The Art of Isis Sousa

Illustrator, author

Author Talks: John Biggs

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 This was amazing: someone like Biggs, saying something I concluded recently ;)
 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 
 
Always be writing. Get your stuff out there. Put it on a blog. Don't get confused by social media. Social media is useless. It doesn't help you sell anything nor does it help you gain a following. I've had people with a million Twitter followers mention me on the Internet and it got me absolutely zero in return. Gain a following on a site frequented by nice people and write for them. Then write a book. Then publish that book. Rinse. Repeat.
 
Use Scrivener to write. It's an app for long-form writers. It helps immensely when you're building a story.
 
Also keep a file of "sparks." Have it always available, anywhere you are. You can even use a notebook for this, if you like paper. But the key is to always have it with you. This is the place to jot down notes for future projects. You'll soon discover that there are hundreds of things floating in your head that could be great books. 
 

Happy Friday the 13th! Meet Good Luck Black Cats

Reblogged from BookLikes:

It's Friday the 13th! Again! It's perfect time to remind you good luck black cats :)

 

Whether you believe in Friday 13th bad luck or not, we wish you all the best and all the luck. Btw, we think the superstition about the bad luck black cats was made up by the white cats' gang. Just look at those pics!

 

Stamp your feet via Lenore on BookLikes 

 

Reading lesson via Lenore on BookLikes 

 

The Sleepyhead via Tina Sandevska on BookLikes

 

Smart one via

 

Just sitting via 

 

 

and sitting via

 

and still sitting via

 

Come, sit by via

 

Mark Twain’s vintage cat Bambino via

 

Lucky 13 via

 

Comma cat via Tina Sandevska on BookLikes 

 

 

And if you wish to read some cat books have a look at the collection of several reads featuring cats found by Kagama -The Literaturevixen.

 

        

 

Happy Friday the 13th and good luck! ;-)

 

P.S. Watch out! Zombie kittens are waiting. 

furry zombies via Musings of NerdyNatasha on BookLikes 

 

 

Originally posted on BookLikes Blog: December 13, 2013, updated June 13, 2014. 

The Night of Elisa: Non-illustrated Edition - Isis Sousa

First book trailer for The Night of Elisa - Hope you enjoy it! More videos coming soon :)

Source: http://youtu.be/GbPkkTUhMM4

The Night of Elisa is now on Pinterest!

Visit The Night of Elisa on Pinterest and discover the boards and more about the book :)

 

The Night of Elisa Giveaway and Spotlight

I'd like to invite you take a look at the book Spotlight and Giveaway at lovely blog GOTHIC MOMS ^.^

 

A nice chance to get a free copy of The Night of Elisa :)

 

 

Have fun, and don't miss the cool book reviews and other articles on the blog!

"The Night of Elisa", out NOW as Non-illustrated edition - E-BOOK

 

You can find my debut out now @ Smashwords.com!

Coming soon on Amazon as KIndle Edition.
ILLUSTRATED PRINT EDITION coming 30th May!

Stay tuned!!!

Bellow, the book blurb:

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 takes away 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.

 

"It is strange... How can I 'go home' when I have no memories of that place at all?" - Elisa

 

"Stop it, Elisa. You're bleeding, my darling!" - Leonhard

 

"Ah, love, the biggest poison and most dangerous drug there is."

- Dr. Charles

 

http://tragicbooks.tumblr.com

From a Short Story to an Illustrated Novella – The evolution of an idea

Leonhard, one of the protagonists

 

Above, Leonhard, one of the protagonists of “The XIIIth Hour at Duskland” (short story) and “The Night of Elisa” (illustrated novella coming soon!).

 

 

I would like to share my experience of indie author & illustrator, on creating my debut work, a novella born out of a short story + the feedback of amazing readers!

 

Almost 2 years ago, I was sitting out in the balcony in one of my off days and started drafting a short story which came to my mind.

 

That short story was “The XIIIth Hour at Duskland”. When I thought it was finished, I looked for beta readers on Goodreads and a few people were kind enough to take of their precious times and good will to Read my material and provide honest feedback.

