The positive values instilled in Harris by his mother would be the main influence on his book character's development. Harris wrote about, among other topics, a subject very true to his life. The lives of African Americans, particularly male athletes who were struggling with their sexuality. Many of his characters were on the "down low". Harris was an openly gay man and dealt with the topic of bisexuality and homosexuality in his debut novel Invisible Life.
E. Lynn Harris, who died this year on July 23rd at the age of 54 from undetermined causes had 10 USA TODAY best selling novels. His latest was Basketball Jones.
Noteworthy books by E. Lynn Harris:
Just As I Am
Abide With Me
Any Way the Wind Blows
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
Official website of Mr. E. Lynn Harris - http://www.elynnharris.com/