Roald (pronounced "Roo-aal") was born in Llandaff, South Wales. He had a relatively uneventful childhood and was educated at Repton School. During World War II he served as a fighter pilot and for a time was stationed in Washington, D.C.. Prompted by an interviewer, he turned an account of one of his war experiences into a short story that was accepted by the Saturday Evening Post, which were eventually collected in Over to You (1946). Dahl's stories are often described as horror tales or fantasies, but neither description does them justice. He has the ability to treat the horrible and ghastly with a light touch, sometimes even with a humorous one. His tales never become merely shocking or gruesome. His purpose is not to shock but to entertain, and much of the entertainment comes from the unusual twists in his plots, rather than from grizzly details. Dahl has also become famous as a writer of children's stories. In some circles, these works have cased great controversy. Critics have charged that Dahl's work is anti-Semitic and degrades women. Nevertheless, his work continues to be read: Charlie and Chocolate Factory (1964) was made into a successful movie, and his books of rhymes for children continue to be very popular.
Jordan Crane lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife and children. He created the comic book series Uptight and recently released a collection of postcards through Chronicle Books titled Uptight All Night .
As a child, Aimee Bender enjoyed reading fairy tales, particularly the stories of Hans Christian Andersen. She began creating her own stories, and later, as an elementary school teacher, she enjoyed telling her students both traditional fairy tales and stories she had made up herself. Eventually, she began writing short stories, which have been published in a variety of magazines, including Granta, GQ, Story, and The Antioch Review. Her first book, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a collection of her stories, was published in 1998. Bender's work is intended for adults rather than children, but many of her short stories could be described as contemporary fairy tales. Bender's stories often include some of the same elements that she enjoyed encountering in fairy tales, such as of magic, fantasy, surprise, humor, and absurdity. Although she has found success as a writer, Bender continues to teach because she enjoys the interaction with others and feels she needs that contact to balance the solitude that is required for her writing. In addition to teaching elementary school, she has taught in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in the writing program at the University of California at Irvine, where she received her M.F.A. Bender lives in Los Angeles.