Header / Cover Image for 'About'
Header / Cover Image for 'About'


Hi! My name is Tiamo Pastoor. On this page, I will explain a bit about myself and my work as an author. The route to getting here has been a weird one, to say the least.

But first …

  • Want to get in touch? Visit the contact page instead.
  • Want to see everything (else) I do? Visit my portfolio instead.
  • Want to support or follow me? Visit the support page instead.

It all started …

… when I was born in 1997. I started life as a fat baby in a little town called Zevenaar in the Netherlands. I didn’t actually live there: my own town was too small to contain a hospital.

Soon after, I moved to another part of the country. And moved again. And again. This turned out to be a recurring pattern, which is one reason why my writing style uses so many different phrases and sayings from different cultures.

At some point, I apparently started reading Harry Potter books. Before we had actually learnt how to read at school. Yeah, I don’t remember, but that’s how I taught myself to read. It allowed me to skip a class in elementary school, which was great, because another recurring theme in my life is an absolute hatred for school.

That moment ignited my passion for books and stories. Although I’d be the first to explain why the Harry Potter books are badly written, I can’t deny the incredible work they did for kids and reading all around the world. Soon after, I read the Narnia novels, the Hobbit, anything I could get my hands on.

The road to writing

I started writing my own stories … which were obviously horrible. Incredibly long sentences. No paragraphs. I lost inspiration after only two pages.

But that’s fine! That’s how everyone starts out. Especially when you’re a young kid, it’s “acceptable” to be terrible at whatever you do. You still keep doing it. Because you like it and because you know it’s the only way to actually get good.

Below my desk is a folder with all my old stories. In all the years of elementary school, I probably wrote around ten stories. All of them terrible. Not exactly a breakneck pace. But by the time I went to high school, I could at least write a somewhat decent story. The first draft of the first story for the Saga of Life was written around this time!

The terrible thing called “school”, however, won out. I ran out of time for, you know, actually useful activities. Even worse, school forces you to read specific books from a specific list, which simply do not interest a teenager at all.

Like many, I lost my passion for reading. All through high school, I barely read and barely wrote.

A different road to writing

It gets worse! I was also forced to study some difficult topic (Applied Mathematics) at university, prolonging the nightmare of school for another 5 years. Another absolute waste of time and energy, but there wasn’t much I could do. Because I did so well in my younger years and skipped classes, I was barely 16 by the time this decision had to be made, which means my parents made the decision for me.

Perhaps because of this situation, I developed a chronic illness. My body just stopped working. Things that were easy for others—things everybody does without thinking—became hard or impossible for me. Always in pain, always uncertain about what will happen.

So, what do you do? How do you make life bearable?

You focus on your passions again. You work hard to put any free time you can find into getting better at your craft and producing stories.

I started to read again, this time on a borrowed ereader, late at night in bed.

I started to write again, on the weekends. Mostly short stories for the Saga of Life, because that’s all I was capable of. When you can barely build a character arc, you surely can’t write a 100,000 word epic fantasy!

Yeah, sure, like most budding writers I tried. I really tried. I have at least 10 “first chapters” of the next epic fantasy I would write during the summer holiday. Only a few of them might actually be finished one day, because the initial idea was good. Back then, however, it was probably for the best that I didn’t continue.

The years of the grind

Writing and reading more and more, my skill improved. I could think ahead. I could make solid decisions about storytelling based on my intuition. My sentences weren’t a long unreadable mess anymore.

As I struggled over the finish line—and finished a degree I never actually picked up—I released a picture book. My first self-published release. It was originally just a birthday project for my little sister, so there were no expectations. A nice guinea pig, if you like.

I learned a lot and got a taste of finishing books and publishing them. As I recovered from the disease called the education system, I slowly released more and more books. Still no record-breaking pace, but at least stories were being finished. I could sent full novels to writing competitions and not get last place!

These are the “years of the grind”. Every artist or creative person knows this. There’s this gap between “having good taste and knowing what you might be able to do” … and “actually having the experience to do it”. It takes a few years, 10+ books, to close this gap.

The only true goal, at that moment, is just consistency. Keep writing. Try to get some words on the page every day. With that mindset, I finished those 10+ novels (all Dutch) and released most of them. (Some were delayed … until it made more sense to release them in English than the original Dutch.)

Creating this website

I always knew I wanted to switch to English fiction. (Much bigger audience. All my other work was already English for 10+ years.)

I also knew that I preferred the freedom and control of self-publishing. I can actually design my own covers, program my own websites, do everything myself. I wouldn’t say I’m very good at it, it’s just that I liked the challenge of doing it myself.

As such, at some point, I had to make “the switch”.

Until then, all my writing work was on my Dutch blog called “Niet Dat Het Uitmaakt” (English: “Not That It Matters”). Because it was a blog and never meant to display work, the books were almost … hidden. Hard to find. Hard to display correctly. The blog was all over the place, which meant people had no clue what my next post would be about.

