In this wide, immersive story of White Rock, the male sympathetic confidant is Colin Jonahs, the childhood-friend-turned-love-interest who compliments and complicates our heroine Laura Milton’s journey every step of the way. And he is a man that wears many different hats.
Obviously, I needed a love interest because, hey, this is America, right? And western civilization tends to ostracize people who, for whatever reason, do not have life partners. Sad but true. (though I will further investigate this premise later down the road…) I didn’t want to marginalize my protagonist right out of the gate. She has enough hurdles and isms that the audience will have to get used to without making her a man-hating feminist in the eyes of standard readers. Enter the doting boyfriend.
So, with that in mind, what kind of man would Laura Milton have in her life? First of all, it would have to be someone with the patience of a saint because, let’s face it, even with all her amazing traits, Laura is a handful. Seriously. Even though her anxiety and sadness is warranted, it is a bit much for most people. Plus, she’s extremely independent and he would have to have a pretty stable sense of self not to take her defiance and autonomy personally.
Secondly, he would have to be someone at least as intelligent as she, because that’s the kind of woman she is. Her life is far too complex and fragile to take on the task of bringing up baby, in either the literal or metaphorical sense. She states in White Rock that she does not wish to have children, though more for medical reasons that anything. So, the significant other in her life would have to have a similar philosophy, or at least have the fortitude to restrain his own desires to cater to hers.
Thirdly, I needed a ‘Bosley’, a ‘guy-in-the-chair’ character, someone who was a fountain of information and was available to assist Laura 24/7. Like Bosley in Charlie’s Angels. Or the nameless guy-in-the-chair (i.e. computer whiz) who helps the hero in every story from Die Hard (pick one) to 007 (pick one). When it comes to research, Laura is a machine, but she’s not CSI-material (at least not yet). She needs the assistance of someone who can use technology to help fill in the gaps in her research that she can’t do herself. Yes, I took the easy route and made Colin the son of the executive director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History because, hey, why not? Those people have kids, right? And they probably go to high-priced liberal arts colleges and date super-hot brilliant girls with super powers, right? Well, it seemed like a good reason to me… With his resources, Colin is there consistently to confirm her hypotheses, and keep her on track, whether she likes it or not.
Colin needed to not only be intelligent and have a fountain of resources, but also have an investigative mind that would allow him to possess a genuine interest in her work, even while being a self-professed Atheist who doesn’t believe in ghosts.
To give the narrative weight, these two crazy kids have a love/hate kind of thing going on. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate. They are both madly in love with one another, but the angle I explore in the narrative is that sometimes love is not enough to keep people together. Or at least, keep them satiated. Their relationship is both firmly cemented and wildly oscillating, depending upon the day or current weather conditions. Colin compromised Laura’s trust long ago, and it’s a line in the sand that Laura just can’t seem to get over. They are a walking dichotomy. They are that couple that sits staring at each other at the restaurant that everyone rolls their eyes at, who go home and have great sex and look amazing doing it, but for some reason can’t seem to be on the same page at the same time when their clothes are on. They could be the perfect couple, but something in Laura is pulling towards another destiny. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the living whatsoever.
Colin is the rock that will always be there for her to lean on, whether they are together or not. It’s not a thankless job by any means, but it is more than most men are probably capable of in the current American atmosphere. So, where Laura is something of a figure for women to look up to, in his own way, Colin is the same for young men. It is a recipe for constant sexual tension and emotional vulnerability that will span the scope of the Thin Veil Series…