The Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus

Peggy A. Wheeler

Book Cover

GENRE

FANTASY DRAMA SCI-FI

    Core Theme

    SELF-LOVE, POTENTIAL, FAMILY

    TIME PERIOD

    Future

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    ZOOTOPIA

    CHARACTER LIST

    BEAUTIMUS POTAMUS (F) — LEAD. AN EVER-UPSTANDING BUT OFTEN SELF-DOUBTING TALKING HIPPO.

    DR. LUCAS POTAMWAY (M) — SUPPORTING. SEMI-FAMOUS POET-ARTIST AND PROFESSOR WHO FALLS IN LOVE WITH BEAUTIMUS.

    SAMUEL S. GOODWINGS (M) — SUPPORTING. SHARP-WITTED, LOYAL PRAYING MANTIS AND BEST FRIEND OF BEAUTIMUS WITH AN EFFORTLESS ABILITY TO MAKE HER LAUGH.

    Logline

    Beautimus Potamus, an otherworldly creature, is a university and professor who experiences an amazing life. She grows from a place of insecurity and low self-worth to become a respected high priestess and a hero to her planet. Her story is a tongue-in-cheek magical fable-stew parody.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning

    Setting

    The story is set on Rendaz, a green planet double the size of Earth populated by all manner of fantastical animals and creatures. all manner of animals and creatures. The story opens in Beautimus' abode as she asks her helpers to fetch her bag of oracle stones. She pulls one stone that changes her life.

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Dragon Moon Press

    Year Published: 2017

    Starting Description

    Beautimus, reposing on her pillows in her abode, asks her house servants to fetch her bag of oracle stones. Bea pulls one stone from the bag that changes her life, along with her planet's future.

    Ending Description

    After becoming a venerated high priestess & planetary hero, Beautimus, at age 400, dies with loved ones surrounding her. At the exact moment of her death, her great granddaughter is born with the same purple eyes and same birthmark as Bea's. The baby may possibly be Beautimus reincarnated.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1-988256-67-2

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity,Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest,Overcoming Monster/Villain

    Main Character Details

    Name: Beautimus Potamus

    Age: 300 (middle age)

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Modest,Adventurous,Clumsy,Complex,Selfless,Empathetic,Engaging,Skillful,Gracious,Educated,Insecure,Strong Moral Code,Leader,Underdog,Romantic,Aspiring,Faithful,Heroic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Samuel S. Goodwings

    Age: slightly younger than Beautimus, maybe 250 years.

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Confident,Complex,Engaging,Heartthrob,Masculine,Narcisstic,Sexy,Blunt,Outspoken,Funny,Romantic,Sarcastic,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Lizzy

    Age: same as Bea, around 300

    Gender: Female

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Empathetic,Faithful,Gracious,Modest,Selfless,Outspoken,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Sangrina

    Age: She's the ghost of Bea's mother

    Gender: Female

    Role: mentor

    Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Confident,Faithful,Gracious,Educated,Selfless,Outspoken,Visionary,Sophisticated,Unapologetic

    Development Pitch

    The fanciful tale of Beautimus Potamus is a tongue-in-cheek story, a magical fable-stew made with the ingredients of satire, drama, comedy, social commentary, & tragedy with jests, puns, and wordplay sprinkled throughout, & a small side of romance. I refer to the story as a fairy tale for an adult audience. This fable is enjoyed by those who seek out stories of adventure, Sci Fi, action, tall tales, murder mysteries, & a good laugh There is much going on in this book, but the story lines are easy to follow, & the characters are relatable. Think of James Cameron's Avatar but with a comic edge, blended with Orwell's Animal Farm, & a little Grimm Fairytales mixed in. Also, there is violence and gore as a planetary war breaks out during which Beautimus' leadership skills and powerful character emerge. This book may initially read as a light story, but it grows darker and deeper with each chapter. The protagonist, Beautimus Potamus, begins life with a number of flaws, insecurities, fears, and doubts, but she gradually morphs into a respected leader. I see this as an animated film or series, or a CGI film/series with realistic characters. The story appeals to a universal audience from 16 to 116 who connect with strong women protagonists and the Joseph Campbell Hero's Journey trope. Readers tell me they have laughed throughout the book & cried at the end. I can see the Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus pulling heart strings as a film, too.

