GLF Shortlisted: Theena Kumaragurunathan.

Author of First Utterance, the first book in The Miragian Cycles trilogy, Theena Kumaragurunathan is a multifaceted creative who is brilliant at photography, writing, and now videography as well. Having previously worked in advertising agencies, he put his language and creative wordsmith skills to good use but found the industry rather stifling: so he moved out and founded a creative agency with several other friends while publishing the first of his trilogy and simultaneously working on the second book.

From the First Draft to the Final Document

How many drafts does it take before an author decides his manuscript is ready to be combed through by a fresh pair of eyes? For Theena, it took six months of editing and three drafts before he submitted his version of the final document to a couple of publishers and the Gratien awards (only to be turned down by all of them), before he decided that he needed a fresh pair of eyes and some strict feedback before attempting to publish once more. The rejection by the publishing houses and the awards was expected, given that local publishers aren't used to novellas of his genre — which was a combination of verse, short stories, and script as opposed to a regular novel sticking by a constant theme and style of writing throughout.

The people Theena approached next were contacts he claimed are extremely hard to please before commissioning Marisa Wickremenayake (Shortlisted for the Gratien Awards 2001-2003) for the final edit.

Visuals, Visuals.

We asked Theena how he got around to publicizing his book and getting the hype it's already gotten — barely a year old, self-published, doesn't have an agent, but is already featured in The Huffington Post, shortlisted for the Fairway Galle Literary Festival and so on. What was it that got his book this popularity when it's pretty hard for emerging authors to get noticed?

"Visuals, media contacts, and having a strong online presence. Most people put so much effort into the book that they neglect the visual aspect, and you have to remember that the cover and feel of it is what will make it stand out among other books when it's on a shelf. I recruited Madhri Samaranayake for the artwork and she took about 2 1/2 years perfecting it — and I'm completely satisfied with how it turned out in the end. Then I met a few guys at JWT with whom I could complete the work: the text layout, art direction and everything else into a harmonious fit. The final step was finding a good printer. We got in touch with the Aitken Spence printers and they did a fantastic job, even down to having the 1000 copies ready two whole weeks before the launch," he enthused, while also emphasising on how much more effort needs to be put into the paper quality, typography, and design of locally published books.

Non-normative Themes

"I don't like the beaten path — it's boring," he said bluntly. "The only books I find originally written and depicting Sri Lanka (by Sri Lankan authors) are Anil's Ghost and Chinaman. I made a conscious decision not to let any Sri Lankan influences come through."

Theena's is one of the very few local books that hasn't capitulated to popularity based on war or tsunami stories. The Miragian Cycle's plot line is fantastical, set in a universe that's alien yet strangely familiar at the same time: mostly because of the references or names that ring bells in your head, but you can't quite put your finger on. Turns out that this bit of mind play is thanks to Theena using anagrams of familiar places to come up with more uncommon names.


The Galle Literary Festival is what's in the immediate future, along with his plans to release the second book next year. The purpose of the first book was to show the cycle (detailed in the story) in as compressed a way as possible, while introducing his readers to Mirage, the nation the story is set in. Book two, he revealed, focuses on the end of the cycle and more on the sociopolitical and geopolitical issues within that time period.

You can follow the Miragian Cycle's updates here, and also drop into the Galle Lit Fest to meet the rest of the shortlisted authors.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp



Your go-to restaurant in Chilaw – Clement’s Chilaw review

By Warsha Dissanayake We visited Clements brand new outlet based in Chilaw towards the evening


Holy crepes at Crepe Runner – Bambalapitiya

By Maryam Rizwan No one does crepes as good as Crepe Runner does. Starting from


Don’t chai this at home – Karak review

By Warsha Dissanayake Looking for some downtime?Is it time to take a break off of


Nutella-filled goodness at Crepeholics

Crepeholics located in the middle of Mount Lavinia is packed with a variety of crepes


Kailasa Street Food Cafe

This place is long overdue and something Colombo needed so bad. Kailasa street food, serving


Clement’s Restaurant & Banquet

Walking into the restaurant, you are greeted by some warm smiles and pleasant greetings. Asanka,



Suriya’s Jai Bhim wins five awards at Studioflicks Film Awards 2021

By MR The Tamil film industry has turned the global spotlights in 2021 for releasing


5 BlackBerry models we will miss

By Ruchika Seneviratne It truly is an end of an era as BlackBerry has announced


Elephant House – Feel Good Range

We all grew up eating Elephant House ice cream, whether it was to wrap up



Cinnamon Bentota Beach added a vintage touch to its award-winning art and architecture during the ‘Classic Car Run’ recently.



The Christmas Bells and Bundles at Ramada is a mini wonderland with delectable Christmas goodies


Yamu Guide.

New shopping experience at the Keells on Lauries Road

Keells is reinventing your shopping experience in the best way possible. Because of the pandemic,

Yamu Guide

5 events to look forward to in 2022

By Tashia Ranasinghe Hello, 2022! Just as much as there is a bunch of holidays

Yamu Guide

8 Indoor Sports Outlets in Colombo

By Warsha Dissanayake Looking to let off some steam after a crazy day or week

Yamu Guide

7 Cuisines in 7 Days

By RD We are always on the lookout for exotic new flavors, that probably is

Yamu Guide

5 Places to cycle in Sri Lanka

By RD “The Bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine”- John Howard,

Yamu Guide

6 Hotels to Visit in 2022

By Maryam Rizwan The new year calendar year has some really nice long weekends to

Yamu Guide


ලොව බිහිසුනුම දාම ඝාතිකාවන් (Woman serial killers) 10 දෙනෙක්

By Yesha Fernando කාන්තාවන් කිව්වම හැමවෙලාවෙම වගේ අපේ ඔලුවේ මැවෙන්නේ හරි සංවේදී, ආදරණීය පිරිසක්. ලෝකයේ


2022 සැමරුම හොඳටම කරපු රටවල් 10 ක්  

By Yesha Fernando මරණය, කුසගින්න, විරැකියාව, ආර්ථික අවපාතය, දේශපාලන අර්බුද යනාදී ගෝලීය දුෂ්කරතා රැසක් මැදින්


හොරු අතරට අලුතින් එක් වූ “ජංගි හොරා”

By Yesha Fernando මෙරට සියලු ආකාර හොරු අතරට එක්වූ අලුත්ම හොරා "ජංගි හොරා" යි. මෙකී

Featured Sinhala

Squid Game අපට කියා දෙන ජීවිත පාඩම් 6 ක්

ත්‍රාසය, ශෝකය, කුතුහලය වගේම මෙයට වඩා තවත් බොහෝ ජීවිත පාඩමුත් Squid Game කථාංග නවයට ඇතුළත්.

Sinhala Slider

පිස්සුම නව අවුරුදු සිරිත් විරිත් 6 ක්

එහෙනම් කට්ටියම තමන්ගේම ක්‍රමේකට 2022 පිළිගන්න ලේස්ති වෙමු.

Sinhala Trending