Iruth Karunathilaka’s the ‘Adventures of the Magic Boy and the Magic Tree’

Photos Saman Abesiriwardana

By Kusumanjalee Thilakarathna

Iruth Karunathilaka is a grade five student of St. Peter’s College who is very passionate about storytelling. He recently published his debut storybook: “Adventures of the Magic Boy and the Magic Tree”. Iruth says the illustrations in his storybook by Prasad Rathnasekara have helped him immensely to describe the story to its readers. 

In an interview with Little Stars, Iruth shared his experience in completing his debut storybook, utilising the free time he had due to the quarantine curfew.  


Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Iruth Karunathilake. I am 10 years old and I am from Ratmalana. I go to St. Peter’s College. I have one sister who is older than me. 

I like to listen to music and play the guitar. I love making crafts and I also enjoy making videos. Sometimes, when I get a story idea to my mind I create it as a video using cartoon characters. I share these videos with my friends.


Since when have you been writing stories?

I started writing stories during the lockdown. Although I didn’t really write them down before that, I was always making up stories inside my mind.


Do you share these stories with anyone?

Yes. I share them with my family and my friends. They like my stories and sometimes, when I narrate ghost stories they get scared. I think I come up with stories with happy endings rather than scary ones.


Do you have any favourite topics that you write about?

I like to write about magic mysteries and investigative stories.


Can you tell us more about the book you recently published? How did you get the idea to write this book? 

When I was walking in the garden, I had a thought: “What if the trees can talk and do magic”. This is what gave me the idea to write the story of the “Adventures Of The Magic Boy And The Magic Tree”. 


What inspired you to create all these interesting characters in the story?

These are not characters that I have met or known. I just created them in my mind and they all contributed to telling the story I wanted to tell.


You have used really interesting names in the stories, like Spreeker, Vola the Joker, and Lapoir. How did you come up with these names?

Well, I first wrote the alphabet and then one by one I took the letters and arranged them. Then I filled out the names using a few other letters and made the names.


You told us that it took about one month to write this book. When did you finish writing it?

It was during the recent lockdown period. I wanted to spend the free time I got due to the lockdown productively.


Why did you decide to publish this story as a book?

I planned it and others also said that it’s a good story.


How did you feel when you saw the completed book with all these beautiful illustrations?

It felt amazing. I downloaded some images from the internet as indicators to show how the characters should be. And uncle Prasad has done a marvellous job creating the characters that were inside my head. It looks fabulous.


You said you like to write about magical mysteries. Does that mean you believe in magic?

Well, I would like to believe in magic, although I am yet to meet someone who can do magic.


What kind of music do you listen to when you are free?

Currently, my favourite song is “Country Roads” by John Denver. I recently started to learn to play the guitar. It is my favourite instrument. I don’t study music at school.


Do you have a favourite book that you read?

Yes. It’s the “Diary of aWimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” by Jeff Kinny. I have watched the movie more than once. I like it because it’s really funny. My favourite character is Greg Heffley.


You have already completed your second book and you are working on your third. Is that correct? 

Yes. My second book is about two friends who are going to complete a mission. My third book is an investigative story.


Have you read any investigative stories?

Yes. My favourite one is a book from the “Famous Five” series.


What is your ambition?

I would like to become an aircraft engineer in the future.


Is there a particular reason why you like aircraft engineering?

Not really, I just like aircrafts a lot.


What is your favourite travel destination?

France. The Eiffel tower is there and the most popular travel destination, Paris, is my favourite place to visit.


Reading your story it feels like you are very fond of nature. Do you have any message to our readers on environmental conservation? 

Mainly to educate their family and friends about the importance of planting trees and protecting nature. They can plant trees and help to keep the environment clean without putting garbage everywhere.


Is there anyone you want to thank?

My mom and my sister help me very much to write the stories. When I come across difficult words they help me and guide me a lot. I have to thank Uncle Prasad Rathnasekara for doing a wonderful job.