Tag Archive | Sri Lanka

World Elephant Day

From Christina: I’m guessing that most readers aren’t aware that today is World Elephant Day.  For author Devika Fernando from Sri Lanka, the majestic pachyderms are part of the culture. I was delighted when she offered to share a few thoughts about these magnificent animals. 

World Elephant Day

by Devika Fernando

The role of the elephant in Sri Lanka

Elephants were presumably brought to Sri Lanka by the first Indian settlers and left to their own devices. Some 5,000 years ago, the Sinhalese kings discovered their enormous potential and had them captured. The elephants were used as an advantage in wars and fights, had a ceremonial value during religious rites, and played an important role in construction work. During these times, if you killed an elephant you had to face death penalty. Sri Lankan elephants were considered so valuable that they were bought by rulers from the Indian mainland. The Sinhalese kings sold their best stock even to countries as far as Egypt or Myanmar. With the arrival of the European (especially English) colonial masters, the protection status on elephants was lifted and most animals were set free.

 

Elephant 1
(Wikipedia)

Over the centuries, some of the magnificent beasts were hunted and killed for sport, others taken advantage of as mere sources for ivory. But to date, thousands of elephants roam the island. On top of that, you have those kept for official matters, with approval from the government. They are often bought and trained when they are still small calves, with ideally one mahout (caretaker) for a lifetime. The majority of the captive elephants do temple duty. During celebrations like the Buddhist New Year in April or the Esala Perahera in Kandy in August, richly caparisoned tuskers (male elephants that have tusks) are part of processions. With their colourful silk clothes and glittering sequins, they are a sight you will never forget.

Elephant 2

(Caparisoned elephant at the Kandy Esala Perahera)

As the Sri Lankan population grows and encroaches on the natural habitats of the elephants, conflicts abound. Often, you have lone bulls full of anger charge hapless humans, even injure and kill them. At other times, whole herds will destroy the vegetable and grain crops over night or wreak havoc in a village, trying to get to the stored food and grains and destroying houses as if they were cardboard boxes. Some people scare them off with loud noises and crackers, others resort to shooting, traps or poisoning. There is no feasible solution in sight.

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

In all this, there is a light of hope shining brightly: Sri Lanka’s Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala. Allow me to let the heroine from my WIP “Saved in Sri Lanka” take the stage and introduce this marvel to you:

“Founded in 1975 by Sri Lanka Wildlife Department, the orphanage off Rambukkana has been a home to nearly 150 elephants up to now, some of them born here. The National Zoological Gardens reserves this sanctuary on 24 acres of land for wounded elephants, unprotected females with their offspring, orphans and the occasional troublemaker who has been caught and transferred to be part of this ever-growing family. Pinnawala also serves as a breeding place, and it holds more captive elephants in one place than anywhere else in the world. More than 60 elephants have been born here over the course of time, and the orphanage currently shelters between 70 and 80 elephants. Simulating conditions in the wild, the animals can roam more than 10 acres of grassland freely most of the time, adhere to a herd structure and are well-fed. Every day at 8 o’clock in the morning, the baby elephants are bottle-fed with special milk formula. There are two bathing breaks at 10 o’clock and at 2 pm, where the herd is led to the nearby river and washed for two hours.
The elephants eat unimaginably huge amounts of grass and leaves. They really love coconuts and bananas, too. Rice bran, corn, jackfruit, as well as the logs and branches of the kitul palm tree are also added. Altogether, they need to feed on about 75 kg of green matter daily, plus the rest of the food I have mentioned, sometimes with seeds and minerals added in for good health. As you will see in a short while, they are almost always eating—or sleeping. Sounds like the perfect life, doesn’t it?”

Elephant 3

(Bottle-feeding of a baby elephant at Pinnawala)


Thank you, Devika for sharing!

About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon, as is her newly-released paranormal romance, Playing with Fire.

 

Journeys – Part 2 by Devika Fernando

From Christina: Recently Sri Lankan writer Devika Fernando shared with us a few thoughts — and photographs — from her trip from the town of Kandy to the capital city of Colombo. Today, she continues her story, taking us on a different sort of journey.  Enjoy!

