Most of us, if we're truly honest, know what it is to feel like a square peg. We've all had times in our lives when we have felt like misfits for whatever reason, like we somehow didn't fit in with the people around us. That feeling--one with which I am as familiar as anyone else--was the driving force behind "Square Peg."
Of course, if we are followers of Christ, then the Bible tells us that we not only will not fit in with everyone around us, but that we should not. Romans 12:2 commands us, "...do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." 1 John 3:1 notes that, "For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." Jesus himself states in John 15:18 that, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you." That may sound daunting, but we know that God is with us.
In the story, Ben finds that a big part of the reason that he feels like an outcast is that he is missing his purpose in life. God has a purpose, a calling, for each of us. If we're not in line with that calling, then we're going to feel out of place because we're missing the boat of what God has for us.
Now, as for the Denise character...if you've read the stories, you'll notice that a lot of my female characters are depicted as good-looking redheads. That's a tribute to my wife, Cindy, the most beautiful redhead I've ever seen. "Square Peg" is especially a tribute to her. Before she came into my life, I was a loner--another sort of misfit feeling entirely. When she came along, she solved that problem for me with her love. In that way, the relationship between Ben and Denise is a reflection of this. I chose the name Denise because that is her middle name. Of course, if you read further into the story, you'll see that Cindy and the Denise character diverge dramatically once you get past names and hearts...in other words, no extra toes!