Meet the characters: Shayne

Who is Shayne Marin? {Mare-inn}

She (yes, she) is Kristen’s closest friend she is also her neighbor. Family is a more accurate description since she all but officially lives with the Rifle family. She’s beautiful and vulnerable and naïve. Kristen knows all these things about her, which is why she feels responsible for her. “I can’t see her face but I’m sure my eyes are on the right person with long, naturally straight hair, all the way down to mid-back with a shine like onyx colored diamonds…Her skin glowed like chestnut. Her cheekbones with what I swear to be perfect prominence were decorated in a pleasant blush of pink. Her charcoal eyebrows sat over her eyes with a graceful scoop like they’d been hand drawn in a museum portrait.” (Kristen, My Famous Friend, page 23)

Shayne is in her early teens, making her way through high school, she’s deceptively intelligent so she’ll do just fine. She is someone who is bursting with potential, one that is destined to go places. The fact that this girl has beauty and brains drives practically every other female mad, but the truly maddening thing about Shayne Marin is that she isn’t even aware of all she has to offer. She doesn’t know how beautiful she is, or how smart she is, or how caring she is for literally every creature that breathes; (Shayne is honestly so kind that she would care for a mosquito, after it bit her) she doesn’t know any of this because she has a father who makes it his mission to stomp out her fire every chance he gets. He’s a retired lawyer and a full-time drunk. When it comes down to the reason her mother left, he says Shayne is to blame. After years of him pounding this information into her head and bruises into her body, how could she not believe him? She feels like she failed and that she is responsible for her father’s abandonment, she deals with this by cutting. Cutting is her outlet, her arms and back tally up the times she felt responsible for other people’s trouble.

In a lot of ways Kristen is the mother Shayne never had, she loves her, she always will, she just wishes her best friend would deal with things in a less destructive manner, anger is what she’s running away from after all. At the end of the day though who cares if Kristen is a little violent? She’s saved her life on more than one occasion so maybe sometimes fighting fire with fire is necessary. Shayne is forever thankful for the Rifle family refuge and when a crazy set of circumstances allows for a young, Australian singer (who she happens to adore) to become part of her world she soon finds out there is much more to be thankful for.

Author’s note: I love Shayne! In this cast of characters I created it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite but if I were entangled in a would-you-rather scenario I would choose her. Shayne Marin is the character I ‘saw’ most clearly from the time I first began writing My Famous Friend. Younger than most of the characters dark hair and dark eyes, darker skin too. She’s beautiful but not so much in the typical sense. I think what I love most about Shayne is her heart because it’s even more beautiful than any of her physical traits. She cares so much and so sacrificially for those around her, despite the fact that no one has ever truly cared for her. Her incessant compassion is such a good witness to everyone around her. Shayne is one of the two characters in this novel that keep the light of integrity gleaming. P.S. I probably shouldn’t say this since I’m in the middle of an entirely different novel-and other projects-at the moment, but if there’s ever a sequel to MFF-Shayne will be telling the story.

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