Many writers have certain genes in their DNA. We're the kids who always have their nose in a book, who live in the library (my first paying job was as a pageâ€”yes, a page in the library), are loners, and inordinately fond of fairy tales. I grew up reading my oldest sister's gigantic Golden Book of Fairy Tales until it fell apart. I loved the book because it had fairy tales that I'd never read before, like "Bright, Dear deer and Kit" and Japanese fairy tales (growing up half-Japanese without seeing any references to Japanese stories, this seemed very enlightened to me). I also loved the slightly horrible things kept in those translations, like how frogs and snakes would fall from a villain's lips whenever she (the main characters were often female, another plus) told a lie. Once we'd all grown up, my oldest sister decided she wanted it back. I pined for it and thought I'd never find it again, but to my delight my husband had a copy from his childhoodâ€”in pristine condition! It's one of my prized possessions.