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Episode Info: A full transcript of this episode can be found at http://thegrittygritty.libsyn.com/001-interview-with-tori-eldridge-author-of-the-ninja-daughter.  Dharma Kelleher: From Dark Pariah Press in Phoenix, Arizona comes The Gritty Gritty, a podcast highlighting #OwnVoices in crime fiction. I'm your host Dharma Kelleher. In today's episode, I'll be discussing two of the books being launched by Agora, the new imprint from Polis Books focused on diversity in crime fiction. First, I talked with author Tori Eldridge, whose upcoming action thriller, THE NINJA DAUGHTER centers around Lily Wong, a fierce young woman who has dedicated her life to the protection of other women. Tori Eldridge: Lily Wong is a Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja in Los Angeles. Dharma Kelleher: Later, I provide a review of John Vercher's recently-released debut novel about a bi-racial black man, passing for white, who is forced to confront the lies of his past, while facing the truth of his present when his best friend, just released from prison, involves him in a hate crime. Our guest today on The Gritty Gritty is Tori Eldridge, author of the debut novel The Ninja Daughter, which comes out this November from Agora, the new diversity-focused crime imprint from Polis books. Tori was born in Hawaii, performed as an actor, singer, and dancer on Broadway, television, and in film, and attained a fifth-degree black belt in To Shin Do Ninjutsu. Tori currently resides in Los Angeles. Welcome, Tori. Tori Eldridge: Hi. Thanks for inviting me. Dharma Kelleher: Oh, thank you for being on this episode. What really intrigued me about this story was the concept of studying the art of being a ninja, and I'm talking about the literal art of being a ninja, not the metaphorical American Ninja Warrior, but the actual martial art of ninjutsu. And so, I'm curious what drew you to the study of being a ninja and what does the word ninja mean to you? Tori Eldridge: Oh my goodness, ninja has come to mean to everybody this word for awesome, right? It's a generic word for awesome, tack it onto anything--social media ninja, tech ninja. And I love that. I love that ninja is associated with something that is just so incredibly cool and well done and out there and just awesome. And so in many ways, I have to admit I do like that about it as well. What I was drawn to with To-Shin Do, which is the modern evolution of a twelve-hundred-year-old lineage of ninjutsu is how all-encompassing this art is. This body movement that's so natural that it's hard to learn but once you do it's so natural. It's almost like, I know right, that is almost like magic where the more you do, the better you get; the less you do, the more effect you cause, and the harder it is for anybody to see. I mean, how amazing is that? So it's really magical. Dharma Kelleher: Now are there a lot of women who study it? Tori Eldridge: There are. There are. Way more now than back in the day, even in To Shin Do. We have a worldwide thing. When I was re...
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