Kathryn Tamburri

Why I Write – What I Write – Who I Am

My name is Kathryn Tamburri, and for as long as I can remember, I have loved stories.

My favorites were always the big, imaginative adventures—the ones set in new worlds that felt as full and real as our own, the ones with great epic battles and dimensional characters torn by relatable struggles. I loved twisty political intrigue and devastating betrayals, I loved hidden motivations and the great surprises when the hero cleverly out-plans the villain in a series of fantastic counter-moves.

I especially loved my stories to have romance, but I never wanted the romance to be the main event. Of course, I didn’t want it to be easy romance; I wanted deep pulls at my heart. I wanted to be ready to cheer when they finally got together. I wanted to be equally terrified of the consequences if they did or didn’t get together. But I wanted there to be a real story, a real adventure, real stakes.

Unfortunately, most of the romantic fantasy fiction out there falls into two categories: they either contain flat, predictable relationships with no depth, or they are far more explicit than I’m comfortable with. That’s after you separate fantasy itself into what’s merely wild and fun and what’s edging into the demonic.

It can be hard to be a Christian who loves reading fantasy fiction.

Even the YA shelf, which used to be a somewhat safer space, is growing progressively darker and—dare I suggest it—pornographic. It is becoming harder and harder to find a book I can just enjoy, without conviction.

My books are meant to be that safe space: not safe in the sense of simple, or not scary. Some of these stories have blood. Some of these characters are evil. Villains are villains, heroes make mistakes, and culture can be murky; that’s reality, even in fiction. But when you read my stories, I want you to be able to feel all the intensities of emotion without feeling violated. I want you to be able to go on an epic fantasy adventure without wondering, in the back of your mind, if you’ve grown too comfortable with compromise.

I want you to experience a really good story.