My name is ROSE NEWTON, and I sell my body on the streets of San Francisco. I’m what you call society's dirty little secret. On the outside, I'm in control, the woman who makes her own rules and gives nothing away for free. Inside, I’m broken and numb. Torn and shattered by my past, my life is nothing more than the lost fragments of what's left of me.
SHANE WEST represents everything that’s foreign to me. He’s brave, kind, funny, gorgeous and persistent. When fate brings us face to face, an undeniable attraction blazes between us. He becomes the constant I've never had and the only man I'll ever trust.
There is nothing simple about falling in love when you're keeping a secret like mine.
** Reader's discretion advised. Certain content might not be suitable for some readers.**
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INTERVIEW WITH ROSE NEWTON AND SHANE WEST FROM BROKEN GIRL by GRETCHEN DE LA O
Hi, my name is Gretchen de la O, I am the author of Broken Girl, and the writer who created Rose Newton and Shane West. I wanted to offer something a little different to readers, so I decided to interview both characters and ask them questions that might give you a little deeper glimpse into what makes them tick, or what they might not have revealed in the book, Broken Girl. I pulled them both into my head and they were able to get comfortable enough to open up share a little about who they are. Hope you enjoy!
20-year-old, Rose Newton has lived a very troubled life. Shattered, beaten, and broken by every person in her life, she’s been thoroughly conditioned to believe that love will always come at a price. Whether she protected herself by shutting down to people who claimed to love her, or participated in self-destructive behavior, she found comfort in keeping her emotions in check, and her heart locked away. It wasn’t until she met 25-year-old entrepreneur, Shane West, that she discovered the price of love didn’t have to be so costly.
Shane West is a patient, yet very persistent man. Committed to being the soft place for Rose to land, he constantly struggles to break through to her and prove that she is worthy of love, specifically, his love. As persistent as Shane is, he understands the need to take it slow, real slow with Rose. And even though a snail’s pace isn’t exactly what he was thinking, he’ll keep entering the race to Rose’s heart, no matter how long it takes, because finding that one person who breaks you open and allows you to find yourself again, is so worth it.
I sat down with Rose and Shane and fired off quite a few questions, some were corky, easy, and revealing, and yet, some questions caused them to pause and dig deeper than they expected to.
ME: Hi, Rose, Shane. I want to thank both of you for sitting down with me. I thought we could start this interview with some rapid-fire questions, so to speak. The “this or that” line of questioning, giving both of you an opportunity to answer quickly. Then I figured, we’d switch gears--dig a little deeper with some pretty tough, thought-provoking questions. Would that work for you?
Shane & Rose: Yeah. Yes.
ME: Great, so here goes… Let’s start out easy.
Shane: That depends … (Shane smiles).
Rose: Depends on what? Your outfit? Food you’ll eat? (Rose laughs. It’s contagious. I see why Shane likes to make her laugh).
ME: How about just in general?
Shane: What are you laughing at? I can see this is going to be a long interview. My favorite color is dark blue. There, that was easy, (he stretches out his legs before crossing them at his ankles).
Rose: Wait! You just said the other day that green was your favorite color.
Shane: No, I told you that green was my favorite color you wear, because it matches your eyes.
Rose: He just won’t admit that he has favorite colors for different reasons.
ME: (I laugh. Rose’s a firecracker, her eyes glistening when she looks at Shane). Alright, maybe we can answer these a little faster, maybe one word answers? (they both nod in agreement).
Shane: Shawshank Redemption
Rose: Wizard of Oz
ME: Favorite book as a kid?
Rose: Harry Potter Series
Shane: Kids Sports Illustrated. I loved that magazine.
Rose: Sports, Gah!
Shane: Hey, she said rapid one word answers. No commentary.
ME: So I guess to asking your favorite sport isn’t going to work for you Rose?
Shane: She likes that one sport that’s not really a sport where you brush the ice with a broom, (He smiles at her. She gives him a snarky look). It’s like ballet on ice, (Shane mocks the sport by acting like he’s sweeping the space in front of him. He’s quite funny).
Rose: Curling? OhMiGod, I don’t like that sport, and what’s that? (she mocks him mocking curling).
Shane: That’s me curling … get it?
Rose: Well, that was a pretty sorry re-enactment.
Shane: Exactly why it shouldn’t be considered a sport.
ME: (Trying to bring the focus back to the interview, I ask Shane about his favorite sport). Alright, then, how about you, Shane, do you have a favorite sport?
Shane: Umm, I do. Basketball. If I had to choose basketball or curling, well, that’s a no brainer, curling—naw, just kidding, (at this point Rose socks him in the arm, before she lets out a slight sigh).
