Author Interview: Rori Shay!

Hey Everyone,

I’ve got a special treat for all of you today, an interview with fellow author and friend Rori Shay!


I first met Rori a couple of years ago at an SCBWI  conference  during a  critique session.  We’ve been helping each other with our  writing ever  since.  Rori has just released her first book,  Elected,  and is  promoting the rest of her series through kickstarter.  By  going to  kickstarter, you can check out her book, and pick up a  copy for only  $5!  If you contribute, and the kickstarter meets its  stretch goals, you  can get a copy of several other books, including  Book I of  The Phoenix Fallacy, for free!

 For all you readers out there, Elected is a sci-fi novel about a girl  named Aloy who is forced to masquerade as a man in order to help  her  people survive a devastated world, so check it out!  If you do,  please  leave a review on Amazon, and if you like it, pass it  around!

Now, onto the interview:

Jon: You’ve been really excited about this project since I first met you two years ago.  What inspired you to write Elected?  Why sci-fi?

Rori:  I woke up one morning with the general story in my head, and I quickly scribbled it all down on a notepad by the bed.  I didn’t necessarily intend it to be sci-fi, but that was just the story.  It had to be set in a future time when the world was suffering from a global eco-crisis, so that naturally set it up to be sci-fi.

Jon:  What were the inspirations behind Aloy’s character?

Rori:  People find out the significance of Aloy’s name in book 3 of the trilogy.  But Aloy’s inspiration comes from having to make hard decisions.  Being a leader always requires sacrifice, and this is a story of a young girl pulled in many different directions who has to rely on her inner strength to lead her the right way.  It’s up to the readers to decide if she’s always making the best decisions, but everything Aloy does is true to her character.  Inspiration for Aloy comes from my children, mom, grandmothers, and all my girl friends who exhibit strength, bravery, and conviction all the time.

Jon:  How long have you been writing for?

Rori:  Ever since I was in first grade.  I wrote a short story on a car ride with my parents, read it aloud in class, and was hooked on writing ever since.

Jon:  What’s been the biggest struggle while trying to get published?  What’s the biggest thing you learned from the process, either on the publishing side or on the writing side?

Rori:  It was definitely a process.  I took a long time to find an agent because I didn’t really know what I was doing with the query process and I didn’t have any connections in the industry.  But then I joined the Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and professionalized my approaches.  Then another rollercoaster upheaval changed the game again…  I had an agent and a publisher I worked with for over a year.  But then 1 month before Elected was about to come out, the publishing house went out of business.  I’d say the biggest thing I’ve learned is to research the publisher and talk to the authors first before signing on, especially if it’s a new organization.

Jon:  What advice would you give to other authors who want to publish a book?  What about sci-fi specifically?

Rori:  I’d say keep writing.  Even if you receive rejections, keep refining your craft and not giving up.  It only takes one yes.  Regarding sci-fi specifically, it helped to do a lot of research on cool technology that’s on the brink of release or is still in the years of making.  Adding those gadgets or science into the book helps to make it seem more realistic.

Jon:  What sort of issues or ideas would you hope readers come away with after reading Elected?

Rori:  I hope readers grasp onto the themes of environmental preservation and tolerance.  Those were the two biggest elements in Elected.

Jon:  Where do you head to next?

Rori:  I’m currently beginning edits of the second book in the series, Suspected, and writing the 3rd book (soon to be named).  And I have a picture book deal in the works as well!

Jon:  Thanks for the interview, Rori!  Can’t wait to see what happens!

Well, that about wraps it up over here today folks.  Please check out Elected, and don’t forget to keep sharing The Phoenix Fallacy, either!



I’ll be hard at work this summer on two primary projects, my physics engine, which I’m sure you’ll hear about over the next few months, and Book III.  I learned a lot from the last release alone, so there’s a lot of work to be done to ensure a successful release of the final book.  Please keep supporting the both of our books by reviewing and sharing them if you haven’t already!  Your support makes it a pleasure to work on them, instead of a slog!

See you in a few weeks!


One comment to Author Interview: Rori Shay!

  • Rori Shay  says:

    Thank you so much for having me on! And for all of your comments and critiques on ELECTED as I went through the writing process. I couldn’t ask for better writing critique partners!

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>