Of course, I have incorporated many of these fairy tales into my work. One of the stories (just one of many) that influenced me was The Children of Lir, which is an Irish folktale.
The King's children were all cursed to be birds, which is a fascinating thought. Of course, it reminded me of the Seven Ravens, which I had read as a child in Grimm's Fairy Tales.
That poor girl and her brothers. This type of fairy tale is Aarne-Thompson type 451, which means a sister and brother are included, but I thought it would be much more interesting if the girl was not a sister in the literal sense, but rather a rescuer who was not bound in that particular way. I was much more interested in another kind of moral choice. But this is a fascinating story and one that requires great sacrifice.
I am very interested in ordinary girls in extraordinary circumstances. That's a theme that I have repeated over and over on this blog. I am also interested in curses, because curses are really all about the consequences of circumstances, either personal or historical. This makes the past always present in our lives which is something that every person in The Deep South understands, in one way or another. (I linked to that definition because I only consider 5 states Deep South: South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Personally, I've never considered any of the other states southern in the sense of what is really Deep South. And yes, I consider this place called The Deep South, both cursed and blessed. If you want to understand that, I suggest reading Faulkner.)
....All of which brings me back to birds, in a very dark way.
This is a illustrations by Arthur Rackham for the The Three Ravens aka Two Corbies, an old English ballad. It hangs on my inspiration board in the art room. Along with the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, this ballad of The Three Ravens is a key inspiration for my retelling.