I definitely think of Yohaba as a heroine, in fact, in the sequel I’m working on now, she has quite a big part to play in settling the score with the bad guys. But back when I started writing Einstein’s Trunk I simple wanted someone who could be juxtaposed against Rulon. Where Rulon was religious, sober, and conservative, I wanted Yohaba to be his opposite. She was irreligious, drank, smoked, cussed, and was overall pretty liberal and aggressive. But I also wanted her to be a deeper character than just a foil to show how virtuous Rulon was. My experience in life has been that courage, honesty, loyalty, and integrity can show up in the strangest places. I really had a good time developing her character. She has a quick wit and a bit of a serpent’s tongue – it was fun putting words in her mouth.
Early on in the book, I wasn’t quite sure where I was going with her, but then she did something that totally surprised me. I was writing the scene where Rulon had just let Dmitri go after interrogating him in her apartment, and Yohaba, out of the blue, made a very strong pass at Rulon. I remember writing a line that has since been edited out of the book, but sitting there with my fingers poised over the keyboard and wondering to myself, ‘Where did that come from?’ But I went with it, and it setup their entire relationship for the rest of the book. Rulon fell in love with her, and she with him and their relationship caused both to change. Over time, Yohaba smoothed out and lost some of her rough edges. As she grew to love and understand Rulon, she even helped him to live up to his principles. Rulon, for his part, stayed true to himself, but ended up stepping over a few lines when it came to protecting Yohaba – to the chagrin of the bad guys.
My next week’s blog will be on Rulon’s fighting skill’s particularly on his relationship with Freya – the Wilton Demolition model short handled hammer he uses to such lethal effect.
Zurich, February 2011