Camp Afterlife by Zachary Ryan is a compelling coming-of-age novel that explores the idea that one’s soul journey doesn’t end after death. Camp Afterlife was named a Finalist in the LGBTQ Fiction category of the 2022 Book Excellence Awards. The international book award competition recognizes books for excellence in writing, design and overall market appeal. The competition celebrates both independent and traditionally published authors in over 100 countries around the world.
“It was great validation for me as a writer…it felt nice knowing that I won this award against books from around the globe,” says author Zachary Ryan. After being hospitalized with COVID-19, Ryan was inspired to write the book to cope with and offer a new perspective on death. “I used this book…to feel like there is an afterlife if I passed away…it's a way to know that you still can heal from your mistakes…and trauma.”
The book’s main character, Gus, is a 17-year-old whose life goes into a downward spiral after the loss of his brother and the demise of his relationship. The spiral comes to a sudden halt when he arrives at Camp Afterlife, after passing away from a drug overdose. Camp Afterlife is a place where troubled souls go to reconcile and come to terms with their life and passing. At the camp, Gus is surprised to discover other kindred souls and a blossoming love with fellow camper Luis. In this way, Gus has an opportunity to heal before going to Heaven, but must confront the mistakes of his past and his guilty conscious before doing so. Readers will learn important lessons about forgiveness, friendship and self-discovery by reading Camp Afterlife. In difficult times, the book serves as a shining beacon of hope, showing that the right people and support system can help you transform into the best version of yourself.
The book has received positive reviews from some of the most well-renowned authors, journalists, and reviewers around the world. Brenda from Amazon writes, “Author Zachary Ryan created a very moving [book] portraying all the challenges life can throw [at you] and how to react and act in consequence. I think the story of Gus is very relatable to most readers, not because the same thing happened to all, but because of the struggles and feelings he goes through.”
In a time of global uncertainty and unprecedented change, Ryan's book comes to us as a necessary, worthwhile read. Camp Afterlife is available for sale on Amazon and other online bookstores. Fans of young adult, coming of age fiction are encouraged to purchase their copy today.
About the Author
Zachary Ryan is the award-winning author of 14 distinct works including The High School Queens Trilogy, Letters, Playlist and Camp Afterlife. His work spans multiple genres including young adult fiction, LGBTQ+ fiction and coming of age romance.
Zachary grew up in Maryland, before moving to Chicago to start a new life. There, he found that he was accepted for his misfit status—and learned that it’s perfectly normal to spend your twenties feeling lost and confused. Through his writing, he hopes to help other broken souls find comfort amid the chaos.
To connect with Zachary, please visit: zacharyryanbooks.com.
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