Today’s guest is a double threat in the world of the creatives. (She can skillfully wield pens and brushes alike!) Coffee with Architects of Worlds Afar could not be more thrilled to introduce you all to author and illustrator Isis Sousa. Her titles include the gothic novels As Cold As Thorns and The Night of Elisa as well as an art/coffee-table book entitled The Picture of Dorian Grey in Quotes and Nudes ; the aforementioned works’ descriptions can be found at the end of this post.
Without further ado, let’s sit down with Isis Sousa.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, first of all, thanks a lot for the opportunity to be featured at your blog, Jessica 😀 I work as illustrator 4-5 days a week in my home office making covers of Fiction and Non-Fiction books. I work also as arts teacher once a week at a local school and I love it! On my free time I write books. But that’s something new, so I’m still getting used to it.
2. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
It is Henrique, lead of As Cold As Thorns. He is going through a dark journey, leading him to do things which hurt others, but also himself. Henrique is a heightened example of us humans, always doing mistakes and things that complicates both our own lives and others’. I love his artistic mind and stubbornness as well as perseverance. But readers will mostly see his dark side (in book 1) before they can see him for who he really is (by the end of book 2.)
3. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
The most ‘normal’ of the process is like this: I put on some great music (metal/Gothic), I grab a hot beverage, seat at an arms chair, and sketch words. Sometimes, when the time is too scarce I will write also while my husband watches TV, since I don’t have a writing room. I have an office, but I only use it for work, aka making illustrations! 🙂
4. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
Outlines are a great way to know where your story should head. I think one should use it if one wants. I use it in a minimum level, since I like to improvise and let the characters determine the story. But still, the little I use I find it very helpful.
5. What is your favorite book genre?
Fairytales, Gothic and Dark Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and the like.
6. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
Hm…, if I start counting from the moment I have the idea to the finished manuscript, then it takes 2-3 years. I take 1-2 years imagining the story in form of lose scenes and character mannerisms plus– 5-7 months writing and editing 🙂 That’s weird… I know!
7. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
That depends so vastly. Sometimes it will be the plot, sometimes a character or combination of both. Sometimes the dialogues, sometimes the descriptions… There isn’t a magic formula. Each great story has something special about it.
And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Both. Both can be great and while both tell stories, they use very different ways to convey them.
2. Dogs or cats?
Cats :3 I like their independent spirits and non-servant attitude.
3. Summer or winter?
Winter. I could have a whole years of winter and be absolutely happy! 😀
4. Car or motorcycle?
Car. I love comfort. Motorcycle to me translate into ‘unsafe, dusty, exposed to weather and uncomfortable’.
5. Ebook or physical book?
That will depend. Some books are better as E-books, others as physical books. Those with strong visual content or art books are always best in print.
6. Working in a group or working alone?
Alone. It’s nice to be amongst people, on the right occasions. For working, I prefer to be alone with my thoughts.
7. To find true love or to win the lottery?
I have found true love, now I just need to win the lotto! 😀
8. Reading or writing?
Writing. I love reading… But I prefer to be able to create.
9. Being able to speak and understand every language known to humankind or being able to speak and understand every language known to animals?
Humans. I have a language fetish, so I would love to know all of them! Animals speak with their behavior. We do too, but human languages are cool!
10. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
I couldn’t care less if I would be a week or a year without TV. I hardly watch anything, apart from some serieses when time allows. I am dependent on the web, however.
11. Misunderstanding everything that is told to you or being misunderstood every time that you speak?
Tough one. I think the second part already happens… Kidding!
12. Spending half a day locked in a coffin (there would be a hole for air, of course) or spending two days trapped at the bottom of a well?
I could sleep in a coffin for good, that would be cool! 😀 But since I’m married, rule it out. The well, however, I hate humidity, and would be afraid of the bugs and germs and bacteria and that would kill me!
13. Finding yourself caught in the middle of a hurricane or finding yourself caught in the middle of a snowstorm? (Note: in both scenarios, you’d be outdoors and have no access to shelter.)
Snowstorm 😀 Hurricane is too scary! I am more used to the first one 😉
14. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
Hm, technically, I do both already and it is horrible 😦 Can’t have anything with caffeine or cocoa… (Though I drink caffeine free coffee and eat white chocolate in small amounts, but that’s not valid, right?.)
Thanks a lot for reading! It was really fun going through this interview! 🙂
Thank you for joining us, Isis!
Readers: want to connect with Isis? You can find her on Twitter and Goodreads. Also, be sure to check out her author website, her author blog, and her creative blog (on which she interviews fellow authors).
Book 1 of 2.
~ A dark tale for adults packed with beautiful illustrations and special layout. ~
When lust and vanity consume a humble young soul, nothing is left but a faint flame in the darkness of the void.
The solace and contentment of Henrique’s simple life as a small-town tailor’s apprentice vanish when his ambitions turn him overnight into one of the most powerful and influential personalities in early-1800s Europe. His quick ascension to the upper echelons of the leading Iberian Empire reveals a man torn between the pure heart he once was, and the grim shade of what he has now become: a spirit obsessed with expensive material possessions and the urge to acquire the unattainable.
Henrique succumbs to the ever-growing desires and beguiling passions tormenting his mind, causing a rupture between reason and a desolate world of ice and snow where pain is the key to salvation.
Will he survive his encounter with the colossal emptiness and find the righteous path to lead him out of his agony?
Come and indulge yourself in this startling tale of coldness and wonder.
Parental guidance: 16 +
The Night of Elisa is bound with 30+ pencil illustrations of ornaments, characters and objects and a unique layout.
Parental guidance: for 16+
Contains blood, nudity and dark themes.
Sometimes, life and love can follow the most obscure paths, just as they did for Elisa.
Her life becomes a dark, cold, lonely cage the day the devil takes her as his wife. He robs her of almost everything she holds dear: her health, her wealth and what is left of her family.
Trapped between the nuances of life and beyond-life, Elisa finds herself struggling for a better tomorrow. With her health deteriorating, how will she summon the courage and strength to stand her ground? And how far will she go in the pursuit of a dream?
Embark with Elisa on this puzzling Gothic adventure set in the late Victorian era, between the world of the Living and the picturesque, melancholic Duskland.
“…The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.” – Oscar Wilde
This book is the physical translation of that very philosophical thought.
We invite you to admire the beauty, strength and disturbing nature of Oscar Wilde’s written art in his Gothic masterpiece The Picture of Dorian Gray.
You can feed your soul’s vanity and hunger for alluring words and images with this delightful selection of over sixty quotes and twenty fine nude paintings.
A necessity: such is The Picture of Dorian Gray in Quotes and Nudes, a little obscure treasure for art and book collectors alike.