If you have been a continuous reader of Scribbler, I’m sure you may have seen the stories of many young talents. Kids nowadays are more enthusiastic and goal-oriented than how we used to be as kids.

Scribbler was able to reach out to one such talent, a young author, Sathindu Galagama who wrote The Land of Dinosaurs.

“Start where you are with what you have,” was a quote that struck my mind when i went through the email i received from this boy this boy.

Publishing the ‘The Land of Dinosaurs’

“My inspiration is my parents and teachers,” Sathindu tells us. Since he was a toddler, his parents have been treating him with beautiful books that he thinks has impacted him for life. “When I was a kid, my mother used to read books with me every night before I went to sleep, which we still practice to date. I think most of the time, I slept with those colourful magical books and dreamt on them,” he recalls.

Going back in time to his primary grade, he says, he had to maintain a diary to note down the title of the books he read each day, “It had to be brought to school every day after getting parent’s signature. The class teacher would give a golden star for each entry. Every year my diary was full of shiny stars and some diaries were taken by teacher to show the rest.”

Prompted by the magical writing of his role model authors; Roald Dhal and David Walliams, Sathindu was just in grade five when he started working on this book. “Until I finished writing, no one knew about the book. After writing, I told my parents about it and they were extremely surprised by my creativeness. Finally, they encouraged me to publish my book,” says Sathindu. When asked if he is a dinosaur fanatic himself and why he chose to write about it, he says, “Yes, I’m a fan of dinosaurs.” Reading many stories about dinosaurs, he would ponder on what it would have been like if they existed. “In order to sum up my ideas, I started writing about my crazy plans and it eventually became a story book. “In order to sum up my ideas, I started writing about my crazy plans and it eventually became a story book.”

The Land of Dinosaurs was published recently in April this year, “I heard positive feedbacks from my teachers, relatives, neighbours, especially from my colleagues.”

Publishing a book is still a dream for many of us, and at such a young age, is what’s exceptional. When asked what is necessary for success, he says, “I believe dedication, commitment, and ambitious play major roles in our success.” Apart from that, he also extends his gratitude to his parents, teachers, “My Alma Mater – Lyceum International and my publisher, Sarasavi Bookshop.”

Summary of The Land of Dinosaurs: It is a children’s fiction story about how twins discover a mysterious land of dinosaurs. The two wayward kids planned to skip school, and in spite of being in school, they spent the day in a land full of dinosaurs.

All about Sathindu

Born and raised in Colombo, Sathindu is 11 years old and currently in seventh grade at Lyceum International School. Playing chess, he says is his hobby, “I gained title Arena Candidate Master (ACM) from World Chess Federation recently. I have been doing chess since I was six and won many trophies and medals. Other than that, I spend my leisure time playing piano and guitar. I like to sing songs too.”

He is also interested in public speaking for which he has won the title of  runner up and winner. Recently he took part in Wevoi Online Public Speaking Contest (an online public speaking contest based in UK) and got eligible for the global round. “A space scientist,” is what he wants to become, “I am already working as city scientist for International Asteroid Search Campaigns and did few primary detections of asteroids in main asteroid belt,” he says when asked about what his ambition is.

Major achievements in his writing life

Sathindu bagged a Gold Award in his entry to The Queen’s Commonwealth Easy Competition 2021, “This competition was initiated in 1883 and this is the oldest writing competition in the world. I was among the selected few to receive Gold Award from more than 25,000 entries from 55 countries for that year competition,” he says.

“It was one of my major achievements in my writing life.”

His message

“Children are not to write exams and solve maths always. Sometimes we must break rules to explore the things on our own way. I hope such things will make us confident, brave, and determined forever in life.”

By Khalidha Naushad