Where do you live in Sri Lanka?

In the capital of the nation, Colombo. I live in a region that is predominantly tamil. (I am a Sri Lankan tamil).

What is it like in Sri Lanka?

It is my motherland, but I take no pride in saying so. Due to my ethnicity I am discriminated against by the very forces that are supposed to protect us. I see no pleasant future for myself in Sri Lanka and am expecting to leave in the coming months. The current political situation is -quite possibly- the worst ever. The country is very unstable and teetering on the edge of genocide. Due to its small size, there is little news coverage.

Does the war in your country influence your writing?

Currently no. I hope to write a novel one day involving a pacifist who achieves world peace. It is a very ambitious project so I wish to gain much more experience before attempting such a story.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In the past year I've gone through numerous challenges that delayed my international college applications. Despite this, I hope to see myself as a medical practitioner in 10 years time and a part-time writer (whether published or not).

Is the market in Sri Lanka primarily local or foreign writers?

To tell the truth, I do not read Tamil literature. I am much more fluent in English. There are numerous shops that sell both Sinhalese and Tamil books. However, the market for foreign books is big, though not as big as I'd like. Several famous titles are not available. My views may be prejudices as I live in the city. Considering the country as a whole- locals writers are probably more popular (at least I assume so. Again, 85% of the nation is Sinhalese - a language I do not understand- so I cannot speak for them).

What would you like people to know about you?

This is difficult to answer! It would depend on who exactly is meant by 'people.' However, on the whole one of my greatest wishes is for the international community to understand the situation in Sri Lanka and bring peace to the nation.

What is your favorite place?

Egypt. I've never been there but ever since I was a child, I've been fascinated by the Ancient Egyptians. I hope to visit the country one day, and also to base a novel on that.

What is your favorite memory?

When my Ordinary Level results (An important exam similar to the GCSE) arrived. I had achieved A s in all my subjects which is what my parents had been working for for 15 years. Despite the war, displacement and suffering they gave me a very good education knowing that "knowledge is power." And educated man can go a long way in even the most desperate circumstances. Their own education was disrupted by the war. My parents' reactions upon the arrival of the results sheet is something that I will never forget.

What job would you never want to have?

Piloting airplanes. I'm paranoid. The fear of crashes will render me useless.

What is you favorite scent?

Freshly baked bread. It-is-irresistible.

What are your goals as a person?

1) My parents sacrificed a lot for me and my sister. I wish to attain a strong financial position in life so that I can provide for them and grant them a long retirement.

2) I wish to become a doctor so that I can relieve the pains of others. I've seen a lot of suffering. Doctors restore hope, life and joy to numerous families. I wish to attain that status and create a little more happiness in the world.

3) Due to a somewhat distorted childhood, I'm somewhat shy. I wish to overcome that and be more open and friendly with people. I've yet to achieve that.

4) Many of my close relatives (all living abroad) turned their backs on us when we needed help. I was astonished to see my own parents' siblings behave this way. We have been looked down upon and considered as 'losers' for remaining in this country. I wish to change that and attain a social position that will prove to them that my parents made the right decisions. I am on my way towards this goal and these 'relatives' have already intervened to try to dissuade me from my chosen path. I know this sounds crazy but these people really are unbelievable.

If you could be one person alive, or from history for one week, who would it be, and why?

Thiruvalluvar. He is a very old sage in Tamil literature. He made numerous predictions, and his knowledge is legendary. Tamil calenders feature his advice on every page (the ones that you tear every day). There is a giant statue dedicated to him just off the South Indian coast that was fortunately undamaged by the tsunami. I would love to experience all that knowledge in my mind at once.

If you could be one fictional character for one week, who would it be and why?

I would like to be Seisi from the anime series 'Gundam 00." He is involved in an organization that fights to eradicate war from the world. The entire anime is set 400 years in the future. The fundamentals of that organization, and consequently those of the character, are acceptable and just. A world without war is the best thing I can imagine.

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

In a nation that is free from war and terrorism. I want an average, peaceful life. I want to live in a place where I can leave my home with confidence that I'll return. I want to live in a country where the daily news doesn't involve killings and massacres. Last week, a friend of mine almost got arrested for absolutely no reason other than his ethnic origin. He was extremely fortunate to have been released. I rarely travel more than 3 km from my home because it isn't safe. Due to my ethnic origin and race and since emergency laws are in effect, I can be arrested for virtually no reason and there is little anyone can really do.

Has your life influenced your writing?

I am new to writing and have no allowed my experiences to affect it. As I mentioned, I hope to include my experiences in a future novel. Nevertheless, my life has shaped me and my writing is influenced to some extent nevertheless.

What draws you to the genre you write?

I write fantasy. In fantasy, the writer is God. The world functions the way he decides. I find the extreme freedom very comfortable and exciting. Fantasy tends to focus around medieval Europe. I hope to combine fantasy with Ancient Egypt one day. Should be interesting!

What are your goals as a writer?

Getting published.
Having an audience who want to read more of what I write.
Eventually I wish to be able to raise awareness of the war in Sri Lanka via writing. I can only hope that a resolution arrives before I reach that point.

What was the worst thing said to you as a writer?

From a friend: "I can't believe that you are so jobless."

What was the best thing said to you as a writer?

A friend insists on being my first beta reader. His frequent nudges asking me whether the story is complete have been very inspirational. He is really expectant and I'm truly grateful. On the down side, I'm paranoid that I won't be able to live up to his expectations. Needless to say, this delicate balance has made me edit the story several times. Without his dedicated inspiration, I'm not sure where I would be today.

Do you want to convey a message in your writing?

Presently no. I'm currently writing for the fun of writing. I love reading fantasy novels. They feeling I get after finishing a good story cannot be described. I hope to be able to deliver the same feeling.

Has joining AW changed or influenced your writing?

My writing began with AW. My foundation stone is this website and I shall never forget that. I went through that last 70 pages of threads in the fantasy forum before I started to write. The information gained is invaluable. The members of AW helped shape my writing style from the very beginning and I'm forever grateful for that.

What is the one thing, you would want your readers to know?

I do not think I am neither wise nor mature enough to answer this question just yet. As I said, I've been writing for just 5 months. Next year, Regdog, I hope to provide a solid answer to this.