Sunday, January 5, 2014

Both Beauty and Beastliness are in the Eye of the Beholder

We all love fairy tales as kids, and some of us continue to love them forever. Good old Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were onto something when they started collected the dark and creepy stories from the past. But 'Beauty and the Beast' wasn't from the Grimm boys. This is a truly French story: gorgeous girl falls in love with frighteningly ugly creature, entirely against her better judgment, thus breaking a curse and turning him all pretty. Happy ending, yay!

But when Greta Garbo saw Jean Cocteau's 1946 movie version of the fairytale, La Belle et la Bête, and the star, Jean Marais, turned from delicious, desirable, delectable, deadly Beast to wimpy guy, she famously said: 'Give me back my beautiful beast.'

Right there with you, girl. The Beast, at least in that movie, won hands down for style, charisma and general awesomeness against his 'human' counterpart.

 When I wanted to write something fairy tale-ish, I decided to retell this story with a bit of a gender switch. I wanted to see how a young man, smart but a little naïve, would deal with a strong woman who hides her face from him at all times. The result turned into a tragic love story with magical interludes and lots and lots of books.

In my opinion, every story should have lots and lots of books. And then some more.

So if you love fairytales, I'd appreciate it if you'd give 'The Beauty in the Beast' a read and let me know how you liked it. It's free for a short time at Smashwords. And here's the cover:

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