‘A Treasure Trove of Thoughts’ and ‘Janani’s Jewellery Box’:Tiran and Janani launch their work
Last week, siblings and writers Tiran Weerasinghe and Janani Weerasinghe launched their work A Treasure Trove of Thoughts and Janani’s Jewellery Box at the Crystal Ballroom at Taj Samudra, Colombo. The Chief Guest of the event was The British School in Colombo Principal Dr. John Scarth. Soon after the launching ceremony, the two budding writers shared their thoughts and experiences with Little Stars.
Tiran Weerasinghe is 13-year-old teen who is passionate about literature and loves to play with words. A student at The British School in Colombo, he enjoys writing poems and stories as well as playing football and other sports. He also loves cars and most of his pieces of work are influenced by what he enjoys, what he questions, and mainly when, where, and why he wishes to write it.
Introduce yourself to Little Stars readers.
My name is Tiran Weerasinghe. I’m a 13-year-old student at The British School in Colombo. I love cars, especially classic cars, and I love to do sports such as football or basketball. I am from a family of four – including my mother and father. I have one younger sister and also two star tortoises.
What inspired you to write this book?
Ever since I was small, I always had a passion for reading and I admired many writings from other amazing authors. Nature, wherever I was, my mood, what I see…it all comes to play when I want to get inspired. Generally, when I had many ideas and thoughts on something, I’d want to put it all down on a piece of paper and satisfy myself with either a poem or a story.
Sports and creative writing. How are you making yourself good in both?
I was not that strong in either; I was always the loud kid who wanted to have fun. However, after going to classes and being influenced by my environment or friends, I learned to master both. It isn’t really that hard – anyone can do it. It just requires your commitment and hard work.
Can you explain why you believe that ‘there is a book you wish to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then it is your duty to write it’?
I am fond of one quote, and that very quote is: “If there is a book you wish to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then it is your duty to write it.” I believe in this quote and I love it because it has a bigger picture to it. It basically says that if there is something you want to happen, then you must act because no one else will.
Anyone special you need to thank?
My Friends, family, and teachers are the people who support me. I cannot express my gratitude to them and I can’t explain how extremely lucky I am to be surrounded by such amazing people
Janani Weerasinghe is 10 years old. She has a passion for writing stories. English has always been her favourite subject. Janani too is a student at The British School in Colombo and she is in Year Five. She is a part of the choir “Little Friends”, as well as a part of a singing class from outside. Janani also takes part in a speech and drama class, as well as an effective communication class which gives her the opportunity to take part in the British Lanka Festival where she has achieved many certificates, trophies, medals of Distinction and Honours, as well as All Island Winner awards. Janani believes that English is a magical subject and that if you want to write a good story, you need to think of something no one has ever thought of before.
Tell us about yourself Janani.
My name is Janani Laknara Weerasinghe. My mother’s name is Fazna Weerasinghe and my father’s name is Nadeesh Weerasinghe. My brother’s name is Tiran Weerasinghe. I am 10 years old and go to The British School in Colombo. I have two pet star tortoises. Some of my hobbies are writing stories and poems, reading, and acting, I also love making short movies and shows with my friends.
Why is English your favourite subject?
English is my favourite subject because it is a tremendous part of my life. When I was in Year One, I was struggling with writing and my mum noticed and immediately took action. She helped me with English until Year Two, and from Year Three onwards to where I am now, I had to teach myself to be a good writer. Why English is my favourite subject is because when I read books, sometimes I can’t take my eyes off the book and that would mean the book is really good. I knew that in order to write a good book, I need to be good at writing. I know what I’m saying might sound stereotypical, but that is what I think. Stylistic devices and ambitious vocabulary are some things I like to add to my stories. Simple literary devices can also help you write a good story. For example, I think fronted adverbials also make stories interesting and add more information. Therefore, English is my favourite subject because it’s magical and people can do wonders with it.
Can you tell us what you did to improve your writing skills?
In order to improve my writing, I improved my use of stylistic devices. For example, metaphors, personification, similes, etc. A thesaurus became my best friend; it was always by my side when I was writing. In Year Five, my teacher noticed that I loved learning new advanced vocabulary, which is definitely something I encourage all writers to do in order to improve their writing skills.
Why did you decide to publish your work as a book?
One of my friends published her first book at the age of seven, and I was really astonished that she could publish a book at such a young age. I have always wanted to publish a book. I went for an anthology as my first published book, because my friend who I just spoke about published her first book as an anthology. I just wanted my precious pieces of writing to be displayed in a book to everyone.
Who are your supporters? Anyone special you need to thank?
First of all, I should thank my parents for going out of their way to get this book launched. My brother for helping me out with things I had to do related to the launch of this book. I thank all my teachers at The British School in Colombo for making me an amazing writer (not only my mum helped) and I thank them for moulding me into a confident child who excelled in their work. One special person I must thank is my speech and drama teacher Ms. Daphne Charles. She is like a second mother to me and is an incredible teacher. Lastly, I thank my friends who made me happy every day, which added to my determination to complete this book and launch it.
Photos Krishan Kariyawasam