Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she learned to speak English by watching Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on repeat. Her favorite things are sparkly like merdudes, Christmas, and New York City at night.


Tell us five random facts about yourself?

* I used to have a goat in Ecuador, even though we lived in the city. It was a gift.

* I love trying out baking and cooking recipes.

* When I was little I wanted to be either a flight attendant (Pan Am style) or Miss Universe.

* I dress up for all of Halloween week with a different costume.

* English is my second language.

What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scene is the first time Tristan shifts into a merman. I wanted it to be serious, but still funny. It’s the equivalent of getting your first period at the mall with all your friends around. Naturally, I love the rest of the book, but this scene is such a personal moment for Tristan that it’s hard not to sympathize with him.

Coney Island is such a fun setting for Tristan’s story. How did you choose Coney Island and does it have any special meaning?

Coney Island has a long history. Not all of it good. I’m especially drawn to its original romantic glamour during the late 1800s when it was a bustling boardwalk. The home of the first wooden roller coasters and the first hot dog! New York City really did it injustice by letting it fall apart in some ways. But you still see the life it has in the Wonder Wheel, the restaurants and bars, and the Sideshows by the Seashore. PLUS, the mermaid parade every June.

I try to spend many of my summer days there. It was actually there, sunbathing, that The Vicious Deep came to me.

Do you have things you need in order to write i.e. coffee, cupcakes, music?

When I write, I need visual aids. Pictures are my biggest form of inspiration, next to real people and music. Even magazine ads. I was flipping through a Vogue once and found a shot of a guy with such an intense stare, not even supermodel hoaky, but something special. I kept him for a Tristan visual!

Other than that, I need beverages. They vary by writing mood/stage.

Happy- coffee
Tired- coffee
Sick- tea
Lost + frustrated – bourbon
On a roll! – wine
Last chapter/sentence – champagne!

I love the idea of mermen. What drew you to telling this story? How did you decide what your merpeople would be like?

I chose mermen over mermaids because I wanted to tell a reverse The Little Mermaid. In the beginning, it was more of a love story. The love is still there, it’s just more complicated that it was when it first occurred to me. As the world kept building, I found there was more to Tristan than just being a heartbreaker. Sometimes I see people, or even hear a name, and it sparks inside me. It was like this at Coney Island one summer. I was checking out this lifeguard (shamelessly, I should say) and I put him in different situations. I wondered who he was, why did he stare at the sea this way? was he just bored or did he feel some kind of connection? Why is there such a close circle of sunbathing girls near his lifeguard post thinking he isn’t noticing! That was the birth of Tristan.

The rest of the world fell into place. I’m also a mermaid freak and have been my whole life. I didn’t have a strategy or a book when it came to world building. I went with what the story called for. I hope everyone enjoys my take on these merpeople.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on book 2 in Tristan’s adventure, The Savage Blue.

Where to find Zoraida


Book synopsis: 

When an unnatural riptide sweeps lifeguard Tristan Hart out to sea for three days and then dumps him back on the shore of Coney Island, it’s the start of the Sea Court claiming its own. Suddenly, Tristan’s girlfriend dramas and swimming championship seem like distant worries as he discovers the truth: he’s a Merman. Now Tristan must fight for his life, the lives of his friends, and his humanity (if he still wants it), while competing in a race for a throne as ancient as the gods. Seductive, duplicitous, and with an agenda of their own, these are not the mermaids you know.

Quiz: What is your pet’s Ilvermorny house?

Why should you be the only one who gets a second wizarding house?

1:00 pm EDT, July 29, 2016

Will your pet be sorted into the same Ilvermorny house as you, or will you have to disown them for joining your rival?

Step aside Hogwarts, there’s a new wizarding school in town (or rather, across the sea)! With a new school comes new houses, and a new sorting test. You might’ve gone through an identity crisis after taking the test for yourself, but you’re not the only one who needs sorting. That furry, scaly, or feathery friend needs to know where they belong too, and we’re here to do just that! Last time we helped you find out what Hogwarts house your pet would be sorted into, so now we’ll help you figure out what Ilvermorny house they belong in.

It’s typical for pets to have similar personalities to their owners, so maybe your pet will end up in the same house as you. But to those who have house rivalries, brace yourselves: It’s also possible your pet will end up in a different house than you, maybe even your rival house! Will you be saying ‘bye bye birdie,’ or do you thrive in competition? That probably depends on your Hogwarts and Ilvermorny house.

Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or reptile, all pets are welcome at Hypable’s Ilvermorny sorting ceremony! Take the quiz below and let us know where your pet’s loyalties lie, and be sure to take it for each of your pets (unless they’re a squib. Is there an American name for squib?). Don’t want any of them to feel left out!

Now that you know your pet’s Ilvermorny house, maybe you’ll want to decorate their bed with their house crest (shoutout to the Hufflepuffs)! Or maybe you’ll forbid them from entering your room if they’re in a different house (shoutout to the Slytherins)!

Did your pet get the same Ilvermorny house as you?

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?