Wednesday, December 12, 2012

0 Troy Jackson Guest Post


China is the very definition of an enigma - past, present, and future. What is known of its history is rich and compelling, and is what brought me to eventually write a historical fantasy novel about. Brushing aside the many stereotypes we may have of this exotic Asian culture you will see a multitude of fascinating tales that is ripe for a fictional writer such as myself. While I was in college I remember taking a few classes that delved into the mystery that was China. One key figure continued to impress me, and appeared to be an enigma himself.

Some 2200 years ago, China was not the unified nation that we know of today, but a group of states embroiled in a seemingly never-ending war with one another. It was not until King Ying Zheng of the state of Qin (pronounced 'Chin') decided to unleash his vast army upon the weaker states, and after only nine short years, he had conquered them all. The seven warring states were unified under one banner, but hardly unified as one people. The triumphant king chose the title of 'Emperor' and changed his name forever to Qin Shí Huangdi (pronounced 'Chin Shrrr hwang-dee') and began a violent crackdown on any that opposed him. He also had grand ambitions and had millions conscripted (which is a nice way of putting it; enslaved might be a better term) to create many projects, including the first Great Wall, a national highway system of roads, and the Linqu Canal. Tens of thousands died to injury, starvation, and dehydration. Interestingly enough, very little is known about this time period due to the Emperor's crackdown on the intellectual elite. His firm belief in Legalism, a philosophy that brought strict governance to the people, meant that an iron hand was needed to ensure that none rose against him. Any hint of free thinking was tamped down at every opportunity. Two such cases included the targeting of over 400 Confucian scholars that were buried alive, and the burning of any books deemed inappropriate. It was because of these oppressive measures that a growing insurgency was brought to life.

This small snippet of Chinese history allowed for a tremendous amount of freedom as a writer. Not everything is black-and-white. Not everything is as it seems. And so I encourage you to venture out and learn more about history and philosophy of the Chinese; perhaps you will find it as entertaining as I have.

Book Summary:
Upon unifying the seven warring states under one banner, the First Emperor of China began solidifying power for what he envisioned as a thousand-year reign. Using those he conquered, the Emperor began a series of arduous projects, Including the first Great Wall, the Linqu Canal, and a national system of highways. Ignoring the physical and emotional toll exacted upon the people, his insatiable desire to further his own power has led to a growing, and secretive insurgency. One such organization is the Dragon's Spite who wishes to usurp control of the throne by nearly any means. But first they must marshal their forces strewn throughout the kingdom. More importantly they seek out three extraordinary girls who hold vast supernatural powers that can tip the balance in their favor. But do these unknowing heroines realize the talents that they possess? Will the Dragon's Spite reach them before the agents of the Emperor?

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Born in 1974 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Troy Jackson moved to the great state of Georgia with his family at the age of three where he has lived ever since. Currently he resides outside the city of Atlanta with his lovely wife and daughter. His passion for history, fantasy, and science fiction began at an early age with a little nudge from his older brother. Attending Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia he received a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Master’s Degree in Teaching. In his spare time he enjoys being with his family, watching and partaking in sports. Although new to the profession he intends on writing about subjects that have always fascinated him, including fantasy, adventure, science fiction, and history. http://www.tempestworks.com

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