Zoraida Córdova (Guayaquil, 1987) is an Ecuadorian-American author of fantasy novels for children and young adults, as well as romance novels. Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, she immigrated to the United States at a young age, embracing English as her second language. Growing up in Hollis, Queens, Córdova’s passion for writing was ignited by the works of authors like Amelia Atwater Rhodes. She dedicated herself to refining her skills, attending writing camps and conferences throughout her college years. Her notable achievements include the Brooklyn Brujas series, an exploration of identity, family, and magic. The series, which won her an International Latino Book Award for its first installment, stands as a testament to her storytelling prowess. In addition to her acclaimed series, Córdova has made significant contributions to the Star Wars canon universe, including her novel “Star Wars: Convergence (The High Republic).” Furthermore, she displays her versatility by writing romance novels under the pen name Zoey Castile, notably the popular Happy Endings series.
Zoraida Córdova is an accomplished Ecuadorian-American author known for her diverse range of works spanning children’s books and romance novels. With her captivating storytelling and commitment to inclusivity, Córdova has created several popular series, including the Brooklyn Brujas series and her contributions to the Star Wars canon universe.
She studied English Literature and Latino Studies during her time at Hunter College, where she delved into the diverse literary landscape and explored the complexities of Latino culture. Additionally, she furthered her education at the University of Montana in Missoula. However, her deep passion for writing led her to prioritize her creative endeavors, sometimes neglecting her classes in order to dedicate time to crafting the book that would become her debut novel. While her formal education provided a strong foundation, it is Córdova’s innate storytelling abilities and dedication to her craft that have propelled her success as an author.
Early Life and Inspiration
Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and immigrated to the United States at a young age. Growing up in Hollis, Queens, she developed a passion for literature, influenced by her favorite books, including In the Forests of the Night and Demon in my View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes. Discovering Rhodes had published her first book at the age of 14, Córdova was inspired to embark on her own writing journey.
Brooklyn Brujas Series
One of Córdova’s most celebrated series is the Brooklyn Brujas series, a young adult fantasy series infused with elements of Latinx culture and inspired by Córdova’s Ecuadorian heritage. The series began with Labyrinth Lost, where readers are introduced to Alex, a bruja who rejects her magical powers and unintentionally makes her family disappear. The story follows Alex’s quest to rescue her loved ones in a mystical realm.
The second installment, Bruja Born, shifts the narrative focus to Lula, Alex’s sister, as she navigates the aftermath of a life-altering bus crash. Córdova’s decision to explore different perspectives enhances the depth and complexity of her magical world. The series explores themes of identity, family bonds, and the power of embracing one’s heritage.
Star Wars Canon Novels
Córdova has also made significant contributions to the Star Wars canon universe, enriching the expansive galaxy with her imaginative storytelling. In her novel “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate,” she takes readers on an adventure with Izzy and Jules, two best friends who find themselves on the run from smugglers and pirates. Córdova deftly captures the spirit of the Star Wars universe while crafting a thrilling and romantic tale.
Additionally, Córdova wrote the short story “You Owe Me a Ride” as part of the anthology “Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View.” Her contribution offers a unique perspective on the events of the original Star Wars film, A New Hope, through the eyes of supporting characters.
Zoey Castile and Romance Novels
In addition to her young adult and Star Wars works, Córdova writes romance novels under the pen name Zoey Castile. One of her notable series is the Happy Endings series, which draws inspiration from the beloved film Magic Mike. The series follows male strippers who find love amidst the vibrant and sensual world they inhabit.
Zoraida Córdova in conversation with Rebecca Roanhorse
Young Adult Novels
Vicious Deep Series
- The Vicious Deep (2012)
- The Savage Blue (2013)
- The Vast and Brutal Sea (2014)
- Brooklyn Brujas Series:
- Labyrinth Lost (2016)
- Bruja Born (2018)
- Untitled (2020)
- Hollow Crown Series:
- Incendiary (2020)
Middle Grade Fiction
- The Way to Rio Luna (2020)
Romance Novels (as Zoey Castile)
On the Verge Series
- Luck on the Line (2014)
- Love on the Ledge (2015)
- Life on the Level (2016)
Happy Endings Series
- Stripped (2018)
- Hired (2019)
- Flashed (2019)
Star Wars Canon Novels
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate (2019)
- Star Wars: The High Republic: Convergence (2022)
- You Owe Me a Ride in Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View (2017)
- Luz, Queen of Los Luceros in Hanging Garden (2017)
- Divine Are the Stars in Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft (2018)
- The Lost Nightsister in Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark (2020)
- Confessions of an Ecuadorkian in Come On In (2020)
- Vampires Never Say Die in Vampires Never Get Old (2020)
- Fantastic Worlds: Impossible Places (2021)
Anthologies (as Editor)
- Vampires Never Get Old (2020)
- The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina (2021)