What way, you ask? Crazy? No. Not that way. I've always been that way. It really does help. It makes it much easier to ignore the subtle changes over time that tell me I'm not the same person I was when I started this gig nearly four and a half years ago.
I'd love to be able to say I could blame Marci and Faith for that. After all, Faith was my first editor and Marci was my first publisher. They got me into this mess!!!!
(They also help keep me from the long fall off the deep end, so I have to give them credit for that, too!)
The point is, though, I remember, vividly an inner dialogue I had with myself once about what I would say if anyone ever interviewed me about my books and why I write what I do. ... What? Don't look at me like that. You know you've done it, too. Back in the day, you had the fantasy about this insane venture into your own psyche we call writing a book hitting the New York Times bestseller lists and making you rich, about Oprah reading your books.
Right? We've all had that moment. Um....ANYWAY
Back to me. I remember the question. Why do you write about gay characters? And I always answered the same. ... AGAIN with the look? Yes, always. It's called positive visualization. Don't tell me you've never heard of it. Athletes do it all the time. Imagine yourself succeeding, and you will succeed. Well. With some hard work and an ocean of caffeine and a butt-load of luck.
But we were talking about my answer to why. The answer was always: "No reason. The characters are who they are. I'm not trying to change the world or make a statement. I'm just writing what I write What other people take away from my stories is about them, not me."
I was never an activist. I'm not about making a stand or linking arms or chaining myself to trees. Or ideals. It was never my style. Or so I thought.
(If you don't know, Andre is a male model making most of his money modeling women's clothing. He puts himself under the transgender umbrella, but says when he looks in the mirror, he just sees himself and gender doesn't really matter)
And yes, I spoke up. I made my own off hand comment about workplace equality and respect and not judging what we don't understand. It shut the entire room up for the remainder of our break. AWKWARD!
When did I become that person? An accidental activist. Oops. Maybe it was about the time I became a mom and realized what I said, or didn't say, mattered.
I'm attaching the link to an interview with Andre where he talks about his career and self image, and down near the bottom of the page is an interview with a mom about her son, her princess boy, as she calls him. It made me want to hug her.