By Maya Schlessinger*
NEW JERSEY, USA, 20 May 2023 (IDN) — While most Pascack Valley (PV) students go to the library to check out books, PV senior Treshan Nilaweera, 19, hopes to see his own on the shelves.
Last October, Nilaweera self-published a fantasy novel entitled The Many Worlds Theory, now available for purchase on Amazon. He has been writing it since the summer of eighth grade.
“I’ve liked reading all my life,” said Nilaweera, (an American of Sri Lankan ancestry): “I read a lot, like all the time, and so I’ve always wanted to write a book.”
According to Nilaweera, his main inspiration was defying the popular “chosen-one” trope in many fantasy books he’d read.
“[Fantasy books are] always about how the main character is the chosen one or has magic powers,” Nilaweera said. “That’s really cool and all, but the message is you have to be special to do something interesting.”
The book follows characters, in a magical world, who don’t possess any magic themselves. While figuring out who they are, they work to save the First City after its ever-shining protective light has suddenly gone dark.
According to Nilaweera, the main character was originally based on himself, but that persona has changed over the years of Nilaweera’s writing. He explains that the character now encompasses “a combination of aspects of relationships with friends and family in my life.”
Nilaweera’s family has greatly helped him along the way. His father shares his love of writing and helped to edit the novel. Since its publication, both Nilaweera’s parents have helped to “shamelessly promote” the book.
At the forefront of Treshan’s book is a contribution from his sister, aspiring artist and PV sophomore Triyana Nilaweera. She utilized her digital art skills to create the cover art, using then free digital painting software MediBang.
When asked how the collaboration came to be, the siblings immediately said it was expected due to their close relationship and Triyana’s art experience. Together, with the help of their father, they brainstormed ideas of possible cover illustrations over the course of a few weeks. Treshan believes it “came out really cool.”
“[We decided on the cover because it is] the major scene where the main characters end up going, so it has a big importance in the book,” Triyana said.
She expressed pride and support for her brother and his accomplishments.
“It’s kind of crazy to me [that he’s a published author]. I always knew it would eventually be published, and I saw the process, but to see it actually published is awesome,” Triyana said.
She read the novel in its early stages and even helped with a little bit of editing. “I started reading it again, and I like it a lot,” Triyana said. “He did a really great job on it.”
Treshan explained how the long process included a great deal of writing and rewriting.
“The first draft was almost entirely scrapped because I got 50 pages in and then realized I didn’t like it,” Nilaweera said.
He pushed through the obstacle by restructuring and reorganizing the story. Nilaweera looked into the publishing process and decided that it would be easier to start with self-publishing rather than traditional publishing, which includes a contract with a publisher.
Traditional publishing is not off the table for Nilaweera. “I’m hoping to eventually get it traditionally published, but that’s [going to happen] a little later,” Nilaweera said.
Currently, Treshan hopes to get his book into local libraries and “see how far it can go.”
Initially, Nilaweera thought he would only publish one book, but he now believes that “this is more my starting point.” He envisions himself publishing a sequel to The Many Worlds Theory and a series of short stories in a new land.
Although he plans to study Business in college, he believes that writing a book taught him organization skills he will carry with him throughout his life. When creating characters, Treshan worked to understand how other people’s minds work, lending to a new outlook on the world around him.
No matter what he pursues in life, Treshan knows he will always continue to write on the side.
Nilaweera encourages teenagers to tackle their dreams, hoping he can serve as an example.
“It just shows that you can do so many things. If you get an idea or want to do something, just keep looking into it,” Nilaweera said.
*Maya Schlessinger, Pascack Valley junior, is an avid writer of all things PV. Joining the Valley Echo sophomore year, she learned quickly and was named a Staff Editor by spring. In this time, she has made over ten contributions to the site, ranging from articles to podcasts. Schlessinger lives for telling stories, and she has been writing tales of magical lands since she could first hold a pencil. Source: Valley Echo. [IDN-InDepthNews]
Photo: After over three years of writing, senior Treshan Nilaweera self-published a fantasy book, The Many Worlds Theory. Credit: Olivia Jackson.
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