A Heritage Christian School teacher by day, Elena I. Landa fulfills her passion by writing in her spare time.
“I like reading action and adventure but also historical fiction,” said Landa, who teaches high school Spanish. “I like science fiction a lot also.”
The Westfield resident, who pens her books as E.I. Landa, has written two books. Landa, who moved to the United States from Peru 22 years ago, said her books are adventures similar to Indiana Jones or Lara Croft.
Landa was born in the northern mountain area of Peru but grew up in Lima, the nation’s capital.
“My novels are international adventures, a mixture of science fiction and thrillers with metaphysical hints and romance touches,” Landa said. “I picked the Peruvian cloud forest as the main location of my novels to show another side of Peru and Peruvians, beyond the Inca Culture and Machu Picchu. There were several other advanced cultures dating thousands of years prior to the Incas that deserve to be known for their advances. I strive to bring down stereotypes of what Peruvians are perceived to be and young women. in general, while trying to express myself with authenticity and in an independent voice.”
In 2020, her book “Warriors of the Sacred Garden: Mila: Iron and Silk” was published. “Awakening,” the sequel, was published in the summer of 2022. The stories are set in the 1990s.
Landa didn’t plan to do another book, but after hearing from readers,, she is thinking about a third book with those characters.
“I love to travel and I like writing about different cultures and I like writing about different ethnic backgrounds,” she said.
Landa, who moved to Westfield seven years ago, said she likes writing about international secret societies, noting that her characters start in Peru but go all around the world.
Her great-grandmother was a healer because she worked with plants as healing remedies.
“People have an idea that it’s like a witch, but it wasn’t like that,” Landa said. “People come to see her when they are sick. One of the main characters is based on her.”
Landa began writing 10 years ago, starting with short stories and poems, and then began taking the craft seriously four years ago. She decided to self-publish to keep control of her books.
Landa’s collebe degree is in literature, but she never thought she would become a teacher.
Landa said writing is a labor of love.
“I love the process,” she said.
The public will have an opportunity to meet Landa, who will appear at the Hamilton East Public Library Author Fair from 1 to 4 p.m. April 15 at the FORUM Events Center, 11313 USA Pkwy., in Fishers. For more, visit eilanda.com.
Heritage Christian senior Paige Mangum has enjoyed reading Spanish teacher Elena Landa’s work.
“Something I love about Ms. Landa’s writing style is her vivid illustrations of the various lush settings in the story,” said Mangum, a Carmel resident. “You can tell it was written by someone who observes and admires nature’s beauty. Her world-building is very descriptive, making you feel like you are part of the story. She also weaves in a plethora of locations that hint towards the author’s love of travel, new experiences and various cultures. You can tell all her characters, especially the protagonist Mila, were thoughtfully created with their own identities, motives and complexities. The genre of her books themselves are very unique and appeal to a wide audience, a mix of adventure, sci-fi with hints of witty comedy and romance sprinkled in.”
Landa has been Mangum’s teacher for three years in high school.
‘She genuinely cares about each one of her students’ academic and personal growth, finding time for laughter and connection in the classroom as well as hard work,” Mangum said. “I know my Spanish skills would not be where they are today if it wasn’t for her constant guidance, encouragement and inspiration throughout the years.”
Heritage Christian senior Eimy Lozano-Fuentes, who lives in Carmel, had Landa for Spanish 3 when her books were in progress.
“I enjoyed how her writing style truly embodies who she is as a human,” Lozano-Fuentes said. “She cares so deeply for all her students and never fails to check in on us even if we don’t have her anymore, and just that care can really be seen in the storyline of her first book. Her book really brings the reader in and is so thought out that it blows your mind in so many different ways. I finished reading her first book and am in the process of reading her second book. She is very supported at our school and that is how I grabbed ahold of her book through our school’s library. It was an eventful read and a page turner from the start.”