Please say hello to Devon McCormack and his new release
Between These Sheets
“I fought one war on the battlefield. Now I fight another in my mind.”
Jay is always on the run—always looking for the next place to start a new life. But no matter how much he moves, he can’t escape the painful memories that haunt him. As he settles into his latest job in the warehouse at a glass bottle factory, he finds himself the target of his co-workers’ teasing. When he takes a stand against one of the bullies, a fight breaks out. His boss, a war vet named Reese, steps in, and Jay accidentally shoves him to the ground, revealing Reese’s prosthetic leg. Jay’s sure he’s gonna lose his job, but he’s blown away when he’s given another shot.
Reese is annoyed by the new guy. Jay is reckless and temper prone. Maybe Reese shouldn't have given him a second chance, but his attitude reminds him of his war buddy—a guy who he cared deeply for and who he lost under tragic circumstances. He just hopes Jay doesn’t let him down.
When an accident in the factory triggers one of Reese’s PTSD episodes, Jay returns the favor by being there for him and keeping anyone else from discovering the incident. Reese wants to move on and forget it ever happened, but Jay won’t let it go. And as much as Reese tries to keep his distance, there’s a heat—a passion—between them that he can’t resist. It leads them to the bedroom again and again, but Reese quickly realizes they’ve ignited more than the sparks they create between the sheets. And despite the tough-guy façade Jay puts on, underneath there’s a soul just as tortured and hurt as he is. He’s starting to fall for Jay, but he knows there’s a dark storm lurking in the back of his own mind—a storm that will return one day and destroy the beautiful connection they share.
Between These Sheets is a standalone romance novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a happy ending.
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So tell us a little about yourself, Devon.
I'm an author. I've written everything from young adult to erotica to romance. I started publishing in 2003 with a paranormal erotic novel called Clipped, which was published through Wilde City Press, and I haven't stopped writing since. I have two recent releases. One is part of the romantic comedy series, Metropolis. The first installment is Faking It, which I co-wrote with Riley Hart. Whenever we're trying to explain the tone of the books to people, the easiest way is to say it's like Friends with gay guys. My other release, which just came out this week, is called Between These Sheets. It's not a light book and deals with some very heavy topics, including the life of a person living with a prosthesis as well as PTSD.
This series that you're working on with Riley Hart, how many books are in it?
Right now, there are three. We wrote two before we released the first book, Faking It, and we're working on the third right now. It chronicles the love lives of three guys who become friends in the first book: Gary, Hayden, and Derek. We're not sure how many books are going to be in the entire series. I think Riley and I will be happy to continue writing them as long as we both are still excited about the world and as long as we both know we can create fresh story-lines with complex characters.
What is it like collaborating on a novel?
Horrible! Terrible! Never do it! Just kidding. Riley's easy to work with. We both are very passionate about our stories and characters, and neither of us are very shy about voicing our opinions, but we both work hard to make sure the other person is enjoying the book we're writing. I think that's important. As for the logistics, we each pick a character to write in the POV of, then one of us will write a chapter and send it to the other person, and we keep swapping like that until we have a book.
Do you outline these books to make sure you're both on the same page?
Not really. We'll have a very deep discussion about who these characters are before we start, and we'll have follow-up discussions throughout. I'll ask Riley, "Would your character do this? Do you think he likes this? Would he drive this car? Eat this meal?" Stuff like that. There comes a point in the book where we basically outline the rest of it, but we both like sort of exploring the characters through trial and error in the beginning. Because if we do take a wrong turn at some point, we can always just go back and fix it later.
What about when you're writing on your own? Do you ever outline or do you just write from beginning to end and see what happens?
I do both on my own. No project is the same. Whatever gets me to the end of the book is what I'll do. I've written books from beginning to end without stopping to outline. I've outlined meticulously and then written the book based on that. I've written books out of order and just sort of bounced around to different parts without any idea of where it will lead. It just depends. After doing it so many different ways, I've discovered none of these approaches guarantees that you'll have a good book by the time you get to the end, but you can always make the one you end up with better.
Tell us more about the book you just released this week, Between These Sheets.
It's a contemporary romance about two men with dark pasts. Reese is a war vet who fought in Iraq, where he also lost part of his leg. Jay had a very abusive father who did some terrible things to him and his brother. They meet at the glass bottle factory where they both work. Reese is Jay's boss, and through some issues they both have, they end up discovering they're very attracted to each other. That attraction leads to more and then they start to realize that they might actually be able to find some happiness together. At the same time, Reese is terrified his PTSD will one day be too much for their relationship to handle. And that's where the heart of the story is...in Reese's fear that he is going to ruin Jay's life because of his mental disorder.
