The Night of Elisa – Character artworks and concept sketches that did not make it to the trade book

The Night of Elisa
Illustrated Gothic Novel
Book One
Isis Sousa
Genre: Gothic, Paranormal, Horror
Publisher: Tragic Books
Date of Publication: February 2016
ISBN: 9781519169945
ISBN: 9781367510418
Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 60k words + illustrations
Cover Artist: Isis Sousa
~ The Corpse Bride meets Penny Dreadful ~
Book Description:
“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 Night of Elisa is first and furthermost Victorian Gothic, but can also fit within other genres such as Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery and Occult.
Parental guidance: for 16+ Contains blood, nudity and dark themes.
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The Night of Elisa – Character artworks and concept sketches that did not make it to the trade book

When I first started the creative process for The Night of Elisa, my idea was to have a fully painted portrait for each character in the book as well as paintings of scenes, environments and objects. I actually started some of these illustrations and had to put the dream on stand-by for someday in the future.


At the time – as it is now, I had no funding to take hours and hours to make a fully illustrated/graphical edition of the work. To embark in such endeavour, I would need to stop client work, and doing that would mean I would starve to death and sleep under the bridge before I completed the project and my business as illustrator would come to an end. Such a dreadful reality!






Depending on crowdfunding platforms was not an option. I see them as me, the creative mind, being at the mercy of people. In other words: If they backed my project I would make it, if not, I would be frustrated and back to square 1. No! I am not that kind of person. If I want to do something, I just do it, regardless of people’s approval, as long as I have the means to do it.




Dr. Charles

So, my solution to the problem was to keep it simple and affordable. I did quick pencil sketches, which saved me a lot of time – even though that still took me several hours/days of my free time. Also, they were great for the standard trade printing, which is good enough for text. I used standard B&W print options from LULU first, and then, CreateSpace. This way, I saved also a lot of money and  made a version of the book much more affordable for the customers as well as more entertaining than a plain text fiction book. Through simplicity, I was able to give readers a special layout and a set of drawings to help them wander through the story.



The Siamese sisters, Gerania and Ifigenia

Maybe, someday, if I have more financial resources, I will still make this book in the vision I had since the beginning -sepia/full color, glossy paper, fully illustrated AND affordable for customers. I have designed and set up a version of the book that is a bit closer to this vision. I call it The Special Edition. However, it is not yet ideal, since the cost is still very high and it is not fully illustrated due to my lack of resources as mentioned earlier.  Meanwhile, I hope you have enjoyed some of the original concepts you see in this post.





With that, my tip for you is: Make things simple. If can’t do it in a complex/expensive approach, see how you can fashion an easier/more affordable version of your project that can still cause impact.

For example, if you can’t afford to make your project in color, try black & white. If you cannot afford to pay a professional editor, try asking a fellow author to do that for you in exchange for some service you can offer. Other ways to raise funding may be doing a Kickstarter campaign, or asking for contribution on Patreon, in exchange for exclusive content to your supporters.

About the Author:
I am an artist, illustrator and graphic designer who writes on my free time. But with all the imagination I have running lose, there came some stories… And there came some books!
I am born and grown up in Brazil, however I live in Mid-Norway with my beloved husband, in a tiny valley surrounded by mountains and with very few neighbours.
When I’m not doing artwork and illustration for clients, I’m doing woodcarving, painting ornaments, painting artworks for myself, and so on. Love Arts, History, Heavy Metal and Dark things.


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