Q: Ravages has been syndicated for ten years without us realizing it. Having worked tirelessly to meet the deadline over these ten years, how do you feel about your accomplishments?
A: Depressed. (laugh) The worst part is working without a break and still getting called “lazy” by readers, that hurt… On the other hand, it may be because the readers are eager for the next installment, so deep down I’m still content.
Q&A…(something about collaboration with Wang Yi Xing, the light-novel writer, which I lost interest in after reading the first in the series)…
Q: After God of War Lü Bu’s death, Yuan Fang is the number one rival to Sima Yi. Did you plan for Yuan Fang to be the “tactician Lü Bu” (as opposed to “warrior Lü Bu”)?
A: My readers know me too well. Whether he’s the “tactician Lü Bu” or the demon, he’s just the “big bad”. You can only show the strength of the main characters when they topple the “big bad”. And that’s the most sickening formula found in commercial works.
Q: Now that more historical figures are showing up, does it mean there won’t be other original characters like Xiao Meng, Zhang Lei and Guo Ang taking the stage?
A: Yes. Although there will be original characters, they won’t take center stage, or else the historical figures on the waiting-list will haunt me in my dreams!
Q: As important as Lu Su was in Three Kingdoms, why hasn’t he been introduced yet?
A: He’s important for the Battle of Red Cliff, that’s why I’m delaying his debut. And there are many more important people on the waiting-list.
Q: Do you have any plans to present the Yellow Turban Rebellion in the world/style of Ravages? It could be in novel or comic form.
A: Yes, but I’m leaving that task to Wang Yi Xing. If you or other readers think there are certain stories that need telling, contact us and I’ll use that as an excuse for Yi Xing to keep writing. Let him devote his peak years to the readers of Ravages.
Q: Do you actually harbor an anti-Sage sentiment? Many times I feel this series is saying, “Confucianism has poisoned Chinese people.”
A: Yes. The Philosophy of Confucianism was a great wisdom of its era, while I’m using the modern thinking to play the villain. (Confucianism is one of the most important (culture?) heritage in the world after all) Confucianism was a thorn to many ambitious warlords of that era, so it has been written about frequently in Ravages – merely because it was a product of the time. Just like when the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang criticized “Confucius/Confucianism”, it was a method of politics.
(Chinese usually say “nail in the eye” instead of “thorn on one’s side”)
Q: There have been a deluge of jaw-dropping strategies in Ravages. Where do you get the inspiration?
A: I think about the things I couldn’t do, or start from the hypocrisy of politicians. It’s easy to discover many useful material if one is observant enough. And then I just mash it all up.
Q&A… (the next light-novel in the series is about “him”, readers’ favorite character)
Q: Will the story jump straight to Red Cliff after the Battle of Guandu? I’m actually very interested in your depiction of the Battle of Wuwan, which was only very briefly talked about in historical text.
A: I really want to present the Battle of Wuwan, and the plot is already in my head. Wuwan is not the only brilliant battle that got overlooked by people. Unfortunately so many readers want to see the Battle of Red Cliff, making it a tough trade-off.