Author & Illustrator



 
Let me tell you about myself so you can understand who I am, why I create the works that I do, and how all this relates to my wild science fiction time travel adventure.

Madeira Desouza portrait
If you are a blogger or other media writer, this website has a high degree of background information about me that can help you write an article or commentary about me or my work. That’s me in the photograph on the right. I will respond to email sent to desouza3d@gmail.com requesting either an email or phone interview.

I create illustrated queer sci fi. I am a gay man and I work as a digital illustrator exclusively in the 21st century digital realm from Las Vegas. I choose to use contemporary computer hardware and software as my artistic tools instead of pencils or paintbrushes that you hold in your hands.

A majority of artists and illustrators depict females. I choose to exclusively depict masculine males within what is known as bara.

Flamboyant, effeminate male

My storytelling and illustrations are intended to appeal to gay adult men who are attracted to masculine men in particular.

Masculine male

Not for a Mass Audience

I accept that my creative works—and bara in general—will not appeal to a “mass audience” in the gay world. Some gay men have said that they especially like how I depict men so realistically. Others not so much.

Yet, I get emails from guys who obviously “get” what I’m trying to do. One comment explains what I mean. The guy wrote this: “Never have I been so aroused. I always feared to delve into my darkest fantasies but with you, I feel supported and understood. Your stories are a perfect blend of light and shadow, to put it in very simplistic terms. I confess that what also arouses me is a detail that most would find insignificant but which holds tremendous eroticism. Curled toes. That’s a soft spot of mine. I associate it with violent orgasms, when pleasure wracks the body, makes it convulse and twist right down to its toes. Thank you for your amazing work and your willingness to share it with us. I do hope to see more and more of it and praise you for your lack of fear regarding a subject most would not dare to broach.”

I accept that those gay men who prefer feminized men and the many related affectations and behaviors of feminized gay men probably will be put off by my depictions and stories of masculine gay men. I use the bara genre to be provocative with deliberate intent and those who like feminized depictions of men are unlikely to appreciate the bara genre.

Time travel hall at the lunar base

Science Fiction

Provoking readers is a very different process compared to provoking viewers with visual works. I chose the science fiction genre deliberately so that my novel would turn out to be emotionally challenging and not at all “safe” in the intellectual or visceral sense. I did not attempt to create something that would make money for me or for others. But, I did attempt to create something that would make readers/viewers think about issues that they otherwise might not think about while enjoying spending time with masculine male characters.

What I’ve created is a science fiction time travel adventure, but it is also true to the bara genre. This is because I depict gay male same-sex feelings and sexual identity with masculine, muscular males that sometimes are violent and exploitative. What does that say about me? Most writers will admit what I admit here: We do not like violence and exploitation in everyday living. We write about violence and exploitation. It’s fiction. It’s only pretend. It’s only art or make-believe. As such, I do not advocate for violence and exploitation in real life.

My target audience is gay males, but straight females also are known to enjoy the bara genre.

I suspect that what I’ve created probably will not be made into a traditional Hollywood movie because the story and characters do not fit into the framework of major motion pictures that tell science fiction stories. Yet, I definitely can imagine this would make show business sense as a series of episodes for streaming on Amazon or Hulu or Netflix.

This all started when I began writing the story in 1995. At first, I crafted the story so that it would be a straight-line narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. But, that format did not suit my storytelling needs and I became very frustrated.

So, as the new century arrived I chose a different approach. I revised the story so that I could use nonlinear storytelling. That’s when I started using the science fiction genre and time travel as the framework for telling the story. Pretend or make-believe violence and exploitation are readily found in the science fiction genre.

Don’t conclude that science fiction advocates for violence and exploitation. That is not true. And, I ask you to accept that I am not writing about the kind of civilization or people that I hope actually will exist hundreds of years in the future. What I wrote is fiction that is rooted in science. It’s all intended for you to escape in your mind to a place very unlike where you live right now.

I’ve been told that my work seems similar in feel to the BBC’s Doctor Who and Torchwood television series. I was not trying to emulate any particular science fiction time travel storytelling. If I did anything consciously, I chose to entertain and challenge my readers with storytelling that is unlike most of what you can find today in print, on television, or in movies.

Man in shades

Pen Name

I’m a citizen of the United States, born in California. My heritage is Portuguese from both my parents. Madeira is the Portuguese word for wood. The surname comes from one of my old country grandparents.

When I was a boy, I had an irrational fear that I would turn out to be merely an ordinary man.

During journalism school, I grew to admire writers who distinguished themselves through their professional works. But, I also must confess that I developed a very strong attraction to the well-known practice of writers who use a pseudonym. I discovered in those days that Mark Twain was the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Filtered through the perceptions of a teenage boy, that was the coolest thing I had ever come to know about the writing profession.

No surprise that Mark Twain has remained my favorite American writer of all time. Not that I think I am as good as he was or ever will be. But, I seek to be humorous like him, to tell vivid and imaginative stories like he told, and, yes, to have a memorable nom de plume like his. I created a pseudonym for myself that would sound considerably more Old World ethnic compared to my own birth name while being a name that everyone should recognize no ordinary person would ever have.

It does not really matter whether someone with a pseudonym is prominent and globally identifiable like Mark Twain or Stephen King or J.K. Rowling or Jay Z. The simple reality is that having a pseudonym is a timeworn way of differentiating yourself from everyone else.