 

Collage for DF

 

 

 

 

Journeys – Part 2

by Devika Fernando

 

A while ago, I wrote a guest post about the arduous, exotic, nerve-wracking but also inspiring journey from Kandy to Colombo. This time, the journeys I discuss are not real-life ones in Sri Lanka, but just as chaotic and meaningful and filled with a tempting mix of positive and negative aspects.

Travelling has made me realize that each of my books deals with an inner journey and also involves a ‘real’ trip.

When I See Your Face

 External Journey:

The story starts with the heroine Cathy embarking on the most important journey of her life: She leaves behind her abusive husband to start from scratch in a small village. The change of places brings her closer to herself, gives her a breather from pressure, and makes her realize that life can be beautiful. She finds love – or does she? Destiny strikes again all too soon, which leads to another journey. This time, she settles down in a town that is a healthy middle-way between the city and the village from before.

 Internal Journey:

The switches of location aside, Cathy also undergoes major changes throughout the book. She transforms from beaten and battered and meek to being aware of herself, and wanting to tap into her potential. Slowly learning to trust again and to give herself as well as others a new chance, she grows up. Cathy finally takes matters into her own hands and fulfils her dream to start her cake business.

 

Playing with Fire

 External Journey:

Joshua is in town on a business trip when he rescues Felicia from a fire. What happens next is a clash of temperaments, elements and wills, and also more than a spark of attraction. Travelling has played an important role in Joshua’s life in the past. To find out more about that – and to get a hint at the final, decisive journey that both of them will make – you’ll have to read the book.

 Internal Journey:

Felicia starts out as a frustrated young woman, hiding a dark secret and burdened by a dull life of routine. When Joshua crosses her path, everything gets turned upside down. She realizes she needs to actively search for happiness and come to terms with her fire magic. The process of discovering and training her gift is filled with hurdles and challenges, much like a hike through the unknown wilderness. Ultimately, she will find herself and make a life-changing decision. Joshua also transforms, his journey leading him from loneliness and cold detachment to fascination, magic and even love and care.

 

Kaleidoscope of Hopes

(Coming in September)

External Journey:

The opening chapters introduce Nadia as a woman on the brink of losing her job, burdened by debts and a tragic past she’s hiding. When Lucas moves in next door, their fates are thrown together and they realize that they – and love – deserve a second chance. Trouble isn’t far away, however, and it makes Nadia flee the city. You’ll have to read the book to find out whether that is her last journey, and where and how they will find a happy end.

Internal Journey:

At first, Nadia is timid, quick to take the blame, tied to her past and as unhappy as can be. Lucas is lonely, too strict on himself and others, and also hiding a dark secret while trying to come to terms with being a father and falling hard for his new neighbour. Both embark on an internal journey that will leave them altered, opening up old wounds, facing their ghosts and working on self-improvement.

 Saved in Sri Lanka

(Work in Progress)

 External Journey:

This love story set in Sri Lanka circles around Sepalika, who works as a tour guide and falls in love with Irish Tourist Daniel. They spend seven days together on a round trip that changes everything. The exotic setting and travelling play an important role in enhancing the plot.

 Internal Journey:

Both protagonists learn a lot about themselves, about each other and about the respective country they’re from. Apart from that, they give real love a chance, and they realize that they are the main reason holding them back. Of course, there’s a dark secret causing trouble in the form of many rocks thrown into the way.



 

 

 

More from Devika Fernando

Journeys – Part 1
Nature Photography

About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon, as is her newly-released paranormal romance, Playing with Fire.

 

Journeys – Part 1 by Devika Fernando

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanka

 

Journeys – Part 1

by Devika Fernando

I live near Kandy, a historically important city with a population of about 125,000 that lies smack in the middle of the island. It’s the capital of the Central Province and part of the Sri Lankan up-country filled with hills and mountains and picturesque villages. Colombo couldn’t be more different. I should know, I lived in one of its suburbs for 3 years, and I don’t ever want to go back. As the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo boasts around 4.5 million inhabitants and is a metropolis right at the coast, part of the Western Province. If you’re looking for anything official and important, for entertainment and for modern high-rise buildings with luxury apartments, you’ll find it there. If you’re looking for teeming slums, smog, dirty politics and overcrowded roads, you’ll find those there, too.

