Draven St. James is best known for their novels Grey’s Hidden Fire and Scent of a Wolf. Their ability to write emotional stories that pull readers in causes the pages to fly. No matter what they come up with next, it will be great!
What got you interested in writing m/m fiction?
I read a lot of m/m fiction and always have. When I thought about writing in the romance genre I did not think of m/f stories. My mind was filled with m/m stories of lust and love… with unique worlds and characters. Then as soon as I started writing about the men, I was hooked. I love writing m/m fiction and can’t imagine writing outside that genre.
How did you begin your career and how did you grow your fan base to be so humongous?
I began my “career” as an author by submitting Grey’s Hidden Fire around to various publishing houses. I have to say that there is no beginning (or end point) to being a writer, it just is who I am. I may not have always been able to pen the stories in my head, after all I didn’t come out of the womb, laptop included, but the stories were there.
Wow, humongous? I aspire to that. 🙂 The wonderfully supportive fan base that I have now came about through getting my books out on the large creature that is the web. I do a lot of blog hops, but I have done blog tours as well with all my books. I have a website and a fun street team. However, at the end of the day, word of mouth is so important and I think the guys I write bring the readers back for more.
What is it like to write both contemporary and shifter stories? Have you thought of crossing the two on some level?
I love to write in both sub-genres because I enjoy creating different worlds. This gives me a larger canvas to work with. I don’t think I would ever cross Firehouse Six with Pack of Light series books, but I plan to expand Pack of Light beyond wolf shifters to include other creatures. 😉
Who is the LAST person you’d want to discover you write m/m fiction and how do you think they’d respond?
I’m really open about what I write, but the people I was most nervous about revealing my writing to was my eldest sisters. Both have always been quite conservative. As soon as I told them, they bought my books and are now fans of m/m novels as a whole. They’ve opened the eyes of many of their friends as well.
What was it like to write the relationship between Mica Cruz and Greyson Hayes?
Mica and Grey’s characters came really naturally to me. I’ve known men like them my whole life. Strong, Dominant. Amazing. Heroic. The romance between them was ridiculously fun to write because the passion of their personalities played off of one another so effectively that sparks ignited and the story flowed.
Why do you think so many women love to read m/m?
It’s nice to be the only woman in the room with two sexy men about to heat up the pages.
What was it like to create the past that drives Jace Shaw and Merek Wahya’s relationship? How do the ancient packs’ fight effect how their relationship works?
Creating the webwork of past connections that led to Jace and Merek’s mating was challenging. I wanted the reader to become invested, not just in Jace and Merek’s story, but in the Pack of Light. Initially the ancient packs’ fight keeps them apart, but ultimately it melds them together as they fight to protect all those they love throughout Scent of a Wolf and as the series continues on.
Are you currently working on anything?
I’m working on three different books. One is Liam’s Sacrifice, which is the second book in the Pack of Light series. I’m also working on Driven by Fire, which is the fourth book in the Firehouse Six series (Taber’s story). Lastly, well, the readers will just have to wait and see on the third book. A slow reveal is to come on that one.
Tell me about your writing process from idea to finished draft? Do you rewrite to death? Do you outline?
Generally I sit down and write out a basic outline of the story before I start writing the book. However, the story frequently changes as I write. I find that as my characters grow and develop I’ll see a scene and say, “They would never do that” and have to change things up. I do rewrite, much of that has to do with trying to set up each book so that it can be read as a standalone. I want readers to be able to find a whole story in every book and be satisfied, but maybe a little curious.
How long does it typically take you to write a novel from start to finish?
It can take me anywhere between three weeks to three months to write a novel. It really depends on if I have a deadline and how persistent my readers are for the sequels. 🙂
What was it like to write Fire and Mistletoe centering around Christmas? Was it difficult to only write about the holiday?
I loved writing Fire and Mistletoe! Being able to create a window for people to see a piece of Grey and Mica’s developing relationship was fantastic. It actually put me in the Christmas spirit. Also, I really did go to an adult store to make sure the items the two men bought for one another did exist. Just saying, I do my research. It wasn’t difficult to write only about the holiday because I love Christmas. Plus, I was able to use the book to introduce and develop some more firefighters for readers to enjoy.
What advice do you have for those thinking about writing gay romance and what advice do you have for those who are trying to build an audience from scratch?
The only advice I have for anyone trying to step into the publishing side of writing gay romance is…write and submit. Not everyone will love what you write, but if you keep working on your craft and putting your stories out there, that’s what it takes.