Unheardwords of Writers of Colour

unheardwords - interview - collinie Weeratung

Writer Interview

About Collinie Weeratung:

"I have a great passion regarding creative writing and lots of my poems and articles have been published in newspapers in my mother country- SriLanka. It really is the most wonderful feeling to live in and love the beautiful world of Literature and Creative Arts. At present (2005) I live in London with my husband."

When did you first start writing?

The desire to write was always inside me. My father is an author and I guess that made me want to carry it on. At school I was writing poems and short stories for my own pleasure and gradually it developed into something much more deep.

What does your writing mean to you?

I consider writing as a love affair. You got to keep the fire going cause that is where the passion really is. Once you are in it and it is blazing right - never let it go, hold on to it and keep going. That is what writing is to me. It is so deep and stirring positively that I want to keep on the pace. It means so much to me because it is my love.

How versatile do you consider yourself to be as a writer?

This is still the beginning for me, and I want to go as far as possible. My writing is also on the British Council Writers Website and I have plans to write a book on poetry in future.

Do you think culture and environment (writing for audiences in different settings) change writing styles?

Yes, that is one aspect that changes the style of writing and it heightens interest. People like to read about different experiences in unusual settings and culture and environment play a major part in this. My culture and my environment are totally Asian and my living in United Kingdom has not changed my cultural roots. When I write I write in a distinctive style that is heavily spiced with Asian flavours. To the reader it tastes Asian.

How closely are your reading and writing bound up?

Reading and Writing are my favourite pastime activities. I love reading poetry written by T.S.Eliot, Rabindranath Tagore, Carol Ann Duffy etc. There's a lot you learn just by reading about the works of other writers. Their experiences- themes- techniques- message given to the reader and so on. These works enhance my life and helps me polish up my writing and gives me a style of my own.

Who are your favourite authors and what work of fiction would you say has most influenced you?

I would list Martin Wickramasinghe, Punyakanthi Wijenaike, R.K. Narayan, D.H. Lawrence, Margaret Atwood, John Steinbeck and Tony Morrison to name a few, and my favourite and most influential fiction has been the Gothic novel of love - Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I have read it so many times and my poem TO HEATHCLIFF is based on this novel.

Is poetry your preferred form?

Yes, poetry is the form I find so free and easy to express myself in. It is a fluid form. So far my printed work has been mainly in poetic form and I hope to try my hand in short stories as well. But poetry will always be my favourite.

What key message of encouragement would you give to the New Writers out there?

Read a lot, it helps in the long run to become a good writer. Write something everyday for even as the saying goes "Practice makes Perfect." That is what I do and what my message would be to all the New Writers out there.

first published 2005