From that precious feedback, I changed several things in the manuscript. The essence of the story was the same, but I changed something to fit to grammar rules, cut words which didn’t fit for the characters and timeframe and so on.

 

I even put it for sale on Kindle and Smashwords , as an experiment. I wanted to know how the self-publishing engines worked, and how would be the general feedback of the readers.

 

Most people thought the story had grammar issues, it meant, no matter how hard I tried to improve it in this aspect (specially, when English is NOT my primary language), it really didn’t work. Lucky me, one of my readers were also an editor, the one I am working with to this day, Clare Diston.

 

She edited the text, and all grammar issues were gone and the story was presentable. Still, readers were complaining they missed more explanation behind the facts (short stories focus on actions and plot, different from a novel or novella, where you have room for characterization and details). The readers wanted to know more about the main characters, what triggered the events we read in the story and so on.

 

It was clear to me I needed to do something about it and listen to the “vox populi, vox dei”. So, during the last semester of 2013, I decided to turn the short story ( 8.5 k words ) into an illustrated novella ( 55 k words ). The initial idea became a beautifully illustrated Gothic Ghost story, divided into 7 chapters, where the settings are better explored and the characters have more time to make themselves living.

 

All thanks to the fantastic readers and curious people who takes time to read first time author stories and provide honest, constructive feedback! I learned a lot during the process, and now I have a better, more attractive product to offer, to give back to those who helped me and new readers.

 

I gave a new tittle to the novella (The Night of Elisa), it is all done and edited, now I am finishing painting the concepts and illustrations and preparing the manuscript/design for the publishing market.

 

The big learning for me as indie author was: LOVE the people who give you 2 and 3 stars (and even 1) if they are being honest in their feedback. Because that feedback can help you take your work to the next level, learn and work on a better product for your audience! In no moment I felt down when I got low rating, on the contrary, I knew each low rating on my short story was worthy a chest of gold!

 

Hope this story can inspire you or at least, give you some insight!

The XIIIth Hour at Duskland - FREE on Smashwords!

 

The introduction to the upcoming “Stories of Duskland" short story anthology/illustrated book is now available for FREE at Smashwords.com!

Click HERE to download your copy. ~ 9K words.

Jason Seiler and Mad Artist Publishing are running the Kickstarter.com Campaign for a “larger-than-life” Art Book project.  The Complete Artist Book: How to Succeed in the Creative Industry counts with Industry Pros and Acclaimed Artists:

 

Jaison Seiler (jasonseiler.com)
Shawn Barber
 (sdbarber.com)
Sterling Hundley (sterlinghundley.com)
Sean Cheetham (seancheetham.com)
Robin Eley (robineley.com)
Aleah Chapin (aleahchapin.com)
Jeremy Geddes (jeremygeddesart.com)
William Wray (williamwray.com)
David Jon Kassan (davidkassan.com)
Grigor Eftimov (http://existentialdreams.blogspot.com)
Cesar Santos (santocesar.com)
Justin “Coro” Kaufman (coro36ink.com)
Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen (henrikaau.com)
Tyler Jacobson (tylerjacobsonart.com)

 

Together, they will reveal the secrets of their success, talk about clients, promotion, art business, copyright, selling your art, among other important professional subjects. You will enjoy this content browsing through top notch illustrations and having access to great bonus videos.

 

Are you a painter, illustrator, tattoo artist, a designer, animator, art director or just want to work in the creative industry? Well, If you want to know exactly what it takes to become an Elite Artist and to succeed in the Fine Art, Magazine, Video Game or Film Industry with so much competition, then this book is the road-map for your career.

But if all you want is to have some delight with beautiful artworks, don’t worry! This beautifully designed book is handy not only for artists but also to art appreciators!

 

Learn all you want about this project and pledge the campaign here: www.Thecompleteartistbook.com

Art Collab - Artistic Collaboration in the Digital Era
Art Collab - Artistic Collaboration in the Digital Era

"Art Collab – Artistic Collaboration in the Digital Era" is a celebration of diversity; diversity of cultures, techniques, styles and creative thinking.”

