Meet Author Tori Eldridge
Tori Eldridge is a Honolulu-born writer who challenges perspective and empowers the spirit. Her debut novel, The Ninja Daughter, is the first book in the Lily Wong series and was inspired by her debut short story featured in Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2014. Other short stories have been published in several anthologies, and her screenplay The Gift earned a semi-finalist place for the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship.
Tori is of Hawaiian, Chinese, Norwegian descent and graduated from Punahou School with classmate Barack Obama. She holds a fifth-degree black belt in To-Shin Do Ninjutsu and has traveled the USA teaching seminars on the ninja arts, weapons, and women’s self-protection. Tori has performed under her maiden name (Tori Brenno) as an actress, singer, dancer on Broadway, television, and film. She and her husband, Tony, live in Los Angeles where they raised two wonderful sons.
The cultural diversity in Tori’s upcoming novel, The Ninja Daughter, stems from her own multi-cultural heritage—a Norwegian father from North Dakota and a Chinese-Hawaiian mother from Maui who met, married, and raised Tori’s sisters in Japan. This unusual family melting pot, combined with the amalgamation of Asian-Pacific Islander traditions that make up modern Hawaiian culture, gives Tori a unique perception, deep fascination, and an inclusive appreciation for world culture.
Tori “Myotoshi” Eldridge holds a 5th degree black belt in To Shin Do Ninjutsu (the contemporary evolution founded by Stephen K. Hayes) and an additional black belt in the Korean martial art Tang Soo Do. Tori has taught Taijutsu (ninja body techniques), archaic and modern weapon use and disarmament, self-defense, and empowerment to students ranging from military and law enforcement to moms and kids. Tori enhances her awareness and inner calm with Tendai Buddhist practices and daily meditation. After years of intensive study, she was awarded the warrior name Myotoshi (Warrior of the Unfathomable Blade) to signify her deeply layered nature and never-ceasing quest for hidden ninja secrets.
Tori began her professional acting career in Honolulu where she guest starred on The Brian Keith Show. Following her goal to perform on Broadway, Tori understudied Rose in The Little Prince and the Aviator with Michael York, toured the country with Anthony Quinn in Zorba, workshopped Marvin Hamlisch’s Broadway musical Smile, and played Tantomile in the original first national company of Cats. From there, she moved to Los Angeles and landed a series regular spot on The Love Boat as one of The Love Boat Mermaids (along with Teri Hatcher), co-starred in a television pilot, appeared in half dozen episodes of Valley of the Dolls, did uncountable voice overs, performed the motion capture for Aki and Jane in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, sang in clubs, and recorded with Brian Wilson.
Tori graduated from Punahou School with President Barack Obama before moving to the mainland to attend Northwestern University. From Chicago, she moved to Manhattan, Boston, D.C., and toured across the United States before settling in Los Angeles. Of the twenty-nine states and nine countries Tori has visited, her greatest adventures have come from book research trips to Bali, Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.
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