Raya Stravou, 18, is on a mission to take down The Revolution—her father’s organization of violence and turmoil. Returning back to a life of death as a covert accomplice to the opposition, The Hideaway, Raya must learn her father’s secrets. But as time passes, Raya is conflicted as the lines between good and evil are blurred. She is determined to save the world from her father’s evil vision, but as truths are revealed, and her confidence slips, she begins to question everything. Could her dreams be a guide or just her mere imagination? Are the myths of The Elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water true? Why does the Stravou family rage burn orange in her father’s eyes but blue in hers? Could there be a method to her father’s madness?
Raya, The Revolution, and The Hideaway are all from Elements of the Earth, a fantasy novel written by Ella Moore. “It’s kind of a lot going on,” Moore said about her story. “Raya is learning a lot about her family and herself through this whole journey that she’s on.”
Elements Of The Earth is the first part of a trilogy which Moore started writing when she was just 13-years-old. “I was with my family on vacation in Cuba and I was in the ocean, and I had all these scenarios in my head that I could control the water, so it kind of blossomed from there,” said Moore.
Moore grew up reading the Harry Potter series and fell in love with the works of Cassandra Clare, the author behind the Mortal Instruments series. “She wrote this whole series, it’s basically about angels and demons and this whole world… and I would read her books like that,” she says, snapping her fingers. “So I became really addicted to reading fantasy and escaping into a book for a couple of hours”.
It was during a middle school English class when she began building her own fictional world. She had an English teacher who had her class write anything they wanted to every week. “One time I wrote a love story, and I got a B+ and I was really upset about it because I thought I deserved an A+,” she joked. Years later, she finished her novel and self-published it.
Elements Of The Earth is a fantasy novel set in modern-day Ontario, Greece, and Eamora, an alternate world that’s “a little bit better than Ontario,” mainly because it’s tropical all year round. The story is set in the present day, but with heavy reference to the past.
Although the story is fictional and occurs partly across worlds, it refers to the oppressive systems in ours. Her book touches on topics such as race, hope, loss, and family among other themes. A key message she tried to portray in her book is that “You can experience loss but there is still life to live.”
She also wanted to create a story with adequate representation for her young readers and to tell stories that aren’t always talked about. Being biracial, Moore realized that there was one side of her that was always being represented and another side that wasn’t. When Moore visited the bookstores growing up, she never saw Black authors write fantasy books, especially with the types of characters she wrote about.
“This is something that was really important to me. And seeing the cover having Black characters…I mean, I was crying when I saw that because I’ve never seen that before and it’s really nice going to the bookstore and seeing that,” said Moore.
Moore, now 21, attends Wilfrid Laurier University, studying Global Studies with a minor in Political Science, hoping to have a career in social services and humanitarian work. “I really like it but I’m terrified to graduate soon and go into the world,” she said. While she always said she would have her own book published one day, she mostly wrote as a hobby and never really went about finishing it until the pandemic struck, “I’ve always wanted to create things, I just didn’t know how to go about it,” says Moore.
Many of her classmates and friends didn’t even know she had published a book. It wasn’t until another media outlet had written about her book, which was then published on the university’s website. The news brought a lot of excitement and congratulations from her friends.
Now that Moore is a self-published author, she realizes how serious she is about writing and would like to create more. She wants to develop the characters more and continue the story. Unlike the first book, writing the second one seems easier this time around. She also finished writing another book on the mixed-race perspective and is currently working with a literary agent to get it published.Ella Moore’s Elements of the Earth can be found at most bookstores including Thrift Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Indigo in both paperback and Kindle formats. She will also be hosting a four-part book reading online on May 5, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.