Category: Press Coverage

An old article is news to me!

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My sister-in-law, Prashanthi, (pictured on the bottom right of the Brady Bunch-like photo below) sent this to me in the mail when she came across it about six months after the fact.

Since the book launch was on August 30th, and I left for L.A. Sept 3rd, I expected all the press to come out immediately, but I guess that’s my L.A. side expecting the rest of the world to act the same. These photos were published in The (Colombo) Daily News almost a month after the launch, but I guess that’s good, since it gives the event a longer shelf life!

Scroll down for the best part–what the caption says. It’s fun! I’ve put my favorite parts in bold type.


So between the photo of myself and Azhara, my friend from Grey Worldwide, it says:

"Echoes Across Time by Malayna Dawn was launch [sic] at cocktails at Zanzibar amidst a small and intimate crowd of friends and press. Born to a Sri Lankan father and an American mother the writer who probably has a lot of exoticism within her owing to her mixed parenthood, takes the reader through a spiritual adventure through a mystical series of events from America to India to Sri Lanka. As mystical as Malayna can be!"

After myself & Azhara, the rest of the Brady Bunch are (from top to bottom and then L to R):

  • DINELI – Sri Lankan born, but raised in the U.S. and Canada, and now married to our friend Nigel and living here…
  • SHEHLA – my cousin Malik’s groovy wife…
  • ANNIKA – A fellow half-Sri Lankan with a blonde mom, she did a wonderful reading from my book. She’s married to Ajai, pictured at the top right.
  • RAVI – He’s married to Prashanthi, Kshemendra’s sister, who is pictured at the bottom right.
  • AJAI – The kind and giving soul who organized the book launch! He’s from New Delhi, which makes him him a fellow-foreigner.
  • A Journalist who I spoke to, but now so many months later cannot recall her name. Sorry!
  • PRASHANTHI – Also known as "Nangi", which means "little sister".

That’s the waaaayyy we became The Brady Bunch!  (Da Da, ba-da ba ba BA-BAH!)

Categories: Press Coverage

Radio Interview to podcast

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On the 9th of January my radio interview finally aired!

I say finally because it was supposed to air shortly after the launch at the end of August, but somehow was erased before it was broadcast. So when I returned from the US in November, we did a re-take, this time with friends. Dilhan, who MC’d the launch and Cecilia, who contributed a reading. This made it more fun for me & hopefully for you as well — if for no other reason than the smorgasbord of accents! 2 Sri Lankans, an American and a Scot. How international!

You can hear it/download it (or however it works) at the following locations:

Or at:  if you know how to do that. I don’t.  Yet.

Or you can go to my facebook page! The link is beneath my photo on the right of the page. Facebook rocks!


SLBC was fascinating because like a number of organizations here, seems not to have been significantly updated since the British left. And since the 60th anniversary of Sri Lankan Independence is coming up on Feb 4th, you know it’s been a while.

Check out the mic! Isn’t it cool?  Radio3

Chanakya, the guy who was nice enough to interview me, had asked me to bring 3 songs that I thought represented the book and myself.  I supplied them, but they just kinda plopped them in the middle of the interview, without introduction or segue.

So now I shall ‘splain to you, in order to reduce the shock:

The first song I chose was "Elsewhere" from Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Toward Ecstasy album. I chose it for the lyrics "I believe this is heaven to no one else but me, and I’ll defend it long as I can be left here to linger in silence if I choose to, would you try to understand it?" (The full lyrics can be found here: )

The second song was Dishwalla’s Counting Blue Cars for the lyrics "Tell me all your thoughts on God, cuz I’d really like to meet HER." 

(The full lyrics are here:

And the final song was Alanis Morissette’s "Thank U" for a lot of the lyrics, but especially "How ’bout remembering your divinity?" and of course, "Thank you India," a country that also features fairly prominently in the book. (The full lyrics:

So there you have the tale!  Now listen and share the joys! Feel free to write with questions too. 

Categories: Press Coverage

An In-Depth Interview – Yay!

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Author Interview: Malayna Dawn on Echoes Across Time

by Lael

DM_Echoes.jpgThe Daily Mantra recently had the pleasure of conducting an intercontinental interview with novelist and Daily Mantra contributor Malayna Dawn. Malayna has recently relocated from Los Angeles to Sri Lanka, a country that figures prominently in her first novel, Echoes Across Time. Described on its cover as "modern day myth" and "[p]art spiritual adventure, part feminist fairy tale," Echoes is right up our alley and likely to resonate deeply with readers attuned to dreams, reincarnation or cross-cultural experience.

Malayna has written extensively about the Law of Attraction in her Daily Mantra posts so we were curious to learn, first of all, how her knowledge of this universal tenet figured in her approach to writing and getting published. Malayna had plenty to say on other topics as well, including the place of dreams and reincarnation in American and Sri Lankan culture, the inspiration she has received from writers like Julia Cameron and Joseph Campbell, and how writing nourishes her spiritually. If you are looking for creative inspiration Malayna’s answers to our questions are a good place to find it!

