Totsakan: the Demon King and the Hermit's Riddle

'A Ramayana-inspired fantasy fiction that sparkles with originality while nodding to the genre classics such as Narnia and Harry Potter, Totsakan ingeniously breathes a new, exciting life into the old tale, dusting off its aura of antiquity and giving young readers a parent-proof reason to stay up all night.' – Kong Rithdee, cultural critic, writer and translator

Behind the book

Woranuj Maneeerungsee (or ‘Laem’ as everyone knows her) and Graham Watts are former journalists who turned their writing skills to creating this story inspired by their bilingual twin children, Luke and Maleeya. They use the pen name Tamlin Bea because it is easy to pronounce in both English and Thai.

Laem grew up in a large family in Bangkok and did well academically. She graduated in history from Thammasat University and went on to work as a reporter, first on Manager newspaper and then the Bangkok Post.

Graham grew up in South Africa and studied journalism and political philosophy before going to graduate school in the United States. He was a reporter and editor on South African newspapers before moving to the UK where he worked for more than two decades as an editor on the Financial Times.

When the twins began to read independently, Laem and Graham wanted them to be able to read something that reflected their Thai side. The twins read plenty of English books, but nothing in which they could see themselves and the Thai half of their bilingual and bi-cultural lives.

Why don’t we write one ourselves? they all asked, first as just a joke. But it wasn’t until the family moved to England and Covid brought lockdown that work actually began on the book.

For full details see:

The Demon King And the Hermit’s Riddle

RSVP to by 27 June