Indie Spotlight is our monthly column on self-publishing. This month Siobhan Daiko interviews Victor Cunrui Xiong, Professor of History, with a special interest in Asian history, at Western Michigan University, USA, and author of the historical novel Heavenly Khan.
Heavenly Khan is based on the story of Li Shimin (also known as Tang Taizong), the second emperor of the Tang dynasty, and arguably the greatest sovereign in Chinese history. He grew up in a world of devastating upheaval that tore China apart, and he found himself thrust into the role of a military commander in his father’s rebel army while still a teenager. He proved himself to be a great military genius, vanquishing all his enemies on the battlefield. As emperor, ruling from 626 to 649 CE, he was open-minded. He encouraged critical suggestions by his court officials, which he often adopted, and he lent support to Buddhism, Daoism, and Christianity. The international prestige he won for Tang China was so high that the states of Central and North Asia honored him with the title of ‘Heavenly Khan.’