THE NIGHT OF ELISA
Isis Sousa is an illustrator and writer. We have conducted an interview with her about her book THE NIGHT OF ELISA – which she has not only written but also illustrated.
What inspires you to illustrate and write in Dark / Gothic Fiction?
I have always been attracted to the darker and fantastic aspects of the arts. And with literature, it could be no different. I think Dark Fiction in general evokes a lot of one’s imagination and it helps one to face his fears or deal with difficult things in life. And Gothic Fiction expands the fantastic within the dark spectrum. So writing and illustrating those genres comes naturally for me. I feel “at home”.
Why did you choose to use Characters and Ornaments pencil sketches for "The Night of Elisa"'s interior design?
As someone who make a living as illustrator, I have a passion for illustrated books. So, whenever I publish a book, it HAS to be illustrated. For ‘TNOE’, adding ornaments help readers to have a sense of the time the story is set, and the character sketches help them to connect with the characters they read about. It is both a solution to help readers connect with that world and it is a pleasure for my eyes and personal taste of things.
How did you craft and develop the main character Elisa of your story? What is so special about her?
She was the most difficult character in the book because she is the heroine/lead female and yet she is sick most of the time, suffering from forces beyond our understanding – which makes her overall a victim in the story. Despite her frail state, she has much inner strength. Elisa is special for she has a good heart and bears a certain innocence; she has fate in people, she is loyal and with much courage, she does what needs to be done.
Which is the most exciting and thrilling part of the story?
It may be different for each reader… However, I can share my particular choices, without revealing too much. There are two parts I like most: one where the lead male character, Leonhard, has a special dream about Elisa and the other is when Elisa undergoes a powerful magic ritual – and things become ‘a bit dramatic’ to say the least.
When did you discover your talent to write?
Mostly by accident. I had always written articles for music and art websites during my life as a hobby. However, writing fiction happened quite recently, about four years ago, when I wrote The Night of Elisa. I had the idea for the story, and I couldn’t tell it only using illustrations. I needed the words to give it structure. I hated the writing process, it was quite tedious, but a necessary evil. I still think that illustrating is much more fun, however, now I have even more stories that need to be written and I don’t plan to stop any soon! :)
Who influences your writing the most?
I am all about the classics. I grew up reading classics and they are still my top favourite books up to today. Specially Gothic and Fairytales. Cinema and theatre are also influencers. I like how they are structured and often use some of that on my writing. (I hope to write plays and scripts someday soon.)
Thanks for reading! :)
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