Several years ago, a reader posted a question for author Sands Hetherington. “How does your main characters’ friendship develop throughout the series?”

Sands shared the story of John and Crosley’s friendship.

For starters, Crosley picked out John to be his Night Buddy. There must have been a lot of reasons, but the only one Crosley mentions in the books is middle names. Crosley doesn’t have one, and neither does John, so they have this in common.

I really wanted to write the story so that the two characters couldn’t help but hit it off with each other. John doesn’t want to go to bed, so Crosley rescues him and takes him out on adventures. Crosley, for his part, gets a genial and very capable partner for his “Programs.” Sharing these adventures, the good and the bad parts, bonds the two all the more. As the series continues, they face more problems together and bring out the best in one another to find solutions.

John is the sensible, down-to-earth partner, and Crosley is goofy, full of wild ideas, and ready to fly off to Mars at a moment’s notice for a few pineapple cheesecakes. They appreciate and honor each other’s differences. They are a team that’s better than the sum of its parts. This and their mutual adventures (and maybe some insomnia) are the essence of their friendship—two pairs of opposites who rely on and complement each other.

In Sand’s answer, you’ll find some clues on how to make and keep friends:

  1. First, find someone you have something in common with. That’s a good starting point.
  2. Be curious. Ask your new friend lots of questions and listen well when they answer.
  3. Share adventures! Don’t just text your friends and play online games. Instead, spend time playing together and using your imaginations.
  4. Appreciate your differences. You don’t have to be just alike to be great friends.
  5. Let your friend know you appreciate them.
  6. Invite other friends along to join the fun.
  7. Laugh. Often!