Draven St. James is a born and raised Oregonian. Draven has travelled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill the pages of each new story.
Draven’s ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of tales. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where Draven finds peace.
So, what have you written?
The latest book I’ve written is The Closer I Get, which I co-authored with LL Dahlin. It was quite a unique experience writing a book with another person. Although, in the end I have to say it was a lot of fun. LL and I have been friends since I published my first book, Grey’s Hidden Fire, book one in my Firehouse Six series.
This current project, The Closer I Get, is a friends to lovers m/m book. The theme is a favorite of mine to read, so it was something that I really enjoyed writing. The characters, Brayden and Croix were a blast to create, especially since they were a blend of my voice with LL’s.
How many books to your series?
As of right now there is only one book in the Picture Perfect series, which is the name of the series The Closer I Get resides in. However, we have plotted out as many as two more to follow. For those who have already read The Closer I Get, Gabe and Mason will have their story next!
What do you love most about the writing process?
I love creating worlds. That is probably why I write so many series books as opposed to standalones. It just seems that anytime I write a book I fall in love with the main characters and the side characters, then I feel like I need to give everyone a happily ever after. I am lucky that my readers feel the same way and oftentimes I find them asking when the next couple will get their story. There are times when I find myself inspired even halfway through one book to write another character’s story, which can be frustrating and distracting! I tend to have a lot of projects going at one time.
What are some jobs you’ve held? Have any of them impacted your writing? How?
Well, before I really committed to my writing I worked doing psychological profiling for the state. I have a degree in psychology, so I worked with a forensic psychologist. It was a bit disturbing at times, but always interesting.
I guess it impacted my writing by allowing me to see the many different sides of people’s personalities. A villain is a villain, but there are many sides to them. People who are good, are not completely good. The same goes for people who are bad. There needs to be depth, some unique landscape to the way a character interacts with the world around them. Sometimes a person will fall apart in a difficult situation, but sometimes they rise to the challenge. I don’t think that can just be thrown into a story, a writer has to build that into the character’s personality throughout the story. I learned that with my job.
Is there a character you feel especially connected to? Why?
I felt especially connected to Brayden, from The Closer I Get, because he had this completely other side to him that he hides. He’s also a little broken, from all that he’s had to overcome in his life. I wanted to write him so I could put all his pieces together again. Sometimes I think of characters that have stories that are sad and I want to create the world that will make them happy.
I feel connected with Brayden because I’ve always kind of been a bit of an introvert and so I love that side of him. On top of that there are points of my life that haven’t been the easiest to overcome and I like to think that I’ve managed to write my own story well, by walking through my life and blazing a unique path. 🙂
Croix Matthews has been hot for his best friend Brayden O’Conner since the moment he rescued the homeless boy from the street as a teen. Since everyone in his world, including Brayden, thinks he’s straight he’s had no luck with his timid attempts at letting his friend know he’d like a shot at being more, but with International super model Brayden finally boyfriend free the time to go full throttle is now.
Brayden hears his friend’s plea for assistance and assumes his straight bestie needs help with the ladies. Although he all but chokes on the task he’d do anything for the man who saved his life. If that means not investigating the meaning behind the shy come hither looks Croix is always throwing at him, so be it.
The closer they get to each other the more they can see how large the obstacles are. Will they stand strong together or will they let themselves be torn further apart?
“Oh, I know what we can do.” Brayden tapped along the bottles until he found the tequila of his dreams. This would work just fine. Snagging the liquid gold he held the bottle out to Croix.
Croix’s eyes went wide, and he shook his head, backing away. “No. Last time we drank I woke up with purple hair and a tattoo of ‘Get it while it’s hot’ on my ass.”
Brayden burst into laughter. “Do you still have that?” He very vividly recalled the scrolled lettering across Croix’s delectable, right cheek. Hell, he had a picture of it on his phone. Not that he’d tell Croix. Ever.
Croix scowled. “I’m not drinking with you.”
“Come on, show me the tattoo.” Brayden cradled the bottle and peeked around Croix like he could see through his clothes.
“Stop it, you perv,” Croix demanded. “I blame you for that thing ever being on my body. I still think you were sober enough to stop it. The only way you get answers is if I become a stripper and perform a private show.”
What I wouldn’t give for a private show, Brayden thought while keeping the words under lock and key. Instead he said, “I was sloshed, truly.”
“I’m still not drinking with you.”
“Come on,” Brayden insisted. “There isn’t a tattoo place for miles, and no hair dye in the house, right? The worst I could do is shave off all your body hair and maybe take embarrassing photos to add to my collection.” Brayden had tons. There was rarely a time when he didn’t sneak a pic, and a drunk Croix was a sight to behold.
“You’re not selling your case here.” Croix put his hands on his hips, one brow raised.
“Fine, I’ll do double shots while you do singles,” Brayden offered, knowing even with those odds Croix would still get hammered way before him. Croix could get drunk on the vapors of hard alcohol.
Croix exhaled loudly, running his hand through the silky locks of hair Brayden longed to touch before muttering, “Fine, but if I go all Blare Witch in the forest with my camera phone, you’re in deep shit.” Croix snatched the bottle. “Get the glasses, and I’ll get some soda. There’s no way I can drink tequila without a backer.”
Brayden laughed when Croix gave the bottle a dirty look.
Opening a cupboard on the sideboard, Brayden revealed rows of glasses of different varieties. He pulled the ones out that they’d need. “Why did you buy all this booze if you hate the stuff so much? I know you’d rather drink a wine cooler. You’re a sorority girl at heart.” He batted his lashes at Croix and was happy the man wasn’t near any objects he’d actually throw in Brayden’s direction.
“Because you don’t drink wine coolers since they have too many calories.” Croix set the tequila on the counter and went to the fridge. “You do realize the hard stuff isn’t much better for you, right?”
“Bite your tongue.” Brayden set the glasses on the coffee table and dropped on the couch. “Let me live in my land of water laced with love.”
Croix peered over the top of the fridge door. “Alcohol is not water.”
Brayden snorted. “Come on. Stop postponing the fun.”
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