So, first off, I am currently rereading everything by Tamora Pierce, one of my favorite authors. I have read almost everything she has ever written. I first discovered her Circle of Magic series in ninth grade, and quickly devoured everything I could get my hands on, and keep track of all her new publications (attempting to buy them as quickly as possibly). I have every novel she has written but am missing the short story collections! Click here for her website.
I actually wrote her once by email, and received a reply on 10/23/2005. Here it is:
Thank you, I’m glad you like my books so much!
Congratulations on your writing! The best way to improve is to be persistent. More than anything, this is what will make a difference to you. It is what will change you from a bad writer into a good one and from an unpublished writer into a published one. Being willing to try new things and experiment also helps, but persistence is the most important quality anyone needs. It means that even if you don’t finish everything you start, you keep on writing. Sooner or later you’ll get fluent enough that you’ll be able to finish more pieces of work. Persistence means that the more words you put on paper, the better you’ll get at using them so they’ll speak more clearly for you. Be persistent in spite of what others may say. You have to believe that the thing that makes you want to write knows better than they do–and better than you do–what it’s doing. And while you’re sending things out to publishers, be persistent about writing new things, because the more work you send out, the better your chances are of being published.
As for the Circle kids, I’ve just gotten started with them! The next Circle book I’ll be writing is a single, stand-alone book about them, THE WILL OF THE EMPRESS. It’s about their reunion and trip to Namorn so Sandry can meet her greedy Namornese relatives. It has just been released in the US, Canada and Australia. Some of the secondary characters from the previous Circle books will appear in this one. After that, I plan to do a book in which Tris goes to Lightsbridge under an assumed name to earn her license in basic magic so she can make a living without tearing the scenery apart, and a book which shows what happens to Briar, Rosethorn and Evvy when they reach Yanjing after the events of STREET MAGIC.
I will also be doing books about Evvy, Pasco, Glaki, and the young Niko and the young Gorse, but they will be published first as audio books by Bruce Coville’s Full Cast Audio company, and published in paper after that. We just finished recording the entire Circle of Magic quartet with different people reading the different characters. I’m the narrator, Bruce Coville is Niko, and my husband Tim plays Dedicate Crane and other parts. I love what we’re doing so much that I’ve agreed to do four new Circle books just for Full Cast!
I would like to come visit you in Kentucky, but it all depends. It’s possible Random House may send me someplace near you during my fall tour: you should write to Random House Children’s Books Publicity Department if you want to influence their decision. If your school or public library wants to have me visit and is willing to pay my speaker’s fee and my travel costs, have them e-mail me directly. In the past, sometimes several schools and libraries have gotten together and paid to bring me to visit, so I have a mini-tour, thanks to them.
Also, be sure to keep checking my webpage. I put up any places I’ll be visiting as soon as I confirm I’ll be going there, so it’s possible someone near you is bringing me there already. I really do try to do as many visits as I can manage while still writing books, because I like to talk to fans, and they seem to want to talk to me. I hope we’ll get to meet soon!
Thank you for your mail. I hope that your writing brings you the satisfaction–and cool mail!–that my writing has brought me!
So there is some advice from a very successful writer. And come to think of it… I need to get these books on audio!!!!!