Letters To Authors: Tamora Pierce

Dear Ms. Pierce,

You probably get this all the time, but I thought I’d write an open letter to you so I can let you, and anyone else reading this, know what a wonderful human being you are.

I was eleven when I was introduced (quite forcefully, by my future best friend) to Alanna and I ended up devouring her quartet. I, swiftly, moved on to The Immortals series and got to know Daine; it was fantastic. There I was, a tom-boyish eleven year old who finally found, not one, but TWO series of books with female leads who were absolutely NOT damsels in distress. This was very much like finding a million dollars on the sidewalk; I was telling everyone, who would listen, about your amazing books.

My mother noticed the change in me (mostly because I was failing math, but then again I was ALWAYS failing math) and wanted to know exactly what was so interesting about these books that I kept not returning to the school library. My mother is a brilliant woman, but fantasy is not her genre of choice – she loves fiction and thrillers and Stephen King. Adequately giving her a description of your wonderful books was very hard for eleven year old me. It involved a lot of jumping and flailing arms and adjectives. I have no idea how she managed to make sense of my pre-pubescent fangirling, but she got the gist of it: relatable female heroes being awesome and kicking a whole lot of bad guy butt. I didn’t know it at the time but my mother understood exactly how awesome it was for a young girl to find a series of books like that.

Prior to finding your books, I was reading a lot of books where the heroes were always male. Redwall, Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, James and the Giant Peach, and a whole lot of Xanth Novels, to name some. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those books, I adore each and every one of them and most of them have some very strong minor female characters in them. There were also a few fiction books (most notably by Kit Pearson) that featured female leads and were very good, but there was no action. The female leads were sort of dainty and they were never put in any situation that required a fight or flight reflex. They were awesome books but they were lacking the fantasy and action that I preferred, which is probably why I was always reading novels with boy leads. I can say with great certainty that there is something very special about being a young-lady-person and reading about grounded and brilliant girls doing the butt-kicking instead of the boys. This was something that my mother never had growing up and I think that was why she encouraged my reading. She was the one who bought me Protector of the Small when it first came out in hardcover and every one of your books thereafter.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Thank you, Mrs. Pierce, for all the effort and time you’ve put in to write the books that have had, and still continue to have, a great amount of influence on my life, even fourteen years later. Thank you for all the books you’ve yet to write and thank you for inspiring me to write about my own lady-folk heroes. You are amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving my eleven year old self her absolute favourite books.

Sincerely and affectionately,

Nuki

———-

Everyone, click the link if you’re confused. If you aren’t confused, click the link anyway. —Ā  http://www.tamora-pierce.com/

Please note – Ms. Pierce’s books are fantastic for all ages, her writing style is brilliant and realistic and if you give her books a chance they will eat you alive (in a good way). If you’ve never read her books before, I highly recommend starting at the beginning (Song Of The Lioness Quartet) and working your way though all the series. If you were looking to start with some of her more recent books without much complication, you should probably start with her Beka Cooper series; Terrier is the first book. If you have children, and they enjoy reading, then you should definitely think about seeing if their school library carries these books, or if their birthday is close – buying the first series as a gift. It will be the best birthday present ever, I promise. My nephew will most likely be reading these books once he’s old enough.

(I know this letter isn’t perfect, but it’s my letter and I’m a fangirl. Basically, that should explain everything, right there. I’m just happy it came out semi-coherent and not all “ASDFGHK! YOU’RE AWESOME! I LOVE YOU!”)

I plan to make a series of blog posts like this; letters to some of my favourite authors. I think I might be setting myself up for failure here, but it’s always good to have goals!

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5 thoughts on “Letters To Authors: Tamora Pierce

  1. Dear Nuki,

    I am pretty certain that your mom didn’t have books with kick-ass female heroes when she was your age as a kid reader, because she is probably younger than I am (it feels so weird to say that!), and I sure as hell didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I did find strong girls–Louisa May Alcott’s girls, Caddie Woodlawn, Mara (daughter of the Nile), Kit (in WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND)–but they were strong in a girl/woman’s sphere, and/or active at play but expected to stop playing and enter the household sphere at a certain age. Only Kit got to continue to sail for at least part of her life. Since I too mostly read boy books and figured the writers just forgot to include girls in the adventures, I wrote us back in. As I got older, and madder, I moved us to the front. The more books I read without female heroes, the more I wanted to write. And for some reason I continue to focus on that time when I was most frustrated, starting when I was 12 or so.

    In other words, whenever I read something like this, my heart swells an extra size for a while, because I know what I do is still important, and I’m still reaching the people I need to reach. I am deeply honored that my books fired you up, and I hope so much that one day your books will do the same for your readers, because there is nothing in this world like the encomium I just read. So thank you, and Goddess bless!

    Tammy

    • I’m sorry for taking so long to reply; I’ve been a bit preoccupied, and by ‘preoccupied’ I mean that I was having an incoherent fangirl moment and couldn’t think coherently enough to type out a proper reply that made any bit of sense. My first attempt at a reply was essentially a keyboard smash and some adjectives thrown together. This second try is coming along much better than the first.

      Thank you so very much for taking the time out of your day to reply to my letter. It means quite a bit to me and I really appreciate it. You made my day and I don’t think I’ve ever been quite this happily surprised in a good long while. I hope my letter made your day as much as your reply made mine.

  2. I will definitly buy these for my 2 younger sisters and would love to read them myself, I always enjoy good reads and with female heroes even better, thank you so much Caorthine/Nuki for your open letter and also for your response Tamora, it is always amazing to see how an author cares and how you dedicate yourself in putting us girls in front!

    • You will absolutely enjoy all of her books, and so will your sisters.
      You’re very welcome. I made the letter open so I could introduce Ms. Pierce’s books to everyone reading my blog and on the off chance that she herself would read it, and she did! šŸ™‚

  3. I loved her books when I was younger too! In fact, my boyfriend and I have been reading YA books together recently and we started with The Circle of Magic quartet šŸ™‚ Also having a fan-girl, OMG I can’t believe she answered your post moment – how very cool!

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