An Author of the Inner Worlds – Lorraine DeSousa

Q: Mrs DeSousa, you are a dog lover. Apparently, dogs tend to show similar personality traits with their two-legged friends (I hate to use the word ‘owners’). Do you think this also happens with the pair character-author as well?

Dogs are my joy and bring happiness to my life. I think we all have many facets to our personalities and when a character climbs onto the page, I can hear the voices of the characters in my head. I suppose there must be similarities to the author in that we use our own experiences of life when we write. So there must be a similarity of feelings; whether we would dare to act on them like our characters is another thing! The characters, though, tend to have their own voice patterns and tones, but, within this book, I deliberately tried hard not to use speech very much. I wanted more to convey inner worlds rather than conversations.

Q: I do not picture Delusions as autobiographical, but some details seem too evident not to be linked to our surrounding reality: Atlantic beaches, cultural differences between partners, cobbled streets, almond blossom trees, underground salt mining (mina de sal-gema de Loulé?), fiesta nights, bougainvillaea (flor-de-papel), bread with chorizo and tomato and cheese, and so forth. Am I wrong?

You are correct. I drew inspiration from my surroundings and the things that I have experienced. I am indeed extremely fortunate to have lived in two beautiful places in the world (UK and Portugal) with an enormous amount of scope for poetic description and being able to live and see the cultural differences between the two countries. I use everything around me to build a sense of place.

Q: It takes a lot of sensitivity to write a book full of love, stress, happiness, and challenges, but also many dangerous delusions. In your opinion, is being highly sensitive a gift or a curse?

I think being highly sensitive is probably a double-edged sword. There are many gifts though, that come with being highly sensitive, such as insight, empathy, a rich inner life, a search for the meaning of life, deep thoughts and emotions. I think these positives can outweigh, most of the time, the negative side of being highly sensitive. But I realise it is hard if you are prone to depression, anxiety, withdrawn, or misunderstood, then being highly sensitive must be a challenge.

Q: I have heard that you wrote (at least) three books but have only published Delusions so far. Why only one, and when can we expect the next announcement?

My second book is being published as we speak and will probably be ready sometime next year. I had never had the confidence before to submit a book for publication and the one that is due to be published was written many years ago, with a completely different writing style. Experiance alters your writing and what you wish to say so much.

Q.: You are also a poet,aren’t you?

Yes, I adore poetry. I have had a few poems published in several poetry anthologies, and found it also helped with my writing and expression when writing books. 

Q: Two questions in one shot: Edgar Allan Poe or Pablo Neruda? The Woman in the Dunes or Kafka on the Shore?

Pablo Neruda, his surreal passionate love poems are to die for. One of my favourite couple of lines is from Sonnet XVII: “Where I do not exist, nor you /so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,/so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.”

Kafka on the Shore?[I] love, love, love this book; it is spellbinding. It follows a 15-year-old Japanese boy who runs away from home on a surreal journey. The book is hard to put down and is described perfectly as a metaphysical mind-bender. 

Q: Has living in Portugal made any difference in your writing?

Yes, a huge difference: the different cultures allow you to see fresh possibilities that you would never gain being in only one culture. Travel, as they say, expands the mind, which can only help with writing.

Q.: What is your message to the readers of Tomorrow?

Keep reading books, please. The words of so many minds make us what we are today. Turn off the TV and phones once in a while, and enjoy the pleasure of immersing yourself in a story that allows you into a different world. Books are so important to give each generation the stories of the previous generation and to give insight into our minds, feelings, words, events, and cultures of our times.

Delusions Review

As a general rule, before writing a review, I do follow more or less the same routine: 1) always read the entire book, 2) research the author and their other works, 3) write down a couple of interesting quotes, and then 4) I assemble the jigsaw puzzle as well as I can, and 5) Voilà la critique! But rules are made to be broken, aren’t they?

After reading Delusions, Lorraine DeSousa’s debut novel, I decided that I couldn’t write a conventional review. The storyline is so robust, conceived in detail, and entirely absorbing that it made me feel that the only complete review was to copy and paste the entire book, any other synopsis would fall short.

I will however give you an intriguing taster supplied in the author’s synopsis, “A man sits in a room, in front of him there is a clock. It ticks interminably slowly, seeming like a tick every hour instead of every second. The other strange thing about the clock is that the hands are moving anticlockwise.”

Mrs DeSousa chooses W.H. Mearns’ first stanza of Antigonish as a prologue:

“Yesterday, upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn’t there!

He wasn’t there again today,

Oh, how I wish he’d go away!”

It is an exceptionally inspired choice to outline what was to come into the book’s 198 pages. In recent times, it is not so common anymore for the reader to get such an original and cleverly built story, finely acted by the only two characters: Her Voice and His Voice. The novel guides us on a journey built on love, belief and dangerous delusions and a man who wasn’t there.

The plot revolves around a love story. incorporating everything desired, promised, and imagined from every love story since Adam and Eve, which explores powerful, tough love – no matter what form it comes in – which has the ability to heal, uplift, and even absolve us of (irrational) guilty emotions.

“Only I could make the decisions of what we should do next. Either I accept the delusions and continue, or I do not accept the damaged mind sleeping next to me.”

(Somehow, the author’s dilemma sounds very Hamletian to me: will She, like the Danish prince, “take arms against a sea of troubles”, or will She live a numb life and ignore the challenges of love?)

Lorraine DeSousa didn’t write this book alone:t she was the conductor of a full-time professional orchestra of masters including Edgar Allan Poe, John Lennon, Jonathan Swift, William Shakespeare, Terry Pratchett, Milan Kundera, Jean-Paul Sartre, Haruki Murakami and Pablo Nerudato name only a few. She had the golden ability to select the right short quotations from the above-mentioned masterminds and place them at the beginning of book chapters as an ingenious way to describe the content to come.

And last but not least, apart from being a great novel, Mrs DeSousa’s book contains many brilliant sentences which can be easily taken out of context and used as memorable standalone quotes; I shall only give you two examples:

“What people called crazy was simply a person in another reality to their own.”

“Who therefore has the right to say what is real and what is fiction?”

For the others, I warmly invite you to read the book.

Dan Costinas: “As far as I’m concerned, there are no good or bad books. Some resonate more with certain minds, while others resonate with others. Therefore, I am not entitled to tell anyone what they should and shouldn’t read. What I do is invite you to ponder whether this or another book resonates more with your mind. It’s as simple as that.”

If, after this wordy consideration, you still want to discover LORRAINE DeSOUSA’s DELUSIONS, you can find it on from €4.19 (Kindle Edition) up to €8.62 (paperback) or at Bertrand Livreiros from €4.18 (e-Book) up to €10.42 (paperback).

Second Chance by Lorraine DeSousa

A voice whispered to me, “This is you, wake up.”

As through some trap door in my mind I fell,

I sat in a place between what is and what’s not,

In nowhere and everywhere under a spell.

I stand and turn my shadow after the sun,

The only way to see is with your fingertips,

I try to find the square root of minus me,

Failing, I press my thumbs to the voice’s lips.

My throat closes up like a tulip at night,

Close to blindness I view the white wall,

Cigarettes, vodka, flickering sad images,

A perfect swan dive into my downfall.

I sit across from myself, face to face,

To confront the truth inside of me

We rock ourselves in this damaged boat,

A shipwreck seems tender in this angry sea.

Mother always hidden behind my eyebrows,

Tries to shout over the fury of the waves,

The wind gathers pace and hushes her cries,

Pushing her back to the sleeping one’s graves.

A human tongue cannot say what we agreed,

But floating on the water’s glittering dance,

I look towards chasing the living present.

Giving myself and love a second chance.


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