Meet the Author: Rori Shay

Today, we have the privilege of hearing from a brand new author: Rori Shay. The synopsis for her debut novel has me hooked and I hope you enjoy meeting Rori as much as I did interviewing her.

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Your first book, ELECTED, is set to release in 2014. Share a favorite line/passage with us and anything else we should know.

People always say the first line of a book should be particularly telling, so I’ll share that one.  “One blonde curl is wrapped lusciously around my pointer finger.”  It’s one of my favorite lines because it signifies my main character’s longing for something she’s not allowed to have.  Aloy is a seventeen-year-old girl in the year 2185.  She’s forced to pretend to be a boy so she can take her country’s presidential role, but she desperately wishes she could show her true self.

Also, here’s a short synopsis of ELECTED:  In the year 2185 seventeen-year-old Aloy must masquerade as a boy to take her country’s presidential role and save her people from a deteriorating political and environmental crisis. 

Aloy is a girl, but no one can know that. If they did, she would be executed and East Country would fall into civil war. Her father is the Elected, the leader of the country as her grandfather and great-grandfather were before. The role should be going to her older brother but he disappeared eighteen years ago. With no one else to take his place, Aloy’s parents cut her hair and told her that she could never be a girl again.

Aloy has prepared all her life to become the Elected and uphold East Country’s laws as strictly as her father did. These laws, the Accords, are a strategy for survival created after an environmental crisis nearly destroyed the Earth. Countries must be isolated to prevent war. A woman’s primary job is childbirth, and they cannot rule.  Technology is absolutely not tolerated, in hopes that pollution would never reach catastrophic levels again.

In two weeks Aloy will be eighteen and take her father’s place as the Elected.  She hopes to rule as he did. But she is inheriting a different country than what her parents had. The long dormant Technology Faction is coming out of the shadows. For years they have called for bringing back the advanced technology of the past; now they incite riots in the country and attempt to assassinate Aloy. As turmoil grows within the East Country, cryptic threats come from beyond their borders: minerals disappear from mines and strange technological relics appear in the hills. After generations of isolation Aloy knows nothing about Mid Country, their only neighbor. And her country doesn’t have the resources to defend itself.

As she tries to sort out what is happening Aloy is forced to marry a woman, while struggling with feelings for the veterinarian’s son, Griffin. He knows her secret and claims to love her. He brings out the femininity in her that she has suppressed for so long. But she cannot shake the notion that he is somehow connected to the upheaval in East Country. Aloy knows that she is responsible to keep her people safe, but she’s not sure if she can. Or if she can even keep herself alive long enough to try.

I’d love to know what people think of the synopsis.  They can email me at rorishay@gmail.com or twitter me @RoriShayWrites.

You’ve got the chance to be a best-selling author or live forever, which scenario sounds more tempting?

I’m tempted to say live forever because then I’d have all the time in the world to do so many great things, but I think it would be immensely hard to live forever while watching all your loved ones die off.  So I’m going to pick best-selling author.

 Yeah, that is a tough one…

If you could live in California or New York, which one would you choose?

I was born in California but lived most of my life in a suburb of New York.  I love both, but I’m going to pick California because of the gorgeous weather. 

What, you mean you like sunshine and diversity? 🙂 Me too!

Okay, how about Ireland or England?

I’ve visited both—Ireland once and England three times.  I thought the people in Ireland were some of the nicest of all the European countries I’ve ever visited, but of the two countries I feel most at home in England.  Plus, England has the royals, who are fascinating!

My wife and I went to Ireland last year and fell in love with the country… and each other.

What is your favorite spoof movie (I like Scary Movie)?

I love the Scream movies.  In fact, it was the first horror movie I ever watched, if you can believe it.  Growing up, I was so afraid to watch Friday the 13th any real horror movie, so watching Scream was a good introduction.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

Yes, I’m almost finished writing the second book in the Elected trilogy.  I think the second book is even better than the first.  My writing keeps getting better, and the second book is even more action-packed.

Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?

My favorite author will always be Roald Dahl of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame.  I’d ask him how he got his first book published because I always like asking famous authors how they started out.  It’s always different.

Lightning round:

Ocean or mountains? Ocean definitely, although I got engaged on a mountain.

Apples or oranges? Oranges

Skittles or M & M’s? M & Ms hands-down!

Happy or sad ending to a novel? Definitely happy ending.  I don’t even really want to read a book with a sad ending unless at least the main character somehow grows in a beneficial way.

Beer or wine? Wine…from Linganore Winery!  Mmm…peach wine!

Flying or driving? Hmmm…I think flying.  No matter how many times I fly, I’m still enthralled looking out the window at the world below.

Hunger Games or Harry Potter? This is such a hard one.  I love both so much.  I suppose Hunger Games because it helped inspire me to write ELECTED.

You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take only three things with you. What are you bringing?

I’d love to be nostalgic and say something like “my photo album” or “a writing tablet,” but I’m more realistic than that.  I’d want to get the heck off the island and back to my family, so I’d take:  flares, a two-way radio, and strong silk fabric to make a sail!

You only get one flare 🙂

You’re able to sit down with any president in United States history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him over to your house or meet him at the White House?

I’ll meet him at the White House.  I’d choose Nixon and get him to start investing in alternate energy cars way back then.  Think how the world would be different right now if that one thing was different. 

Connect with Rori Shay:

Rori’s Website

Rori on Twitter

Rori Shay lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, daughters, black lab, and cat – just not quite in the same exciting circumstances as Elected’s main character, Aloy.  She enjoys running, gardening, reading, swimming, snow-shoeing, volunteering with the Dwelling Place non-profit, and right now…writing the second ELECTED novel!

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