High As A Kite I Just Might Stop To Check You Out

How I see Steve **

Long title today, but I couldn’t resist the Violent Femmes reference.  It goes with the territory I’ve been in lately.  I’m working on Popstars, Friends & Lovers the sequeal to Burnouts, Geeks & Jesus Freaks: a love story. So I’m spending a lot of time with my favorite burnout, Steve Shrader. He is often high as a kite and today’s the day we will stop to check him out. 

In a way Steve is the Midwest version of Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He’s the funny, charming guy who cruises through high school on a perpetual high. Other students think he’s funny and teachers like him more than they would ever admit.  That is definitely part of this character and the side that he shows the world. But as book one progresses and into book two we learn that he is so much more complicated that what he lets you see.

A big part of his character is that he loves girls. Sure all guys say they do, but it borders on obsession with Steve. (See my 10/3/13 post – A Primer on Men Who Love Women) This overwhelming need to connect to females comes from the lack of any female in his early life. He’s never known his mother and only briefly connected to one of his dad’s girlfriends. He spends time with and studies girls. He flirts with any female he comes across because he loves to make them smile. And all that studying and flirting make him an amazing lover, even at sixteen. He’s not a player, looking to see how many girls he can score with. He’s an aficionado of all things female who can’t resist getting to study the objects of his desire.  

And the one he connects with most is MG. His laid back side is drawn to her hell-bent need to have fun. He’s her perfect partner in crime, willing to go along and support all her schemes. He’s more than happy to just bask in her glow, never needing the spotlight she craves. But MG wants more from life than he can (or is willing to) offer. 

Book two is Steve and MG’s story, but also a story about dreams. The problem with Steve is that he just doesn’t have any. He was raised without expectations or permission to hope for anything more than a third shift life moving boxes at a warehouse. His laid back nature works against him and he just lets life happen to him. Until something pushes him to take the reins of his own life and go after what he truly dreams of. 

The surprising side to Steve Shrader is his passion. I can’t wait for everyone to get to see this side of him this November when I tell his story.  

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