It occurred to me that I had written a post about Graham but not about the main character of #WheelerNovel, Loren Mackenzie. Perhaps, subconsciously, I’ve avoided it because I made a rookie mistake. While every character a writer creates is an extension of herself, Loren is more like me than I should have allowed. Her traumatic childhood is not mine – compared to her, mine was idyllic, but to describe her state of mind, her experiences, I had to marinate in her emotions and turmoil. Her reactions to those experiences are mine, both in her rising above the struggle and wallowing in the depths of depression and anxiety.
The background I dreamed up for her is not based on anyone’s story, but sadly, it is not an uncommon one. NFL player, Jon Dorenbos’ childhood was similar, in that his father killed his mother when he was young. Jon used magic (and football) to deal with the horrible confusion and emotional trauma he experienced.
He’s also the long snapper for my husband’s favorite team, the Philadelphia Eagles and I’ve heard a lot about Dorenbos in the almost 14 seasons he’s been with the Eagles. Jon is a true inspiration, and you can read about his story here. If you haven’t seen him on America’s Got Talent, you’ve missed out on some incredible magic and his brilliant personality. What a smile!
Loren Mackenzie is an enigma, wrapped in a conundrum and shrouded in mystery. She hides her true self from the outside world behind rusted and dented armor. It’s difficult for her to take the walls down. She is a mix of vulnerability and strength. Her gaze is measured, piercing; you can see the old soul that resides there. Her smile is as rare as a sunny day in England, but when it shines, you cannot help but answer it. Her humor is dry, and her laugh is rich and colorful.
She is faithful yet detached. She is a romantic but also a realist. She is sociable but also a loner. She is passionate but can also be platonic. She is confident, determined and clever. She has incredible willpower. She can fight her own battles and doesn’t let anything hold her back.
Loren has a sea of different expressions, but unless you know her well, you will have a hard time deciphering them. She tends to ramble when nervous or excited, is sometimes selfish and thinks her way is the best and only way. She can be overconfident, stubborn, and a wee bit controlling. She has a nasty right hook and a bit of a potty mouth.
She is a fighter, a survivor. You can see it in her body language: shoulders back, head up, chin down slightly. Her eyes take in everything around her, and she often sees what others miss.
Loren and Graham’s personalities mesh well. As water signs (he’s a Pisces, and she’s a Scorpio) he has a natural defense against her unconscious manipulation. They are passionate together and have an immediate emotional connection. Graham likes a little dominance in their relationship, just a little bit, and Loren lets him know she can take charge. She gives him emotional sustenance; he loves without judgment or conditions.
He is her shelter from the storm.
The bond between these two is special and hard to break, even when their own selfishness gets in the way. They are two powerful and sensitive energies but have the ability to forgive. They communicate subtly, reading each other’s mannerisms; they understand each other’s silences better than some people understand one another’s conversations.
In the Zodiac, this match is one of the best in the book, if they can overcome the obstacles they put in the way of the relationship.