“If you aren't having fun, if you aren't anxious to find out what happens next as you write, then not only will you run out of steam on the story, but you won't be able to entertain anyone else, either.” – Tamora Pierce
Pierce, who was born on this date in 1954, is winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association for her two quartets – Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small. The annual award recognizes one writer and a particular body of work for "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."
A reader from a very young age, Pierce started writing in 6th grade and gravitated to science fiction after being introduced to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Known best for stories featuring young heroines, her “Lioness” series is about a girl named Alanna striving to become a knight during Arthurian times. Fantasy novels and Arthurian legend was the basis for the worlds she thought up as a girl, she said. After her initial success, she added contemporary issues like youth crime, or things like cholera outbreaks in Africa to her writing. Pierce said she decided to write her stories about strong young female characters because she noticed a lack of them in the books she read when she was a girl.
“(Usually) I don't write from dreams because I don't remember mine, but I had a fragment of an image left about twins whose father was telling them how their lives were going to go for the next eight years,” she recalled about the genesis for one of her recent books. “I wrote a scene about that, and then another, and then another, and then another, and after five months I had 732 pages.”
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