A hearty greeting is always in order when you meet someone new. Hello! Pleasure to meet you. I’ll refrain from hugging you, though, because I’ve learned not everyone is a hugger. Aren’t you relieved? Of course, after all is said and done, if you want a hug, just ask. I’m one of those hugger people.
Oh! I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Rachael Ritchey. I’m just the gal next door who happens to love writing speculative fiction. In fact, at this very moment I’m sitting in front of my computer with my faithful puppy Hashtag at my side. She’s trying to add her two cents to the conversation and a little miffed at me because I won’t let her type. I take that back, all thirty-five pounds of her is climbed up in my lap, furiously attempting to peck at the keyboard with her nose. German shepherd mixes make the best cuddly lap dogs, don’t you think?
Down you go, Hashtag. Now where were we? Right. Book talk, or more specifically, why it is I wrote The Beauty Thief and the upcoming sequel, Captive Hope. The series is called Chronicles of the Twelve Realms, and there will be several books when all is said and done, but it started one wintery day when I felt like an ugly person and hated it.
I don’t mean ugly on the outside. I would be hard-pressed to say I was gorgeous, but my husband does like to try to convince me that I’m beautiful. I may not always believe it, but I do appreciate he truly thinks so. But it’s not just looks I’m referring to when I say I felt ugly.
See, I learned a long time ago that how I perceive a person physically depends a whole lot on how well I know her or him on a personal level. Wouldn’t you agree? Some of the most attractive people I know would not be considered beautiful at first glance. Some of the most beautiful people at first glance are not the most attractive people when you get to know them. This has taught me to avoid letting first impressions, either way, sway my opinion of another human being.
I know me, though, and I was feeling pretty ugly. I was detached, a little melancholy, didn’t have any direction, felt like I was failing at being a good mom, a poor excuse for a wife, and pretty much didn’t care about anyone but myself. You know what I mean? Sometimes things in life kind of pile up when we wallow, and I was wallowing.
Writing The Beauty Thief gave me a refreshed and clear perspective of the place from where true beauty comes. The story solidified the truth of beauty arising out of good character, courage, selflessness, and compassion. I really hope that outside of a good bit of fantasy adventure, you can be reminded that your beauty comes from the marrow of your soul. You are a beautiful person from the inside out.
So, appreciate the moral of the story, but enjoy the ride. The Beauty Thief is young adult fantasy fiction with a fairytale edge, and I know all you young ladies (and even you gentlemen) can find something to like.
I’ll leave you with this, the dedication: Your beauty lies not in how you look or what you wear. It is in the depths of your heart where character and courage reside.