Is Thea Atkinson Gay?
I must admit that when I found that phrase in my blog dashboard recently as a “how did readers find your blog” search term, it made me smile. Then it made me panic. Eventually, I came around to feeling a sense of self-satisfaction.
I wondered at first why someone would ask such a thing. Why anyone would want to know it. What did it matter to anyone? Why should it matter?
Maybe it does.
Sure it does.
It means I’ve done my job as a writer.
I have a few other-oriented people populating my novels. Anomaly‘s main character is transgender, Olivia in The Secret Language of Crows has a lesbian lover even though she’s not really gay, One Insular Tahiti’s Astrid falls in love with a gay man.
No wonder a reader would be curious. But I don’t think that’s the only reason for the search term, at least I hope not. I want to believe that it’s the quality of the character types I populate my novels with, not the quantity that drives the question. I want to believe that I write authentic characters. After all, I label myself a character driven writer: I should be able to write believable characters no matter what the foundation is.
Especially since there are times when I write from a male perspective. At times, I even write from a female POV, sometimes a child, once from a cat’s perspective — a few times I even wrote from a murderer’s point of view.
I should mention that I’ve never taken a life except once in a while that of a beetle bug or earwig. Yes. I’ve killed a lot of those. Shudder. Hate those.
And yet I haven’t seen, “is Thea a convict” or “is Thea really a man” yet. And I actually hope I do at some point. It would prove to me that a reader believes me — believes that I’ve lived it — that the characters I write are borne from some experience so strong that it has to be real.
Is Thea gay?
No. But she has hopes, she has fears, she has hates and dreams and pet peeves, and she has idiosyncrasies — and yes, she even has a few friends.
So do gays. So do murderers. So do lonely housewives and rock stars and liars and thieves and detectives and abusive husbands. They all do or they wouldn’t be human–just like us.
You want to write realistic characters? Find their humanity strongly enough that you question your own foundations for yourself, and I think you just might be on to something.
Do you like this post? Please consider sharing or commenting
- Use your background to create great characters (theaatkinson.wordpress.com)
- Imperfect and real (brwesterberg.wordpress.com)
- Through the Eyes of ________ (silverpens.wordpress.com)