Thursday, August 3, 2023

Q&A with Zoraida Córdova




Zoraida Córdova is the author of the new novel Kiss the Girl. Her many other books include the novel The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina. She lives in New York City.


Q: What inspired you to write Kiss the Girl, and how did you create your character Ariel?


A: Disney’s The Little Mermaid is my favorite movie. Ariel was the first heroine that I imprinted on. I’ve always loved how brave she was to leave the only world she’s ever known to chase after her heart’s desire. 


When it came to writing my version of Ariel, I wanted to keep her rebellious and curious nature. There’s something really powerful about choosing your own future as opposed to doing what your family wants. My version of Ariel had to embody that spirit, too.


As for what I wanted to change—definitely the relationship with Ursula. I wanted to give the “sea witch” a backstory that allowed her to redeem herself. 


Q: What do you think the novel says about fame?


A: It says there is a lot of pressure on people to be perfect, and, in many ways, everything to everyone. No one can sustain that. 


Q: This is the third in the Meant to Be series--how would you describe the relationship among the books?


A: We all share a love for Disney, and interpret out respective princesses as modern women, but they are complete standalones. 


Q: How would you describe the dynamic between Ariel and Eric?


A: I always struggle to connect to protagonists who don’t have strong female friendships that aren’t just sexual. Eric having a found family of independent people who share in his dream just made sense. He’s a hero I want people to root for.


The same goes for Ariel. She needed her sisters with her, even through text. They are both stronger with their families at their sides. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I have an anthology I co-edited with Natalie C. Parker called Mermaids Never Drown, and it features 13 other best-selling and award-winning authors. 


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I hope you love Ariel and Eric’s journey! 


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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