From time to time, I’ll bring you interviews with authors from different genres who have a positive message to share with their readers. I’m thrilled to welcome inspirational Christian author Anusha Atukorala as my first guest.
Thanks for stopping by, Anusha. We’ll chat about your new book in a minute, but first let’s get to know you a little better.
You and your husband Shan and son Asela migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka back in 1999. That must have been a big decision for you. What prompted your move?
You got that right, Nola—it was a huge decision. For many years, Sri Lanka struggled with an ethnic conflict, so it wasn’t a safe place to raise a family. I’d often need to rush to school to pick up my five-year-old amidst bomb threats. Scary! We also wanted to give Asela a better education—schooling in Sri Lanka was extremely stressful. Even five-year-olds had to sit for exams, poor little tykes! When we reached Australia, what a thrill it was to discover that learning was fun and that building diverse life skills was on the cards.
Wow, that would have taken a lot of courage to make that move, but Australia is better for it. Your parents were a big influence on your writing. Could you tell us a bit about that?
Sure. My Dad was the Director of a newspaper group in Sri Lanka. Mum joined his company at the tender age of 17, soon becoming a journalist, a job she excelled in for over 70 years. In 2014, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Books were a big part of our family life and my parents passed on their love of the English language to all of us, their seven children. Mum was my cheerleader and championed my writing. It was comforting to find that the last email she wrote before she died was in response to my latest blog.
It sounds like they were amazing people. Writing genes certainly run in your family. Your third book, Sharing the Journey, has just been released. What inspired it and what can readers expect to find within its pages?
Thanks Nola. My first book Enjoying the Journey was published in July 2010. It was a great experience, and I was on a high, so I wrote two more books immediately, the first of them being Sharing the Journey. Finding a publisher for it took years though, so here we are … TEN years later! I strongly believe that in God’s plans, it is right on time. The book contains 75 little stories of everyday life, with truths I’ve gleaned from them on how to live with joy, passion and purpose.
You were all set to have your book launch, but had to postpone it due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The world is certainly a different place than it was a few months ago. Does your book offer anything that could help people cope with these challenging times?
It’s been interesting that Sharing the Journey was released at a time when it has been very difficult to share the journey in practical ways. This book reminds readers that they are never alone and that better days are ahead. I didn’t realise that Sharing the Journey would be birthed during a pandemic when I wrote it. Nevertheless, it offers hope, comfort and strength to its readers to help navigate this present confusing world. It also highlights what the pandemic has made obvious—we need each other!
It’s amazing how those things work out in God’s timing. Your last book, Dancing in the Rain, was also birthed in difficult times. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I’d been through a tough season then and I plunged into what I called my ‘season of grief and pruning’. I grieved for two months as God did a spring cleaning in my heart. One day, I woke up with a start. ‘There’s a book in this! Wow!’ Healing came thick and fast as I wrote Dancing in the Rain. What a comfort to discover that my pain had a purpose! What great joy to share the comfort I’d received so that I could help others going through their own dark nights of the soul!
Many people are going through a tough season at the moment. If you could give a word of encouragement to people during this current world crisis, what would you tell them?
Whatever you are going through right now, there’s Someone who knows you by name and loves you. He cares deeply for you. His arms are wide open. He seeks to share your journey. He will be your Shelter from the storm. I pray you will discover a new Hope that will add joy peace, courage and strength for all your tomorrows.
And thank you dear Nola for having me here today. I greatly enjoyed our little chat!
Thanks so much, Anusha. It’s been great finding out a bit more about you. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.
Anusha has kindly made available an autographed copy of her latest book, Sharing the Journey, for one lucky reader. In order to enter the draw for the prize, just add a comment below by midnight on Sunday 24 May 2020 (Australian Eastern Standard Time). The winner will be chosen at random from the eligible comments, and their name will be published in my next newsletter and on the Nola Lorraine Facebook page. As the prize is a print book, this giveaway is only available for those with an Australian postal address. (Hopefully, I’ll be able to have other giveaways in the future that will be open to anyone.) For full terms, please click here.
Anusha has been on many interesting detours in life, as a lab technician, a computer programmer, a full-time Mum, a full-time volunteer, a charity director, a job chaser, until one golden day (or was it a dark moonless night?) God tapped her on her shoulder and called her to write for Him. She has never recovered from the joy it brought her. She loves to see others enjoying life with Jesus and does her mite to hurry the process in her world through her writing and through her life. The goodness of God is her theme song through each season, as she dances in the rain with Jesus.
You can find more inspirational posts from Anusha on her Dancing in the Rain website and blog.
She would also love to connect with you on her author Facebook page.
Her first book Enjoying the Journey contains 75 little God stories that will bring you closer to your Creator. This book was published by Back to the Bible in Sri Lanka, and can be ordered through Anusha’s website.
Her second book Dancing in the Rain brings you hope and comfort for life’s soggy seasons. It was published by Armour Books and can be purchased from Koorong, Book Depository, and Amazon (among others).
Her third book Sharing the Journey is a sequel to Enjoying the Journey and was released in March 2020. It can be purchased direct from Elephant House Press in Australia, or from Book Depository or Amazon.