The World Wide Web has changed the ways of the Art Community. Today there are no boundaries for artists from around the globe to interact with each other, exchange experiences and creative juice. The Digital Era has ignited a true creative genesis where the “ordinary” person has the chance to create and present something “extraordinary” to a web audience and where the so-called “artists” can grow, learn and re-invent themselves at a much faster pace within a web of information. This book presents to you a little slice of pie of what happens when one join forces with other creative minds, in person and/or through the means of the internet. You can create something big and innovative, no matter where you are: your imagination is the limit.

If you are an art lover, a creative mind, an artist who is curious about what happens around the Art Community, is in search of new ideas for your next big project and/or is willing to grow and stretch your artistic skills, this book is for you. You are invited to take a closer look at this collection of collaborative projects and their makings as well as enjoy the articles and beautiful illustrations we have gathered here for you! Artists included in the book are Adrian Schmetz / Amir hossein Erfani / Ben Ami Scopinho / Dariusz Zawiazalec / Diego de almeida / Fernando ferreiro / Ira Krykun / ISIS SOUSA / Juliana Karina / Kim Edwin Jektvik / Lampros Kalfuntzos / Mario lopez / Markus Schlogl / Stephanie Rose.

* * *

You can buy it on Amazon, click HERE.

Buy it on Sketchoholic.com.

 

Art Collab – Artistic Collaboration in the Digital Era

Articles for the Mind

Articles for the Mind - Christine Rice Christine Rice’s book Articles for the Mind is a very different read of the ones I am used to. It is a book with about 80 articles under different topics such as

Beauty and health
Careers and education
Family and pets
Financial planning, frugal living and money
Food, holidays and home
Psychology, self-help and values
Writing

None of the content is taken much in depth, as Christine is more like introducing the subjects/topics to the reader. However, it is highly informative and interesting, not to mention it is written in an easy-to-understand way. You certainly can connect to one or several, maybe even most of the articles in the book. I ended up learning new things, getting new ideas and reflecting about some of them.

Some of the articles can sound a bit obvious for people who are more experienced in life, they are however highly recommended for younger people such as those who are moving out of their parents’, looking for jobs and starting further education. Other articles can be quite the opposite: something brand new for those who are more seasoned.

My favorite ones were under topics of “beauty and health”, “finances” and “psychology” while my top favorite article of the entire book was “Tips on how to be happy when you are poor.” – It was a bit unexpected, and totally beautiful and inspiring. It is a reminder how you can enjoy life doing things in a simpler way.

This is an enriching read and put together in a creative way. Recommended for those who like informative and inspiring books. Five stars!

Poems of Pain

Poems of Pain - Darcy Stewart I got a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Poems of Pain is a book with focus on moments of pain, anger, frustration and depression any person can have; although it seems to be more turned to women's difficult moments and situations, such as when they are cheated on, when they lose someone dear, when they are down or frustrated about themselves.

I can relate to some of the poems, as I have depressive tendencies myself and have experienced living with a highly depressive person, who reached to the bottom - if you have or had similar experience, maybe you find some poems you can relate here too.

Some of the poems are very distinctive and have an interesting tone, while other are very repetitive, turning into a monologue.

Many of the poems also sound like music lyrics. I think some of them would do great, catchy hits!

It is an interesting read, it could have been rated higher if it was more varied, as the "pain" universe is very vast.

The Last Dragon Slayer (Deathsworn Arc, #1)

The Last Dragon Slayer (Deathsworn Arc, #1) - Martyn Stanley When I just started reading this book, in the very first pages, when the characters are being introduced, I was a bit skeptical of what was about to come. The reason is that the main characters in this story are a mage, an elf, two barbarians, a human and a dwarf and I was afraid this would be another “very inspired” LOTR plot.

But I went on reading, and once the gang was formed, the story took a very different course. In this first book, the heroes go on a journey to kill a dragon which is harming a village. During their journey, we learn more about the characters, but specially two of them, Korhan and Vashni (a barbarian and a female elf). They develop a very special relationship along the story, which keeps the reader very curious to know how this may evolve and eventually what the author has planned for these two.