DM_Malayna.jpgDM: Do you have any Law of Attraction stories related to bringing this project to fruition?

MD: Financially – not yet! Actually, I have attracted wonderful relationships into my life, which after the long period of time writing alone is a much appreciated dividend. I’ve found that so many people are willing to help me, and it’s been such a blessing. First, friends who were willing to proofread and lend their opinions; then my friend Jeff Gelb who I worked with in my music industry days, referred me to his writing partner Mike Garrett (both have long lists of credits in the horror genre) – Stephen King’s first editor – to help me edit. He was a huge, invaluable help in bringing the story to life. And then the book launch in Colombo was such a gift! From Ajai Singh, CEO of Grey Advertising in Sri Lanka who organized it, to my talented friends who MC’d, did readings, and helped in every way imaginable. Now I’m getting to play with all the things I dreamed of when I was young – being interviewed for press and radio, seeing stuff published in magazines that I didn’t pursue myself. It’s all so fun!

DM: How much (if any) of the novel is autobiographical?

MD: I like to say it’s a highly fictionalized version of my life. I’ve heard often to write what you know, so much of it is based on my reality. Many of the themes come from experiences that I’ve had myself or that someone I know has gone through. But having said that, I’ve mixed it liberally with ideas that I just thought were fascinating to make it more of a metaphorical journey than a true-to-life one.

DM: If it is somewhat autobiographical, which parts, in particular?

MD: I know what it’s like to be from two cultures, and I’ve found there are quite a few people of mixed Sri Lankan origin, not to mention many of other mixed origins, and we share lots of things in common. I visited Sri Lanka a handful of times with my family as tour guides before I moved here, so much of that is based on my experience to some extent. The rest of it dances between the real and the imagined so much it would take too long to separate here.

DM: Also, if it’s autobiographical, why did you choose to write it as a novel?

MD: There are a number of reasons I chose to write a novel rather than a memoir, but mostly because I have always loved myths and been fascinated by how myths instruct people about how to live life. Joseph Campbell rocks my world…even from the beyond. And that’s how I’ve always interpreted the messages of movies and books and songs.

DM: The story seems very cinematic and I know you have a background in television production; did you ever think about writing it as a screenplay?

MD: I initially started writing it as a screenplay, but it wasn’t coming out that way. Now that I’ve developed it as a novel, I have been asked to write a screenplay from it so that a film can be produced here in Sri Lanka in conjunction with a Bollywood producer. Living here has given me a chance to fall in love with Bollywood, so I’d love the chance to work with some of my favorite stars and introduce them to American audiences. But I’d also love to make different versions – because the sensibility of each audience is different.

DM: What other fiction writing have you done?

MD: The bulk of my writing experience has been somewhere between fiction and non-fiction in a genre that I guess can be called "inspirational." By that I mean that it’s poetic prose that is meant to uplift and ignite a spark inside so that you can do your own seeking. Even the non-fiction articles I’ve done have been less hard journalism and more of a symbolic study of life.

DM: Who are your favorite writers and which are your favorite genres?

MD: I love Anne Rice for mixing the real and historical with the mythological and creating worlds of depth that make both darkness and light beautiful and rich. I love Isabel Allende for much the same reasons. She, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, speaks about the spiritual realm and people’s beliefs as an integral part of life. I read any book that allows me to experience and really feel different times and places – whether real or imaginary. And though I resisted the hype at first, I did fall in love with Harry Potter and his world, which reminded me of the books I loved when I was younger – Anne McCaffrey and Piers Anthony books my mom and I shared.

DM: Which, if any, most influenced Echoes Across Time?

MD: I think it was movies that influenced me more. I wanted to read something like Indiana Jones, The Mummy, and Tomb Raider, but after I read Celestine Prophecy I wanted more than just adventure. I wanted a deeper meaning. I found Isabel Allende and read practically everything she wrote, but nothing else seemed to grab me when I went trolling book stores. I read The Count of Monte Cristo and kept looking for sweeping adventures. So then I wrote what I was searching for.

DM: What did you learn most from working on this project?

MD: I started this project in the midst of a void that I don’t think most people have the opportunity to experience. I had moved to Sri Lanka and had no job and no friends, no car and nothing to do. I didn’t need to make money to support myself, so I had the opportunity to see what called to me most when everything else was stripped away. I played with all the things I thought I would want to do when I had the chance, but I found that all I really wanted to do was write, so now that I’ve dedicated myself to what really makes me feel fulfilled, I feel so much happier every day of my life.

DM: What do you like best about writing?

MD: I like that I can share who I really am, fully connected to my center, without having to worry about how I look or sound or if I fit in. I don’t have to be prettier or thinner or taller or darker or have a different accent or worry about my nerves making my voice wobble. Because I started from there, now when I go out to promote the book, I still don’t worry about any of that because I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything. I’m not trying to get a job or wow during an audition. I’m just sharing what comes from within. It feels good. Peaceful. Joyful. Free.