(Is he going to write about a game he created? A review of a book? A free short story? Or an opinion piece about something that happened in the Netherlands? We don’t know!)

I finally created this website and copied my old blog. A website in English, actually meant to display and sell books from the start. A more modern and updated website, because the blog was already 10 years old at that point.

My path forward, I believed. Because I felt I was at a point that I could consistently write good stories that would sell. Maybe I was wrong about that, but you have to believe that to even get here.

Where are we now?

I haven’t figured it all out; I probably never will. Experimentation is still my second name.

(This is a joke, it’s not actually my second name. Although I’d forgive you for thinking that, as Tiamo also isn’t a common name. It means “I love you” in Italian. No, I’m not Italian either.)

But below is a list of things that are generally true.

  • I do something new with every book. (New structure, include images, special viewpoint, anything.)
  • I write for all ages or kids/young adults.
  • I write fantasy or science-fiction.
  • I prefer efficient, practical and clear prose. (Somewhat of a necessity if you want stories to be readable by people of basically any age.)
  • At the same time, I prefer gray and complex stories. Because that’s just how the world is and any story that is too streamlined feels simplistic and boring to me. (Might also have to do with my hyperactive brain.)
  • I’d rather write a new story with the lessons I learned, than be stuck editing a story already written. Quantity over quality, because quantity breeds quality.

I’m open to all feedback, ideas, suggestions, whatever. I don’t think my books are perfect—in fact, I’m an artist, so I naturally think everything I do is terrible. If my readers don’t understand it … then I made the mistake and wrote a story that wasn’t clear enough.

And your illness? Your personal situation?

Honestly, it’s just a permanent factor in my life, so I often forget to even tell people about it or factor it in. I almost left it out of this “about me” page, even though almost everything about me was shaped by the illness!

The best summary? I’ve learned a lot about health over the past 10+ years of being chronically ill. I developed habits to limit the impact of my illness, such as …

  • Exercising 30–60 minutes every single day.
  • Staying physically active in general. (I write standing up … on top of a balance board. I also have a deskbike so I can cycle while working.)
  • Also staying mentally active. (That’s where my productivity comes from, and my mindset of “quantity over quality”. By challenging myself and working hard every day, I can move past my trauma about school and illness. Movement creates movement; stasis will remain stasis.)
  • Keeping good mental health. (I tell myself, several times each day, that things will work out. If I just keep doing the good habits, things will be fine. At the same time, I forbid any negative thoughts about situations out of my control.)

As such, if you look at the word counts on the front page, don’t assume those are “normal”. Nor assume that all those words are literal pages of published books.

Where do the tallies come from?

  • I write a lot of words … and also throw away a lot of words. I can write a full book in two weeks, then see half of it is rubbish, so I write the whole book again in two weeks. (I’m an improviser, not a planner.)
  • I also maintain lots of other projects that involve writing. (Such as Pandaqi Blog with diaries about the development of my games.) Most of those are also added to the word total for a day.

So … does that answer your questions?

Do you use AI for your writing?

No, I do not. This might change in the future, though I deem that unlikely right now.

If you’ve seen my other work, you’ll know I sometimes use generative image AI for graphics. Especially for my board games. It allows me to get an end result way more quickly than if I’d done it by hand. Complex illustration has always been my weak spot and the thing I usually enjoy the least in any project. If this AI didn’t exist, however flawed or rudimentary at the moment, all those games of mine probably didn’t exist either.

I experimented with using AI for writing. It is obviously a powerful tool that can help when you’re stuck and provide great prose on the spot. But all in all, it was not faster nor more enjoyable than doing everything entirely on my own.

I also tried to use it to translate my Saga of Life stories from Dutch to English. The results were the same. The translation must be checked anyway, because it makes loads of errors and even completely changes facts or removes part of the story. And if we’re doing that, we’re now slower and less creative than if I’d translated manually.

So why use it?

This question is asked a lot. People really fear that AI will take over all jobs and make writing meaningless. This makes me sad. Not because they are wrong: AI will take over most jobs and change the world. But because it’s a consequence of people being taught that you should only do something if you can be paid and successful with it.

Yes, AI will lower the barrier of entry and flood the market even more (with novels of varying quality). That’s not even a bad thing, considering the garbage Hollywood puts out each year. It will raise the bar for what’s considered a sellable novel, with all its tools to improve your prose and plotting.

Why should that change how much you enjoy writing? Why should that stop you from writing that story you always wanted to tell?

Learn to enjoy the process, not the end result. It’s the key to pretty much everything in life.

That’s why I will only start using AI for writing if it provides substantial benefits in quality and speed, without destroying my ability to be creative and enjoy the process.