Tom is my personal trainer. But he's more than that. He's my coach, cheerleader, spiritual guide, and friend.
For years, he's listened to me talk about my stories. Then Whisper Falls came along. Since the book's hero is a seventeen-year-old mountain bike racer, I needed help. Tom became my story advisor.
Fortunately for me, Tom began playing sports at a young age. He understands what it's like to be a teen male athlete. Tom volunteered (at least, that's the way I remember it. Yeah) to help me with my research. So I peppered him with questions, which he answered with patience and honesty.
Mark--the male protagonist--is a better character, and Whisper Falls is a better book, because I have friends like Tom.