Author Spotlight – Kay Alahakoon

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Author Kay Alahkoon

How did you discover you wanted to be a writer?  

From a young age, I crafted stories in my head while others counted sheep to fall asleep. My earliest memory of this creative habit dates back to when I was about four. Inspired by my mother, an avid reader, I developed a love for books and soon found myself creating sequels to the stories I finished reading. However, it wasn’t until I was around 12 or 13 that I began putting these stories on paper.

My first story was a love story penned in a notebook in Sinhalese, my native language, during my school years. This notebook became popular among my friends, who eagerly passed it around and even added their names to a waiting list. I included a review section at the back, where they left comments and feedback. This is when I realised I had a knack for storytelling and wanted to keep writing.

What did you do to actively pursue writing? (Joining RWAus, Mentorship etc)

As I grew older, societal expectations led me down a path that left little time for writing. Higher studies and a demanding corporate job consumed my days, pushing my passion for storytelling to the sidelines. When my mother passed away in 2019, I felt a profound urge to write again. It was a way to honour the woman who instilled in me a love for reading and storytelling. This emotional reconnection reignited my passion for writing. Since then, I have committed all my spare time to learning about the craft and published two books. I have taken writing courses and joined RWAUs and  Eastwood Writing Group to connect with fellow writers and learn and develop myself.

Now, I write everywhere using my trusted companion—my phone —filling ideas and scenes, capturing inspiration during my commute to work standing on a train.

What do you find are the advantages of being part of RWAus?

I am a new member of RWAus and am still discovering the advantages of being part of this organisation. What initially drew me to RWAus was the opportunity to connect with like-minded writers who share a passion for love and happy endings. I look forward to being part of this group and learning from the many veterans in the field. As a new author emerging from a self-imposed closet, I believe there is a lot I can gain from being a member of RWAus.

What is your favourite genre and why?

Romance, of course. I love romance because it’s a common language understood universally. It gives so many possibilities and hope, as there Is no right or wrong way to fall In love. Stories are focused on the emotional connection between characters, allowing them to explore their desires, fears, love and intimacy. Because romance novels focus on happy endings, it gives readers a sense of fulfilment. It brings characters to their full potential, empowering readers to strive for their hopes and dreams.

Share a little about your writing process?

The idea for a story often ignites from a single scene or a character’s compelling presence. In crafting my debut novel, “The Labyrinth of My Life,” I found myself consumed by the protagonist—Saku, who had evolved alongside me since my university days. Her essence demanded expression, propelling me to transition her from a figment of imagination to a narrative shared with others. Similarly, “Chasing a Boomerang” was born from a personal anecdote shared by a close friend recounting a harrowing mugging experience during her student years in Australia. This real-life incident provided the foundation for Issy’s story, the protagonist of my second book. My WIP started with a scene where MMC meets the MFC at a roadside peddler.

I am a writer who gravitates towards a more fluid approach. As I take on writing a new story, I hold a loose grasp of the main characters and the desired endpoint. Then, I let my characters assume control, guiding me through their journey, eagerly following their lead.

Balancing the demands of a full-time profession alongside my passion for writing, I’ve learned to combat time management. Most days, I am up by 4 AM, dedicating two uninterrupted hours to the craft before the demands of the day commence. Weekends are where the bulk of my writing takes place. I continue to write everywhere, on the train, on a flight, in a taxi, in transit at an airport, etc.

I approach the writing process with a philosophy of “pour first, refine later.” Initial drafts are where ideas flow freely onto the page. Subsequent rounds of revision refine the plot and strengthen character development through feedback from alpha and beta readers. Finally, I engage a professional editor before I take on self-publishing.

Tell us about your current work in progress…

My third book is from a dual point of view. This is a challenge I took on to write from a man’s perspective as well. The story takes place in Sri Lanka, and my main characters are equally strong and compassionate individuals fighting their demons and searching for happiness. It’s not only a tale of love and passion but also a story about family bonds and friendship. I love writing this story as it serves as a canvas where I can share the rich heritage of Sri Lanka with the rest of the world.

And your latest book…

My second book Chasing a Boomerang was published in April 2023. It is the story of an immigrant who struggles with assimilation and finding herself and her place in the world. It is a tale that resonates well with many Australians who have made similar journeys to find a home away from home. It is also about unassuming Australians who open their arms and hearts to welcome those searching for new identities and lives.

In this story, the protagonist, Ishani, doesn’t want to leave Sri Lanka. Everything dear to her was there. Her beloved grandmother, her first love, Mahesh, and her dreams of becoming a bride, wife, and mother of two kids.

But she wasn’t given a choice when she was forced to become a foreign student in the big metropolitan city of Sydney. At just twenty-one years old, she becomes Issy, a woman who struggles with everything: her studies, western culture, Aussie slang, and supporting herself financially.

In the same city, she finds friendship and hope. And she falls for a man who isn’t ready for a commitment.

Chasing a Boomerang

Ishani Gamage didn’t want to leave Sri Lanka. Everything dear to her was there. Her beloved grandmother, her first love, Mahesh, and her dreams to become a bride, wife and a mother of two kids.
But she wasn’t given a choice when she was forced to flee the country for her safety and become a foreign student in the big metropolitan city of Sydney. There, at just twenty-one years, she becomes Issy, a woman that struggles with everything; her studies, western culture, Aussie slang, and supporting herself financially.

In the same city, she finds friendship and hope. And falls for a man with wasn’t ready for a commitment.

Would Issy be able to catch the heart of the man she loves? Or would she be strong enough to live knowing that not everyone is destined for happy endings?

Buy on:

Amazon as a paperback and on Kindle as eBook Amazon

Author web site

Author bio:

Kay Alahakoon is a Sri Lankan Australian who has been living in Australia since 2006. She grew up in the beautiful town of Kandy in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Now, she lives in Sydney with her amazing husband.

 Kay calls herself a dreamer because she isn’t a full-time writer. She is a supply chain and logistics professional; writing is her passion, and it takes up most of her spare time. She has published two books, The Labyrinth of My Life in 2021 and Chasing a Boomerang, in April 2023. As a novice writer, she was honoured to receive a five-star rating for both books from Readers’ Favorit.

When she is not working or writing, she likes to curl up with hot chocolate and read or become a Netflix addict. She also loves bushwalking with her husband and their friends. Kay is passionate about raising awareness of homeless children and domestic violence and works closely with multiple charities to support these causes.

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