Express Train

The unimaginably slow, so-called intercity express train

To travel from where we live to the capital city, it takes us 5 hours by car each way, which means a whole day needs to be sacrificed. The physical distance is about 130 km, but it feels like a trip to the other end of the world. Most of the journey takes you through villages and towns, up and down mountains, around hairpin-bends and through stretches of beautiful emptiness. You can’t drive faster than 40 km/h for the better part of the trip, and you need to constantly be on your toes unless you want some frustrated, maniacal driver to hit your vehicle. Taking the train isn’t much better. The vista is stunning, but the train crawls at (less than) walking speed, the noise is unbearable and the roughly 20 tunnels make reading a difficult task. I shouldn’t complain, though, because until the British colonized the island and drilled through the rock, a trip from Kandy to Colombo took several arduous days involving bullock carts, jungles and accidents galore.

Bible Rock

View of Bible Rock from Kadugannawa

All the stress aside, travelling from Kandy to Colombo has an exotic flair to it that gets my writer brain whirring. What fascinates me most – apart from the idyllic views of towering peaks, misty mountains ranges, oddly shaped rocky outcrops, impossibly green paddy fields and weed-choked lakes – is the hustle and bustle of life we pass by. You see a zillion shops, houses, schools, banks, restaurants and religious buildings, encroaching on the main road, much too numerous and close for comfort. There are constant traffic blocks, police check-points and crowds monopolizing the road. What adds to the fascinating flair is the fact that specific things are sold at intervals along the way:

Rambutan

Rambutan, mangosteen and durian

• When you wind your way down towards Colombo, you find inflatable toys and balls and boats and what-not lining both sides of the road in splashes of colour (don’t forget, going to Colombo means getting close to the beach).
• There is an aptly named town called Pilimathalawa where people specialize in arts and craft, or rather, in stone or plaster statues (pilima) of all kinds. Some of them are breathtakingly beautiful, others make me cringe with their kitsch and exaggeration.
• The crafty goodness goes on because not much later there’s a town dedicated to furniture and accessories woven from wood. The offers range from simple baskets over cupboards or tables and chairs to lampshades and statues made out of intricate wood weave.
• Up next are places where an array of vases, pots and decoration items made out of clay is on display. Pottery has always been important in this country.
• Following that comes a long stretch around the town of Kadugannawa where vendors sell steamed, salted corn on the cob and spicy snacks to brace yourself for the strenuous journey yet to come.
• Next you are met with girls and women clad in red-coloured traditional clothes who sell cashew nuts, roasted and unroasted. Cashews are available in supermarkets for an ungodly prize, but a little cheaper along the Colombo-Kandy road.
• Hold on tight, exotic fruits are last! It starts with durian, jackfruit, rambutan and mangosteens. Closer to the low-country regions, you can grab pineapples at bargain price.

With such highlights that never fail to interest me and will probably find their way into my book “Saved in Sri Lanka” (it’s in its draft stages at the moment), the negativity fades away a little.

If you have enjoyed reading about one of my journeys, stay tuned for Part 2, where I talk about the real and internal journeys the protagonists of my books face.

 



 

More from Devika Fernando

Nature Photography

About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon. 

 

Sinhalese New Year by Devika Fernando

From Christina: When Devika commented on a post I wrote about “spring cleaning”, she mentioned the traditions surrounding the Sinhalese New Year, known as aluth avurudda in Sinhalese. I was intrigued, and I quickly invited Devika to share a few thoughts. 

 

Sinhalese New Year

by  Devika Fernando

In Sri Lanka, we don’t experience the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. There is the never-ending cycle of dry seasons and rainy seasons which influences flora, fauna and agriculture. So, instead of the spring cleaning the West goes through every year, we have an annual cleaning session when the Buddhist and Hindu New Year dawns. The old year ends on April 13th and the new year begins on April 14th. These dates are chosen because of their astrological meaning. Apparently, the sun moves from the house of Pisces to the house of Aries. To Sri Lankans, astrology is all but holy. That is one of the reasons why each year, there are different auspicious times. One year, the New Year might dawn in the evening, the next year in the morning or around noon. There are also auspicious times for special rituals.