I think the character’s voices could have been written in a bit more distinguishable way and I think the scene/chapter where the bunch fights the dragon could have been more elaborated.

The plot is however very engaging from the beginning to the end, keeping you entertained and curious during the read. Wherever this group goes, they end up helping those they come across, making the reader captive discovering how they will solve these situations, in different towns and villages.

For those who enjoy a good Fantasy series, this first book is very promising and will make you want to read the sequels

Blood in the Stars

Blood in the Stars - Jennifer  Shea I got an ARC from the author and here is my honest review:

Daria is a carreer-driven young woman who lives a solitary and quite life, until Jason, a Fallen-Angel, appears in her life to protect her from the dangers of being “the auspicious one”. Daria’s life is highly threatened by all sorts of creatures from the realms and Jason must do all he can to help keeping her safe and alive.

However, the two of them fall in love and taking care of her is now a personal matter for Jason. As we advance the chapters, we learn all the pain, enduring, dangers and sacrifices they undergo as the day Daria will receive supernatural powers is approaching. Other interesting characters join them along the story, adding more life and action to it.

Blood in the Stars is one of the coziest books I have read (hence I am not much into romance books!) and I could barely put it down. I wanted always to read more and fast, because I wondered all the time what would happen next. Jennifer Shea had a very engaging and friendly writing style. I can’t forget to mention I liked a lot the book cover as well. It conveys very well the hero and heroine of the story in their tender moments. Overall, a beautiful design and colors.

Now, I must say there were some points I would like to have more details about, related to being an “auspicious one”, but it doesn’t take away the tons of fun I had during this read. I also liked how Ms. Shea used the Christian mythologies (angels x fallen angles, god, etc.) to compose the Fantasy world and characters of Blood in the Stars.

Learn, Create, and Teach: A Guide to Building a Creative Life

Learn, Create, and Teach: A Guide to Building a Creative Life - Clara Lieu I got a copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Clara Lieu is a woman of multiple talents and great professional achievements. She is a visual artist and professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. I find it very interesting that she chose to write an Art Book regarding the aspects of self-improvement and leadership rather than painting and other art techniques.

As a Digital Artist, this book was of great interest for me because of its subjects. Clara writes in an easy and clear way, so any aspiring artist, art professional, or simply art lover can enjoy and understand the book.

I also liked the overall design and presentation, and the fact that the book is in pocket size, easy to handle and take with you anywhere. Not to mention the beautiful postcard Clara sent to me with the book…
Learn, Create and Teach is not a book to go in depth on the subjects, but a book to make you think of them and feel inspired. Much of the subjects will be developed by you, if you take time for reflection. I got really touched by some of the things she pointed out such as “Have no Fear”, “Learn to let Go” and “Accept Rejection”, to mention a few.

As an artist, I found myself in many of the situations she described and also got inspired by a few things I confess I haven’t stopped to think about/evaluate. The book also follows an order: first we read through the lens of a student, then professional and last, teacher, which makes it a quite interesting experience.

I also enjoyed the Most Frequently Asked Questions in Art Class, because I found myself in them again, even though I have been to Art School.

I recommend this book for all artists and art lovers who like to keep inspired!

Deerward

Deerward - Marilena Mexi I have read Marilena’s first book, Antara and I immediately realized she was a natural born storyteller. Marilena writes from the heart and it reflects in the way she builds her characters.

In her third book, Deerward, I noticed her writing skills are sharper than ever: her characters have very distinct personalities and back-stories, her scenarios are more complex and her plot full of surprises in a fast tempo.

Deerward is not one story, but many. It tells of the hero’s home and birthplace, the story of his life, of his one great love, of different battles against evil, and last: his legacy.

Deerward is a great read for those who like dragons, magic and other epic elements. It is also very exciting, full of action, adventure, love and even twists of sorrow. Alcander, the main character, is good, brave, curious and has a tough decision to make by the end of the book, which is also my favorite part as it reveals more of his personality and internal values.

This is an original story, great for bedtime for those who have a warrior soul… And for those who love a classic epic read!

Currently reading

The Chosen One by Anna Erishkigal
Entreat Me by Grace Draven, Isis Sousa