This isn't the first time you've written about a very serious topic, though. Last August, you released the gay contemporary romance novel Weight of the World with Riley Hart, which is about suicide and depression. What draws you to these sorts of topics that some people might think are a little too dark for romance?
We all live with demons, and these books are largely how I face the ones that I'm dealing with in my own mind. But I also think it's important to address these subjects in honest ways because I find that, too often, in people's misunderstandings about psychological issues, they trivialize them or misunderstand the people who suffer with them. I hate hearing people who can't empathize with people who take their own lives. Certainly I understand the pain of those who are left behind, but if you were inside the mind of someone who was suicidal, you would never criticize their decision because you would know just how crippling that is...and how that person can't see the world as it is, but just as darkness and sadness and pain. And I hoped that writing that book would illuminate that for others and also offer some therapeutic benefit for myself.
And what about the other genres that you write in? You mentioned erotica and young adult earlier.
Yes. I have four young adult titles: Hideous, The Night Screams, When Ryan Came Back, and The Pining. And I have several erotica titles as well. Right now, my Clipped series is out of print, but I have two dark erotic novellas, Cheating Bastard and Lying Bastard, which are very dark and disturbing stories...erotic horror, really.
Why do you choose to write in so many different genres?
I just write whatever pops into my crazy brain. Sometimes it's young adult. Sometimes it's romance. Sometimes it's erotica. Right now, romance interests me more, though. If you read my stories from the beginning, I think you can see that the romance has always been there, but I've held it back. Now, I let it run free, and I've found that it's where I prefer to write because I feel I can really get to the heart of characters through that vehicle.
Any genres that you haven't explored yet that you would like to?
There will be, but I think that I've written in every genre that I've been interested in writing in, which makes what I work on next a lot stressful because I don't have this sort of feeling that there is some lingering passion project that I need to get to.
On that note, what projects can we expect to see from you in the next few months?
Good ones. That's all I really can tell you. I have seven contemporary romance novels completed. I'm working on getting them edited and published now, but that takes some time, but they'll all be out, and they're all eager to be read. Working It, the sequel to Faking It, is definitely coming out in March, and it's a project Riley and I are really proud of. A worthy sequel to Faking It, and a hell of a lot of fun.
And before you go, any words of encouragement to up and coming or wanna be authors?
Writing is so fucking hard, and no matter how many books you write, it doesn't get easier. In fact, it gets much harder because you're constantly trying to do better and not repeat yourself. It's a challenge, but that's part of the fun of it too. And it’s okay to get discouraged, but you still have to find a way to keep moving forward.
Devon also recently released a book co-written with Riley Hart, called Faking It, which is the first book in the Metropolis series.
There's never a dull moment at Metropolis...the condominium known for having the hottest openly gay tenants in town. The boys of Metropolis are always on the prowl for a good time. They like their drinks heavy and their tricks easy.
Gary should be living it up in his South Tower unit of Metropolis, but he's having a hard time adjusting to his newly single status. It's not easy to walk away from five years with his ex, who he discovered was cheating on him with some North Tower twink. After a night out partying, licking his wounds, he goes to bed alone. When he wakes the next morning, there's a naked guy in his bed. Not just any guy. A stud from North Tower. But hot as he is, what the hell is he doing in his room?
Travis doesn't get why Gary's freaking out. So he went home with Gary's roommate and accidentally crawled into the wrong bed. It's not the first time he's woken up in a strange place. Maybe Gary would loosen up a little if he gave it a try as well. Travis has more important things to deal with though...like his meeting with an investor who could give him the money to start his massage clinic.
They're both sure that's the last time they'll have to deal with each other until a mix-up leads Gary's ex and Travis's investor to think they're an item, which Gary and Travis use to their benefit by posing as a couple around town. Soon, they discover the chemistry between them is off the charts. Travis brings out a sexual confidence Gary didn't know he had--one Travis enjoys exploring with him. But as the two keep up their boyfriend hoax, Gary realizes Travis isn't as shallow as he thought. Gary's starting to develop feelings for him. But Travis doesn't do relationships, and Gary should know better, considering they're just faking it...
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About Devon McCormack:
A good ole Southern boy, Devon McCormack grew up in the Georgia 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 worlds and characters that allow him to live out whatever fantasy he chooses. Devon is an out and proud gay man living with his partner in Atlanta, Georgia.
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