Today, Sept. 15th, marks the six-month anniversary of when I became a published author, and I want to celebrate!
First, a bit about the Anthology and your story.
A number of people have commented that the Anthology has got a beautifully evocative cover, and that it hints at many varied stories inside.
What part of the cover reflects/reminds you of your story?
There’s an element of nostalgia in the cover of our Anthology that reflects my protagonist’s state of mind as she strolls into an ominous fog along the beach. Memories of her late husband and regret for what they’ve lost is a driving force.
What element would you hypothetically add to the cover to hint at your story?
I would have loved for the anthology cover to suggest the ocean or, better yet, a glimpse of a dark and grasping kelp bed. That would have been awesome.
Now a bit about your writing in general:
What do you like best to write?
I gravitate toward suspense, often, as with my short story Life After Breath, involving psychological tension and some aspect of the supernatural. I also enjoy stories steeped in culture, either from my own multi-cultural heritage or other intriguing and especially exotic cultures. And naturally, as a 5th degree black belt ninja, I do tend to sprinkle in some action. *wink*
What’s the biggest stretch for you to write?
The biggest stretch for me to write is anything I know nothing about. On the other hand, I love learning. So an assignment that takes me out of my comfort zone always leads me to some cool research from which an unexpected story emerges.
Where do your stories fall on the plot-driven vs. character-driven spectrum?
Right in the middle. I like to keep a story moving with action, turning points, reversals, and climax. But at the same time, I am fascinated by the human condition—the commonality of our internal struggles with love, loss, fear, integrity… everything that speaks to the core of what makes us human, as well as our unique perspectives that make us so different. I love those gray areas where the line between villain and saint get muddled and you find out too late you’ve have it all wrong.
What authors did you love most as a kid? Now? What authors have influenced your writing most?
As a kid, I was often too serious for my own good, so my favorite authors were Pearl S. Buck, Leon Uris, James Clavell, and later Stephen King, Ann Rice, and Michael Crichton.
When I became serious about writing, I paid attention to Ken Follett, Barbara Kingsolver, F. Paul Wilson, David Morrell, Jacqueline Carey (Kushiel series), Lisa See, Jonathan Maberry, and Lisa Gardner.
Is there a place that you’ve lived (or visited) that most influences your writing?
I was born and raised in Hawaii, which is unlike anywhere in the world. Not only do Hawaiians have our own rich culture, language, and heritage but we also benefit from the cultures of people who populated our islands during the plantation era, most notably the Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Samoans, and Caucasian missionaries, seafarers, and colonists. Many cultures. Many perspectives. Growing up in Hawaii has not only influenced my writing but how I look at the world.
What’s the first piece you wrote that you’re still proud of or happy with?
My first short story, Call Me Dumpling, was published in Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2014 issue and remains one of my favorites. In fact, it inspired a novel and a potential mystery thriller series.
What have you been up to since the Anthology came out? Any other news?
In the last six months, I finished the revisions of one novel, began the sequel to another, wrote a short story, and am currently working on a new novel inspired by another of my short stories. It sounds like a lot, but I’ve been approaching it all in a relaxed way since I’m still building back my strength and agility from hip surgery!
What do you plan to work on next?
I’m having a blast writing my dystopian futuristic thriller.
How can readers connect with you?
Readers can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, of course, my website torieldridge.com. Just google Tori Eldridge and I’ll pop up everywhere.
Thank you for helping me celebrate our Anthology’s semi-anniversary, Tori! I wish you the best of success with all your projects.
UPDATE Dec. 8th, 2018
Exciting news! Tori’s story Life After Breath has been chosen as one of RWP Readers’ Choice Best of 2018*. Congratulations, Tori!
*Check back for more results soon.