Tamora Pierce was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œlong, proud line of hillbillies,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Â her family never had much. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe were poor, but I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Â she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.
A self-proclaimed ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œgeek,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Â 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. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHe overheard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Â Pierce says.
But TamoraÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t understand why the writers I loved had no girl adventurers, 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.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Â
Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work, some time spent writing for radio, and a job as assistant in a literary agency, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published Alanna: The First Adventure, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, *female* warrior. PierceÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.
Pierce is now a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has written more than two-dozen books, including her newest, TORTALL AND OTHER LANDS: A COLLECTION OF TALES. She is also co-author with her husband Timothy Liebe of White Tiger: A HeroÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Compulsion from Marvel Comics. Her books are translated into over fifteen languages and available in English worldwide, which brings her wonderful fan mail. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a pretty good life. Struggling as a kid and through my twenties and thirties, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the 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 with 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,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Â she says.
Pierce lives in Syracuse, New York with her husband Tim, eleven tame and two semi-feral cats, two parakeets, a rotating cast of stray and feral outdoor cats, and various other freeloading wildlife. Visit her online at www.tamorapierce.com.