  • There’s a time on the last day of the old year where any preparation and work must be finished. For a span of roughly 10 hours, you’re supposed to do no work (including housework) and to spend time with your family, with religious practices or just relaxing.
  •  There’s a time after the new year has begun where you turn on your oven for the first time. As some Sri Lankans still use a wood-and-fire stove and almost all others use gas for cooking, it is customary to create a small fire and place a pot of milk on it. The milk should boil over at roughly the given time, which brings a bountiful year.
  •  There’s a time when you can have your first meal after the 10-hour period.
  • Usually 2 to 4 days after the New Year, there’s a day and time to start work again.

In combination with these times, there are auspicious colours to wear on each of the occasions, and there is a direction (for example south, or north-east) to look at when you perform a task like cooking the first meal or going to office for the first time.

Sinhalese New Year

Subha aluth avuruddak wewa

 Wishing you a happy New Year

* * * *

During the days prior to the Sinhalese New Year, we perform our version of ‘spring cleaning’. The whole house is swept and dusted and washed and rearranged. Whoever can afford it, gets the building colour washed and the furniture repaired and polished. From the curtains to every item in the cupboards, everything is taken out and cleaned, and old and broken things are discarded.

Not only the houses have to be at their shiniest and newest, but the people, too. It is customary to gift family members and friends clothes, as well as buy yourself new ones. If the grown-up children live in the parent’s house—which happens more often than not—they buy new household items or some decoration.
Another reason for the date the New Year falls on is the end of the harvesting season for paddy (rice) and other major agricultural crops. So, in the villages, there are many rites and rituals around donating the first rice and how to cook it.

Of course, the New Year wouldn’t be a celebration if special food weren’t involved. There are several traditional sweets—many made from rice flour, palm syrup (treacle) and mung bean flour—that the whole family comes together to make. On the dawning of the new day, you eat these along with milk rice and a spicy onion-and-chili paste.

Sri Lanka
Games—climbing a wooden pole smeared with grease, having a pillow fight while balancing on a beam, trying to hit a hanging clay pot with your eyes closed, play drums—are an essential part of the New Year celebrations. Religion also plays an important role. On the first day of the new year, you go to the temple and offer flowers as well as prayers. The head of the family blesses everyone else.

Basically, it’s all about strengthening family bonds, taking a breather from the hectic everyday troubles, readying yourself and your house for the next 12 months to come – and having a good time.

* * * *

About Devika

devikaAlmost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon. 

 

Debut Author: Devika Fernando

From Christina: Today I’d like to welcome a debut author whose first novel was recently released. Devika shares her story of the step-by-step process of becoming a self-published author.

STEP BY STEP

My dear friend Christina has asked me to share a little about my journey towards becoming a self-published author. I thought long and hard about how to condense everything that comes to mind into something that makes sense, and here’s what I have come up with.

Left FootTHE FIRST STEP

In the broader sense, I have always been a writer. Almost as soon as I could spell and knew enough words, I put them together to write stories. Actually, my parents swear that when I was a tiny toddler, I didn’t use my crayons to draw stick figures and flowers and clouds, but to scribble illegible writing in rather neat lines. During my schooldays, I used to write poems and the occasional short story. When others said they wanted to become doctors and teachers and lawyers, I firmly insisted that I’d become a writer. To publish my own book one day has featured in my dreams for years and years.

Without boring you with more ramblings, what I mean to convey by this is: I believe that people who are writers just know. It’s inside their blood. Whether they have wanted to write since childhood or it just hits them in their late 40s, ultimately they have this strong bond with the writing side of their personality. If writing doesn’t come naturally to you and you don’t really WANT to write, it’s not your vocation. If it does and you do, then don’t repress it, because writing can be a wonderful way to deal with your life and can have a cathartic effect, whether as a hobby or a profession.

