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Tessa Ward
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Hi! I'm Tessa.

I write young adult fantasy books about self-rescuing princesses for readers who still believe in fairy-tale romance.

I want my books to
inspire you,
empower you,
and transport you
to a world where anything is possible.

Basically, I believe that
Books should
make you

Wait—what? Does that mean I think that only happy books are worth reading? Of course not. But let me tell you a story:

My grandpa spent his final years in a nursing home, dying by very slow degrees of Parkinson's. I honestly don't have a worst enemy, but if I did have one, it's a fate I wouldn't wish on him. My grandpa couldn't walk or feed himself or even talk for the most part. But what he could do was read. He read stacks and stacks of bodice-ripping historical romance novels with over-the-top covers and guaranteed happy endings. Pure escapism, by most people's standards, and nothing my college professors (I was an English major) would have called great literature. But those over-the-top historical romance novels brought enjoyment to my grandpa's final days. They made him happy, and to me that makes them worth every bit as much as War and Peace.

Not that I'm knocking War and Peace or books without guaranteed happily-ever-afters. Sad stories are part of the human condition; of course they should be told, too. Tragic stories can make us gain in empathy or make us grateful for what we have. Books like Uncle Tom's Cabin can inspire us to abolish slavery. What I do think is that books should make the world a little better for having been written— be agents of light, rather than dark. Books can challenge us, make us think, inspire us to change the world— or just give us a few hours' much-needed break from reality. In all cases, we're left a little bit better off than when we first read the words Chapter One— which for me, means happy.

That's what I want my books to do for you.

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Other things that I'm about, in no particular order:

  • My kids. At the time of writing, they are 9, 6, and 2. They are in my totally unbiased opinion very cute. Stick around, and I'll probably tell you more about them and the funny things they say.
  • My husband. I really like him.
  • Clean content. No judgments about books with adult language and/or more graphic scenes, but that just isn't my particular thing to write.
  • Happy endings. I know, everything I just said about tragic stories having their place. It's still true— again, not throwing shade on anyone— but writing sad endings to my own stories just isn't my thing.
  • Strong girls. Although I should probably cross that out and write realistic girls— because girls are strong, and it's not really any great feat to write them that way. I just write what I see, and what I see are some absolutely amazing girls and women in the world. I don't set out to make my female characters perfect, but I do want them to show the strength and intelligence and spirit of my own daughters and all other girls who are making the world a better place.
  • Romance. I love a good love story. I'm a marshmallow. :-)
  • Readers. I love connecting with anyone who's read my books and has a question or just wants to chat. Depending on what else is going on in my life (see assorted children, above) it may take me a while to answer an e-mail, but I do read every single message I get and I LOVE them.

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