Rose: Shane is never too serious.
ME: You two are so cute together. (I notice Rose gets a little uncomfortable at my comment. Shane pitches a me a hopeful look.)
Alright… let’s continue, puppies or kitties?
Shane & Rose: Puppies. (they look at each other in shock before they both laugh.)
Rose: I wasn’t allowed to have pets. Growing up I had one goldfish, THOR. He died, floated in the bowl for a couple of days. I guess part of me didn’t want to believe he was dead.
Shane: I’m sorry your goldfish died.
Shane: I didn’t have pets growing up either. Being in the city, both New York and San Francisco it just wasn’t feasible. But I would love to have a dog.
Rose: Big or little?
Shane: Oh, so now you’re going to interview me? (Shane looks over at me and dabs a thumb over his shoulder to Rose.) You gonna let her take over like that, Gretchen?
ME: Well, it’s nothing new. Rose’s been taking over for the last year and a half.
Shane: True. (He turns and looks at Rose.) Big, like a Labrador Retriever.
ME: I got one, Hike or bike, Rose? (I know Shane likes to hike).
Rose: Well, seeing that I never learned how to ride a bike, I’d have to say hike. However, I’d like it to be noted, I don’t hike very often. I just don’t have the time.
Shane: Besides the fact that both activities can be dangerous for clumsy people.
Rose: What are you implying Shane?
Shane: Nothin’ really, just don’t go hiking with a blow-pop sticking out of your mouth, that’s all. You’ve been known to trip.
Rose: Two can play at this game. What’s your favorite flavored blow-pop?
(This is what would happen while writing Broken Girl, with these two. Bantering back and forth, finding the blank space where I could get a word in edgewise sometimes wasn’t possible. And, I wouldn’t change it for the world.)
Shane: My favorite flavor? Easy, all of them except--
Rose: Cherry! Boo, Shane, come on. ONE flavor, that’s it. If you were stuck on Mars and you could only have one flavor Blow-pop, what’s the flavor?
Shane: What’s your favorite? (he kicks the question back to Rose.)
Rose: Sour Apple.
Shane: That’s mine too.
ME: I like Sour Apple too! (They toss me a quizzical look, like I wasn’t invited to their banter.) OK. Let’s move on. I want the readers to learn something about both of you that might give them a deeper understanding of who you are. So, I’m gonna press for a little more from both of you. Cool? (They both nod.)
Alright, so here goes, what motivates you to keep going every day? (They both sport a contemplative look on their face. A silent moment bloats between the three of us.)
After a minute Shane is the first to answer.
Shane: Knowing there are people who aren’t here, who deserve to still be here. I keep getting up every day, because I know there will be a day I won’t, and until that day comes, I’m going to try and live life with no regrets.
(I notice Rose’s eyes are glistening with tears.)
ME: You okay, Rose?
Rose: Yeah, I’m just, umm… taken by his answer. (She takes a couple breaths.) Because, I wake up wondering if this is going to be it for me. I struggle with getting up every day, because I live with so much regret. It’s hard for me to understand how people can live with no regrets. This question is a tough one, Gretchen. But, if I’m answering it honestly, I’d have to say, knowing that my life matters to a handful of people, motivates me to keep going. Without them, I just wouldn’t see a reason to be here. (I notice Shane’s demeanor changes, he leans in a little closer to Rose, almost as if to tell her, he’s one of her handful of people.)
ME: (I look down at my notebook, notice another deep question I must ask.) Another toughie, you ready? (They both nod.) What is “home” for you? (I notice rose stiffens at this question. Adjusting herself in her chair, I know this makes her very uncomfortable. Shane, again answers first, almost like he wants to give her time to think.)
Shane: Literally, it’s where I lay my head. But if you want a philosophical answer, deeper than something literal, it would be wherever I feel loved. My family, friends, people I care about, (He looks at Rose.) all represent home for me.
Rose: Well, seeing I’ve never had a place that felt like home to me, and the family I was graced with, was the last thing I’d call home. I’d have to say, my roommate, Sybil. She’s the closest thing I’d call home for me. (She’s silent for a moment, I can tell she has more to say, so I don’t talk. Shane is still looking at her.) Yeah, she’s safe for me.
ME: Do you have a hero?
Rose: My friend, Key. He’s my hero. (She gets lost in a moment before she continues.) Yeah, Key Briggs is my hero.
(All three of us take a moment, thinking about each of our relationships with Kean “Key” Briggs.)
ME: How about you, Shane, do you have a hero? (I’m the first to break the silent moment.)
