More about Alec and Magnus: Hi Cassie. You are my favorite author of all time, but I heard something that confuses me. I heard that you feel about Malec like a “chore” and that you don’t care about them. My question is this isn’t true right? I refuse to believe this because I can’t believe you would do something like that. Malec is just as important to the story as Clace (well to me and I think a lot of other people.) Could you please tell me what Malec really means to you? Thank you for listening er, or reading I guess Love greatly, — booger206
I wanted to answer this question because it really cuts to a kind of discomfort consumers have with creators. Writers are doing a job — which is mostly fun, but which is sometimes exhausting and frustrating and just plain hard — and also channeling our interests, obsessions, experiences, and loves into what ultimately becomes a book. And sometimes readers wonder, if this is our job, how much do we love it? How much do we love what you love? What terrible thing might happen if the creator doesn’t love their creation as much as you?
I can only think of this as a question based in fear of an imbalance of caring and power, rather than spite (which was admittedly my first thought, but I’m working on that). Yes, writing is my job. It is a job. It is a job that I love, because there is no reason something cannot be both work and a thing you love. In fact, I often think that is the absolute best you can hope for, as an artist — because pure love and no work is self-indulgence, which is fun to write but not to read, and all work and no love — well, I don’t know what that ends up as. I’ve never done it. But I imagine it feels joyless to do and to read.
I created Magnus and Alec years ago, when no one cared about them but me, and I loved them when no one knew about them except me, and I loved them through the early years when no one paid any attention to them at all and no one had made up the word “Malec.” I wrote them for myself first, and then also for the many gay and bisexual readers who, more and more, wrote to me to tell me that Magnus and Alec meant something important to them, and then finally for the many readers across the board who had come to care about them. The bond between author and character is a strong one: they will always be part of me : part of my brain, part of my heart, part of years of work and love.
I cannot promise you will always love everything I write, that our opinions will not diverge about narrative and story choices. But let me make you this promise, readers: I will never, ever, ever write something I don’t love. I will never write characters I don’t care about. I will never write anything that feels like a chore to me. I have no need to do it, and I am not going to cause myself unnecessary pain and stress for no earthly reason whatsoever.
I guess I would just close out by saying that you can never really know why a writer writes anything, unless they tell you. You can only guess. You can guess with a generous spirit or an ungenerous one. As a writer, I try to guess about other writers with as generous a spirit as I can. I find in the end, it makes me happier. :)