Ingrid Kristianne Freeman was born in Oxford on October 1, 1997, to Charlotte Andersen Freeman and Chisholm Orvel Freeman. Townsfolk said Ingrid was destined to be a beauty queen. Little did Ingrid and her family know just how cutthroat the pageant industry really is.
Ingrid's mother, a beauty herself, also grew up in Oxford but under less prosperous circumstances. As a young lady, Charlotte found employment briefly as a housekeeper for the wealthy Lamar family.
One evening, a flamboyant Chisholm Freeman called on Quentin Lamar to discuss some business dealings not long before Quentin's tragic demise. That night forever changed Charlotte's life. She and Chisholm had a whirlwind romance and married within a few months. One year and one day after the wedding, Ingrid was born.
Ingrid's parents arrived at their seeming wealth by any means available, including Chisholm's gambling, and Ingrid learned early in life that winning is the only goal and the only rule is to win at any cost.
When Ingrid was two or three years old, her mother paid the first of many social visits to her former employer. According to local gossip, Charlotte's visits were attempts to position Ingrid for an eventual marriage to Bill Lamar. Some suggested Charlotte was trying to insinuate herself into the Lamar Cosmetics company.
Either way, Ingrid had an early opportunity to know Bill, and her avid interest in the young boy was an early sign of the dogged personality that would become her hallmark.
When Ingrid started entering pageants, her mother made sure no one had an opportunity to derail her daughter's career, and she was often seen in hushed conversation with individuals she'd deemed potential threats. When asked, people on the pageant circuit acknowledged knowing Charlotte Freeman but seemed reluctant to say much about her.
Ingrid's stunning smile greatly enhanced her beauty, even though it wasn't often backed by warmth or humor. She was known as a young woman skilled at getting what she wanted in most circumstances. The one situation where Ingrid never seemed to be able to get what she wanted was in competition with Barbara Dubois.
Ingrid and her mother were tired of Barbara besting Ingrid pageant after pageant, and they were determined to see Ingrid win the Yoknapatawpha County Literature Festival Beauty Pageant and go on to compete for the coveted Miss America crown. But at 23, Ingrid is close to aging out of eligibility for Miss America, and she's becoming desperate. Her resolve to win is fiercer than ever.
Recently, Ingrid has made plans to open a European-inspired salon with spa-style skincare and body treatment services as well as hair, makeup, and nail stylists proficient in the newest high fashion trends. Ingrid told friends she would need financing and the expertise of those already in the business—especially from someone who had studied in Europe. For Ingrid, this meant her childhood friend Bill Lamar, but he had been in Europe for several years, and the two had lost touch long ago.
Her backup plan was her old friend, Denny Buchanan, who she knew even before he met Barbara. Ingrid always claimed that Denny didn't care about his paramours' social status as long as they were beautiful, fun-loving, and debauched to a fault, and she was bitterly astounded when Denny fell hard for Barbara. Even so, she knew his wealth would go far in financing her venture, but in recent months he too was nowhere to be found.
By the time of the Yoknapatawpha County Literature Festival pageant, friends said Ingrid seemed furious. She was without a financial backer for her salon and without any real assurance she was favored to win the pageant. In fact, when friends tried to tell her she might be the second runner-up, the news only her more determined than ever to collaborate with whomever necessary to get the job done.