FUGLY: Why You Don’t Get to “See” Her Face Until the END of the Book. And Why That Ending.  


fugly magsMan!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOVE my readers.  (Did I mention how much I love them?) They are so damned smart that I get to write stuff like FUGLY and know they are going to “get it.” I don’t need to spend two pages explaining stuff. They. Get. It. And they get me.

Okay, most of the time. (Sometimes I can get a little “out there.”) But a few of you emailed, messaged, or mentioned in your reviews about the fact that I did NOT describe Lily’s face.  Not until the end. Not until our hero Max describes her.

Many of you guessed why, and you were right!  Had I not done that, you would’ve spent the ENTIRE BOOK focused on her OUTSIDE, not her insides. Not the point of the book.

The second reason was that if I’d described the “Elephant Woman” the readers—or most of us, me included—would have immediately disconnected from Lily. We’d be reading a story about “that” woman.  So leaving the “imperfection” blank allowed us to walk in her shoes (insert your “fugly” here) and relate to her in a way that wouldn’t have been possible had we known what she looked like.

As for the ending, I had three ideas. One was a traditional happy ever after. Number two was from her POV and talked about their plans going forward.  Number three was what you got, because the other options would require another book.  If they were to get married, we would need to go into the family dynamics—how would Lily’s family feel about her marrying him? How would his family feel about him marrying her? How about the sister? Lily’s brother?  There was so much there to answer that we’d need another book, at least for me to feel happy.

Then there’s the question of children. No children? Yes children? Why one or the other? If yes, what would they look like, and how would Lily and Max handle it? Could I write a story about their kids that wouldn’t devastate me and the readers emotionally? And could I ensure it was a romance?

Anyway, you can quickly see how a traditional HEA led to more questions and situations we’d all want answered.  And maybe, someday, I will.  But the spot where we ended things felt right to me and left us with the ability to imagine their future—wide open and full of possibilities. It left me feeling so, so good and happy and sad, all at the same time.

But my readers are smart!  They “got” all that, and I know because I’ve read your touching emails, reviews, and posts.  Hundreds of them.

Thank you for so boldly sharing your own fugly stories with me.  You’ve changed my life.

With Love,


5 thoughts on “FUGLY: Why You Don’t Get to “See” Her Face Until the END of the Book. And Why That Ending.  ”

  1. I know I’ve reviewed the book. But I can’t tell you enough how this book touched me! Every morning I get up and fight that ugly voice before I go to work. I’ll look in the mirror and say we’ll this is the beast is gonna be. After this story I try to say hey you look great and screw what other people think. My wonderful husband had helped me come a long way with this. By telling and showing me how Beatiful he thinks i am. I can’t thank you enough for the advanced raff and for how much this book meant to me. ♡

  2. I have read and reviewed this book and can I just say again how amazing it is! Think you mimi for describing the ugly voice that we all struggle with. I find myself doing so on a daily bases. I get up get ready for work and say we’ll this is the best is gonna be. But this book has helped me to just look at it the other way and screw what other people think. The ones who are important my husband and boys, think I’m Beatiful and perfect the way I am and their the ones who matter. So again thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing such a touching story! ♡

    1. Thank you for the note, Ashley. You are so right in what you’re saying here. I mean, to discount the opinion of your kids and spouse is like saying they’re insane or stupid–this is why they love you–they don’t know any better. But they’re not insane or stupid. And they do know better. They love you for a damned good reason and if you can’t trust yourself (because that ugly voice is just too strong), then at least trust them. Trust that they love you even if your own brain can’t see what they see. (Stupid brain! Haha!) But seriously, so glad the book connected with you. HUGS! – M

  3. I started and finished Fugly this afternoon and I loved every word. There were so many great parts but I loved when Max went into the meeting and was ready to beat yhe crap out of the guy who insulted Lily. This book is excatly what needs to be out there. Growing up I was always made fun of because of my nose. So when I was 16 I had a nose job. It was not drastic at all and I pretty much look the same now but I know exactly what lily went through although I was also overweight so I wasn’t blessed with her hot body. That was another thing I was teased for. I was a cheerleaders in 8th grade and still remember the boys and girls making fun of me and throwing garbage at me while i cheered on the sidelines. So in 10th grade I lost the weight and nobody recognized me and then they didn’t like me because of how good I looked.I now had the attention of the boys and the girls did not like that.
    Now I’m 43 yrs old and I am still not confident after having my daughter and gaining weight. I am always wondering how people see me and I hate it. I will
    always be that fat girl with the big nose in my mind.

    So thank you for this story

    recognized me at the start of school and even then people didn’t know how to respond to me.

    1. It’s so funny you say that, Susan. I think so many of us, me included, feel the same. It is as if some parts of our psyche refuse to move the hell on. Now that I’ve written this book and have read hundreds of emails from women saying such similar things, it’s really moved me and motivated me to look even harder at this defective and clearly messed up way of thinking. You and I are about the same age, so we both know that looking inward is the right thing to do. And you and I will probably make peace with our fugly voices because we’re aware of it. But it kills me to think of all of the young women out there starting life who will go through what so many of us went through. We need to live our lives and be happy. Right?

      Big Hugs to YOU, Susan!


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