A few years back, a US literary agent considered making a first attempt to sell My Name Is N to American publishers. (The book is titled The Swede in the US.) But the agent hesitated, saying the mainstream crime fiction market couldn’t stomach a gay male hero. She suggested that I rewrite the book to make the protagonist straight.
I thought seriously about it. But in the end, I decided to be true to the man I based my protagonist on. Hugh Swaney was a legendary homicide detective on the US west coast. I’d spent a week interviewing him, taking notes on his life and work as he was dying of Aids. He was the toughest man I’ve ever come across (including many in the special operations community I’ve met over the course of my military career).
— Robert Karjel comments on negative reviews regarding the bisexuality of his protagonist for My Name is N. (Guardian)
- A reason why I’m a bit nervous around police. Gay man dies in custody after being denied medication. (Advocate)
- The true meaning of the word cisgender (Advocate)