Shane: (He nods his head, lost in thought.) Yes, I do. My sister, Sarah. She will always be my hero.
Rose: That’s beautiful, Shane. (Rose comforted him by running her hand on his knee.)
ME: I don’t think readers were aware that you had a twin sister and that she passed away when you were both just fourteen years old.
Shane: Yeah, Sarah. She was struck and killed by a drunk driver when we were living in New York. She was an amazing person. God, that girl was daring, so much more daring than me. She wanted to save the world, while other girls her age were concerned with boys and popularity, she was trying to figure out how to get clean water to countries that didn’t have any. I never really understood how she would always found her own way through things. She was so smart, so much smarter than me. Now, when I’m facing some tough situations, I ask myself, what would Sarah do? How would she handle this situation? What would she say if she was standing here with me? Yeah, Sarah, my hero.
ME: Even though it’s been over 10 years, I want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss.
Shane: Thanks, Gretchen. It was quite some time ago, but not a day goes by where I’m not reminded of her, or she doesn’t enter my mind. (He is somber, but I can tell he has learned how to function daily.)
ME: I think I have time for one more question.
Rose: Okay, let’s hear it.
ME: I’m privy to everything you both think. As a matter of fact, I know every answer to all these questions before either of you utter an answer. So I know this next question will knock both of you out of your comfort zone. But to be true to the line of questioning, I must ask it. So here goes, and please take your time to answer.
How do you define love?
(I knew this one is going to be hard for Rose. When I saw it in my notebook, my heart dropped. She shifts in her seat and wraps her arms around her mid-section, as if she needs to hold her soul in her body. Shane leans toward Rose. He can see she doesn’t know how to answer the question yet; we both see insecurity drape her demeanor. I want to reach over and hold her hand, hug her, make her feel safe in my presence. Shane beats me to it. He swings his arm around up over her shoulders and pulls her closer to him.)
Shane: (He whispers to Rose.) You don’t have to answer.
Rose: No, I want to. (She whispers back. Rose sits up, causing Shane’s arm to fall off from around her shoulders.) Well, for me, love isn’t defined the same as most people. I find myself compartmentalizing my feelings, because love falls into the scope of scary for me. I grew up never really being shown love, and when I thought I knew what love was, it turned out I didn’t. Love represents vulnerability and pain, and that makes it very difficult to want to experience it. I think I might have experienced slivers of it--shades of what love could be with Sybil, Key, and Shane. (She pitches him a look.) But when you grew up not feeling it, touching it, seeing it, experiencing it, you begin to believe it doesn’t exist for you. I don’t know how to define something that seems to keep eluding me. (Shane smiles at her, and for the first time she seems to need him to be there with her. She truly is vulnerable in her own skin.)
ME: Thank you, Rose. I know how hard that question was for you, so I appreciate your honesty (Rose nods, accepting my praise.) Shane, can you define love?
Shane: Love to me represents safety, patience, understanding, and the willingness to sacrifice your needs for someone else’s, (He isn’t looking at me when he defines love, he’s eyes are locked on Rose.) I think love is finding that one person in this entire world, filled with billions of people, that makes you feel alive. Love, for me, is the moment when you realize you don’t want to waste another minute living your life without that person who makes you better. Yeah, that’s how I define love.
ME: Thank you, Shane. I think every woman reading this just swooned. (He and Rose laugh, breaking the tension in the room.) I think our time is up, but I want to thank you both for stopping by and meeting with me. I appreciate how open you both were and the willingness to share your hearts with our readers.
Shane: Thank you, Gretchen. That was different for me.
Rose: Thanks. It was definitely a glimpse into my head for your readers. (She lets out a nervous laugh.)
ME: You both did, great! Thanks and I will meet up with both of you tomorrow, we have a lot of work ahead of us this summer.
About the Author
Gretchen de la O, is a writer of romantically unique stories. A proclaimed positive energy infuser by people who know her, she finds joy in helping those around her discover their creative process. Gretchen is a firm believer that anything is possible if you set your mind to it; and what you expect out of life, always finds a way of showing up. She’s authentic in her dedication to her own creative process, finds strength in her spirituality, and is always looking for the bright spot in every situation.
Gretchen released her first novel, Almost Eighteen in September of 2011, the first in a three book new adult student/teacher romance, The Wilson Mooney Series. In November of 2012, she followed with book two, Eighteen at Last, and concluded the series with Beyond Eighteen in October, 2013. Her Fourth novel, PROTOTYPE, a romantic suspense, the first book in the Possession Series was released in October 2014. BROKEN GIRL, Gretchen’s fifth novel, is a standalone contemporary romance slated to be released April 29th, 2016.