I love the fact that so many of my readers are intelligent, exceptional, accomplished people with an open-minded love of diversity. But even more than that, I love it when my readers find lasting friendship with others of my readers - knowing that they met through their mutual affection for my books and characters makes me happy!
I'm a fan of meeting readers face to face, at reader events, where we're able to sit down and take some time to talk. Too often, at regular book signings, I meet readers who have traveled six or eight hours to see me, and I'm unable to spend more than a few short minutes chatting with them as I sign books.
I used to shake my head when I heard about mothers who were shocked - shocked! - when their kids came out. I didn't understand how they had missed seeing something so essential when looking at their children. But too many parents see only what they want to see, and that's true whether our kids are gay or straight.
I care a great deal about LGBT U.S. servicemen and women being able to serve openly and honestly. Since early in my career, I've included realistic LGBT characters in my books. The idea that a gay Navy SEAL had to hide who he was in order to serve was a terrible one - and I made sure my readers knew that!