I love discovering fresh literary talent, particularly in the genre of gay fiction, and was pleased when Seventh Window Publications introduced me to one of their new authors, Drake Braxton. His debut novel, MISSING, is a fun and sexy read, detailing what happens when a happily married man journeys to the Deep South for a 20 year high school reunion, only to find that his husband has mysteriously disappeared. Part romance, part suspense, MISSING takes readers on a fast paced ride, with twists you never see coming.
Drake Braxton took the time to engage in an interview via email, sharing more about his inspiration, gay literature, and his debut novel, MISSING.
Thanks for taking the time to “chat”, Drake! Tell me about MISSING. How did the story originate?
Most stories have a strange place where they start and this one, as cliché as it sounds, was a real dream. I awoke in a panic, full of fear and sadness, as I’d dreamt that I had attended a reunion with my other half and he disappeared. My goal was to recreate that horrible feeling in the early part of this book.
Your lead character, Blain Harrington, has many issues he is dealing with, which I won’t go into, as I don’t want to ruin any surprises. But how did he come into being? What was your impetus for his character?
Blain is someone so different from me and yet, I’m sure there are parts of me in all of my characters. He wants desperately to be the good guy in the relationship, but he is deeply flawed and has done things in his past that haunt his current relationship. I also wanted to show a character that gets on a soapbox about how people are so judgmental towards gays and yet he has judgments of others based on their education, intelligence, background…a little Shakespearean book snob.
While MISSING isn’t strictly a romance, it also isn’t strictly a suspense novel, either. It straddles the two genres quite well. Were you aware, when you began the book, that it wasn’t quite one or the other?
I love reading books that are not afraid to mix genres–that have sensual moments that propel the story, but also other moments of great romance or suspense. I needed to unravel the past romance of these two men and that led to twists and turns I did not expect. Interestingly enough, a few years ago, an LGBT publisher really wanted to publish the book, but only if I changed it to be a “true mystery.” I couldn’t do it. And in hindsight, I’m glad I waited and that Seventh Window has took the chance with the book.
Given the genre-bending, who is your reader? To what kind of person would MISSING appeal?