The Moon Child


Stephen King, an American bestselling author once stated that if you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. Young writers are the fresh blood who have deep, new and different ideas. They can make a big impact in society through their creative writing. Chathushkie Jayasinghe is one of the brilliant undergraduates who has spread the wings of writing as a writer and as well as a poet. Her debut novella MOON CHILD was launched last year while proving that passion of writing is the best fuel to become a successful writer. As a leading community in university, J’pura flames often motivates and guides eager beaver writers to polish their talent and come out as thriving writers. We got the opportunity for an interview with Chathushkie Jayasinghe who crossed the boundaries of literature with her novella MOON CHILD and it is sure that her words will be a great support to fresh writers to paint better their tapestry of creative writing in future.

Q: Tell us a bit about your personal details.

I’m Chathushkie Jayasinghe, twenty-four years old and from Battaramulla. Currently, I’m a final year undergraduate, Department of English and Linguistics, University of Sri Jayewardenepura.Q: How did you begin to write and why? What was your inspiration?I guess writing was my passion, my past time activity like art and music would be for another. I can still remember writing a story called “Hello Bunny”, when I was in grade three and my class teacher read it and I was surprised to find it published in the next edition of our school magazine. So, I believe that was the initial step of encouragement. And of course, my mother and grandparents, they used to actively encourage me, you know saying that I have the potential which is one reason why I chose the art stream for my Advanced Level as well. So I knew that’s where my talent will get sharpened and anyway looking back I think there is a considerable improvement and my choice benefited me.

Q: You are a writer as well as a poet. Then, how do you feel about writing?

Yes, so as I said, writing is never tedious for me it’s a passion and also it is a sort of escape whenever I’m stressed. So if I were to pick one over the other I\’d chose composing poetry over novels because it is like this little box of joy. You write for the punch line, you master the technique and you have the poetic license to play around with words. Ultimately it just makes you happy. And you just know it going be embraced by the readers or not.

Q: I think Moon Child is a successful work. Why did you write such a book?

Is there any reason that propelled you to pen it? Well for me Moon Child was an experiment because although I have written poetry and short stories, this was my first attempt to create a novel or a novella. So I’m a strong believer of using simple language in writing so that is what I used in this book as well. So as parts of experimenting, I included small poetic verses wherever I thought a pause was needed and I used shifting narrations from chapter to chapter and I also merged two cultures together, Sri Lankan and the Tanzanian. And tried to find a common issue on both of these. So, of course I did some research and used some of the knowledge I gain from anthropology at university as well. I took a risk of placing the story in the late eighteen hundreds, So that it fit the issues concerned. And there was no any specific reason to write this. But I just needed to show that positive attitude towards life can help you to overcome a lot of problems. And I made the problem Sri Lankan so that it would speak much closer to the hearts of the readers.

Q: Can you briefly let us know the story?

It’s a very simple story, best suitable for young adults but there is no age restriction. So this is briefly set in Tanzania and then in Ceylon. It is a story of an extraordinary boy called Albino and of a literal and figurative adventure he goes on with two of his friends. It’s a book of relationships, be it parental, friendly, and love. So it shows how he and his friends overcome the challenges that society poses at them. All three characters are subjected to othering of different types. So if you love some Sri Lankan adventure and want to immerse in the natural village life, you’ll love this book.

Q: What are your future plans as a writer? If you wish to write more books, will you depend on same genre?

Yes, I’ve been getting feedback for this novel and I believe as a writer it is a must to listen both negative and positive critics in order to better yourself so that is exactly what I’m going to do. And of course I’m currently working on another collection, it’s going to be short stories. Sticking to one genre is fine but why not spread your wings out a bit more?

Q: Any advice to new Flames’ writers and other young writers out there?

Well for any passionate writer who is reading this, I’d say keep writing, don’t ever give up, be creative. Don’t worry over publishing just yet. Share your work with friends and get their feedback. They can be your first audience. Try and test what works best for you. And please use the platforms available at universities such as J’pura Flames that promotes all sorts of writing be it articles, short stories, poetry or what not. The support of that community is a chance you don’t want to miss.

Written by: Navindu Thiwanka

Graphic designed by : Yasiru Chamalka

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