Showing posts with label time-travel.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label time-travel.. Show all posts

Monday, 2 March 2020

Indie Spotlight: Qing Dynasty inspires Time Travel Duology

This month on Indie Spotlight, Bijou Li tells us about the inspirations behind her time travel novels which she has self-published on Amazon. Over to Bijou...

I became interested in the dramatic historical event, Nine Sons Competing for the Throne (九子夺嫡) when my sister recommended the online novel Scarlet Heart (步步惊心) to me back in 2010. I also watched the TV drama series right after I finished reading the book. Aside from the history, what the story fascinated me the most was the main character’s “prescience” of the fate of each person she interacts with while living in the 18th century.

I liked the story so much that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for months afterward, and I told my sister I would like to write a book about how the fourteenth prince traveled back in time to change the fates of him and his brothers. She didn’t take me seriously, and neither did I. But years later, I watched another TV series Palace (宫锁心玉)and my ambition sparked again. I sat down and wrote a few chapters, got stuck, and put it aside until 2018, a year after I self-published my first book on Amazon. By then, I had read a lot more popular time-travel books both in Chinese and English, and come up with a plot way more intriguing than I initially had in mind.

The plot of the story is based on the conjecture that Emperor Yongzheng, the fourth son of Kangxi, seized the throne from the intended heir, which was the fourteenth prince. The most popular theory is that Yongzheng added a stroke to the emperor’s will, thus changing the phrase “the fourteenth prince shall succeed the throne” into “the fourth prince shall succeed the throne.” It is perhaps just a rumor, but it certainly provides fodder for the imagination of fiction writers like me.

The most enjoyable part of writing the story to me is learning about the ancient culture of China. The discovery of the origin of card games, different ways of gluing rice paper on the lattice windows, how ice was stored throughout the year in the Forbidden City, etc. all broadened my mind. During my research on the Qing Dynasty, I also came across many fascinating characters that I couldn’t help but include them in the story, and it was a reason for the plot getting more complicated and the story getting longer. I found myself spending a lot more time browsing the internet than writing, which was the main reason it took me so long to finish the books.

I was born in China, and I went to college in the U.S. My dream of becoming a writer started when I majored in English. I’m grateful for the self-publishing opportunities made possible by Amazon. Knowing my books are being read daily by people from all over the world is a rewarding experience. I’ve also gotten to know many other aspiring writers who are passionate about writing and sharing their stories with Asian themes.

Please see Bijou's Amazon author page at this link