This site began as a class project when I was a graduate student in Information Science at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 1998. I chose to annotate Bluebeard for an HTML programming assignment. During my overachieving exuberance of fulfilling the assignment, I found a way to combine many of my passions into one place, from recommending books to reading and writing about folklore and fairy tales. It has grown by leaps and bounds and will never be "finished" as I continue to read, study and learn more about fairy tales in particular and folklore in general.
I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English with a Speech and Theatre Minor from Middle Tennessee State University. As a teenager, I met Professor Margaret Ordoubadian who first showed me I could read fairy tales and be a grown-up when she recommended Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber. Years later I had the privilege of taking her class. I have always pursued my hobby in fairy tales and children's literature with a passion. And, no, the two are not always the same field despite popular belief!
I also have a Master of Information Science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville that is accredited by the American Library Association. Consequently, I am a qualified librarian and researcher. I have worked in the real world as a children's librarian in a public library in Southern California where my two favorite parts of the job were the many storytimes I presented each week and reader referrals.
I do not make a profit from this site which I have created strictly for educational and entertainment purposes. The minimal money received from my association with Amazon.com helps to defray the personal expenses I incur from research and maintenance of this site. I became an Amazon.com associate primarily to help the site's visitors locate recommended books.
I am an avid mystery, science fiction, fantasy, and general fiction reader on top of everything else you see on this site. My personal library numbers over 3,000 volumes. I also dabble in house renovation--a four month project in 2004 turned a house of nightmare into my first dream home. Then there's the hat collecting and wearing, the puppet collecting, and occasional forays into large cross-stitch projects.
I now live in my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee after several years of following my husband around the U.S. from Columbia, South Carolina to Los Angeles, California.
Since I am often asked the following questions, here are some answers:
What is your favorite fairy tale?
My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast, although I really love many of the tales dearly, especially Princess and the Pea and Twelve Dancing Princesses, a tale I didn't discover until after my first childhood. My world changed dramatically when I first discovered Robin McKinley's Beauty as a teenager. I realized it was perfectly fine to still love the tales I grew up with and continue reading them past grade school.
Yes, I do grow tired of Cinderella although I love many reinterpretations of the tale, especially Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted. My least favorite of the well-known tales has always been Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Snow White has always been too naive, domestic, and silly for my taste.
My favorite illustrations tend to be for Princess and the Pea. I always want to sleep on the stack of mattresses. I am sure I would get a good night's sleep on those beds, pea or no pea.
What are your qualifications for writing this site?
My education, described above and summarized below, has focused on children's literature and folklore. This site is heavily researched and has references to numerous publications and scholars.
For those of you having to summarize my credentials when evaluating this site for a school assignment, here they are:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Degree: American Library Association Accredited Master of Science in Information Science
Graduation: December 1998
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in English, Minor in Speech and Theatre
Graduation: December 1996