Feedback on some of my stories from readers indicates not everyone appreciates my message, or the grief I put my protagonists through. And many readers of gay fiction, readers used to happily-ever-after endings, don’t always appreciate my more realistic endings.
I do not write about struggle for struggle’s sake, or about grief for grief’s sake, but struggle and grief wholly accepted as necessary vehicles of an emergent joy or salvation—achieving things that are not transient by means of things that are.
I use the tragedies of life to open the eyes of my characters’ souls (a pattern found throughout Steinbeck’s fiction). This is something from my own life-affirmative philosophy, one that threads its way through all my stories: learning to say “yes” to life’s bittersweet offerings, searching for the genuine gift of spiritual awareness in the depths of suffering.
This has been one of my life’s most powerful lessons, which is why I keep weaving it into my work.