DM: Besides being entertained, is there anything else that you hope or expect that readers will take away from Echoes Across Time ?

MD: I’d love for people to learn about Sri Lanka, but more importantly to find a new way of thinking about their lives. To pay attention when a song pops into their heads or a plot line from a movie gives them a new perspective. I want them to listen to their inner guidance and find their true purpose.

DM: How has your spiritual life influenced your creativity or your relation to your creativity?

MD: It’s really the purpose for my wanting to share ideas with people. I want people to find and experience spirituality in everything they do. Not in a pious or righteous or limiting way, but to be able to feel spirit in the music they listen to and the places they go and the movies and books they take in. I love the way that Julia Cameron made the connection between spirituality and creativity in The Artist’s Way. We are all artists and our creativity is expressed in the creation of our lives: our own personal works of art.

DM: Succinctly, please give Daily Mantra readers a sense of differing places of dreams in the Sri Lankan and American cultures.

MD: I think in Sri Lanka, people are still really open to the concept of spirits and ancestors and a sort of magic being part of life. So dreams of such things might have more meaning than to someone from a Western culture who has rejected anything but the material and sensory and writes off weird dreams as just being because of something they ate. Unless they are Jungians, or people who have learned to look at everything as a metaphorical message from the universe, like me.

DM: Please do the same with the two culture’s differing attitudes toward and ideas about reincarnation.

MD: Because Sri Lanka’s main religion is Buddhism, reincarnation is really central in their belief system. The second largest religion here is Hinduism, which also recognizes reincarnation. I think this may be part of why Sri Lanka has one of the highest suicide rates-they may see it as something like hitting the reset button on a video game that you are clearly losing. In America, I’ve seen a lot about reincarnation being about soul mates and finding your one true love. The more Western Judeo-Christian idea is one life and off to heaven or hell. I wanted to play with the idea to say none of us really know what goes on, but what if it’s something different than any of us can imagine, or better yet, what if we’re all right? I think examining all the possibilities should leave us all a bit more open-minded which may also help create peaceful co-existence in our world-really the ultimate goal, don’t you think?
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Categories: Press Coverage

2007 in Review

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In looking back on the year that has just passed, I saw how far I came in the last 6 months or so. Here’s what I posted in my previous blog:

July 4th, 2007 – American Independence Day! yay!

The printed books arrived on my doorstep on the day before I left on a trip to L.A.

July 27th

I met with the inimitable Ajai Singh to discuss promotional strategies.

July 30th

Did my first magazine interview! Now I only hope it gets published…

August 2nd, 2007

I dropped the boxes off at the distributor’s office, Perera-Hussein Publishing House,  and had a goooood chat with Sam Perera.

Aug 9th

Met for a pre-interview for a radio chat to be recorded on Aug 16th and played soon after the launch.

Aug 20th post:

With the book launch date secured for the 30th of August, invitations are rolling out and preparations are being made.  Fun! 

By a lucky coincidence, August 30th is my SEVEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the day I left L.A. to move to Sri Lanka.  So we’ll have all the more reason to celebrate together.  I might even bring champagne!  ; ) 

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Entry for September 5, 2007:

I’m still reeling from the wonderfulness of the book launch!  Thank you to all who attended and to all who helped make it possible.  Ajai Singh is really the man who made it happen, and Sanjo & Mizan at Zanziba were very gracious for letting us use their space. 

Readings done by Annika Fernando-Singh, Navin Ratnayake and Cecilia McGuire were so well done and heartwarming, it really brought my little book to life! What a gift they all gave me by offering to help out with that.

Azhara and Anjuli from Grey Advertising were also incredibly supportive and invaluable. And thanks to all the press that came out to help spread the word. It was such fun having you there!

I will do my best to post photos very soon, and keep everyone updated on where you can find articles.  The September edition of ADOH! has a lovely article – thanks Minoli! 

This is an exciting journey and I’m so very grateful to everyone who is supporting and encouraging me along the way.  THANKS!

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In October, Lanka Woman ran a nice article too.

(For the full article go to )

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And then…

Entry for December 8, 2007
FINALLY!  The book is available on ! Here’s the link: 
It’s a moment I’ve been awaiting for some time and I’m so glad it’s here! YAY!

New Promo for the New Year!

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DM_Top 10 Books.jpg

The Daily Mantra has included ECHOES ACROSS TIME in their list of books that "inspired The Daily Mantra’s writers over the past year".  It’s their big finish!  See?

And finally, with full disclosure that this is by one of our own…..

Echoes Across Time by Daily Mantra contributor Malayna Dawn
For reincarnation buffs, dreamy Pisces and loyal Daily Mantra readers, a "spiritual adventure" and "feminist fairytale" that’s right up our alley and is likely to resonate deeply with readers attuned to past-lives, dreaming or cross-cultural experience.

I love that my book is shown next to EAT, PRAY, LOVE, which is one of my favorites of the year and has served as an inspiration in so many ways. Read the full article at:

Categories: Press Coverage