The Hippo


May 30, 2020








Meet Erin Moulton

Where: Derry Public Library, 64 E. Broadway, Derry, 432-6140
When: Thursday, Sept. 24, 6:30-8 p.m.
Website: More on Moulton at, where you can also find a personality test to decipher which Keeper of the Labyrinth character you’d be.

Goonies with girls
Derry Librarian pens Greek mythology adventure story

By Kelly Sennott

It’s a good thing Erin Moulton (a.k.a. Erin Robinson) discovered her destined career — fiction writing — just before leaving Emerson College senior year, because few others fit the Windham resident so perfectly.

She’s good at other things, too — she studied theater design at school and has worked as an after-school program educational director and is currently a part-time teen librarian at the Derry Public Library. But, as she explains on her website, it’s as though she was born to write fictional stories. 
Moulton — her maiden name — was born on Halloween night, and her mother claims to have been struck by lightning while pregnant with her. She had two imaginary friends, Marnie and Katyan Babyan, growing up, and her first memory is of three pterodactyls flying over the preschool playground. 
She didn’t take a fiction writing class until her senior year as an undergraduate.
“I realized I was supposed to be writing. Vermont College of Fine Arts picked me up, and thank God they did,” said Moulton, who was a “baby” compared to her other MFA classmates. “I literally learned to write there. I always did love writing as a kid, but it was the only time I took classes to really focus on the craft.”
Though Moulton’s not seeing pterodactyls anymore, her imagination is as active as ever; the new mom has four books to her name, including her most recent, Keepers of the Labyrinth. Ideas usually pop into her head, often in the morning, and this one started with a phrase: “daughter of Ariadne.”
It was as though a voice whispered into her ear while she petted her dog in her living room. She literally said aloud, “Who’s that?”
And so began the research for her next book.
Ariadne, Moulton discovered, was the daughter of Minos, king of Crete, and is involved with the myths of the Minotaur and Theseus. She’s still not certain why her brain dug up these Greek mythology personalities — perhaps she’d passed by the section in the library the day before — but she was immediately intrigued. Crete had always been her favorite myth, and soon she was waist-deep trying to untangle a story.
Research — the fun part of writing, in her opinion — included things like corresponding with a Boston University mythology professor and traveling to Crete along with her husband, sister and now brother-in-law. It’s here she found inspiration for her story’s ancient manor, located at the top of mountain and accessed via a narrow, winding road. 
Moulton’s past titles have been middle-grade novels, but this one tackles the YA genre and, in her words, is part Greek mythology, part Indiana Jones, part Dan Brown, though some describe it as The Goonies but with girls. 
It follows a young girl, Lilith Bennette, who’s invited to attend a Future Leaders International conference in Crete, the same her mother attended years ago. Lil has been trying to follow in her mother’s footsteps for years in attempt to solve the mystery of her death; everyone says it was suicide, but Lil won’t believe it.
But when Lil arrives at Melios Manor in Greece, things aren’t as they seem, and she soon finds herself in a mythological adventure through the very labyrinth in which the real Minotaur was imprisoned.
The book launched at An Unlikely Story, the Plainville, Mass., bookstore owned by Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and her first local event is this Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Derry Public Library.
Working at a library, she thinks, gives her structure to her day and enables her to see what else is being published. She writes in the morning and digs up answers to questions in the afternoon, which she loves. It’s strange, sometimes, seeing kids walk by with her books in hand.
“My coworkers are so supportive. Ordering my own books for the teen section is so awkward, but they had already ordered three copies before I got the chance,” Moulton said. 

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