Beijing Vampires (Author Interview)

Beijing Vampires looks like an exciting vampire thriller.  What can you tell us about Red the main character?
Red is a lovely, caring girl who is enjoying life in Inner Mongolia. During the Qing Dynasty, she is sent to Beijing to serve the Emperor, and is based in part on Zhenfei, the First Consort, or wife of the Emperor.   She is pure and has powers to fight the powerful Vampire that has arrived from Europe.  As fate has it, she can see vampires, and her unusual abilities and goodness threaten the vampires, and chaos develops. 

What inspired you when writing Beijing Vampires?   

I started this story in the middle, with a vibrant scene in a bar.  Likely there were a few beers in me at that bar when I wrote the first scene.  The historical setting came later.  One of the problems is that the characters are based on people I knew and I kept adding more details over time.  I couldn’t get the story out of my head until it was published.

Any chance this will be the first of a series?

I will let it rest as some of the scenes were hard to write and gave me nightmares.  Let’s just say that I put aside many chapters and stories to get to this shorter version focusing on Red. 

How did you come up with the story in Beijing Vampires?

This evolved over quite a long time.  It started as just a few scenes and characters in present day Beijing.  I wrote more about the villains, vampires, parasites sucking wealth and goodness out of others.  I taught economics and studied finance and started to consider flipping the rules upside down.  I sprinkled some economic and finance puzzles in the book for the reader. 

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Beijing Vampires?

I tried to make as much authentic as I could while adding the fantasy figure of a powerful vampire on top of the real world.  I visited every location, and most modern scenes are authentic.  Some of the military scenes with the US and Chinese military took some time to refine and do justice to the soldiers and Marines.  I modeled the main Vampire after Bram Stoker’s Dracula, who had many business capabilities.  I also did a lot of research into the economics and historical elements found in the story. An odd thing is that some friends who read this had no problem with the concept of vampires in Bejing, but found discrepancies with some historical locations and street names.   I decided not to describe the characters in too much detail but to let the readers use their own imagination of visuals and images. 

What do you like to do when not writing?

Hiking and traveling. I enjoy teaching and, at the moment, am teaching online classes for high school and middle school students.  I also do business consulting and like to design technical solutions.  I have a background in the Army and Corporate world. 

Where can readers find out more about your work?
The book is on Kindle and just go there and look for Beijing Vampires.  My pen name there is ‘Huai Dan.’

other notes

Some themes are whether we seek our love over fortune, what is a luxury, good vs evil, propaganda and manipulation.  The nature of evil that exists in the world today.