As my editor recently pointed out to me, romance novel characters often have feelings of being different. It’s not a unique character condition. I’m sure she’s right.
In real life, the situations for individuals to feel different are also common, I believe. Our country has celebrated the individual for hundreds of years. But our experiences tend to be toward needing to be like everyone else. As children we don’t want to be the only one wearing jeans when everyone else is wearing khakis, for example. If everyone at work wears polo shirts or tie-dye, we don’t want to be the one wearing a dark business suit. And when everyone appears healthy and as if they know the right words to speak, we don’t want to be the one who stutters.
When we grow up feeling different, and that goes along with lonely, unappreciated, or ignored, problems develop. Those inner insecurities or disbeliefs about having a good life frame our perspective.
In Probabilities, the fourth book in my Fierce Hearts series about a colony of were-lynxes, hero Quinn is a genius. He holds multiple college degrees and his business — architecture and landscape designer — is successful. But he has always felt awkward among people. His genuis makes it difficult for him to engage with “averages.” You’d think being brilliant would make life a cinch, but it hasn’t for Quinn.
Here’s an excerpt:
Not the most socially skilled cat around, Quinn smiled at each one as they entered.
Casey, with his human fiancée Michelle Slade, walked in surrounded by the others, all
dressed up for the happy occasion. It wasn’t that shyness took Quinn over in the group.
No, he felt entirely comfortable amidst his fellow colony members. But his 186 IQ got in
the way, and he knew it. It always had.
Being different physically and mentally had separated him from other kids when he
was young. Teachers and other people in Quinn’s life had treated him like an adult. He
actually related better to grown-ups when he was a kid, but in doing so he’d skipped the
stage of learning interrelationship skills. His parents, both college professors and both
loving parents, had tried to compensate for the lack of friendships, but he’d remained
lonely. Now, at thirty-two, he still felt different. He tended to speak brusquely, assume
that everyone’s brains could keep up with his, and when that didn’t happen, he quickly
grew impatient. Terse. Sometimes Quinn just wanted to shout to his employees in his
architectural firm, “Look. I’ve explained this process and the need for it to you several
times. It’s not my fault your mind is overwhelmed.” He’d learned the hard way—poor
marks for attitude and sensitivity in his previous jobs—that he could be arrogant and curt when he didn’t mean to be. That he had to be careful not to take over projects he could easily do, and instead let his employees do their jobs, even if they were slower.
Standing among the group of his fellow were-cats—Casey, Asher Monroe and
Kennedy Mitchell, Booker Chase, Lara Monroe, and Conrad—as well as Michelle and
Quinn’s other human friends, his separation wrapped around him like an invisible wall.
Quinn swallowed hard as memories of his attempts in the past to make the wall
disappear broke through to the front of his brain. Alcohol hadn’t made him easier to
relate to, it had made him stupid, and he’d ended up abusing it. His genius hadn’t kept
him safe from the loneliness that drove him to drink, just to feel average, to blend in.
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Learn about Quinn and his heroine Tizzy as they attempt to develop a meaningful loving relationship. http://amzn.com/B015P79X7I