    Genre

    THRILLER, ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA, RELIGION, POLITICS, WAR, FANTASY

    Brief

    On an alien planet populated by talking animals, we follow a sensitive, upstanding hippo named Beautimus. A series of violent murders rock Beautimus and her society, only for a jealous, power-hungry coyote named Belinda to be apprehended. After, Beautimus meets the dashing, charming fellow hippo Lucas, and a love affair blooms. Soon, Beautimus is named High Priestess of the land, and she must preside over a massive, looming conflict with Belinda and an army of outcasts and criminals. Ultimately, Beautimus and her allies are successful, and Beautimus earns utmost respect and admiration from her people.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    What drew me into the story immediately was the sense that this work is bursting at the seams with its unbridled imagination. It is to the point where it gives the reader a kind of surreal experience, all while being firmly rooted in character and drama. What is also inviting and appealing about this work is its darkness, its edge. In a story about talking animals, we are presented with grisly, bloody murders, pontifications of god and faith, and adult sex, relationship, and family themes. All in all, there is more than enough here to entice and compel the section of the audience that values daring, original storytelling.

    Possible Drawbacks

    There is nothing that made this reader want to put the book down, per se. And credit is due to the author for depriving this work of any obvious flaws. While no work is perfect, it is always in the best interest of the audience to comb through searching for opportunities to cut, condense, and simplify a text at large, and even though nothing jumps out as bloated in this text, it is at least worth another look.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES HEAVILY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that the author takes the archetypes of a children’s story and imbues it with shocking violence, mature themes, and philosophical musings. It’s an incredibly unique tone and experience, and those game for a challenging, anachronistic, and original story will be satisfied with this one. Moreover, the author builds an original world around her cast of characters and dramatic movements. It’s an alien world of magic and technology, and it pertains to earth and humanity in an insightful and interesting way as well. All in all, the concept and world constitute an admirable one-two punch.

    Fanbase Potential

    No, this would likely not have a large fanbase, especially in a marketplace dominated by long-established IP and the built-in fan bases that come with them. The reason for this is that this work has a number of asks— Not everyone will be game to partake in its fiercely original conceits. The question should be whether this work will have an enthusiastic fan base— It seems like it would.

    Awards Potential

    No, this is not quite an awards contender. In many ways, it is too experimental and original—The Academy, for one example, seems to reward the same kinds of movies— Ones with well-precedent concepts and themes. This work presents a brand new flavor, and its themes are well-stepped in its action and more spectacular elements as opposed to the more unveiled and in-your-face themes one might find in awards season fare.

    Envisioned Budget

    LARGE BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    ZOOTOPIA

    What’s New About the Story

    Where do we begin? There is little in this text that is not original. It all starts with the concept— The author gives us the in some ways familiar talking animal construct, only to turn it completely on its head. Shocking violence, adult relationships and considerations, weighty family themes, and, later, straight up warfare soon permeate this text. And that is not to consider the fact that we spend our time on a highly advanced alien planet where its populace benefits from the existence of magic. With all of the above having been said, the second part of this question can only be ignored.

    Lead Characters

    Beautimus stands out for her soulfulness— She is an upstanding being fraught with self-doubt and sometimes spread thin with her relationships and responsibilities. Where so many of our screen and literary heroes are invulnerable, it is refreshing to see a character so vulnerable, relatable with her insecurity and flaws, and human— And that is despite the fact that she is a talking hippo on an alien planet. All in all, Beautimus is an effective access point for the audience, and it is rewarding to watch her journey and growth.

    Uniqueness of Story

    Who’s to say if something is a rare gem or not? That is something best left to the audience at large. What is certain, though, is that this work is rare— It is not often that we see an author take such big tonal swings or present such out-there, anachronistic, and original ideas. In any case, this is a work that demands to be seen on a large scale— To let the audience decide for itself.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Streaming TV Series: Network, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    This is a sure consider in that its concept is as strikingly original as it is memorable. As has been noted several times, this work is chock full of pleasant surprises— Almost always in the form of the directions the author takes us. From the gripping violence in the first third of this work to the weighty human drama in the middle third to the high-stakes, life-and-death warfare in the final third, the author is dead-set on keeping us guessing. It’s not just the exceptional concept, though— All of the above is anchored by the deft, effective audience surrogate in the form of Beautimus, who strikes as relatable flawed and highly sympathetic. The author also delivers when it comes to the catharsis, emotion, and consequence, like with the deaths of Sam and Beautimus’ father. With the presence of so many virtues and with the absence of any glaring flaws, this work is a sure consider.

    Brief

    On an alien world where a society of high-functioning talking animals is thriving, we follow a sensitive, upstanding hippo named Beautimus as she bears witness to a series of murders, falls in love with a desirable poet-artist, and as she navigates a challenging and complex family life.
    Later, after she is appointed as High Priestess, Beautimus must lead her people in a brutal conflict against a power-hungry, callous outcast.

