It was at least five years ago that I first started wanting to start a small press. I even knew what the name would be -- Serendib Press, after one of the ancient names of the island where I was born. Some say it's inevitable, that if you work in publishing long enough, eventually, you'll want to start your own small press. I've also been warned that once you start, putting out new, beautiful books quickly becomes an addiction. You start wanting to publish more and more books, until publishing eats up all of your time, energy, and money. I'm hoping that won't happen here, since I'm primarily a writer and professor, and the plan, at least, is to publish no more than two books per year. We'll see what happens, though. For now, let's just say that I'm very happy to launch Serendib Press. A place where, hopefully, you will find some beautiful stories that you never expected.
The Poet's Journey was actually written more than a decade ago. I wrote it for two small girls, Kaylei and Kiera, children of a friend of mine. I typed it up on my computer, printed it out, and gave it to them; they were, if I remember right, delighted to have a story written just for them. (I even used their names for the dragon and unicorn of the story.) But as fun as it was to write the story, it always seemed like it would be even better with illustrations, and as a real book, with a cover and everything. It took ten years before I found the perfect illustrator for the story, Kat Beyer, whose charming, whimsical watercolors were exactly suited to the story. And once I had a child of my own (Kavya was born in May 2007), I felt a new urgency to finally see this story in print. Kat and I are delighted to finally be able to share The Poet's Journey with you. We hope you like it.
Note: Some of you familiar with my other work may wonder why this book is authored by 'Amirthi Mohanraj.' Amirthi is my middle name, and it means ambrosia, the nectar of the gods. It's the name I'm known by in the Sri Lankan community; it's what my family calls me. But the main reason we chose to publish this story under a slightly different name is to maintain at least a mild distinction between my work for children and my other writing, which is decidedly for adults. Hopefully the two different names will help librarians sort the titles appropriately.