Right FootTHE SECOND STEP

Some years ago, it became clearer and clearer to me that more than a ‘real’ job, I would be successful with freelance work. While struggling first in Sri Lanka and then in Germany and then again in Sri Lanka to get a grip on life, I searched the internet far and wide for work-from-home opportunities and learned three things:

  • There are a million offers;
  • Almost all of them are fake, especially if they claim record income;
  • It’s best to really do your own thing.

Luck came my way when I found an agency that was looking for web content writers. I made a pittance with them for a year or so, but I stuck to it because I loved writing, because I learnt a wealth of useful things that I had never even known about – especially SEO and writing techniques – and because I now had a plan: to start my own writing business. In 2011, I quit my writing job for them and started on my own. It took some time and lots of effort, but ever since, writing articles for German customers has been my job. While I’m very glad about how well things go, I realized one thing: Writing like this – for others, without being given credit, without much flexibility and with internet marketing directing your steps – had somehow robbed me of my creativity. Gone were time and muse for writing poems or thinking up stories.

The lesson I learnt is that writing and writing are not the same. What I mean is that professional writing like articles for online shops are a totally different matter. I still love what I do and I’ll never give up on it, but I also need an outlet for the creative writer in me. Which is why I finally told myself to make my dream come true and focus on becoming an author of fiction.

Left FootTHE THIRD STEP

I didn’t just plunge ahead and risk drowning or being carried away by the currents. Instead, I read and read and read some more. I absorbed lots of writing tips, I followed other writers and I familiarized myself with all the important guidelines on story writing. All those ideas I had and the drive to just write-write-write got channeled productively by the new knowledge and experiences. Which is why I always reply with two things when somebody asks me for advice on how to become a successful writer:

  • Read as much as you can and write as much as you can.
  • Never stop learning and improving.

When I decided to self-publish, it seemed kind of terrifying. Again, there were lessons to be learnt and shadows to be jumped over.

I believe it’s important that on the one hand, you don’t lose your joy for writing and your own style as well as the focus on what you like – and that on the other hand, you are not afraid to ask for advice, to learn and to follow certain rules.

Right FootTHE FOURTH STEP

I don’t want to forget mentioning one part of my journey to becoming an author: crawling out of my shell. I am what you could call a loner, although I make friends easily and am blessed with some truly wonderful friends and a very supportive husband. Especially when it comes to my writing, I prefer to keep it to myself, to do things my way, and to view every single word as a piece of me. However, I soon realized that this wouldn’t lead me anywhere.

I need criticism. I need to share my work and discuss it with like-minded people. I need to interact with other authors and with potential readers. And once I had gotten over cringing when receiving feedback, sleepless nights wondering what others might think and the urge to let the perfectionist in me have the last say and change everything a hundred times, it actually proved to be fun. I’ve met some amazing people along the way.

So here’s what I think: Even if you don’t choose to self-publish, networking is going to play an important role. Get yourself and your work out there. So what if you earn a negative review or the only ones who buy your book at first are your friends and family? If it’s good enough for you and you have faith in yourself and you are open to what the writing world has to offer, carry on.

I went through phases full of doubt and sometimes I’m too busy to properly focus on my creative writing, but I have never and will never give up. Ultimately, that is probably the one thing I like most about myself, that I’m a fighter. In my eyes, almost every writer is. We fight against prejudice and unfair payments and social norms, and above all we fight with our own insecurities holding us back. But it’s a fight that can be won.

DevikaAbout Devika Fernando

 Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

Her first romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon.com. For more information, visit Devika at her website:

DEVIKA FERNANDO

Namesake Day by Devika Fernando

From Christina: I’ve taken to calling Devika Fernando my “younger twin” — much younger, in fact. We’re separated not only in age but by continents, too. She’s in Sri Lanka; I’m in the middle of the USA. Devika and I seem to think a lot alike, though. We’ve both taken many of the little internet “quizzes” that are passed around on Facebook, and time after time, we get the same results. We share many of the same hobbies and interests, and sometimes, it gets a little spooky. One thing we don’t share, is a name. From my midwestern-American perspective, her name is unusual. I’d never heard it before. But perhaps it’s more common than I’d guessed. 

