallen against Favoured; Christ and the AntiChrist. However, this is just a small part of what is a complex story dealing with love, betrayal, loss of identity and sex.
There is definitely no escaping the amount of sex in Clipped, but Devon McCormack seamlessly merges this with the plot so that these intense scenes have meaning to both the characters and the story as a whole. The immortal characters, Kinzer, Dedrus and Treycore, express themselves through sex, whether it is a violent or sensual experience and Kid, the mortal, has been abused and used as a sex slave, believing that it is the only thing he is good at. Admittedly not all of these scenes between the respective pairs are easy for the reader. Devon McCormack ensures that we experience both the physical and mental pain of the characters, often accessing their most private thoughts and feelings.
One of the reasons Clipped works so well is because, alongside this element of erotica, Devon McCormack allows us to understand the very human emotions of his immortal creations. Kinzer is dealing with his grief at losing his partner and confusion on meeting his ex, Dedrus. Treycore attempts to disguise his affection for Kid with anger, whilst Dedrus just wants to love and this be reciprocated. When the author introduces the Raze, we also see jealousy, anger and vengeance being exhibited.
Then there is fear, but this is felt by the reader during the several times the lives of our favorite characters are threatened. Devon McCormack reveals how truly evil Vera and her minions are and this culminates in the final chapters of the story, particularly in their torture of Kid. Here my tears mixed with gasps of horror and shouts of anger, towards the Raze and Devon McCormack for not giving me the ending I wanted! I am now left floundering, waiting impatiently for Bound’s release.
Clipped is a book I would recommend to anyone who is not easily shocked, the author’s warning is there for a reason! But beyond this the story is addictive, especially because of the way the author is able to engage his reader, despite the swift pace of his writing. I hope there are readers of this review, willing to take to take a chance on Clipped.