What would you give up to be beautiful? I don’t mean attractive, or pretty or any other term you could conjure up to describe that thing most women seek to be or most men seek to be with.
I mean staggeringly beautiful, men falling at your feet with hopeless adoration as they gaze upon you dumbfounded. That beautiful. I could become that beautiful if I chose, but only with a steep price. Would you pay the price? Does that call to your heart?
It doesn’t call to mine. Yes, when I look at the girl in the mirror, I see a young woman of average height and slight build. I see her lovely emerald green eyes and I see her coarse, orange hair poking out in all directions like some unnatural haystack.
I see the forty-seven warts that line her face, which accompany one large lump and two small boils. You’d probably think that I would be more than eager to trade for the great gift of beauty because I know some, if not all of you, would call me hideous. But I don’t think of myself as ugly.
I think of myself as powerful, strong and fierce – for I have magical powers – powers that amaze and terrify me at times. And today is the most important day of my life, because today my mother will say the words over me and seal my fate. For I, Olive, am the last of the Winnowwood and this is my story.
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I’m an award-winning screenwriter and this is my first novel, which is based on the script I won the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Award. It is about beauty and what beauty truly is. I dedicated it to: For all the girls who stand on the sidelines wishing they too could be beautiful. I hope you will let Olive show you how beautiful you truly are and the power that you already wield. Open your eyes to your own magic!
Beauty is an obsession for most women and I wanted to have an amazing heroine who was not beautiful, in fact, she’s rather ugly. But she is amazing and courageous and kind and incredible. Shouldn’t that trump beauty? Shouldn’t we know that we are so much more than what is on our face?
I grew up as a military brat who travelled the world with my family and we moved often (10 times before I was 12), which meant I had few friends, so my best friends became books that I would disappear into and love. I always liked to make up my own stories that involved all of my stuffed animals and the adventures we would have! Now, I want you to go on a new adventure with Olive, the ugly princess, who will amaze you.