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Jayatissa's latest novel introduces Sri Lankan culture — corpses are thrown

Samantha pack
Northwest Asia Weekly

Amanda Jayatissa (Credit: Sandun Seneviratne)

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Amanda Jayatissa (Credit: Sandun Seneviratne)

At her 9th birthday party, Amanda Jayatissa was trapped in the bathroom. While she was reading her book, she wanted to finish another chapter.

“I was a huge reader who grew up,” said Jayatissa.

It all started when some older cousins ​​visited her family and appeared with a box of books for her. She was too young to read them at the time, but she remembers that Jayatissa touched her books, looked at the pictures, and was dying to read them.

And when she’s old enough to do that, that’s all she does-to everyone’s surprise-she admits with a laugh.

After reading a lot of stories, her next logical step was to write her own story, so around 8 or 9 o’clock, Jayatissa picked up a pink gel pen and started writing.

The first thing she wrote was a mystery story. Indeed, with Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven series ripping, some of her favorite stories followed a group of children who went on an adventure, including solving mysteries.

“It was very bad,” she said of her first foray.

However, Jayatissa was not stopped. Whether it was a more mystery or a poem of her teenage wrath (during which she once described her life as a “black abyss” to her brother), she wrote her. Did not stop.

And since Jayatissa, who used to work as a corporate trainer, now has some mysterious novels under her belt, it all goes around completely. Her second book, You’re Invited, will be released on August 9, telling her that the wedding didn’t go well when her bride disappeared on a big day morning. doing.

“What if we threw a corpse?”

The idea of ​​solving the mystery at the wedding came to the camera again after a glimpse of the bride’s mother being exhausted for a moment after Jayatissa attended the wedding. With this, Jayatissa thought about her wedding and how the cracks were behind her brilliance and charm. She is the perfect gateway for anyone who is always wondering what happens if she throws a corpse.

She enjoys the easy reading that takes her to a “happier place,” but Jayatissa is drawn to the idea that something should be resolved in the story.

She loves the big rivier and plot twist types that are more mysterious than other genres, such as surprises, good “Ahaha” moments, and when the villain’s mask comes off at the “Scooby Doo Show”.

“You’re Invited” will be held in Sri Lanka, where Jayatissa was born and raised and is still alive. The story was an opportunity to highlight various aspects of her culture, including the spectacular days of events related to a Sri Lankan wedding. Sri Lanka is not the country most people hear in the mainstream media. With a glimpse of culture, Jayatissa wants to learn more or be intrigued by exploring books set up in a variety of environments outside the United States.

One aspect that Jayatissa especially enjoyed with “You’re Invited” was a group of gossip aunts.

“It was really fun for me,” she said, adding that this is a reflection of her own social circles in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. The sixth degree of separation is 2 degrees, so it is not so much. Everyone knows everyone, and a particular person only knows everyone’s business.

Benefits of being a writer

For Jayatissa, new book ideas usually come to her as she writes the book. This is what happened in “You’re Invited” and her third novel. However, she does not allow her to start a new project until she submits her current project for editing. This is to ensure that the voice of the new character does not leak into the previous story.

When she is finally able to start a new story, Jayatissa will do some pre-writing work, such as outline the story and write a diary in the voice of the character. Then she starts writing. And when that happens, she said, no one will see her for a long time. All kinds of routines she has (exercise, meditation) fall on the roadside until her “draft zero” is complete. After that, she modifies the draft enough to send it to agents and editors, which makes her more disciplined. This will take about a year.

And Jayatissa may have had the idea of ​​”You’re Invited” before finishing her first book, “My Sweet Girl” (2021), but that wouldn’t have happened without that challenge. .. Jayatissa dealt with what she and some of her writer’s friends described as “book-to-syndrome.” There were no real deadlines or expectations while writing her first book, except for the ones she created herself, but the second book has a specific deadline, others from her team to the reader. Brought the expectations of the person, and a comparison with her previous work.

“You are very attentive,” Jayatissa said of this additional pressure. But nevertheless, she said, “I love writing.”

In addition to the act of writing yourself, another perk is that she can read as much as she wants and no one can get angry with her.

Just the other day, she admitted in her room that she had a book she had been waiting for a release. Her dog was barking loudly, and because her reading (another thriller mystery) was in the name of “research,” Jayatissa could ask her husband to handle them. I was able to do it.

“That 9-year-old man trapped in the bathroom would be very proud,” she said.

Samantha can be reached at