By Jeanette Grey On Jul 23 2014, 9:00 am
I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I love a good geeky hero. Sure, geeks can be portrayed as ungainly and unbearably awkward on TV sometimes, but they have so much potential. They’re smart. They’re witty. They’re passionate about what they do.
And most importantly, they’re layered.
Perhaps my favorite thing about a really good, compelling geeky hero is the mixture of confidence and insecurity. This is a sweeping generalization, but I tend to think of geeks as being masters of their fields. They’ve always been good at their chosen areas of expertise, and when they’re in their domain, they own the playing field. Take them out of that comfort zone, though? Instant vulnerability as they’re forced to contend with things they can’t control.
Take a social situation, for example. While there’s nothing saying a geek can’t have a rich social life, buried at the heart of every one of them, I like to imagine there’s a kernel of the kid who didn’t get picked for the kickball team back in second grade. Being different from their peers has always set them apart, and it informs everything they do, even as relatively well-adjusted adults.
Greg London, the hero of my new book, Get What You Need, is a geek, through and through. He’s a graduate student in engineering, and he typifies this confident/insecure dichotomy. He’s always been good at school work, and he’s thrown himself into his studies with abandon. Anyone on the outside who looks at him would see a successful, driven young man. His housemate, undergraduate jock Marshall Sulkowski sure does.
But when Marsh comes onto him, Greg is paralyzed by that part of him that’s still a seven year-old boy with glasses, desperate not to be the last person chosen for a team in gym class. He thinks he’s boring, and that the glasses Marsh frankly finds dead sexy are ugly and unsightly on him. His unwillingness to believe that attractive, self-assured, popular Marsh could really want a relationship with him is one of the things that sets them off on a rocky trajectory together.
Throw in the fact that he’s a work-a-holic with communication issues?
Well, let’s just say that it’s a damn good thing Marsh sees what a brilliant, amazing person lives inside this geek.
And it turns out that Marsh is just the man to help bring that geek out of his shell and show him he’s deserving of love, sex, happiness, and so much more. Read more…