When I set out to write Storm Surge, I knew I wanted my main character, Jonie, to have a love interest. Romance can be fun – and, for Jonie, humiliating and infuriating, which I suppose heightens the comedy for readers and for me as the writer.
Recently, a friend asked if I’d modeled Daniel, Jonie's love interest, after my real-life love (my husband, not chocolate or wine as you may have guessed). I honestly did not imagine Daniel to be like my husband, though both have straight noses and are strong Christians. (Daniel wears a cross on a necklace; my husband doesn't own jewelry, save for his watch and wedding band – not even cuff links!)
I wanted Jonie's love interest to be someone strong and trustworthy, attractive but not perfect. Daniel exhibits his strength (some in description, hopefully more through action in the novel), and he proves himself trustworthy through some – but perhaps not all – of his actions. Daniel is a bit too stubborn (like my husband and, if I’m being honest, like myself) and tries to be too controlling at times. He also has a past he will not share with Jonie, at least not in novel one (what is in that box on his mantle?).
As a police officer, he is perfectly situated to frequently run into Jonie, especially as the series unfolds.
But there's another contender for Jonie's heart. And he’s also a police officer, and perhaps even more trustworthy, and also more playful. Patrick shows up again in the second novel, and I'm finding he's willing to help Jonie by bending ethics in ways Daniel will not. And let's not forget Jonie's past love, Jason, who knows Jonie better than both Daniel and Patrick together!
Which is the man of Jonie's dreams? I've had moments when I'm unsure as I'm writing!