As we continue to celebrate the release of Wardens of Eternity, we are featuring a special “Author Spotlight” with Courtney Moulton!
Get your copy of Wardens of Eternity HERE.
Congratulations on the publication of your new book! What does it feel like to have Wardens of Eternity in the world?
I feel so happy and excited to finally get to share my book with the world. Wardens of Eternity went through so many incarnations over the past few years before I could fully realize the story. That’s partially due to waiting for the market to turn in my favor and partially due to finding the right story—or rather, getting to write the right story.
How would you describe Wardens of Eternity to someone who is interested in reading it?
Wardens of Eternity is Indiana Jones meets Wonder Woman! It’s an historical action adventure with lots of fantasy and is about a girl who uses her magic to try to save the world. There are meddling gods, lurking Nazis, vicious and beautiful monsters, immersive settings, and romance!
What was your inspiration for Wardens of Eternity?
This book first and foremost was born from my need to explore and understand my mixed heritage. At an early age I began studying where I came from and the incredible civilizations my ancestors built. I wanted to write an historical fantasy for a long time, but there was no place for it in the young adult market. I still felt there was a need for it, for people like myself who wanted more stories besides those inspired by Europe or North America. The idea of a powerful aesthetic also urged me on. I loved the image of a hazy dieselpunk city clashing with the hustle and bustle of Nile traffic and dusty ancient temples in the Egyptian desert. I wanted to write a book that dragged you into its world and was told from the point of view of a girl who had always wanted to find her place in the world, but learns to carve out her own place herself.
What do you hope readers take away from this new release?
Ziva embarks on a journey of self-acceptance and self-love, something we all experience in our lives. She specifically struggles with the way she looks and where she comes from. People are so determined to categorize everyone and fit us all into boxes so we can understand each other. This has caused us to focus way too much energy into finding our place and where we fit in. I hope readers of Wardens of Eternity feel inspired to make their own place in the world. I spent my adolescence trying to hide how I looked different and only when I was well into my twenties had I learned to love how I stood out. It takes a lot of courage to embrace being different and so many more of us are owning that all over the world. I have so much hope for future generations.
What makes this book special/unique, and why should readers be sure to place it on their TBR (To Be Read) list?
Wardens of Eternity is perfect for readers who love action adventure and strong female characters! If you’d love to get yourself immersed in 20thcentury Cairo and a dieselpunk New York City, then look no further. I feel this book is also unique because my goal was to bring the gods down to more our level, meaning not only are they major players in the plot, but they are just as human as the human characters are. They aren’t omniscient after all: they have histories and desires, heartbreaks and grudges. It was no easy task making immortal beings relatable for readers, but I lived for it. They were a BLAST to write!
In addition, I didn’t want to write a cliché tomb-raiding story; I wanted to bring early archeology to justice. Most books and movies set in countries colonialized by European nations don’t hold imperialism accountable for its damage. I felt a personal responsibility to plant thoughts in the minds of my readers, consciously trying not to be preachy, and to encourage them to question what they’ve been taught about imperialism in school.
What kind of impact did writing Wardens of Eternity have on you personally?
It feels incredible and freeing to be so honest about this subject, but it’s also very frightening and intimidating to talk about something I’m still trying to understand myself. I don’t claim to be any sort of authority. However, I know how I felt growing up, desperate to fit in with the girls around me when I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere. In order to write Wardens, I had to learn to be brave and say what I want to say and to express feelings I’ve suppressed for so long. I allowed myself to celebrate who I am as I drafted this book. I feel like I’ve grown so much as a person.
How are you reflected in Wardens of Eternity (or, how much of you is reflected in the book)?
This is the book of my heart in many ways. My heritage is mixed Sicilian, French, Algerian North African, Greek, and Syrian-Lebanese. People tend to want to categorize everything and everyone, and all my life people have tried to fit me into a box. When you’re a kid trying to find your place in the world, this only makes you feel like you don’t have one. I became obsessed with uncovering where I came from and developed a deep love for ancient civilizations.
What is your favorite thing to do to promote your book?
I love to interact with readers the most! Whether it’s communicating online or meeting readers in person, I love hear others’ excitement for something I’m so excited about too. I believe that’s true for anyone. We love to gush about our fandoms. I write because I love to write and my goal is to get my work published so I can share it. Hearing about how my work has affected other people breathes life into me.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while being a writer?
I’ve learned that I need to be brave enough to say what I want to say and understand that I won’t please everyone. It’s okay to be scared to write something from your heart and allow yourself to be vulnerable, but it’s also so liberating to express your most guarded feelings. Every creator has to understand that your work isn’t for all audiences. Not everyone loves the same movies and music—and it’s true for books too. That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your writing or with their taste in content. Not everything is for everyone.