Pierce speaking at the 2013 National Book Festival.
A Young Adult fantasy writer best known for her Feminist Fantasy
bent, born in 1954. Tamora Pierce got her start writing down the stories she told herself while doing her chores as a kid, both original and fanfiction for things like The Lord of the Rings
and Star Trek: The Original Series
. She noticed that a lot of fantasy stories were, for some reason, very lacking in female characters and set out to fix that herself.
Her first "professional" novel was about a girl named Alanna who dressed as a boy to become a knight, but it didn't get picked up by publishers. In the meantime, she told the story, with some changes in content, to the teenage girls living in the group home she worked at. When Pierce moved to New York to further her publishing career, her agent said she should rework the book for the YA market. Pierce edited and divided the story into four parts, and the first book in the Song of the Lioness
quartet was published in 1983.
She continued to do freelance writing work—radio scripts, film reviews, etc—until 1992, when she was able to make a living entirely off of her books. Most of her series had a quartet format until Harry Potter
became a huge success and publishers realized that maybe kids will
read something that's over 200 pages, giving her much more pageroom.
Her works avoid the Smurfette Principle
chiefly by casting females as the main characters.note
While all of them are Action Girls
to some degree, Pierce thoroughly demolishes the Real Women Don't Wear Dresses
trope to show that it's equally okay to enjoy "girly things" as it is fighting and adventure (and they're not mutually exclusive).
Many of her characters are based in personality and/or appearance on real people
. For instance, she says that every
mage character she writes is at least a little bit David Attenborough
She also edited the short story anthology Young Warriors
, and wrote a White Tiger
miniseries for Marvel Comics
with her husband, following Angela del Toro, niece of the original hero to bear the name. She has also written number of short stories set in and out of her main 'verses, published in various magazines such as Cricket
She has a LiveJournal
account, Dare To Be Stupid
, appropriately subtitled "Strong Opinion Zone", although most of her blogging has moved to her other, more lighthearted fan LJ here
. As her writing suggests, it has a strongly liberal slant. Her website is here
. Oh, and she has a tumblr
Her name is the result of a typo on her birth certificate, and is pronounced the same as "Tamara."
- A Swords And Sorcery setting focused mainly on the titular nation. There are five series so far. Each has their own protagonists, but you can expect characters from previous series to make some appearance.
- Like Tortall, the Circle Universe is medieval in setting, but with more liberties taken and a wider area of focus as its protagonists are well-traveled. There is also a greater focus on magic and its study, and avoiding the standard High Fantasy stories of warfare and politics. There are three separate series so far, mostly following the same four protagonists as they go from childhood to adulthood. All of the books share one trope page right now.