Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of young adult fantasy books that break past the traditions of the fantasy genre to feature teenage girls as knights, wizards, and above all: heroes. A #1 New York Times bestseller and the recipient of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards award, Tamora has written over 30 books, including the upcoming TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE (Oct. 31, 2017) and TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Feb. 6, 2018).
Tamora was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a "long, proud line of hillbillies," her family never had much. "We were poor, but I didn't know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well," she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.
A self-proclaimed "geek," she devoured fantasy and science fiction novels, and by the age of 12 was mimicking her literary idols and writing her own action-packed stories. It was thanks to her father that Tamora began writing. "He heard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down," Pierce says.
But Tamora's novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. "I couldn't understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be."
Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work and some time spent writing for radio, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published ALANNA: THE FIST ADVENTURE, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, female warrior. Pierce's heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.
Now, with over 30 critically-acclaimed books to her name, Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their menagerie of nine cats, two birds, a flock of pigeons, various raccoons and squirrels, and one opossum. "It's a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it's the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted."