Rori Shay, author of the Elected series, has a new short story in the upcoming anthology Athena’s Daughter’s 2, an all-female sci-fi and fantasy anthology from Silence in the Library Publishing. Athena’s Daughter’s 2 is now available for pre-order.

We talked to Rori Shay about her writing process, her influences, and her upcoming work.


Q: Could you tell us a bit about your upcoming story “The Pendant” in Athena’s Daughter’s 2?

A: Sure!  It’s a prequel to the ELECTED trilogy.  It’s about a mom who’s asked to give up her most valuable possession to aid in her son’s quest.  The thing is, she doesn’t agree with what her son’s about to do, and his quest leaves the country without a leader.  It’s a story about duty versus desire and a mother’s love.
Q: Your short story “The Pendant” is based on a longer work of yours, “ELECTED.” How do you approach a short story differently than a novel?

A: It is a totally different process.  For the longer novels, of which there are three in the Elected Series, I wrote a detailed outline for each one.  For the short story I just had an idea of what would happen and got right into writing.


Q: Do you have any advice for authors who are struggling to write their first novel?

My advice for first time authors is to create an outline.  It doesn’t have to be much, just the bare bones of the story.  Then keep adding to it, and make breaks for chapters after anything major happens.


Q: Do you remember the first piece of sci-fi you ever wrote? What was it about and when did you write it?

A: Yep, it was ELECTED.  Before that book, I’d only ever written children’s picture books and a women’s fiction novel.  I got really into the dystopian books for YA and decided to create my own in which I delved into the science.  I got tired of reading about dystopias where you had to guess how the earth was ruined.  I wanted to tell readers exactly how it happened and weave in climate change as an important topic.


Q: What are some of the books that you read growing up? How do you think they influenced your later writing, if they did?

A: Roald Dahl.  I’ve read almost everything he’s written, and his style and creativity definitely influenced my writing.


Q: What do you suggest we do to increase representation of women in sci-fi and fantasy?

A: Read them!  Support them!  Let them know that men aren’t the only techy sciencey people who can write sci-fi and fantasy!  Women can write it too!  Girl Power!


Rori Shay is a strategic management consultant living in the Seattle area with her family, black lab, and cat.  In the writing world, Rori is primarily know for her science fiction trilogy,The Elected Series.  She enjoys running, reading, snow-shoeing, pumpkin-picking, and right now…writing the third ELECTED novel!  Rori is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

You can follow Rori on Twitter at @RoriShayWrites or email her directly at rorishay(@)gmail (dot)com.