I’ll admit this post has been a long time coming, and it’s my fault for not being able to write down, but hey, better late than never, right?
Well, this all started because the lovely author Zoraida Córdova (author of Labyrinth Lost), came to Puerto Rico on a writing retreat. This wasn’t an official visit by any means, so I, with a group of bookworms all met up with Zoraida at the local bookstore, The Bookmark, and we lounged around and chatted and had a generally good time.
Zoraida herself was the COOLEST. We joked around about bad book covers and different author experiences, she told us what some of her favorite books were, we talked about Yuri on Ice, and overall the meet-up feel like it was a gathering amongst friends. Also, not to brag, but she showed us what the cover of the paperback version of Labyrinth Lost looked like before anyone else.😎
Like I said before, Zoraida answered a lot of questions, so I tried to compile them as best I could here. I didn’t copy the answers verbatim, so I’ll be paraphrasing. Don’t worry, I took extensive notes. 🙂
1. Los Lagos is such a unique setting in Labyrinth Lost, where did you draw inspiration from to create it?
Zoraida is Ecuadorian, and one of the sources she used to write Los Lagos was a place in Ecuador called Las Peñas.
Originally, she says, Los Lagos was going to be based on Dante’s Inferno and the 9 circles of Hell. In each “circle”, Alex would face a different fear.
2. How did writing Labyrinth Lost differ from writing any of your other books?
If you didn’t know, Zoraida also writes New Adult romances. She said that with writing New Adult, she feels she has more leniency when writing romantic and sexual scenes, whereas in YA she tends to write more action-centric and coming of age novels.
Writing Labyrinth Lost was different for her because she felt that Alex’s voice was more difficult to capture than she thought. Alex had a certain darkness that she felt was difficult to capture because it was so complicated.
3. What can we expect to see in book 2, Circle Unbroken, or in future ventures in the series?
First of all, Circle Unbroken will focus on Lula (Alex’s sister). We got a glimpse of Lula and her sassy, yet vulnerable side, and now this book will focus entirely on her and dealing with the events that occurred in book one. This book will feature all-new friendships, and it will be set in Brooklyn.
The third book in the series will focus on Rose’s POV (Alex’s other sister), and it will take place in a magical setting (no spoilers! :)).
Zoraida told us that if she were given a chance, she’d love to tell Nova’s story. I hope she gets the chance because I loved Nova in the book!
She’s also going to be featured in a feminist witch anthology! You can see more info, here.
4. In Labyrinth Lost we see how family plays a huge part in Alex’s story; why did you decide to include them?
Zoraida remarked how important family is in Latinx households, so she wanted to bring something similar to this book. She wanted to make the family important, so she wanted to show how Alex’s magic is tied to her family.
5. Can you take us a bit through your writing process?
Drafting. She drafts a lot by hand, and especially drafts every scene. She even took out the papers in which she was drafting some scenes, and told us that if she lost them she would be seriously screwed.
Here’s how Zoraida imagined her characters:
Emeraude Toubia as Alex
Jesse Williams (maybe a younger version, haha) as Nova
Neelam Gill as Rishi
7. Fun Facts
– Rishi is based on Zoraida’s best friend in high school, and Zoraida wanted to write a character that could be the light to Alex’s darkness.
-Rishi’s full name is Rishima, which means Moonbeam.
-A character from Zoraida’s other YA series, The Vicious Deep, makes a small cameo in Labyrinth Lost.
-The Maloscuros in Labyrinth Lost could best be explained as “Dementors without the capes”. Zoraida said she wanted to name them “Cucos“, like the Latin American Bogeyman, but “cuco” didn’t quite sound so menacing to her editor (I RESENT THIS BECAUSE I WAS TERRIFIED OF EL CUCO AS A KID).
-Labyrinth Lost was also influenced by Charmed, the TV series. Instead of charms, Alex’s family would perform cantos, and they didn’t need to rhyme (because Zoraida said rhyming was just annoying, haha).
Books to Look Out For
I asked Zoraida to give us some book recommendations, and here’s what she came up with:
By Latinx Authors:
Some Great Fantasy Reads:
If You Love Mythology:
Her Most Recent Read:
Other Books by Zoraida: