Interview with Brazilian Teen Author Ellios

February 6, 2023

I am Ellios, 19 years old, and my given name is Gabriel Lima de Souza. I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, more specifically, on Ilha do Governador. I was diagnosed at the age of 2 with ADHD. Because of this and other reasons, I never got along well with my classmates in kindergarten, elementary school, or even with my father. My mother has always been my safe haven, emotionally speaking. As a lonely child, I have always liked to do things on my own, especially activities that would spark my fertile imagination. I always liked to create stories. I would draw characters from media I liked and tell new stories using them and sometimes even create my own characters. I had several sketchbooks with these stories, but my father threw them away. I was always a lonely person, but I found good friends over time and learned to love myself in spite of everything. I love Brazilian literature and have read many classics as well as modern literature. Part of my experience comes from this literature. I don't intend to be a writer, not as a profession, at least. I want it to be my hobby! I am currently a psychology student at UERJ, although classes have not started yet!

Meu nome é Gabriel Lima de Souza. Eu nasci e cresci no Rio de Janeiro, mais especificamente, na Ilha do Governador. Fui diagnosticado com 2 anos de idade com TDAH. Por causa disso e por outros motivos, eu nunca me dei bem com meus colegas da educação infantil, com os do ensino fundamental nem com meu pai. Minha mãe sempre foi meu porto-seguro, emocionalmente falando, em muitas ocasiões. Eu sempre fui uma criança sozinha, então sempre gostei de fazer coisas sozinho, principalmente atividades que aflorassem ainda mais minha imaginação fértil. Eu sempre gostei de criar histórias. Eu desenhava personagens de mídias que eu gostava e contava histórias novas usando eles e as vezes até criava personagens próprios. Eu tinha vários cadernos de desenhos com essas histórias, mas meu pai os jogou fora. Eu sempre fui uma pessoa sozinha, mas acabei encontrando bons amigos com o passar do tempo e aprendi a amar a mim mesmo apesar de tudo. Ainda sou apaixonado por contar histórias e adoro jogar jogos com meus amigos onde criamos personagens em um mundo fantasioso e contamos uma história juntos. Eu recentemente comecei a escrever um livro sobre essa história. Se chama Rosas do Deserto. Eu fiquei interessado na proposta da revista, não para conseguir publicidade, mas para melhorar minha escrita, conseguir experiência. Eu amo a literatura brasileira e já li diversos clássicos, assim como literaturas modernas. Parte da minha experiência vem dessas literaturas. Eu não pretendo ser escritor, não como profissão, pelo menos. Quero que seja meu hobbie! Eu atualmente sou estudante de psicologia na UERJ, apesar de não terem começado as aulas ainda!

Ellios, how did you get into writing? Was there a significant event that caused you to turn to writing as an outlet, or has it always been a passion of yours?  

I've been in love with writing stories ever since I was a child. I've always had such a fertile imagination and everything that happened in my life became inspiration for my fantasy fiction (and that hasn't changed).  I started drawing short comics with chalk and colored pens. Nothing too detailed or pretty. The focus was the story, not the drawing. I used to play "wrestling" with objects from my pencil case. I've spent so many classes imagining an epic battle of "The Eraser Monk" against his evil foes, such as "Mighty WhiteGlue." I've already broken and spoiled many pens, erasers, staplers, and glue sticks that way!
I've never thought of being a writer or even writing at all before. I started when I began to play TTRPGs (Tabletop Role-playing Games) with some classmates. We created our own characters and role-played with them in a medieval fantasy world. I've become quite fond of writing "backstories" for my characters. I tend to make them detailed, emotional, and most of the time, tragic. With so many backstories and scripts, I began creating my own fantasy world and writing a book about it. It's called Desert's Roses. I'm still in the first chapters.

Talk a little bit about your family, do you have any siblings, pets, etc.?

I'm not very much in touch with most of my family. I live with my mother (51y) and my brother (15y). My mother and I have a very close relationship, and I'm very thankful for having her in my life. Since the beginning, she was always by my side, comforting me when I was at my lowest. She is my inspiration and she welcomed me into the world of literature and art. Her passion for it inspired me deeply and is the main reason I'm here today doing what I love!
My brother on the other hand isn't much of a talker. We live together and sleep in the same room, but can spend the entire day without talking to each other. It's not that we don't like one another, it's just the way we ended up finding balance in our relationship.
I have a little dog called Elizabeth the 4th (or just Lisa for short). She's a little piece of heaven, despite being quite annoying sometimes. 

Besides writing, what other hobbies are you interested in?

I love TTRPGs. I love being able to role-play my characters with my friends and to cast spells, punch buddies in the face, while having lots and lots of fun. I'm playing a campaign called "Desert's Roses" (it has the same name as the book I'm writing, since it is about the campaign in the first place). I've written an entire continent full of different countries, political conflicts, drama, and morally questionable characters. Currently, my party (term designated to a group of players in this type of game) are working with groups of mercenaries in an attempt to dismiss a noble of her political post. A plot involving human trafficking, the mystery disappearance of a noble family, moral debates, and a plague that is consuming the poorer population. All of these stories are original works by me and my friends.

If you could describe Brazil in three words, what would they be?

That's quite the tricky question. My life and the country I live in is so naturalized that I could not imagine, in fact, who and what I would be if I lived somewhere else. If I had to describe my life in three words, I'd say: Art, Passion, Calmness.

Image provided by author.

"Under the Madness lies literature" - Unknown
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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!