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As a kid growing up in the San Francisco Bay area of California, some of Vicki’s best friends were books. The Secret Garden, Jane Eyre, A Wrinkle in Time, or The Island of the Blue Dolphins, were always close at hand. (And to this day remain close at heart.) Almost as soon as Vicki learned to read, she wanted to write. Her first novel, The Adventures of Barbie, was lovingly bound in crayon-covered cardboard—and eaten by a neighborhood dog shortly after its “release.” [+]