My name is Kim ten Tusscher. Writing hasn’t always been on top of my mind. In my twenties, I pursued a career in photography. During my study, I got interested in documentary photography. I looked for similarities between people and tried to invalidate prejudice. The camera gave me access to ‘other’ worlds, but also created a distance to my subject I would rather not have.
In my final year, I travelled to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. I came back with much more than pictures. The culture of these people proved to be a lasting source of inspiration. My experiences with these people end up in my stories in many different ways.
Then I rediscovered writing and fell in love with it. Fantasy proved a great way of exploring the world around me. The intense subjects I write about, challenge me to make sense of what’s happening around me in real life. I love to read stories that are set in the grey area between good and evil, so that’s also what I write. I’m known for creating convincing characters and a world that isn’t black or white. As a writer, I have overcome the distance I felt towards my subject when I was a photographer. My stories have gathered a loyal group of readers. My latest book “Prooi” has been nominated for all the Dutch awards for Best Fantasy Book 2015.
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I worked as a stylist for this historical costume drama about King Henry VIII. It was a challenge to mimic the atmosphere of the 16th century with a minimal budget. One thing that was absolutely necessary to incorporate in the costumes was the “french hood” I made for Catherine.
I had worked on films and series before, but this was the first time I was responsible for dressing the actors and extras and also keep a close eye on continuity. A Royal Love received the award for best costume design at the South Film and Arts Academy Festival.
A Royal Love is directed by Anthony Roemermann and produced and written by Dirk Gunther Mohr.
Curious? The result can be viewed on youtube.
I’ve always kept in touch with the makers of Born of Hope, so when I heard they wanted to make their own fantasy web series, my interest was piqued. Kate Madison persuaded me to come over for a weekend to make costumes. I immediately felt at home with the crew, and I went as often as I had the time.
I made the costumes for Hunter and the Commander and bits and pieces for some of the other characters. Because I could only come over during the weekends, my working days were long and intense. But it was amazing to create something this fantastical with such a creative team.
You could say that my love for everything fantasy started with the movie adaptations of The Lord of the Rings. I saw those movies, and I was hooked. That love did not translate into writing immediately, though. No, I wanted to become a costume maker. I even had the dream to apply for a job at Weta Workshop when they were going to film The Hobbit.
Gaining work experience was part of that plan. But where? Then someone pointed out the British film project Born of Hope. It turned out to be impracticable to make costumes for them, but I did make most of the banners, edited the leather garments, and helped on set for a few days. I can even state that I was present at the birth of Aragorn!
In the end, I didn’t apply for a job at The Hobbit. When they started filming, I was already addicted to writing. But it’s thanks to Tolkien that the elves play a big part in my debut City of Illusions.