Brooks Colter

One day, many moons ago, I met a pizza-delivery boy named Brooks. I’d never heard the name and immediately loved it — and that’s when Brooks Colter came into existence. He was originally written to be Cade’s lifelong best friend, but I ultimately decided that making them brothers would amp up the emotional ties between them, which was important to my vision of the story. 

Brooks stands in complete contrast to Cade — Cade is bookish and somewhat clumsy, and Brooks is a jock type who loves chasing women and working on cars. Brooks casts a long shadow for Cade, and I like that because I wanted Cade to have some insecurities to struggle with — and unlike Brooks, he does have insecurities.

But it took me a long time to understand Brooks. He and I are nothing alike so getting into his head and seeing the world through his eyes is like visiting a foreign country. There’s a lot to see and I don’t speak the language, but I know I’m going to have an adventure. He isn’t, in a general sense, the type of person I can see myself hanging out with, but as he’s revealed himself to me over the course of this series, I’ve learned to appreciate and even love him. Foreign as he is to me, he has a lot of heart — and heart transcends all barriers.