This week on ‘Shopping with Blessed Zelie’ we interview Dominic de Souza at CatholicAuthor.us, the founder of Saintnook and visual designer for Shopping with Blessed Zelie. As you can see below, he has all kinds of projects going, and in his freetime from home works on children’s novels.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a young dad who lucked out with a gorgeous wife, and a rambunctious little 2 year old. I work at Seton Home Study School as the Visual Arts Manager, and in my free time, design websites like Saintnook and CatholicViral, and dream about writing more books for children.
I was born in New Zealand, eldest in a family of 8 kids, and fortunate to be a cradle Catholic. My dad was a teacher for a long time, and we moved around to go where the work was. To that end, I went to school for the first time in Fiji, and grew up in Australia.
When I was 17, we all moved to France, and lived with a Catholic boarding school for a year. Since then we have lived in the USA, with a boatload of cultural vignettes defining our childhoods.
From early on, I was fascinated by sketching and drawing, and an inveterate reader. I was fortunate to attend a single year of college at Christendom, and that confirmed for me a love of great literature and the desire to give back to the Church for my life of faith.
Since then, I married Maria Rey, a beautiful young woman from Maryland who’s bravery in the face of adversity leaves me in the dust. Together, we have been blessed with a happy little freedom-fighter, Mercedes, and have a second in Heaven looking out for us.
What do you make?
I have produced three books so far; an Illuminated Book of Catholic Prayers, a Coloring Book for Young Illuminators, and a children’s novel, ‘The Ring of Fantasy’.
For centuries, the Catholic Church has used art to illuminate the sacred mysteries of the Faith. Now, your child can follow in that tradition by making sacred art with the help of Sense of the Sacred: Coloring Book for Young Illuminators.
This book contains 30 hand-drawn illustrations and accompanying Bible verses, drawing on the rich legacy of statues and stained glass in our Catholic Faith. Enjoy the majesty of Christ, the tenderness of the Blessed Virgin, the power of God, the glory of the Eucharist and the wings of armored Angels…and then let your child bring them to life!
Sense of the Sacred: Illuminated Book of Catholic Prayers contains thirty traditional Catholic prayers every child should have at hand, each accompanied by a beautiful, hand-drawn illustration to aid in prayerful meditation on the mysteries of the faith.
This book also serves as a handy coloring guide for the companion coloring book, which contains each of the illustrations.
Opening under the war-torn skies of WWII Britain, Joshua Douglas discovers a ring that transports his sister, Tess, and himself into a bright and wild world called Fantasy. There, they learn that they have been prophecied for generations, and are expected to preserve Fantasy from an evil invasion. A crafty wizard instantly kidnaps Tess, hoping to divert the children from their task, forcing Joshua to rush from forests to glades to pick up his fabled weapons, prepared for him by a mystical ‘Ringmaster’, the land’s creator. With the help of a burning horse, he rescues his sister, defeats the wizard and rushes back in time to join the great battle for the freedom of Fantasy.
‘The Ring of Fantasy’ is a ticket to a wonderland of talking animals, beautiful creatures and plenty of fast-paced action, held together by the bond between two children, fired by humility.
Great for reading aloud to ages 5-11!
Do you do anything else?
I am also the founder of a couple of websites, such as Saintnook, the social network for the saints, CatholicViral.com – Family-Friendly Catholic Awesome-Sauce, ArboriadDesign.com – affordable visual design and consulting, and lastly CatholicAuthor.us, my author site.
Saintnook transforms how we learn about the saints by presenting them and their information as a social network. They can friend each other, join groups, and update statuses just like we can on Facebook. It’s currently managed by a small team of volunteers, and the door is always open for more friends to join us.
CatholicViral was intended to create roundups of amazing, family-friendly content, with an eye on premium design. It’s still a one-man band, so I’ll occasionally share something that really jackhammers my funnybone or I find truly inspiring. The dream is to marshall a group of Catholics passionate about filling it up with all the fun stuff around online, with an eye on the Faith for guidance. Phil 4:8 it up!
ArboriadDesign.com is still under development, but its an opportunity to offer businesses and individuals affordable, top-tier design for books, websites, posters and trailers. I have been designing for 10 years, and happy to bring that love of creative excellence to your next project.
CatholicAuthor is my blog, a simple place where I share articles that inspire me, occasionally write a post, and link to the books and projects I have available.
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