Namesake Day

by Devika Fernando

Thanks to a fabulous online calendar a writer friend shared, I found out that the first Sunday in March is Namesake Day. This lesser known holiday is meant to make us explore the roots of our names. We could find out whether we were named after something or somebody in particular. That, in turn, might lead to us not only doing some research, but also connecting with others who do the same or share our name. This made me think. I’ve always been fascinated by names because we so readily take them to be somebody’s essence and identity.

Name

As for my name, Devika means “little goddess” and hails from Sri Lanka as well as India. To ‘celebrate’ Namesake Day, I checked whether I have any famous namesakes.

Here’s a selection of Devika’s and Devi’s, apparently all of Indian origin:

  • Sri Devi – Actress
  • Devika Rani – Actress and producer
  • Devika Mittal – Freelance writer and NGO activist
  • Devika Rao – Dancer and arts teacher

 

Just this little bit of researching has made me get to know about interesting people, which is what Namesake Day really is about, I believe. 

Many of us are named after deities, heroes or famous people. Others are called like a relative, a friend of the family or a person that had great influence on their parents. Yet others had their name chosen because of its sound, its beautiful connotations or the way it fits into the family tree. Hardly any of us bear a name that was chosen by themselves – unless you take into account the phenomenon of adopting a pen name or pseudonym. Yet another aspect that underlines the importance of a name.

While this is fascinating enough, I want to focus my post on the importance of names in literature, or rather, in writing. Here are a few of my thoughts that influence the way I search for my protagonists’ names:

–          Is it easy to pronounce and will it stay in the reader’s mind, so that he/she will speak of the protagonist as of any friend or real person?

–          Do you prefer an exotic name because of the book’s genre or the character itself? This is especially useful if you write science fiction, paranormal romance or fantasy stories. Making up names that fit into the imagined language and life of the world you create can be endless fun and give the book some backbone.

–          What is the meaning of the name? It can be a fascinating detail if the power-hungry villain has a name that reflects exactly that trait, or if the gentle, shy heroine has a name that sounds like she acts or that stands for her values.

–          Something that I like to do and that I have seen others do successfully: Picking a name that starts with the same letter as another word of the title or the main theme of the story. Book titles like Love for Livy or The Lurid Lady Lockport have a special ring to them – but all this focus on alliteration can get out of hand and shouldn’t be forced.

–          Can you work with the name? By that I mean whether the name can for example be shortened for the hero’s / heroine’s friends to use, whether it can be transformed into a nick name and endearment that the lover comes up with, or whether maybe the protagonist can modify it to suit certain needs and change into somebody else. If you call the main character Elizabeth, will she be addressed as Liz or Lizzy or Betty or Eliza or Lizbeth?

 

There are many more factors to take into consideration when choosing a name. Does it fit the time you’re writing about and is it age-appropriate? Is the name overused and too stereotypical? Do readers automatically associate it with famous personalities and their feats as well as qualities?

I know that some writers rely on character naming resources like 20,000 Names from Around the World,or Behind the Name and that others just instinctively know how their protagonist should be called, without wracking their brain about possible meanings. I am found somewhere in the middle of both.

Many authors choose their character names wisely and even use them as the sole book title (sometimes with an explaining subtitle or additional words). Just look at powerful examples like Jane Eyre, Robinson Crusoe, The Vampire Lestat, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Diary of Anne Frank. Such titles make it perfectly clear that – rather than presenting us with multiple points of view, a whole complex world or a set of characters – we will get to know one particular person, see things from their view, and share their life.

Last but not least, on Namesake Day, let me recommend a book that I have enjoyed immensely and that has been adapted into a movie:

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri 

 

What does your name mean and where does it come from?

Do share in the comments section!

 Writing has always been part of Devika’s life, be it stories or poems or articles. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she finally got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany as well as in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing.

She is currently finishing her first romance novel. You can find Devika on her blog:

Devika Fernando – Romance Author