As you know, we’ve been visiting with co-authors of Running Wild Press’s Anthology of Stories, Volume 2. Today, I would like to welcome Tori Eldridge to my blog. Tori wrote “Life After Breath” in the Anthology.
Man, I thought I was badass because I own a sword and a couple of tomahawks, but Tori Eldridge puts me to shame. Let’s get to the deets. First, here’s the first paragraph of “Life After Breath”:
The acrid tang of seawater and kelp clung to my skin and pierced my sinuses. The coast had been like this for days. A: a thick marine layer, trapped the heat around my legs and bit my face with cold, wet fog.
Tori, what inspired you to write “Life After Breath?”
I lived in the boonies of Malibu for twenty-two years and habitually broke my writing day with a hike up the mountains or a walk along the coast. One day, I headed out in the summer heat and got caught in a fast moving fog that was so dense it swallowed the shore and absorbed all sound except for the caw of a pair of crows racing to escape. Rather than return home, I continued walking and let my imagination run wild.
Sounds like a pretty surreal experience. It’s obvious you carried the tone of that day into the story.
What would you like readers to take away from “Life After Breath?”
I’d like the readers to delve into pathos of love, loss, horror, and redemption and come out of the story with a renewed joy for life.
How long have you been writing?
Writing is a relatively new career for me. I began my journey as an actress, singer, dancer on Broadway, television, and film before I tried my hand at writing screenplays in the late 80s. I wrote my first novel in the 90s, followed by a non-fiction about physical and emotional protection a decade later (after I earned a 5th degree black belt in To Shin Do Ninjutsu), but didn’t commit to pursuing writing as a career until six years ago.
Oh, is that all?
Do you write full-time?
Yes. I write almost every day. And because, I’m an immersive type of person, I no longer teach Ninjutsu, sing professionally, or perform in theatrical or TV/film productions. However, that’s not to say that I support myself and my family through writing. My husband does an excellent job of that, a blessing which allowed me to “stay at home” with our kids (not counting the fourteen trips to Honolulu to shoot motion capture for Final Fantasy or the tri-annual trips to various ninja seminars!) and now affords me the luxury to write full-time.
Do you only write short fiction?
Although I have several published short stories, I consider myself to be, first and foremost, a novelist. It’s a far more immersive process that requires a marathon mindset and pacing. Fortunately, I’m a self-disciplined, self-motivated person, and organized. I’m good at mapping out and accounting for my progress, which is similar to my method of outlining. Before I being the actual writing, I have the acts and scenes outlined with brief snippets describing their purpose (ie. plot advancement, character development, important info, etc.). Naturally, this changes along the way. But it’s a great comfort to have a road map of the race and an idea of how long each segment should take to accomplish.
What does your typical “writing day” look like?
I’m a morning person, so I like to begin my creative work as soon as I’ve fixed my tea and set my laptop on the bistro counter. I’m also a kinetic person (having been a lifelong dancer, ninja, athlete), so I maintain my physical health by standing for the first portion of my writing day (anywhere between eleven and one). I like to snack while I write so there are meals and nuts while standing. Then I break for lunch and switch locations where I’ll either continue with creative work or switch to writing business types of tasks. Having a tiny MacBook and being an agile human, I find some rather amusing locations and positions! When I call it quits, I take a walk or hike in the hills. Then I’m on to other non-writing tasks.
Annnnnd that is why you are so fit and I’m over here planning a wake for my curvy fit pants.
What are you currently reading?
I’m reading The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison and listening to Ararat by Christopher Golden.
Other than this spectacular anthology, do you have any recent or upcoming releases you’d like to tell us about?
I have a short story written for a disaster relief anthology coming out in the spring and I’m hoping for a book deal soon on my mystery/thriller about a modern-day female ninja with Joy Luck Club family issues that my agent is shopping. Meanwhile, I’ve got stories in Never Fear The Apocalypse and Never Fear The Tarot.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Patience and diligent effort wins the day. Whether you’re writing short stories or novels, the process takes far longer than you imagine. Enjoy the process and it will become its own reward.
That is certainly true.
Where can readers learn more about you and your works?
I have a brand new website! It’s gorgeous with tons free content–my Mindful Musings blog, the 57 podcasts from my Empowered Living Radio show, podcasts interviews with me as the guest–as well as links to all my books. I hope your readers will check it out. http://torieldridge.com
I hope folks will check you out. Thank you for being here. I’m away to chop up some carrot sticks. With my dumb sword.
Check out My Interviews for more opening paragraphs from great Running Wild Press authors like Tori Eldridge.