    What We Liked

    There is a lot to like about this work— For one thing, the author firmly and admirably roots her narrative in character. As has been iterated several times, Beautimus is interesting, complex, and relatable, making her an ideal audience surrogate. All the while, the world she inhabits is fully fleshed out in its detail and idiosyncrasy. It’s a world big enough and bold enough to earn its place on screen. Moreover, this work is appealing for how it subverts the idea of a talking animal story— In please of dance numbers and kiddy humor, we have real stakes, heightened drama, and catharsis and consequence.

    Film: This work would be an ideal candidate for film adaptation given how crazily original its concept is— While we have all seen and likely grown up with some form of a talking animal story, the author takes the general conceit and the archetypes that come with it and turns it completely on its head. Instead of song and dance numbers with our animal heroes, we are instead thrust into a grounded, high-stakes, and shockingly honest world— There is no shortage of violence, drama, conflict, and high stakes. There is spectacle here, spinning out even just from its “human” drama. All things considered, this world is robust and this story is big enough to do the big screen justice— In some ways, it demands the biggest canvas possible in order to best barrage its audience with its colors and big swings.

    TV: This would be a great candidate for adaptation to TV in that it contains a rather uniquely robust world and supporting cast that would bode well for sustaining seasons of TV. Much credit is due to the author for the impressive world-building in this text. Set on an alien planet full of talking animals—and even dinosaurs—with the presence of magic and healing powers, this work
    presents more than enough fodder for development and expansion over several seasons. Even in this text alone, it feels like we are presented with three different stories, perhaps that could
    be expanded into a season each. All in all, this is a daringly original work with a stalwart, accessible lead— It’s expansion onto the small screen would seem like a no-brainer.

    Key points:
    1. The violence— Striking, memorable, and impactful.
    2. The intellectualism— Includes titillating musings on god and faith, which feels fresh and interesting.
    3. The protagonist— Beautimus is relatably flawed and complex. It is enriching and rewarding to follow her arc and growth.
    4. The consequences— There is a fair share of death in this work, both with heroes and villains,
    and it yields an honest sense of impact and consequence that is lacking in so many other works.
    5. The high stakes— From massive war efforts to interpersonal domestic drama, there is always something at stake (and it always feels like it).

    Synopsis

    On the distant planet of Rendaz, a sensitive hippo named Beautimus bears witness to a series of murders alongside her loyal praying mantis friend Samuel. Eventually, a spiteful coyote named Belinda is apprehended, having acted out with criminality after being passed over for a coveted “High Priestess” leadership position in society.
    Soon, Beautimus meets the dapper, well-educated, and successful hippo Lucas, and a simmering courtship ensues. Things heat up progressively between the two, and Beautimus eventually shares that she has an estranged daughter who is becoming part of her life again. Lucas soon professes his love her her. However, their relationship hits some snags when Beautimus suspects him of cheating, and when her secrecy over being selected as the High Priestess’s successor irks him.

    Beautimus is named as High Priestess and her relationship with Lucas resumes strong as ever. However, the vengeful Belinda has raised an army of outcasts hell-bent of taking control of the society. It constitutes a major first trial in Beautimus’ leadership. After a tense series of conflicts, and after losing her best friend, Beautimus and co. are successful, defeating the callous Belinda. As the society mourns and braces to rebuild, Beautimus is celebrated as their stalwart leader.

    About The Author

    Peggy's short stories and poetry appear in numerous publications in the U.S., the UK, and Canada. Dragon Moon Press, a small publisher in Canada, has published five of Peggy's novels. THE RAVEN’S DAUGHTER, short listed for the CCC Great Novel contest, the second in the series, The Desert Raven, CHACO, The Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus, winner of the coveted Audible Reviewers Choice award, and the companion piece to Beautimus Potamus, The Anam Glyphs. Peggy is currently working on the sequel to CHACO, (Moonforest Sanctuary), the third in the Raven's Daughter series, (The Ravens of Eerie set in County Wicklow, Ireland), and is planning a prequel to The Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus. Peggy holds B.A. in English Literature from UCLA, and an M.A. in Creative Writing from California State University at Northridge. While attending UCLA, she was one of only twelve students -- and the only undergraduate -- chosen to study with Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States. She won first prize awards for two of her poems from an Evergreen Press nationwide poetry contest, and honorable mentions for others from the Los Angeles Poetry Festival and The Academy of American Poets. Her poem Du Fu was nominated for a Rhysling award for Best Long Science Fiction Poem. She's led adult poetry and novel critique groups in both Colorado and California, and taught a creative writing class for a charter school in northern California. Although, Peggy started her writing career as a poet, her passion is penning novels.