So we tend to imagine love monolithically, especially when we’re talking about romantic love. There is this assumption that everyone’s experience of romantic love is identical, and that romantic love is this THING sitting out there somewhere that you eventually stumble upon (or as the saying goes, fall in to).
But in fact, romantic love is different for every person who experiences it, because all of our brains are wired differently, and this is especially the case for someone like Colin, whose brain is exceptionally good at making certain kinds of connections but not particularly good at making connections that would traditionally be seen as emotional.
I wanted to write about this, and even find a way to celebrate it, because I do not think it’s fair only to imagine romantic love as a thing. And so I wanted to write about Colin, because I wanted to argue that people like Colin can and do make emotional connections; we just aren’t defining the words emotion and love broadly enough when we talk about them.
Plus I wanted to write a story about story (I’m kind of obsessed with stories and what they do/why they matter; see also, TFiOS), and I wanted to write about a character for whom understanding the importance and nature of narrative is a matter of legitimately high stakes—so his kind of a brain was a natural fit for the theme.