iUniverse award winning author, Milena Banks concludes her excellent series of articles about how she came to write and publish her first novel, Riding the Tiger.So over to Milena to continue her story, laced with a couple of scene setters from the book.
“I wrote the first four chapters in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge only to be interrupted after six months with a move to the green hills of Surrey, England. Yet again my head was spinning from culture shock, but I had a plan this time. I moved around the UK taking mental notes, listening to the British, thinking about the Chinese, and remembering the Japanese . . . It was only natural that I wrote the novel I did.”
iUniverse Riding the Tiger over time
“Riding the Tiger is set in two crucial moments: Hong Kong in 1997 at the time of the handover to communist China, and on the eve of the Japanese bombing of the Pacific Rim. The story begins in present day Hong Kong with a young Chinese orphan, but then dives into the past, uncovering a horrible crime which reverberates all the way to present day China like a chain of dominoes falling and altering countless lives in its path—British, Chinese, and Japanese. The challenging thing about this book was being able to insert cultural observations and still have a book that reads like a thriller. Choosing this time period however, made it possible—for there were so many perilous situations, some melodramatic, some dangerous, some poignant—where people must make quick decisions or suffer extreme consequences. Indeed my characters were placed like pawns into rough seas, and for once I could be God, and watch them swirling along in a terrifying river of human choices.”
iUniverse author Milena Banks eyes the future
“Don’t get me wrong, writing a historical novel was extremely difficult, for I did five years of research, and then I stuck to facts, and that’s not even counting all the time I spent revising and revising and revising. Worse still was seeing friends roll their eyes when they heard I was going to revise yet again. It was discouraging, but when you have a goal in your heart, nothing matters, but breathing and writing, and of course revising. After all, it is your name on the damn thing. So this is how I, a writer previously entrenched in literary fiction, ended up writing a historical thriller. And that’s not all. I’m currently revising, yes revising, my next one –set in Colonial Kenya, with sights on India after that. It just goes to show you the story that needs to be told will reveal itself if only you keep an open mind.”