Sometimes, I like to share some of the emails I receive from readers of my novels. (I respond to everyone who writes me a letter.) An author never knows how a reader might react to his book and how a storyline or character may resonate more than others. I am always surprised by the various reactions.
Here is an email that popped up in my InBox today from a reader in Canada.
This year I've been introduced to two of your novels, Miami Manhunt and Take The Lead. I must say, I was captivated by both books and the very intricate, descriptive way you describe your characters and settings in both books. I have to admit I got so wrapped up in them that I finished both very quickly, not wanting to wait long to find out the entire stories. In fact, I read Take The Lead on a Caribbean cruise I took last week, leaving from Miami throughout the southern Dutch Caribbean.
I have been especially captivated by your descriptions of both the Cuban-American community in the Miami-Miami Beach area and of Boston in general. Although I am Canadian, I lived in the Boston metro area for 10 years earlier in my life (before I came out sadly) and have visited your vibrant community of Miami Beach twice this year. I admire the Cuban sense of family and solidarity, even when put to the test (such as having a gay son). I don't want to pry but your books sound somewhat autobiographical so I have suspected that you have weaved parts of your own life into your characters and settings.
Your characters are so descriptive and living, in that they seem like real people. The emotions you've brought forward from your characters are ones I can easily relate to, one of the reasons I am hooked on your books. Your character Gabriel from Take The Lead is very close to my own character in that I have been both a teacher (of computer technology) and a writer (I am currently a technical writer). Also, Gabriel wears his heart on his sleeve much as I do. His pains and joys have been mine since my first relationship which was in 1975 when I was a freshman in college and fell in love with my roommate, who was also gay. Anyway, thanks for reading this, and I wanted you to know that I truly enjoy your writing.