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Ryan Douglass Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Taking of Jake Livingston (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Boy in Jeopardy (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Ryan Douglass
Ryan Douglass was born and grew up in Atlanta, where he lives spinning records and cooking pasta.

He enjoys advocating for stronger media representation for queer Black people, wood wick candles, and falling asleep on airplanes. Ryan’s two favorite hobbies are perusing book stores and hiking nature trails. He also loves candle collecting, and finding new mood lighting and art to add into his living space. He is a huge introvert and is probably inside when he’s not with nature.

Ryan’s work on literacy, race, media representation, and sexuality has appeared Nerdy POC, Atlanta Black Star, The Huffington Post, Age of Awareness, Everyday Feminism, NCTE, Atlanta Black Star, and LGBTQNation, as well as others.

Rick Riordan and Neal Shusterman turned Ryan into a writer. The “Percy Jackson” series and the “Everlost” series were his two favorites while growing up. However he was also inspired by the more traditional gothic horror written by Edgar Allan Poe and the more modern classics by Stephen King.

He has always written books. When he was very young, he wrote and drew his own picture books. While in elementary and middle school, he began penning chapter books, and during his teen years, he graduated to teen novels.

When he started writing “The Taking of Jake Livingston”, he was writing short stories for a creative writing class during his sophomore year of college. He was attempting to explore his style, and that is when he first realized that he wanted to write horror stories, as he was writing more fantasy and sci-fi before that. It was a short story, and with a short story you must capture a moment and cut to the chase.

So he wrote this story about a boy that is getting followed around at school by some homicidal ghost, and it truly put him into that headspace of what he wanted to say. Then he penned another story, about this college student whose roommate wound up being a stalker.

He actually got a note in his creative writing class from a classmate that said they wanted to see his short story as a full length book, and Ryan thought it was an interesting idea. So he began writing it and it took about two years to write the first draft, and then he spent three months working with his agent on this. For roughly another year, he was in edits, so start to finish, the book took a total of almost three years.

To research the novel, he read real-life account books about ghost sightings in order to see how hauntings typically happen. Ryan himself has been haunted in some smaller ways. He has had apartments and houses where pots will randomly fall off the shelves and you will hear things during the night, however he’s never had any real contact with an actual spirit. So he did a ton of reading about how that manifests in real life to truly pin down the poltergeist parts.

He also did a bunch of research about serial killers, school shooters, and mass murderers to get to the bottom of their psychology. It was a huge undertaking for Ryan, figuring out what exactly would drive somebody to do that and if it is about nature, or if it is about nurture. Getting this from Sawyer’s point of view was very important for making him a well-rounded character. And the rest of it came from his own imagination.

Ryan loves a challenge, and this was certainly a good challenge because it forced him to see exactly how the most evil person you could possibly imagine could be a human being too. He believes that is also a huge thing to take on, and as a writer, it was something that Ryan threw himself into because he believes that it’s an author’s job to get at what is underneath and attempt to figure out what we are not really seeing when we only see the surface of somebody.

This was a very scary thing for Ryan, and he ended up having nightmares during the research process. He read about personality disorders and how these function and how people without empathy can move around the world. He also read about their families and they have to interact with them.

He got really worried that he was making Sawyer far too human, and then got worried he was making the guy too much of a menace so nobody would relate to him. It was a delicate balancing act of getting the evil just right and the human element just right so you aren’t starting to think the shooter’s a victim in anyway, because he’s a villain. But you’re seeing how villains get shaped by victimhood and how hurt people will hurt other hurt people, which is a tough thing to do when you are narrating it from a murderer’s perspective.

“The Taking of Jake Livingston” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2021. Survival is not guaranteed.

Jake Livingston, sixteen years old, sees dead folks all over the place. However he cannot decide what is worse: being a medium that is forced to watch the dead play their final moments out on a loop or being at racist teacher’s mercy as one of the very few Black kids at St. Clair Prep. Both of these are a living nightmare that he wishes he was able to wake up from. However things are starting to look up at St. Clair with another Black student’s arrival. It’s a handsome boy named Allister, and for the first time, romance is on the horizon for Jake.

Unfortunately, life as a medium is getting worse. Even though most ghosts are harmless, Sawyer Doon wants a whole lot more from Jake. In life, Sawyer was a troubled teen that shot and killed six kids at a local high school before he took his own life, too. Now he is a powerful and vengeful ghost and he’s got plans for Jake. High school has become a survival game of a whole different sort, one that Jake is not all that sure he can possibly win.

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