Just so we’re clear, because I don’t want anyone to be surprised: virtually everything I’m going to write is going to have LGBTQ characters. They may not always be the main characters, but they’re going to be in the story in one way or another.
I’m not trying to push a specific “agenda” or political belief. My characters are just people, and they have their own personalities, quirks, faults, loves, and lives. I try to write what I see in the world. And there are a lot of LGBTQ people in my life. To not write characters like them would feel unrealistic to me, to present a very narrow segment of humanity. It would be like only writing about white people, or able-bodied people, or thin people. I’m interested in a wider range of stories and characters.
I’m putting a disclaimer on all of my books now because I’ve been getting some criticism. Just like I want other authors to put trigger warnings on their stories, I want my readers to know ahead of time what kind of content they can expect in my books so they can choose whether or not to read it. I don’t want to “trick” anyone into reading partway through Small Town Witch and then have them quit when they realize Rosa is bisexual. If LGBTQ characters make you uncomfortable, my books are definitely not for you.
The reason why I didn’t label all of my books or make a big deal out of them in the first place because it’s not the main focus of the stories. I didn’t think it was appropriate to label Small Town Witch as “Gay Fiction” when Rosa’s bisexuality is only a subplot, and readers looking for a story that dealt in-depth with queer issues would be disappointed. I wasn’t trying to be sneaky or misrepresent the story to others. Now there’s a disclaimer so hopefully no one will be surprised.
I’m personally not proud to live in a society where people still get offended at the slightest mention of same-sex attraction (a girl talking about a crush on another girl, not any explicit erotica), but I’m not out to offend people deliberately. There’s plenty of other books to read.