One of the most quoted lines from Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend is this:
“You have to be the bravest person in the world to go out every day, being yourself when no one likes who you are.”
I'm so glad that so many readers have become attached to this sentences, because it is one of the things I think and feel most deeply about in this world. When asked to describe a central theme throughout all my books, I first explain that I don't think in terms of themes but in terms of story.
I want to write an entertaining story. Any themes that emerge from that story are welcomed but often not initially intended.
However, when pressed, I will admit that I am attracted to characters on the fringes of society. People who dare to be exactly who they are despite their exclusion from mainstream society as a result. I like to write about people who are brave enough to be who they are when much of the world would laugh at or reject them for being themselves.
These are the bravest and most noble of all people in my mind.
To that end, I give you the washing machine enthusiasts featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Men who collect, admire, and obsess over washing machines. These are men who love to watch these machines at work.
They are easy to laugh at and dismiss but deserve to be honored for their willingness to be exactly who they are in such a public way.
I admire the hell out of these men.